For most people, summer brings with it warmer weather, longer days and special family activities. According to Donna Erickson, family lifestyle expert and author of the book “Fabulous Funstuff for Families,” families can make the most of the season by enjoying simple outdoor fun together.
“Summer is the perfect time to disconnect from cell phones and computers and really embrace the outdoors,” said Erickson. “Whether planning a camping trip in the wilderness or one in your own backyard, spending time together as a family will be entertaining and memorable.”
While planning technology-free family outings might seem daunting, parents should consider the following suggestions to enjoy what the summer has to offer:
• While hiking through the woods or simply exploring the backyard, design a couture nature bracelet. Wrap a strip of wide masking tape inside-out on your child’s wrist and let him/her attach treasures, such as a tiny leaf, twig or dandelion, for a delightful souvenir.
• Have your children help create a campfire. Turn the chore of searching for kindling and wood into an A-B-C game. Challenge your kids to scout around for fallen twigs and branches in the shape of letters to spell their names. For letters that they cannot find, have them create the missing shape by arranging rocks or branches.
• Enjoy the quintessential campfire treat-S’mores. The classic combination of marshmallow, graham cracker and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate has defined outdoor adventures for nearly 80 years. With a few new ingredients and a little creativity, family members can personalize S’mores to their own tastes. For a unique twist, add peanut butter and jelly or top a cinnamon graham cracker with apricot jam and coconut sprinkles. For more delicious recipe ideas, visit www.smoresfun.com.
• Don’t let a rainy day spoil your summer fun. Simply bring the magic of summertime indoors. Have your children bring their sleeping bags in the family room for an indoor campout complete with storytelling and S’mores toasted in the fireplace or over the stove. Your children can make play binoculars by gluing two bathroom tissue tubes together along the sides, painting them with poster paint and adding a string neckband. Then, hide toys and stuffed animals around the house for an indoor safari.