MaryAnn Faubion Kohl, Bellingham author/educator/consultant, is the award-winning author of 20+ art activity books for children. Her newest title is Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun with Everyday Stuff. Please visit her website to enjoy free art activity samples from all of her books: www.brightring.com and be sure to visit MaryAnn’s new blog: maryannfkohl.typepad.com/blog/. She will be at Village Books on Tuesday, August 24, 7:00pm.Summer is an endless stretch of time for kids to fill. Make it special for them by doing things together. You won’t need anything unusual for these easy recipes and activities - just a little time and cheerful energy to fuel the fun. The bonus of these activities is two-fold: you are building memories together in the process, AND you are showing your kids how to be good parents one day!
When it’s hot and sunny and the kids are raring to go, have some fun in the sun!• Play “Tidal Wave!” Play a giggly blanket game that is oceans of fun! Two people hold the blanket, one on each edge. Another person stands in front of the blanket. The two holding the blanket say, “Tidal Wave, Tidal Wave, watch out, watch out, Tidal Wave!” Swing and float the blanket-tidal wave back and forth, moving forward towards the person in front of the blanket, and try to catch them in the blanket-tidal wave. Then move back like the wave receding. Repeat with a new tidal wave and try to catch the player again. This easy game has lots of squealing and laughing.
• When everyone is tired, flop on the blanket with a book or magazine for a little rest time. You’re going to need it! Now, get ready to play in the water!
Hot weather is water weather! Here are some ideas for active water fun in your own backyard:• Play in the sprinkler or with the hose (extra fun: eat watermelon first, and then wash off – and cool off - in sprinkler or hose)
• Scrub it up! Kids love to wash and scrub, they really do! Fill buckets with soapy water, add sponges and rags, and let them wash their bikes, the swing set, and the lawn furniture. Have a hose ready for rinsing. Let the sun sparkle on the clean and shiny new world!
• Play sponge toss - take soaked sponges and throw them at a designated target (that includes mom or dad!)
• Squirt Mania Game! Fill a big squirt bottle with water. To play, everyone sits side by side on the ground with a plastic cup on their heads, backs to the “squirter”. The “squirter” takes the squirt bottle and tries to knock the cups off each person’s head. When all cups are off, the squirter takes his place in the line-up with a cup on his head, and a new person takes a turn at being the squirter. Everyone gets a turn!
Where there are kids, there must be food! Kids need protein to keep them powered, water to keep them hydrated, and fruits and veggies to keep them healthy. One way to convince them to eat and drink right is to pack a picnic. You can set-up your picnic as close as your own yard, or travel across town to a lake, mountain, park, or riverside for a picnic adventure. Everyone loves a picnic! Pack these easy recipes that travel well, or let the kids pack their regular old favorites like peanut butter and jelly, apples, and bottled juice. Most kids will enjoy making and packing the following:• Tuna Bun Boat: Separate hotdog buns, and gently scoop out the center of each half. Fill with tuna salad to make a little boat. Add grapes or pickles to the boat, or other tasty choices like olives or raisins. Wrap with plastic wrap. Pack a drinking straw and lettuce leaf with the boat. When it’s picnic time, poke the straw through the lettuce to make a sail, and poke it into the boat.
• Fruit and Cheese Kabobs: Cut fruit and cheese into chunks about 1’” square. Stack them on toothpicks in different combinations and patterns. Place in a plastic bowl with a snap-on lid for the picnic.
• Veggie Bundles: cut carrots, celery, and other veggies into strips. Broccoli stems trimmed of their tough outer core and cut into strips can be the mystery ingredient. No one can ever guess what they are, and they taste really good! Bundle a selection of veggie strips together, and tie with a string. Wrap in plastic, or place in a larger container with a snap-on lid.
• Light Juice: squeeze lemons, limes, and oranges into plain drinking water. Do not add sugar or sweetener. Add slices of the same fruits for added flavor. Fill a plastic pitcher or thermos and bring along some cups for each picnicker. Refreshing - and good for you too!
The word summer simply means fun! Doing things together will make the days spin by and before you know it, fall will be in the air, kids in school, and memories will fill the hearts and mind of all. As the song goes, “These are the days, my friend! I thought they’d never end….”