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Crafty Corner If you are creative, love to knit or crochet, paint, or just enjoy making fun stuff with your kids, this is the forum for you.

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Old 08-04-2004, 08:07 PM
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chuckle Imagine A Summer....

With summer here and the children at home, most mommies are hearing, "I'm bored" several times a day. Children have become accustomed to scheduled activities back-to-back after being in school for the past 6 months. Besides mommies not having time to schedule several activities for each day, there is the fact that to do so would take away from the enjoyment of the lazy days of summer. Instead, mommies can be spontaneous, creative, and make their children partners in their daily routines.

Assign Little Helpers

Children have the need to feel useful and that they are helping. My boys love to use the feather duster each morning on everything they can find (keep your breakables in a china cabinet!). This is something I would normally do, but allowing them to do the jobs gives them a sense of routine and me a few minutes over coffee.

Cleaning up after supper
Ask for help loading the dishwasher. 6-7 year olds love the feeling of being trusted with placing the dishes in the slots, with your supervision, of course. Next, you can sweep the floor while letting your little one hold the dustpan.

Offering to bake cookies together can be a treat for both Mommy and child. Cake mixes are great for smaller ones because they can pour in the powder easier. My two sons like to sit on top of the counter while I cook. Adding a dash of spice or just holding something makes them feel special. Just before suppertime you can ask them to place napkins on the table.

Yard work
Planting and caring for flowers is an interesting way for children to learn to appreciate nature. As long as the sun isn't beating down on the flowers, I let my boys help with watering flowers with their small squirt guns. Also, before cutting the grass I have them help me look for any sticks or trash in the yard.

Make Simple Games

Sometimes putting a twist on the old standbys brings an element of surprise to activities. Think of favorites from your early years or those your children play and adapt them to what you're doing. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Duck, Duck, Goose!
You can do this with two or more kids. Sit in the middle of your child's pool while they crawl around you in a circle. They know they will be called on to be "goose" sooner or later, and the anticipation thrills them.

You can start the game by being "it." When you tag someone, instead of calling out "you're it," call out the name of an animal, superhero, or favorite character. That person calls out something else when they tag the next person. The anticipation of what will be called out next adds a layer of fun to the excitement of the chase.

Mama's Gonna Buy…
Instead of singing (although this song is fabulous), simply say, "Mama's going to the store to buy a …" Then say elephant, tiger, or anything. Have the children act like the animal you're going to buy.

Hot Potato
You can crank up the fun on this game by using an apple covered with baby oil.

Take Advantage of Rainy Days Together

Heat, bathing suits, and lemonade are what summer is all about, right? When thinking of summer months, rainy days rarely come to mind. Yet, they eventually come and we need something to do then, too. Perhaps you can give some of these a try.

Books & Play-Dough
After reading a book with your children, have them choose a favorite picture or character. Lay the book on the table that is open to the page they like best. Take out the play-dough and work together to copy a character or picture.

Throughout the year collect all the scraps from cut construction paper, egg cartons, large pieces of cardboard, lids off small tubes of cream, and useless buttons. Use the large cardboard as the canvas for unique masterpieces made from scraps and otherwise useless items.

Lather Up
After the rain clears you can play in a small puddle with some dish-soap to make bubbles. Children will learn that the more they swish it around, the more bubbles appear. You can also do this in the sink. Adding a few drops of food coloring and clear plastic bowls gives your child loads of fun.

The next time you hear the "I'm bored" routine, dazzle your children with fun that only mommies can provide. By re-thinking some of the traditional games and songs, the nature outside and the work around you, you can add your own flavor to the summer time. By using your imagination you are well on your way to creating memories of surprise and magic you and your children will remember for a lifetime.

About the Author

Sabrina Glidden is a wife and the mother of two seven-year-old boys. She works from her home office, Your Best Writer Services, writing educational materials and family oriented articles. She and her family live in Eaton, Indiana.

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