EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
Sunday in June
Click for a whole page of Father's Day Ideas
International Picnic Day
Learn to Bar-B-Q
Start early to teach children cooking skills, including outdoor cooking, and
of course, teach all of the safety factors that go with the Bar-B-Q or
campfire. Under your watchful eye, let them toast a marshmallow, wrap a
potato or meat patty in a couple of layers of foil and cook it on the coals
or help make shish-kebobs for the grill. They can also help with other items
for a meal such as making a tossed salad, potato salad or simply cutting up
raw vegetables. Make lemonade from real lemons. Make it a picnic adventure!
Stay at home, go to a local park or outdoor picnic area or head for the
woods with a tent.
Have a Picnic
Since this is near Father's Day, have a picnic to celebrate
Dad and/or Grandpa. You can go "all out" with food preparations or
simply take a fast food meal to the park and enjoy eating it outdoors.
What counts is the time spent together conversing and delighting in one
another's company. If you have watermelon, be sure to have a seed
spitting contest and see whose seeds fly the farthest distance.
Have some fun that's "just ducky"! Go "quackers" by singing songs with
"quack, quack, quack" instead of using the words. (There is a caution
here, however. My kids decided to try this in church one time and I had
to put an immediate squelch on this type of singing. After all, church
isn't a place for "fowl" language.) Play with rubber ducks in the
bathtub or kitchen sink. Duck waddle and see who can move the fastest.
Make a paper bag puppet that looks like a duck. And finally, watch a
video of a "Donald Duck"®
cartoon if you have one or can find one to rent. "Oh boy, oh boy, oh
Walk in Space
Play Space Ship "Let's Pretend"
All it takes is a box and some imagination to take your own trip into space.
Use plastic lids to make pretend dials and gauges for your space ship. A
piece of hose, dryer hose or even rope can be a tether for your "space
walk". (Watch ropes etc. with younger children; they can be a safety
hazard.) A plastic bucket can be a space helmet. Read some books with space
stories. Go to the library or the Internet and get information on that first
walk in space. Look at photos of the actual event.
Whether you got to the library or search on-line, there is a plethora of
information on this topic, and it's one that fascinates both children
and adults. Look at the night sky with binoculars or a telescope. Try to
find a spot for view that is far enough from the lights of a town to get
a good view. (Do a little star gazing too and identify some
constellations. Scorpio is easy to find in the summer.) Make a folder to
collect your information, a list of websites to check and photos of
possible unidentified flying objects. Have "what if?" discussions with
children. What if there are aliens? What might they look like? Would
they be friendly or frightening? How might they travel? Would you like
to meet one? Let the questions evolve.
Ice Cream Soda Day
Make Your Own Ice Cream and Sodas
Make your own ice cream and use if for an ice cream soda (or a cone,
sundae or banana split). If you have a regular ice cream making machine,
electric or hand crank, that is certainly a great way to make ice cream.
For those who don't, here is a very easy way to make your own batch of
that cold creamy stuff. You can do this with tin cans or plastic bags.
Mix the following ingredients in a bowl:
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping
(not whipped cream)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Pour it into a clean, 1 pound coffee can OR a quart freezer bag. Seal the
container well. Use duct tape on the can. A zip type seal works best on
the bag. Place the small can into a 3 pound coffee can or put the small bag
into a gallon plastic freezer bag. Fill the space between the small and
large containers with alternating layers of crushed ice and rock salt.
Seal the large containers. Roll the can or "squish" the bags (gloves are
good--it will be cold) for 10 minutes. Empty out the water, repack containers with rock
salt and ice. Roll or squish for 10 more minutes. Remove the smaller can
or bag and rinse the outside of it to remove the salt. Open it to find
ice cream! Add cut-up pieces of fruit, chocolate syrup or other
flavorings and mix them in well. For an ice cream soda, mix your ice
cream with soda pop and garnish it with some whipped cream and a cherry.
Learn to Take Care of the Earth
Even young children can be taught to respect and appreciate the joys of
nature. Of course, begin by unplugging the fun and get outside to appreciate
the glory of Mother Earth. This has so many benefits, from activities that
keep children healthier to the relationships built by spending time
together. Teach them to enjoy the flowers, learn about the rocks, catch and
release critters after watching them for a while, walk and hike together. In
the process, talk about ways they can to little things that make a big
difference. Teach them not to litter, and also to pick-up and dispose of
litter left by others. (Safely--use a plastic glove or plastic bag over a
hand or simply don't allow a child to pick-up anything that could be a
biohazard or cause injury.) Learn how turning off lights, recycling
materials and other things can help to preserve nature. Take only pictures
and leave only footprints.
is the season when children slam the doors they left open all winter."
Here are some simple ways to have some summer fun.
Play in the mud and build a town, a village, roadways and more.
Make a sandcastle, even if you are not at the beach.
Get wet! Run through lawn sprinklers, sit under a
sprinkler or misting system, swim, get a bunch of spray bottles and
spray one another with water. Water plants and get some water from the hose
on yourself. Put toys in a bucket of water and wash them. Play house and put
play dishes or doll clothes in a pan of water and get them clean. Blow
bubbles. Put some water in a bucket and use a big old paint brush to paint
water on the sidewalk.
Tell stories around a campfire.
Collect bugs. Watch them and set them free.
Keep track of the state license plates that you see on
cars and try to collect a list of all 50 states before the summer ends.
The photo above
was taken at Barringer Meteorite Crater in Northern Arizona, also known
as Meteor Crater. So, if you live in Arizona or nearby, there is a
famous one you can visit to celebrate Meteor Day. However, there are 172
confirmed locations of meteor craters on earth, so there are a number of
possible places where you can see them, depending on where you live. Do
an on-line search for a location of a meteor crater near you, or just
gather information about meteors and learn together. They really are
fascinating holes in the ground.
Put the FUN in Parenting!
Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy
Ideas for Tots through Teens
By Kas Winters
Learn Some Magic Tricks
I often speak at schools and use magic as a way to get student's
attention. Because my topic is usually something related to reading , my
answer to the "How did you do that?" question is always the same, "Read the
book". There are ever-so-many books on how to do magic tricks and the
process of reading and understanding the directions is an important one. So,
as the mother of two sons who are magicians, I've had to promise not to
reveal tricks, and my answer here is the same. Read the book! It's tons of
fun and children feel good about themselves when they surprise their friends
with magic tricks. It is empowering!
Have your own flag raising ceremony and teach
children how to show respect to the flag in the process. For detailed
instructions, make part of the activity searching for information about
the proper way to display a flag, raise, lower and fold it.
Fly your flag on June 14th. When I was a child, this day was celebrated
by placing flags on the graves of veterans in the cemetery. If you have
family member veterans who have died, this is certainly a way to show
respect. It's also a good time to take out old family photos and share
them with your children. Give them a sense of roots and connections to
people in their family who have made a difference to their country.
If you have a wedding in the family, maybe there are things that older
children can do to participate in the celebration, such as helping to
make simple favors. If you are attending a wedding where your children
will be present, let them dress up and feel special about the occasion.
Dancing at a wedding and getting a piece of wedding cake are the sorts
of memories that many children will cherish for a lifetime. If children
do not attend, bring them a favor, a piece of cake or some other
remembrance of the occasion so that they feel that they are involved in
Aw, go fly a