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Summertime fun

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Summer officially starts next week and the kids are out of school - cue the mad scramble to figure out how to pass the next few months without losing the sanity of everyone in the household.

Of course, some of you have camps planned for almost every week, or relatives you can ship the little ones off to – preferably in another state. The rest of us are left to wonder how to keep them from getting an honorary degree in sleeping, TV binging or gaming. (My daughter’s personal time-sink is Roblox) There are several tried-and-true summer time-passers that almost always seem to do the trick. Rotating play dates still works if there are alternating schedules among the parents involved. The park will certainly get their energy levels lowered, or anywhere they can run and play. Even just old-fashioned biking or skateboarding around the neighborhood with their friends can still happen. Of course, many other activities are cheap and fun – no matter your age. Trust me.

Never underestimate the value of a box of chalk. Especially giant, outdoor chalk. From drawing a big bullseye and throwing sponges for sidewalk-darts, to hopscotch, or to practicing your future in creating mind-blowing3D art – that box is at least a few hours of entertainment.

Bubbles are also a big hit. You can even make DIY bubble wands and bubblesoap.

For many around the country, summer = water. The beach or the lake, it is the time of year when dipping your toe in doesn’t qualify you for Polar Bear status so take advantage of it! Can’t make the trip? A plastic pool in the backyard is still a good, cooling option. Make sure to grab a beach blanket, even if you’re just lying in your own backyard. And if you are not, at least you will be able to find your spot easier with a big, bright towel.

Memorial Day weekend has just passed but it kicked off another important summer tradition – grilling season. Sticking something in the oven or waiting for a pot of something to heat up can be extremely boring for some people, especially kids. But grills have fire, and fire is exciting! It can be dangerous too, but what a great time to get them involved in learning how to cook. Grab some tools and an apron to protect your clothing and fire it up! Don’t want to grill? Try an outdoor fire to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Make it a part of your backyard camp-out. Especially if you’ve never camped before, the back yard is a great place to start. Different enough to feel like an experience, but close enough to a bathroom and the safety of the house and their own room if it proves too much for younger ones.

No matter what outdoor activity you have planned, good sunscreen is a must. There is still debate raging as to what SPF is most effective, but what isn’t effective is not using it! Make sure you have some available to put on even if you’ll be out in your yard for a few hours. The sun does not care what you’re doing, it will burn you regardless.And don’t forget, spontaneity is fun, but often lack of planning can make an activity or trip much less fun (and more expensive), for both parents and kids. You want your summer to be memorable in a good way; not a story of sun poisoning and disappointment to tell their class when the kids return to school.Many activities don’t require a lot of planning, or ingredients. In this technological age, it is still perfectly acceptable to have an ‘old fashioned’ summer. Even if you can’t travel and take an exotic vacation, there is plenty of fun to be had in your own space.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a bottle of bubbles calling my name.

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  • Summertime fun

    Summer officially starts next week and the kids are out of school - cue the …