Saturday, July 23, 2011
WOW Is Just MOM Upside Down
Parents, YOU are your kids' biggest boredom buster! You don't have to go out and spend a lot of money to spice up their summer (and yours, by the way)...get on the floor and be a kid again for a while. Here are some fun, free (or nearly free) things to do in these last few weeks of summer that will not only keep your family from being bored, but will also create memories together that will last a lifetime.
*Board Games - Buttercup is obsessed with board games. I think I know why...half an hour of mom or dad's undivided attention. Yep, she's a smart cookie! You know what's fun? Have a pajama day (just stay in them all day...you can do it, I know you can), and lay on the floor playing board games and/or card games. We have a giant cabinet full of games that seldom get played, and everyone has their favorites, so I usually let everyone pick out a game and we play them ALL!
*Theme Nights - Another Dirks family fave! We have done theme nights since the big girls were little girls. Pick a theme and apply creativity! The kids love to get into the planning and execution of theme nights. Some of our all time favorites have been:
Medieval Night - This night was a lot of fun! We executed this theme night with medieval recipes we found on-line, a jousting tourney (wherein Dad was the trusty steed), and costumes we put together with what we already had in our dress up box and closets.
Willy Wonka Night - Sweets abounded! We ate chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate milk, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! We played Candy Land, and, of course, we watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Swiss Family Robinson Night - We tasted fried plantains, watermelon, fresh coconut (that we busted open in the kitchen with a hammer), and fresh pineapple. We sat on a beach blanket (which is actually an old sheet that we have with a sand/seashell pattern)and watched the movie. Last, we planned out our ideal, over-the-top, no-holds-barred fantasy tree house.
Ratatouille Night - I looked up a recipe for ratatouille and the kids helped me make it for the family, then we ate it while watching the movie.
*Family Movie Night - Wait! You're not going to watch anything...not yet, anyway. First, and foremost, you're going to MAKE a movie using the members of your family as the cast. We have filmed our crew acting out everything from Bible stories to Dirks Idol to fashion shows and everything in between. They are tons of fun to make and lots of laughs to watch. One fun part of this activity is that you are automatically creating a hard copy memory to enjoy together later.
*Fort Dirks - You know how you used to turn over two chairs when you were a kid and drape a sheet over them, then pretend it was a tent and play inside? We just take this idea and go wild. We'll have the whole house covered in sheets and blankets! They like to claim an area for themselves and outfit it creatively, play make believe games, and just lay inside and read. It looks like a giant mess, but once everyone returns their personal items back to their bedrooms, all that's left to do is fold sheets and blankets!
*Gun Fights - This is a big one at our house. We've even been known to drag our weaponry to grandma & grandpa's house at Christmas and get the extended family involved! Outside gun fights are usually water pistols. If you don't have enough, they're pretty cheap. Slather on the sunscreen, divide into teams, aim, and shoot! Inside, we play Nerf guns. It gets pretty rowdy (Jason's a little competitive!), but your kids will love you for it.
*Fun with Food - Have each family member responsible for planning a meal one week. Help them come up with a well rounded meal, make a shopping list, shop for the ingredients, and then have them do all of the meal preparation they can. Draw up a menu to keep on your refrigerator so everyone knows who is responsible for which night and what you'll be having. Focus on the togetherness and the experience, not on perfection!
*Geocaching - Geocaching is like a high tech treasure hunt. Loads of fun for everyone! Check out http://geocaching.com and become a member for free to find geocaches near you and read all about how to geocache. You can use a GPS device or download a free app for your smart phone.
*Hit the Library - Don't just go and check out books, check out all of the fun programs going on for all ages at your library. But DO check out some books, and read, read, read!
*Puppet Theater - We have a single sock drawer full of lonely socks just waiting to be made into puppets! You don't have to get fancy...pass out markers and let everyone decorate a couple of puppets. Then put on a show. Write your own script, act out a favorite story, or act out a bible story. Video tape your show and then watch it together. Get ready to giggle!
Whatever you do together, make sure you laugh...a lot!