50 Fun Summer Activites For Kids

Looking for simple, free, fun summer activities for your kiddos this Summer?

Here are some ideas…

  1. Fill the bathtub with water, measuring cups, squirt bottles, and bubble bath.
  2. Pack a picnic lunch and go to the park.
  3. Research a landmark in your city. Then visit it.
  4. Visit your local public library and check out books.
  5. Use sidewalk chalk to play Tic-Tac-Toe and Hangman on the driveway.
  6. Teach your kids how to bake cookies.
  7. Hook up the water hose and spray away!
  8. Ride bikes
  9. Visit a farmer’s market
  10. Make a comic book
  11. Play in a local creek
  12. Write a letter to an out-of-state relative
  13. Water gun battle
  14. Tape paper plates to non-breakable objects and use them for Nerf gun targets
  15. Have a sleepover
  16. Play a game of baseball
  17. Have a bubble blowing contest (Use a bottle of bubbles or bubble gum)
  18. Make a packing list for summer vacation so the kids don’t forget their favorite items
  19. Sit for fifteen minutes and talk about something really interesting to your child.
  20. Host a toy swap with neighbor kids (Each kid brings three toys, each kid leaves with three toys)
  21. Rent a movie from your local public library
  22. Check your area for free summer movies at local theaters
  23. Play a board game
  24. Find a Lego creation on Google – have your kids build it.
  25. Visit your local pet store or animal shelter
  26. Go to a school playground
  27. Paint rocks
  28. Set up a bird feeder – try to identify the birds
  29. Schedule a play date
  30. Send your kids a letter in the mail. When your letter arrives, explain how the mail works.
  31. Have lunch at McDonald’s – play in the play park while there.
  32. Play a game of kickball
  33. Watch home videos
  34. Visit your State Capitol building (ours happens to be about ten minutes from our home)
  35. Create a scavenger hunt
  36. Download “HEADS UP” APP on your electronic device and play with your child
  37. Decorate white t-shirts with sharpies or paint
  38. Collect newspapers from neighbors and take them to the local animal shelter
  39. Make homemade cards and send to out-of-town cousins / relatives
  40.  Make ice cream sundaes
  41. Learn how to Geocache
  42. Schedule a play date
  43. Camp out in the backyard
  44. Go on a hike
  45. Visit Toys R Us to get birthday / holiday ideas
  46. Make a time capsule
  47. Go to You Tube and learn origami
  48. Play tug-of war
  49. Make a fort
  50. Attend Vacation Bible School

Have a great summer!

What I Learned This Week

We just arrived home from a wonderful Memorial Day weekend camping extravaganza with some of our best friends. We had wonderful weather, great food and absolutely beautiful scenery.

See for yourself….

The first thing I learned is that the older I get, the more I enjoy looking at nature.

The next thing I learned is that my blog being messed up makes me not even want to post anything. I can’t wait for this mess to be fixed, so that I can post pictures without a huge headache!!!!

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!

The Truth Is…

The truth is….

… when I pick up produce in the grocery store, and feel it, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be checking for.

… I have no idea how to apply bronzer, or why one even applies bronzer.

… I have been slacking on my exercise the past few weeks.

… I have no patience for bratty kids.

… I have lost two earrings in the past two weeks.

… Guacamole makes me gag.

… I get really aggravated when things don’t work properly.

… when the Vietnamese nail techs speak to each other in their native language, I always suspect they are talking about me.

…. I don’t eat strawberries because I don’t like the taste of them.

… my favorite part of school being out is sleeping in.

… there was a young girl (Middle School age) at the nail shop this evening wearing shorts SO short, her butt-cheeks were peeking out.

… parents who let their children dress like hoochie mommas deserve to be slapped upside the head.

… parents who lose their mind at the ball field should be banned from the ball field.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, folks!

What I Learned This Week


I am watching the finals of Dancing With The Stars and I can hardly stand the excitement, because MAKS!

Can I get a HOLLA?

