Kickoff Summer with Family-Friendly Activities
Summer may not technically start until June 20th, but summer begins with Memorial Day weekend for the Queen Bees. The three-day weekend is upon us, and that got us thinking about our favorite summertime activities with our little bees. Here are a few special activities (other than sleepovers, of course) that are always a hit.
When the weather gets hot, there is nothing better than water balloon fights. Last year we kicked off the end of the school year with a family water balloon war. With ten adults and ten kids ranging in age from 2 – 9, everyone was smiling and laughing. We were even able to avoid the worst part of a water balloon fight by using biodegradable water balloons that you can fill up to 50 at a time. It made for faster prep and virtually no clean-up. (Pro tip - you can never have enough! If you think you do, double it!)
Who doesn’t love sitting around a fire with a cold (adult) beverage? One of our favorite summer night activities is to hang around the fire pit and enjoy the warm glow of a fire. S’mores are a bonus, and the kids love toasting their marshmallows. We recently found chocolate stuffed, toasted coconut, and a red/white/blue pack with subtle berry flavors marshmallows—these new varieties, along with the traditional, make for a gourmet s’more platter. To make the fire even more magical, you can purchase these pinecones or flakes to make the flames dance with color!
Whether you call it a cookout, a BBQ, or just plain grilling, summertime is the perfect time to fire up the grill. There is, of course, an ongoing and heated debate about propane vs. charcoal. No matter what you use, having friends and family over to share the nice weather and good food is always welcome. BBQ food can lean toward the fatty or salty side, so we like to add a bit of health by making pepper, onion, summer squash, and tomato skewers. We marinate ours in Italian dressing for a bit of flavor. The kids love them and can devour an entire skewer to themselves. If you don’t want to marinate your veggies, be sure to soak the skewers beforehand to avoid a fire.
Trail walk/Bike ride
Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire have some of the most scenic and well-maintained rail-trails in the country. There are also many great wooded trails to enjoy. We love to grab our bikes or go for a walk and enjoy some quality time in nature. Our favorite is Great Brook Park, which also boasts live farm animals and an ice cream stand.
We all Scream for Ice Cream
I’ll eat ice cream all year round, but I feel less guilty about it after an active summer day. Cooling down with a nice summer treat from one of your favorite ice cream stands is a great way to spend quality time with the kids. There is something about getting ice cream that gets them to open up and talk more. Bonus that most ice cream stands are locally owned and operated in our area, and we at Slumber Bee love supporting our local businesses.
I love going to the movies with my family. But in the summer, I’d rather be outside. You can find the best of both worlds with a homemade drive-in. Hang a sheet, invest in a small, inexpensive projector (or borrow one from the office if they still have them and you can get in!), and throw some blankets on the grass. The kids can run around when they need to expel some energy, and you can enjoy some time under the stars.
Sadly, not every summer day is a nice one. Thunderstorms and sun showers sometimes make it impossible to enjoy our favorite outdoor activities. Even when the weather isn’t so lovely, we don’t always want to fall back on technology and screen time. That’s why we always have a few crafts or projects tucked away. One project we love is to squirt some complementary colors onto a canvas, cover it with plastic wrap and squish around until the canvas is covered. When it dries, you can add a letter or paint your child’s name on the canvas. You’ll look like a professional artist, and your kids will love squishing the paint.
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