As a busy stay at home mom of 5, summer always presents a unique challenge for me. Not only are the kids out of school, but they want me to entertain them! So, Let me pull out my summer camp hat, and share a few of the things my family likes to do for some summertime fun. I’ll even do you one better; I’ll share the cheap entertainment that everyone (even my grouchy middle child) likes to do.
1. Urban Hiking
Now this one is one of my favorites. While we do live in the ‘burbs of Denver, CO, and the beautiful Rocky Mountains are right at our doorstep, we aren’t talking about loading the kids up and going mountain hiking. The kids and I usually leave our house by foot and “hike” through our neighborhood. We aren’t ever in a hurry to get anywhere, so there is plenty of time to stop and smell the flowers, not to mention look at all the bugs! We have walked to the local elementary school, the park, the high school and played in the soccer fields, even the gully behind the elementary school! The only things we need for this field trip are good shoes, sunscreen and some bottles of water!
This is more of a weekend adventure, when my husband is home. We load up into my trusty old van, and head for the mountains, or the local reservoir, or down town, or…the opportunities are limitless. The only cost is fuel, and maybe lunch. The kids love going up to Idaho Springs for a picnic lunch along the creek. We can eat lunch, watch the white water rafters go by, and there is even a fenced in playground!
3. Marshmallow Roasts
We save this one for Friday nights. We have one of those fire pit things that sit mostly unused on our deck. Every once in a while it becomes our very own marshmallow pit. All you need is a couple bags of marshmallows (remember we’re a big family!) some fire, and something to stick the marshmallows on. I use my husband’s metal skewers that came with his grilling set. I usually end up with every surface of my deck covered with white goo, but the kids love it. Plus, the smoke keeps the mosquitoes away!
4. DIY slip and slide
This is the perfect answer for cranky, hot, ready to riot children. Just use an old tarp to make a slip and slide! I fold mine over, and secure it to the ground with the stakes from our tent. Just add garden hose, and you have instant fun!
5. Potluck Parties
Here’s one that’s just as fun for the adults as it is for the kids. Once a month we get together with all our friends who also have children and have a potluck. My husband usually grills (not kebobs though, since his skewers are usually still covered in marshmallow!) I mix up a yummy adult beverage, and our friends bring something good to eat and their kids. The kids get to run and play together, while the adults get to kick back, relax, and visit with each other. It’s the perfect way to end a long, hot summer day.