Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer List ~ 15 Actively fun ways to enjoy our world


     Joe is in camp this week. Yesterday, he came home exhausted and happy, thanks to the swimming, canoeing, horses, and fishing. He smelled of sunscreen and summer sun. And it brought back a flood of memories of my sweet childhood....

     Previously, I wrote about ways to spend some quiet time this summer, and now, I want to share with you some of the active ways that we will enjoy nature and life.

1 ~ Ride Bikes~(how many times did I call up my friends Liz, Carol, and Lisa and simply say, “Wanna go ride bikes?” We were gone for hours until the sun set or we heard someone’s mom calling us in.) I plan on allowing Joe to ride in our neighborhood in longer and longer stretches. I am tired of being so fearful!
2 ~ every week, explore a new park in the area (or just go to the ones that we love!) walk the trails, splash in the puddles, observe the natural world
3 ~ take advantage of our Busch Gardens passes…lots of walking, visit the horses, ride the train when we get tired…
4 ~Water fun~ backyard pools, the rivers, the ocean…. Any body of water that allows us to cool off and practice our strokes. In the meantime, set up a slip-n-slide or wading pool. If you are handy, try this "kid wash".
5 ~ a good old-fashioned game: tag, Duck-Duck-Goose, croquet, badminton, backyard soccer, tossing the baseball
6 ~ Fishing ~ for us, we need to get out the gear, visit Pop Pop and fish from the pier. Crabbing with chicken necks was one of my favorite things to do with my sisters....
7 ~ Ghost in the Graveyard ~ do you remember this game? The interesting thing is that when we were growing up, we lived right across the street from a fabulous old graveyard and we actually played this in a graveyard. (We always said a prayer for the people that we passed by, however.)
8 ~ Sidewalk chalk ~ break out the chalk and draw a hopscotch board; draw chalk outlines around each other and then draw silly faces, hair, and clothing; draw a compass (where is north at YOUR house?) and review the cardinal directions; write a word and then see how many words you can make from that word.
9 ~ Sense-it ~ go on a nature walk and see if you can use all 5 senses to experience the world... Hear the birds and forest animals. See the birds and bugs. Touch the bugs and feel the textures of acorns, pine cones, leaves. Smell the herbs, flowers, and trees around you, wherever you are. (Taste can be tough, but if you have a garden, have them taste the herbs or even the veggies that you've grown together.) If you haven't created a garden yet, it's still not too late to do that. Even if you are in an apartment, try potting herbs in containers. Lavender, mint, rosemary, lemon balm, and basil have strong scents that will help create connections between you and your child.
... And for those rainy or it's-just-too-hot-to-move days, here are some ways to get the sillies out inside:
10 ~ Hide-N-Seek ~ I am always amazed at the places that kids can find to hide in! (I'm still not sure who's better, though.)
11 ~ Camping ~ Yes! Indoors! Set up a backpacking tent and crawl in for spooky story time or play card games.
12 ~ Sensory Table ~create a sensory table (especially for little ones). Use a shallow plastic tub and fill with sand, water, or rice. Then bury things that might go together i.e., toy dinosaurs, small shovel, rocks.
13 ~ Art ~ fingerpainting; watercolors; using found/recycled objects to create a robot; shrinky dinks; stained-glass windows (use an old cheese grater to shave old crayons, sprinkle on wax paper, add another layer of wax paper, iron...voila!); how many pictures can you make with handprints and thumbprints; play-doh creatures
14 ~ Tag ~shoes off, race around and see who gets to "base"
15 ~ Games ~ Wii, Monopoly, Battleship... drag out those board games and enjoy!

     I hope that you have a great time trying some of these out, and be sure to check out Misty's list. Linking up here today:

*** OH! And would you like to win $20? Don't forget to comment on this post! Contest ends on THURSDAY!


  1. This is a great list of summertime ideas. Thanks for linkin up to the party!

  2. Mary Jo - we are so much alike even our posts are alike! Great ideas here. I want to do Busch Gardens sometime... :)


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