This can be a lot of fun if you team up with other neighborhood
parents. Each house can host its own activity: water balloon toss,
slip and slide, sprinklers, car wash, water gun wars. All that
splashing and running around is sure to make any kids ravenous.
Break up the day with a potluck picnic.
Fairy houses are all the rage right now, so take advantage of
the trend to get your kids outside enjoying nature. These magical
creatures are known to bring good luck wherever they go, so make
your garden fairy- and troll-friendly with a specially designed
house. Use empty milk cartons or cardboard boxes as the base, then
cover them with materials collected from gardens or woods (look for
dried natural materials like bark, twigs, stones and leaves) using
a hot glue gun. Place the house in a quiet secluded part of the
garden and encourage fairies and trolls with their favorite
snacks-fairies love sprinkles, while trolls are partial to gummy
worms. (That's what our kids tell us.)
Instead of using plastic cups for the holes, use flower pots and
designate each hole with gardening stakes. Have the kids make flags
out of old fabric-T-shirts, rags, etc.-and tape them to the stakes.
Then design your course, using household objects and the natural
topography to increase difficulty and keep the game interesting.
Hint: garage sales are great places to find cheap, sturdy,
weather-resistant obstacles. If you have some old putters, use
them. There are some cute mini-golf sets out there that are fun and
easy for toddlers. At the end of the summer after the kids have
been practicing on the backyard "course," have a tournament.
This can be a great activity for the kids to do with their
friends, or make it a production and invite the whole neighborhood
to get involved. Not a performer? Every talent show needs a host.
Aspiring artists and film producers can work on stage design, make
a banner to hang behind the "stage" and film the performances. Kids
will get a kick out of choreographing their routines and creating
costumes-not to mention watching the show.
Sue Kirchner, ChocolateCakeClub.com
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