He has presented a whole different side of himself this season with Meryl and I love it. They are absolutely magical on the dance floor. I really, really, REALLY hope they win the mirror ball trophy tomorrow. I still say that ratings would soar if the producers would do a Dancing With The STAy-At-Home Moms season.

And I’d be the first to volunteer.

So, MAKS (or VAL!) I. Am. Your. Girl.

Anyway, here’s what I learned this week.

1. My Tiffany’s bracelet is not hiding away in any of the Longaberger baskets in our great room, bathroom, basement, or bedroom.

2. When a favorite piece of jewelry comes up missing, it will be on your mind almost constantly.

3. Even though I don’t watch the show, I was so surprised to learn that it is actually called Downton Abbey and not Downtown Abbey.

4. I should have better sense than to wear white flip flops to the ball-field.

5. I have no business buying white flip-flops.

6. According to Alex, just because it is 55 degrees in the AM, it is too hot for jeans.

7. I am indecisive about my new blog design.

8. ICYMI = In case you missed it. You’re welcome!

9. While lots of people like to complain about the current state of our local School Board, very few are willing to actually go out and VOTE, even with two HIGHLY QUALIFIED candidates on the ballot.

10. George Washington’s last words were “Tis well”.

11. It is possible for a DS game to go through both the washer and the dryer and still work.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!

A Good Book

I spent most of the weekend with my nose in a book. A dramatic, action-packed, romantic, comedy with an interestingly different cast of characters.

I’ve had my eye on this book for quite some time. Each and every time I get my hands on it, I never want to put it down. It excites me, mostly because the main characters are dynamic individuals. I open the book and get excited to spend hours at a time really getting to know these characters and all they bring to the story. I do my best to clear my head, because sometimes this story is a difficult one to follow. Failing to pay close attention to all that is going on could cause me to miss out on details that are important to the storyline. I like all of the characters, even though some of them prove to be difficult. My absolute favorite is the one whom I most closely relate to. He has a big heart and absolutely loves what he is doing, even though he is in a supporting role and is rarely given the opportunities that some of the major characters receive. His role in some chapters are more impressive than others, but, it is evident – to me at least – that he makes this book so much more interesting.

I never dreamed in a million years that this would be the type of book that I would enjoy. Through the years and most certainly in this stage of life, lots of things have change in my life and I find myself all wrapped up in this type of tale.

The particular storyline has been building for weeks, and just like any good book, each chapter seems to excite me more and more because I see the prospect for new possibilities, as well as the scenes that get me all fired up . It is action packed and difficult to follow at times because the OH THE DRAMA, but aren’t most good books filled with pages full of drama? Sometimes, before I know what is happening, I get so wrapped up in one character, that I lose all track of another. I absolutely hate it when that happens. When you take into consideration all that is transpiring – funny scenes, jam-packed action, DRAMA, and various love situations, it’s any wonder that any of us can keep up with the dramatic twists and turns that happen at every corner.

The love is evident – at least for most of the characters. If not for love, how else could they do what they do? Why else would they try so hard?

I’d be lying if I said I never get frustrated when my nose is in this book. The characters – from all walks of life – are so different, but each one brings something unique to the story plot. Other times, these crazy characters make me laugh out loud. I love when they keep me guessing, because that usually means something wonderful and exciting is about to happen. And when it does, I can hardly contain myself.

Y’all. There are fewer things I like better than a good story.

It does me no good to speculate on how the story will end. All I know is that I keep opening the book, excited to find out what will happen next. The blend of characters, a great story, genuine love, exciting twists and turns, and DRAMA keep me guessing and no matter how many scenarios I work out in my head, I can never figure out how the chapter will end.

What I have figured out is that this story is well worth the time and trouble it takes to keep up with it. And, if you ever have a chance to take on a good read such as this one, you should do it!

Drama, love, action, comedy and excitement.

A good book doesn’t get much better than that.



I Think I Can

I got a little panicky today when I discovered that Alex and Stevie have only five days of school left.


Only five days stand between me and sleeping past seven in the A.M.

