www.herald-journal.com
Summertime fun
July 18, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

It is time for some fun in the sun. Before heading out for some play, don’t forget to apply the sunscreen. A sunburn can occur in about 15 minutes this time of the year. Water is also a necessity, not just for drinking but for splashing, squirting, dripping, swimming, and the list goes on.

My children enjoy putting on their swimming suits and washing the car and each other. How about filling a bucket full of soapy water (use baby shampoo to make the suds in case some goes in the eyes) and insisting your children wash your swing set or playground equipment?

A game of duck-duck-gray-duck is always a hit, but include some water for a wet version of this popular children’s game. Older children will enjoy this game, as well. The child who is “it” has a small cup of water and puts a drip of water on each child’s head as she passes them around the circle. When she gets to the person who she wants to be the next “it” she drops the whole glass of water on his/her head.

How about a different twist on the old game of “hot potato,” passing around an ice cube for a “cold potato” instead?

Set up an obstacle course, using such things as hula hoops, red soccer cones, and balls, and turn on the sprinkler. The children can weave their way through the obstacle course while being “sprinkled” on. Everything is a bit more fun when the water dimension is added in.

Of course, from all that summertime play, children are ready for some summer time snacks. Make some fruit kabobs with your children. Each child can make their own, adding his favorite goodies to his kabob. Grapes, pineapple chunks, strawberries, and regular-sized marshmallows are some kabob ideas.

My children love lemonade in the summer. We have a strawberry patch, as well as raspberry bushes, that produce lots of berries. They love to add the berries to their lemonade for a refreshing touch. How about filling some ice cube trays with lemonade and freezing them for some flavorful ice cubes to add to a glass of water, or punch? Put a plastic spoon in each cube compartment, freeze, and you have some lemonade ice pops to enjoy.

Remind your children and yourselves to be observant of all of the summer critters, whether they be on the ground or in the air. We have a warrior robin in our backyard that we have been watching.

My husband was trimming branches and accidentally cut down a branch that was home to a robin’s nest. My husband apologized (as I could hear him while I was watering my flowers), but an apology was not enough for mama robin.

She flew around his head, and continues to engage in combat protection mode anytime anyone is in the vicinity of the tree in our backyard. She protects the area and has let us know that no other inhabitant will take step in her domain.

I guess all mothers have the mother protection instinct and will protect their young at all costs. Being a mother, I understand her feelings.

We live close to the Crow River and actually can view it from our property. We have discovered a fox den close to the river. On a few occasions, we have witnessed some of the fox family running in the field behind our yard. We have to make sure our little pooch of a dog stays in our yard and not beyond. She is definitely smaller than the fox family members.

Continue to enjoy the summer as it always passes, oh, so quickly.