Summer Ready

Some are not.  (heh)


Summer is almost here (she wished, she begged, she pleaded). Which means it’s time to start thinking about what your kids want to learn this summer. How to whistle? Juggle? Do a chin-up? Walk on stilts?

I love this time of open-ended discovery but having a loose goal sometimes gives just enough structure to encourage progress. We usually sit down at the beginning of summer and make a list of all the things we’d like to do and learn. We never get through it all but it is a great inspiration list for those days when everything seems to have already been done.

Being outside as much as possible is usually required, ahem, encouraged, but there comes a time during the summer down here where it’s too dang hot to stay outside and tv all day, every day is just not an option.

For those times, *surprise* I invite them to play games.

Cards. Most of my youngers are old enough now to play card games with each other beyond “Go Fish” and that’s really special for me. I will do a post all about card games soon.

These yard dice would be fun on the living room floor. They even come with a dry-erase score card for Farkle and “Yardzee.”

Play silks can be employed for creative play far past elementary ages. They’re so versatile and fun. It’s a cape, an ocean, a dinner, a door:


While we’re talking about open-ended play:

  • A box of toothpicks and a bag of mini-marshmallows can keep kids busy creating for quite a while. (And when they’re done the sun should be down enough that they can go outside and run off all the marshmallows they ate!)
  • Shaving cream on cookie trays on the table. This stuff is not just for pre-schoolers; the bigger kids enjoy it too.
  • Paint brushes and a cup of water to “paint” on the porch.
  • Scissors, magazines, glue


  • How many times can you run up and down the stairs in two minutes?
  • Who can hold a plank position the longest?
  • Who can stand on their head against the wall?
  • Exhaustive category lists: ice cream, colors, etc. until someone gives up or runs out.
  • Make an obstacle course everyone needs to get through.

I am so ready for summer and now you are too!