A Mom’s Life Top Five
The summer camps are paid for, the sprinkler is busy and the fridge is fully stocked with rocket pops and juice pouches.
You think you’re prepared to entertain the kid brigade for summer break. And then you hear it—the words all parents abhor:"I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!”
Never fear. With a few creative surprises up your short sleeves you can banish those words from your kingdom forever—or at least until school starts up again.
1 Put a new twist on the old lemonade stand.
Tap into a new market this summer by setting up a Coffee Shop for the early risers in the‘hood. The day before your shop opens, help your kids make muffins or scones, mix up a little OJ and create signs advertising your shop’s name and your early bird specials. Kids can be safe pouring hot coffee if you stick it in a kid-safe carafe. Make sure to let the neighbors know to stop by before their morning commute.
2 Create a family YouTube video.
Producing a video message via YouTube is a fun and easy way to express your family’s creative flare. All you need is a digital video camera, a computer and Internet access. You may want to create a family music video, a funny commercial or a silly skit. When you’re done recording, simply log onto youtube.com and follow the directions for registering and uploading your piece.
With all things Internet, be safe and avoid giving out any identifying information. You can send your friends and family the link to your video and you can remove it whenever you choose.
3 Conduct a Little Fair Trade. One kid’s junk is another kid’s treasure. Instead of cursing the stuff your kids haven’t played with in two years, have a good ol’ fashioned swap meet. Gather a few neighborhood kids or some of your children’s close pals and let them barter their goods. The best rule is a"one for one” trade, but it’s fun to see how they negotiate their trades themselves. They have new toys to play with and you’ve cleaned out the toy box. Whatever is left goes to Goodwill.
4 Set up a Doll Salon and Day Spa. How long has it been since Malibu Barbie has had a facial or washed that flaxen hair? Fill the kitchen sink, a big plastic bin or the bathroom tub with bubbles and let your kids scrub away. Then set out some primping tools for after they’re clean: hair accessories, little combs, sample-sized lotions and some powder. A truck and car wash outside is also big fun. A large bucket, scrub brushes, the garden hose and some towels and the fleet will be sure to sparkle as it basks in the sun afterward.5 Set up a smack down. For most moms, watching your kids wrestle means standing on the sidelines hollering"be careful!” every three and half seconds and breaking up a real fight before it’s all said and done. But with a little forethought you can be the coolest ring girl around.
First, find a mat or super soft space for your wrestling ring. A few yoga mats stuck to a carpeted area using double-sided tape is perfect. Next, establish your rules and post them nearby. My boys only wrestle on their knees, never kick or punch and must release the other one when they hear the words"Uncle Mike” (it’s a family joke).
Finally, set a timer for each five-minute round, have water bottles and sweat dabbing towels ready and, to avoid tears, call it an exhibition not a competition. You could also record the match for a little wrestle mania video later.
Old-fashioned fun for $16.96
We already know we should get the kids off the couch and outside this summer. This year, go a little retro and entice the kids outside with toys you loved.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, game innovator WHAM-O has four anniversary edition toys that will bring back memories and get kids moving but won’t break the budget.
Hula Hoop, $3.99, is also celebrating its anniversary this year—50 years. An idea inspired by Australian children using bamboo rings for exercise, WHAM-O created a rendition of this pastime in 1958.
SuperBall, 99 cents, was created in 1963. Compressing 50,000 pounds of energy, the SuperBall will provide lots of laughs.
Hacky Sack, $3.99, was invented in 1972 and sold to WHAM-O in 1983. The game challenges foot-eye coordination.
Frisbee Pro Classic, $7.99, comes in six new colors for the anniversary and are perfect for beach, park or backyard fun.
Meredith Sinclair is a mom of two and featured blogger at ChicagoParent.com.