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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Suggestions for Summer Fun by Trisha Roberts




Now is the Time to Plan your Summer Family Activities!



How can you engage your children in meaningful activities this summer that will develop character and teach them to care for others?

Don't fall into the trap of plopping your children in front of the television or handing them an "electronic babysitter" in the form of a tablet or other tech-screen.

Is it possible to keep your kids active, make memories, develop compassion, teach altruism, and encourage acts of kindness?  Yes! The following are ideas and suggestions that might make a hit with your family. This is by no means an exhaustive list!  Talk with your kids and ask them what they think would be a fun way to help people they know.

Make and Delivery Cookies. 

 Make a double batch of cookies, letting your children participate to the level that their age, attention span, and skills permit. (Check out our "Little Baker Package" at our Retail Website)  Place 6-12 cookies on a pretty paper plate or inexpensive platter (readily available in dollar stores).  Let your kids decide who might like or need a special treat.  Assist them in making a special greeting card and then play delivery man! Your children might want to make this a weekly event!


Making cookies together as a family

Making Cookies as a Family
Making Cookies is ALWAYS fun!



Child visits nursing home

Visit a local Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.

If your children are musically inclined, play an instrument, or can sing to music on your CD Player, you might want to encourage them to select several songs that could brighten an elderly person’s day!

Singing at Assisted Living Facility



 You might want to play a simple, interactive game with several residents like, "Roll the Ball around the Parachute". 


Kids and Elderly Playing Parachute Games
Simple Parachute Games to Engage Children and the Elderly


Call the facility administrator in advance to get permission and discuss what you would like to do.  Ask what time would be good for a visit and whether you could visit several residents individually, address those eating in the Dining Hall, or perform for a group. If this will be the first time your children visit a nursing facility, you might want to discuss the fact that some of the people in the home may be in wheelchairs, have difficulty hearing, or be bed-ridden.



Make up Your Own Dance Routine and “Flash Mob” the park!

Pick a lively song and practice a series of dance moves that coordinate with the music. (You can get ideas from You Tube if your dance skills need some help!)  Enlist the aid of neighborhood children, friends, or relatives—the more, the better! 

Flash Mob Dance


Kids Flash Mob Dance
Children Flash Mob Dance Pick a location where other children gather--a local park, community swimming pool, shopping mall, playground, YMCA, grocery store (talk to the manger first!)  Map out starting positions and any movement patterns you want to incorporate and then make sure to practice your routine before staging your performance.  Have someone on hand assigned to video record the event!



Food Bank VolunteeringVolunteer at a Food Bank.  

Most Food Banks or Shelters need a steady supply of volunteers to help with unloading donations, shelving supplies, packing grocery bags, cleaning off labels, removing dented cans, etc.                                           
Food Bank Volunteers





Call to see what your specific local food bank needs and any age restrictions they might have.






Make "Goody Bags". 

 If you know any students leaving for college in your neighborhood, church, synagogue, or Parrish, it could be fun to put together a bag of special treats for them to take when they leave home.


Goody Bags for College Students

Inexpensive items can be purchased from dollar stores or found on sale: shampoo, candy, gum, deodorant, pens, notebooks, lotion, picture frame, lip gloss/chap stick, desk calendar, etc.


Weed a Garden

 Do you know a neighbor who is elderly or someone who is having difficulty keeping up with yard work due to unusual circumstances in their life? 

Planting flowers

kids weeding flower garden


Why not donate a few hours one morning or evening to weeding, hoeing, or mulching their flower beds?  If they don’t have flowers, buy a flat of annuals and plant them near their porch or walkway. 


Model an unselfish attitude and caring spirit.  Raise children who are less self-absorbed. Demonstrate the joy of giving, expecting nothing in return! You’ll be surprised at how much your children will learn and grow!


Author:  Trisha Roberts  (Reprinted from 6/18/16)



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