The Sunday paper is filled with inserts shouting “Back to School”. Your new issues of Parenting and Parents are all about getting ready for school. By now you have probably bought all your school supplies and loads of new clothes for your kids getting ready for the day after Labor Day. Hopefully you have already begun implementing earlier bedtimes and morning routines.
But there is still a few weeks of summer left and there is still time to make some awesome memories before returning to the school year routine. It is time to plan some inexpensive activities to get you and your little ones out and enjoy this precious time.
A Day at the Beach
I have to admit, I have yet to go to the beach this year. And I live in the Lakes Area! So, one day this week I will be packing a cooler with some PB&J sandwiches, fresh fruit, and water bottles, grab the sand toys, and head off to the beach with my boys. Yes, we will be sticky with sun block, smell like lake water, and get sand in our cracks, but that’s what summer is all about.
A Picnic at the Park
Okay, we have been to the park this year, but there is still time to squeeze in a couple more trips. Make it extra special by bringing a blanket and a simple picnic. I have learned the trick to this one is to bring a friend or two for the boys to play with. This way I can actually sit and read a book for a little while and keep an eye on them at the same time. To get even more time to read, bring some Nerf guns (no darts) and let them run around the jungle gyms and pretend to be at war.
Have a Water Fight
Fill up the kiddie pool full of water for reloading. Everyone grab a water gun or an aqua zooka and let the battle begin. Kids love doing this by themselves, but if you really want to make some summer memories get out there with them.
See a Summer Blockbuster Matinee
Going to the movies with kids can add up fast. Tickets and snacks can cost a small fortune these days. So hit the 10:00 am Matinee for $5 tickets. Eat a hearty pancake breakfast before you go, then when the movie is over go home for lunch. Even better, check out your local Second Run Movie Theaters. As long as you see a movie you never saw before, who cares that it came out four or five months ago. It is still new to you!
Visit a Farm
Take the kids to a U-Pick farm and enjoy the fruits of summer. Raspberries are in season right now in Michigan. Or visit a farmer’s market and let the kids pick out something new to try. The kids get to enjoy a family activity and the local organic community gets some support. It’s a win-win! Fresh, local, and organic will always taste better than fruit and veggies trucked in from hundreds of miles away and picked long before ripeness and left to finish ripening in a packing crate!
One Last Family BBQ
Time to get all the cousins together to play in the yard and have one last family get together before everyone gets real busy again. Keep it simple! Hot dogs on the grill, maybe a few brats, and a giant watermelon sliced up along with Trip Berry Trifle for dessert.
Triple Berry Trifle
1 large Sara Lee Pound Cake
1 box Instant Vanilla Jello Pudding
1 tub Cool Whip
1 container strawberries
1 container raspberries
1 container blueberries
- Let the Sara Lee Pound Cake thaw.
- Wash fruit and cut strawberries in quarters.
- Prepare Instant Pudding according to directions.
- Cut pound cake into 1 inch cubes.
- Layer pound cake, pudding, and fruit in large bowl. (cake, pudding, fruit, cake, pudding, fruit)
- Top with Cool Whip and use a few berries to decorate the top.
This dessert goes together super fast and super easy and I am not exaggerating when I say people go crazy for it. The last time I served this one of our friends actually licked the bowl clean!