The summer is quickly winding down as kids return to school. But, there will still be time for FREE family fun during the remaining pleasant days and cool nights. We like to squeeze in every opportunity to be outside together before winter sets in and being outside becomes more challenging. So, here are a couple of tried and true family favorites for FREE fun!
WASH BUCKET WATER WARS
The days are still warm throughout September. Rising temperatures feel a bit uncomfortable, especially when you've had a couple of cool "fallish" days. So, when you really don't want to turn the air back on, but you have kids saying, "Mom, I'm hot!", fill two buckets with a few inches of water. Have the kiddos put on swimsuits or swim trunks. Then give each child an empty squeeze bottle (an old dish detergent bottle works great). Give them 30 minutes to "ready, aim, fire" at their parents or siblings or playmates. The detergent bottles give serious water coverage that those cheap squirt guns just can't match. It uses less water than running the sprinkler for 30 minutes. Plus, when you fill your bottle, you can be more mobile than running through the sprinkler. You can chase your sibling all over the entire back yard! My boys do this all the time. House rules: 1) When any sibling says, "Please stop" you stop what you are doing immediately. No one is allowed to make someone else feel uncomfortable. 2) When the water in the bucket is gone, the bucket doesn't get refilled.
FRIDAY NIGHT PICNICS
We had NO money for eating out while raising 4 boys on 1 income. But, we did have a fantastic park which overlooked the river. So, we did "Friday night picnics." I got really good at packing up whatever I had made for supper - food will stay hot in a crockpot, homemade calzones can be popped into the oven just before leaving. Just wrap them in foil and they will stay hot until you get to the park. We used what we had in the house and resisted the urge to purchase expensive picnic fare from the deli or grocery store. We had a picnic basket that was prepacked with silverware, cups, plates, etc. Remember to throw in some wipes for sticky fingers and faces. Also, a couple of plastic grocery bags to take dirty silverware, plates, etc. home to wash. Grab a family board game, a readaloud, and a Bible for a quick family devotional. I've asked my grown up sons to name their favorite memories and the "Friday night picnics" consistently rank at the top! At my oldest son's request, we went on a Friday Night Picnic before he returned to college. We brought along a light saber for each of us and my son snapped a priceless photo of my husband and I dueling it out with light sabers.
Enjoy the final few weeks of warm temperatures!
Do all to the glory of God,