Tag Archives: summer fun for kids
Teaching little ones about “giving back” is a difficult task. It is a big concept for young children to grasp, so I think it is important to keep it simple. One way that I have tried to teach this lesson is by having the boys run their own Lemonade Stand with the proceeds going to charity.
We set up a little stand at the park, and we give out cookies and lemonade in exchange for donations. It isn’t fancy, but my boys love it.
The boys do all the work: they help me shop for the supplies, they bake the cookies, and they work the stand. They take it very seriously, and are very proud counting their money at the end of the afternoon.
Do you want to host a lemonade stand with your little ones? Here’s what you’ll need:
1) Lemonade – You can find a great recipe for classic lemonade here.
2) Cookies – You can find a great recipe for chocolate chip cookies here.
3) Cooler, Ice, Cups and Napkins
4) Table and Tablecloth – We just used some TV trays.
5) Signs and a Container for the Donations – Make sure everyone knows you are selling lemonade and raising money for charity.
This year, our lemonade stand will have special meaning to my boys because their new cousin has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. They will be very proud to raise money to “help the doctors find medicine” for their special little buddy.
Hope you are having a great summer… and if you see my boys selling lemonade at the park, make sure you stop by and say, “hi”. :-)
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)
Even though it is almost the end of July, it is not too late to squeeze in some summer reading with your kids. A number of studies have shown that children’s reading skills decline during the summer months, but that doesn’t mean we (as parents) are powerless to do anything about it. Here are a few ways to get kids excited about reading during their summer vacation.
One of my favorite ways to keep my boys reading and writing during the summer months is giving them each a “Mommy and Me Journal“. I buy inexpensive journals and give them to my 6 year old and my 7 year old. We spend all summer writing secret notes back and forth about our summer adventures.
Another great way to ensure everyone keeps reading is to put it in the schedule. Summer can be a busy time, so setting aside a specific time for reading is helpful. In our house, the boys get to read for half an hour past their bedtime each night.
It is also important to make sure there are always a variety of books available to read. Visit the library often and choose books that are at the right level for the child. (Canadian Living has a great list of 10 Great Canadian Summer Books for Kids that you can find here.) Choose books that include topics, themes or characters that interest them, and mix it up by reading different types of literature (e.g. books, magazines, comic books, cookbooks, ebooks, etc.)
Another fun idea is to take reading outside. Lay a blanket in the backyard, take a book to the beach, sit in a lawn chair or build a simple outdoor reading tent/fort. Reading a book outside can be a fun summer activity.
Don’t forget, it is also important to set an example for your children. Read in front of your kids, and curl up on the couch and spend some time reading to them.
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)
I really love my job, but I will admit that occasionally summer is one of the harder times to be a full-time out-of-the-house working parent. I would love to create “camp mom“, in theory anyway. Instead my little guy continues at his daycare, and my oldest is attending a variety of camps.
Still, we manage to fit a lot of fun in:
This is a park that stretches around our little cul-de-sac, and taking a ball out for 45 minutes in the evening sometimes leads to magical moments. That’s one reason I love our 25 great summer activities for kids piece. We’ll be doing a lot of those: Stuff that is fun and amazing without making grown-ups want to tear their hair out.
We also focus our efforts on local festivals. This one was at school for an end-of-year fundraiser.
That’s different from how I grew up, in some ways. My mother was mostly at home with us, and so I had weeks where I could bike to the library and call on friends…old-school Generation-X hanging out in the neighbourhood. But my father was a professor, so we also had some summers where we were able to go on long adventurous road trips. And before I actually had kids, I would have guessed we’d spend summers packing up the car for weekend trips everywhere. Instead…I’m going to come right out and say it…we find we’d rather hang out at home, where there’s a chance of also getting the laundry done and we know where the next potty break is at all times.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned about work-life balance…and maybe about balance in general…is that sometimes it really is about the simplest things. Before I had kids, I would have guessed that we would spend our summers jaunting off en famille to all kinds of adventures.
Instead, right now, it’s the en famille that’s the adventure. We might make it to the corner store for a Popsicle.
What are you up to this summer? Grand adventure, or at-home fun?