Here in Northeast Pennsylvania our children are now into their fifth week of Summer Vacation! I know……you can see the toll already taken on the Moms….so what can you do to keep the energy flowing and productive? Give them full rein to run a muck! How do you reel them back in? host a Children’s’ Picnic under the old Birch trees…..
…. the faster they run out of steam the faster you can get that ten minute breather ….. yes I remember those ten minute breaks. I used to live for them! With three daughters my summers were calculated in Blinks of an Eye not days or weeks. When we left our apartment in New York for a house on the Jersey Shore, my oldest was nine my youngest was five. We moved into a beautiful neighborhood brimming with kids of all ages. I pinned a piece of paper with their address and phone number into their shirts and let them loose. My neighbors were wonderful and with in a few hours the girls had already established “BFF’s” and a flurry of activities planned for the summer. Because of the warm welcome we all received, I decided the week before school started I would host a “Children’s Picnic”…..I gathered the girls and all the friends and we plotted to have a picnic…..I told them to form committees and they delegated amongst themselves. I found when you actually give them responsibilities they take on as much as they can – and then some! I told them they had a week to plan everything about it. The kids made their own invitations for their moms…..they were so excited!
They designed the food and the color fruit punch they wanted, and helped me make cupcakes. They decided to put on a show and actually made costumes….My oldest of course was Madonna and my youngest was Cindy Lauper…My middle daughter decided to be The Producer….aka The Boss….which she did quite well!
The committee planned games that would be played, and awards that were to be given, made from paper towel cores….all in all we had a blast and the kids showed not only comradery but unbelievable imagination…. and they slept like logs that night, which in turn meant the Mom’s could come back to my home that night, sit by the pool and sip Margarita’s, and prepare ourselves for the trip to the Mall the next day with ten little girls to shop for new school clothes…..then suddenly one of the mom’s jumped up and with a crazed look in her eyes and screamed “School starts next week!” After we all screamed like Banshee’s and did the “Mom” dance….we returned to our chairs and realized how close we were to…….The first DAY of school……..
………….and the Sounds of silence…….
……………….until my husband peeked out of the back door and said what no mother wants to hear a week before school…….
“I think she’s running a fever…..”
…………………..So much for the “Mom Dance”………………….
As a grandma I will continue the legacy and have a picnic for the grandkids…..so my girls can get a break….. Another fun-inspired activity is Grandparents hosting a “Grandkids Camp Weekend”….we are in the midst of planning one now…..kids are so easy to engage in conversation and activities….here are a few idea’s for your time together….
1. Play the cloud game…..”What does it look like to you? and then ask for them to draw a picture for you to keep….
2. Take a walk thru a Covered Bridge (I love them) and linger awhile, tell them the history about the bridge….you will be surprised how much they remember….
3. Throw a “Wacky Bird” BBQ….crazy colors and tablescape….and don’t forget to invite a few friends….
4. Sit by the lake and dream with them…..and then tell them last one in does the dishes!
5. Plant Sunflowers with them…..and give them names like Pollyanna and Sarafina….
6. Plan a little girls luncheon and let them wear your dresses to lunch! Maybe even a hat to go with it…
7. or a boys wheel-barrel pulling contest….
Now you have some idea what our “Camp Weekend” will be made up of…..and at the end of the day, when the sounds of children laughing and screaming are just a lovely memory, my husband and I will be sitting on the deck, sipping our Margarita’s and listening to the …..Sounds of silence!
Below are some great craft idea’s for kids:
This is my favorite….being we own an old Christmas Tree farm, pinecones are to us what apples are to those who have orchards!
DIY Pine Cone Bird Feeder
What You Need:
• Pine Cone
• Yarn or Twine
• Peanut Butter
• Your Favorite Bird Seed Mixture
• Dried Fruits or Nuts (optional)
1. Find a large pine cone.
2. Tie a three to four foot piece of yarn or twine throughout the pine cone and around the top to serve as the hanger.
3. Mix two tablespoons of peanut butter with two tablespoons of margarine.
4. Spread the peanut butter and margarine mixture onto the pine cone.
5. Pour your bird seed dried fruits or nuts onto a plate or shallow dish and roll the pine cone in it.
6. Drizzle honey and roll in the seeds one more time.
7. Place the seed-covered pine cones in the freezer for about an hour oruntil it is firm.
8. Hang it outside in a tree and enjoy watching the birds!
1. Hang your pinecone at the end of a smaller branch so squirrels don’t get it.
2. Work with the birdseed over newspaper to help make clean up time easier.
Some other great discoveries I want to share with you for KID POWER:
You Will Need:
○ several plastic water bottles
○ permanent markers in various colors
○ hairdryer (optional)
1. Remove the lids and labels from your bottles and give them a quick wash.
Make sure bottles are thoroughly dry on the outside. I removed the moisture from the inside of the bottles as well by stuffing a paper towel into each bottle and, keeping hold of one end of the paper towel, giving the bottle a good shake. Then I gently pulled the paper towel out.
To dry any remaining beads of water, I blasted the bottles with warm air from a hairdryer. Be careful not to hold the hairdryer too close to the plastic, because the plastic may warp or melt.
2. Once the bottles are dry, your little ones can color them! Permanent markers are a must for this step. Washable ink will not adhere to the plastic.
We used a variety of colors on each bottle. We made vertical stripes on some and horizontal stripes on others. It really doesn’t matter how you fill in the colors, just make sure your bottle is covered in color from top to bottom.
Another wonderful blog is: http://www.craftymorning.com Michelle at Craftymorning.com has great idea’s for keeping summer and kids in check! Please stop over for a visit and see what’s on her planning table today! How about these scrumptious S’mores Cookies?
Visit her here for the easy recipe…….
Well, here are several idea’s for you, but the most important ingredient is FUN! So plan your Grandkids Weekend Camp and make a gallon of Margarita’s for when the weekend is over!
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