Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Family Fun Time

Amy B Croker
MAT elementary education
What are you going to do this summer? "School is out for the summer!" I can hear that song playing in my head now, but not in a fun way, but a panicky kind of way.

I wonder if I signed my girls up for enough camps or swim lessons. Or did I sign them up for too much? Decisions, decisions, right?

Well, after a brief moment of panic on the last week of school, I decided, what the heck! Forget worrying about if you signed them up for the right camps, forget comparing your schedule to friends', forget worrying about not having enough to do or fun vacations planned and just enjoy the summer.

Enjoy the down times, enjoy not having the same ole routine and just try to discover new places to go and people to see where you already are. Enjoy some family and friends time in your own backyard.

So that is what we are going to do and here are some things I am going to try to do this summer with my family:
  • Shake up some Homemade Ice Cream in the backyard:Watch as liquid mixture transforms into solid ice cream before your eyes. All you need is sugar, milk, vanilla (or any flavoring of your choice), ice, salt, a quart-size food-storage bag, and a gallon-size plastic bag. First, mix one tablespoon of sugar, ½ cup of milk, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla in a bowl. This will make about one scoop. Transfer the contents to the quart-size bag and seal. Then fill the gallon-size bag with two quarts of crushed ice and 6 tablespoons of rock salt (or coarse salt). The rock salt will keep the ice from melting. Make sure both bags are completely sealed. Place the quart-size bag inside the gallon-size bag. Shake for about 10-15 minutes, making sure the contents of the two bags do not mix. The bags will get very cold, so use gloves or a towel to hold them. This hands-on activity will show how matter changes state from liquid to solid and then, as the final, tasty product drips down your chin, back to liquid again.
  • Go to a drive-in movie or screen on the green: or
  • Enjoy Local Family Nights:  Cheekwood Botanical Gardens has some great family nights all summer long.
  • Explore our hometown or the surrounding areas: Pretend we are tourists and try some things we may not try on a regular basis.
  • Take a daytrip somewhere new
  • Go bowling
  • Pick what we will eat that night for dinner: Go to the farmers market or a local farm and pick some yummy local flavors.
  • Learn something new-either take a class with my girls, cook or do a fun new craft. There are local craft stores that have monthly classes. So check out Michaels or JoAnns for their schedule.
  • Go for a moonlight stroll with the family or a bike ride.
  • Roast marshmallows and catch fireflies
  • Host a cookout with friends-get to know our neighbors or reconnect with old friends.
  • Campout inside. Play games, tell stories and just enjoy some good ole family time.
So what are you all going to do this summer when friends are on vacation, when camps are not in session, when it's raining, when you have had a enough of the same ole same ole activities day in and day out? Are you going to pack your calendar slammed full of activities to save your sanity as well as your kids or are you going to just enjoy this down time of no schedule, no appointments or classes to get to?
We would love to know and would love to get more summer family fun ideas from our readers! We would also love for you to send pictures of your summer fun.

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