The latter half of summer blues

Summer time!

Sun! Beaches! Water colour paints in colouring books! Camp! And, of course, the inevitable phrase “I’m bored.”

It’s getting on to the other half of summer; all games have been played, many camps have been attended, ice creams, movies, backyard camp fires… Now what? School’s not scheduled for about another month and you are ready to commit some sort of hairy cairy (yes I know about the spelling) or retroactive birth control.

Our kids are surrounded with a zillion different  stimuli every moment, not to mention the power of our brains.  Adults aren’t around to be entertainers or cash machines.  Let’s begin teaching our kids where and how to make their own fun that doesn’t involve trips to Valley Fair, MOA, or other fantastically expensive locales on a regular basis.

Good news! I have a list of things your students can do either with or without you.

“But I’m broke! We spent it all on the first part of summer!”

1. Go play with your kids. Go to local parks with a picnic. Bring a van load of kids and other parents. Come up with a scavenger hunt based on native Minnesota plants and animals.
2. Disc Golf. If you haven’t played, you should. Here’s the rules:
3. You can’t swing a broken jump rope in Minnesota during the summer and not hit some sort of festival. Most of them are free and have music, games, cool art, and kid stuff for you to do. If you go to this website, you’ll have a bazillion different festivals that include fireworks.
4. Who doesn’t love art? What about an art contest?
5. Well, some of those school skills can have some brushing up on, how about a writing contest?
6. Caponi Art Park. Go there.
7. And I HOPE you did not forget about Como Zoo.
8. What about a zillion different art or science projects you can do at home?
9. The single most important place is the library. I went as a kid for wagon loads of books. The modern libraries have a ton of good things, go check out your local library.
10. Camp??? How about camp???
11. All around the Twin Cities Metro area are parks. Parks with nature centers, trails, displays, maps, and planned events. Look up the regional, city, or state park closest to you and check out what’s on.
12. Geo caching.
13. Produce a backyard play. Specifically, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. It’s hilarious. If not that script, check out this list for short children’s scripts. Make your costumes out of junk from around the house, scraps of fabric, and bits from the second hand store.

Summer fun shouldn’t cost tons.  It should be about creation and imagination. Make your own fun, teach your kids how to make their own fun and you will have a lifetime of self entertainment. Don’t forget to take pictures. Lots of them. You can use photos of your young children coated in water colour paints later as bribery for good adolescent behaviour; photographic evidence is always best.




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