Aside from sleeping in late, I am OH SO SAD that in five days, we will have a 6th grader and a 3rd grader in the house. This school year has flown by, and I am just days away from surviving Stevie’s first year of Middle School. I can barely believe it. I am forty years old, but honesty, it seems like just yesterday I was finishing 5th grade myself. I remember the year well. As fate would have it, I drew the short stick that year and landed in a split class with both 4th and 5th grade students. For math and reading, we walked down the hall and joined the rest of the fifth graders. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Hackworth and she had a whiny voice. I can still remember the way she said my name – JULL-LIE – especially, the way she drug out a bunch of “L’s” in the middle.

It was a miserable year.

But enough about Mrs. Hackworth and her whiny voice.

I volunteer at Alex’s school on Thursdays making popcorn with several other mommy friends. Each week, our biggest decision is where we will have lunch after we finishing popping the corn. Most weeks, we eat at local Mexican restaurant. Some weeks, we hit the local Subway or McDonalds. Today, in celebration of the school year ending, of course, we decided on Mexican. This time though, we to ate a restaurant we don’t normally go to. While we were there, I remembered why I am not a fan of change. I am a creature of habit, and I typically find one entrée at a restaurant that I enjoy and order it every single time we go there. For example, at Chili’s, I order Chicken Crispers. At Olive Garden, I order a lunch portion of spaghetti with meat sauce. At Bob Evans, I order the Wildfire Chicken Salad, or occasionally shake things up and order Turkey with dressing. At a Mexican joint, I order either a chicken chimichanga with fajita filling, or a Chicken fajita taco salad. At our usual Mexican joint, the gal there knows us and she knows without hesitation that I do not – under any circumstances – want any guacamole anywhere on my plate.

At lunch today, I ordered a chicken fajita salad.

I was surprised when the waiter brought a plate of fresh, raw vegetables (onion, green peppers, lettuce, tomato) with cheese and chicken strips. That’s it. No taco salad shell. No melted cheese. No sautéed onions and peppers. After explaining to the waiter that I thought I was ordering a taco salad with chicken fajita stuff, he took the salad back and returned a few minutes later with a chicken fajita taco salad piled a mile high with guacamole.

I know I’ve mentioned a time or ten here on the blog that I don’t eat guacamole because I think it looks like baby poop. Plus, it stinks. Because I know what happens to food that is sent back to the kitchen, I decided keep that salad. Then, I did what I do when I don’t want to gag. I pulled my shirt up over my nose and mouth and started digging the guacamole out of that salad in an attempt to get any trace of it, OUT of the salad, plopped it on a salad plate and passed it to my friend, who said she would eat it, and then I took a napkin and wiped any trace of green off of the shell, just to be sure. And after all that, I enjoyed my salad.

This school year has been a good one. Despite my anxiety about Stevie starting Middle School (an entire year early, thanks to our local BOE sending our 5th graders there due to overcrowding in our Elementary School) he has enjoyed every minute of it. Alex has the same awesome second-grade teacher that Stevie had, so thankfully, it’s been a wonderful year for him, too. The only problem is, the year has flown by. With just one full week of school left, I am sitting on the big, blue, bloggy couch attempting to keep my calendar straight because “The Little Engine That Could” is straight-up BURNT OUT! (And speaking of burnt, I have a huge blister on my thumb because apparently I can not be trusted to operate a hot glue gun unsupervised.

Surely, I can make it through one more [fun] week – reward parties, field day, pajama day and electronic day, right?

I think I can.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

What I Learned This Week

Attended my nephew’s high school graduation tonight, and I couldn’t help but think about how difficult this night will be in seven years when Stevie graduates from high school. It sounds so cliché, but man, time sure flies.

Here’s what I learned this week:

1. Barbecue sauce and A1 mixed together makes a great dipping sauce, according to Stevie.

2. A replacement door bin for our fridge is $25.49.

3. When an eight-year old hobbles around at a birthday party after stubbing his toe, there’s a chance that he could have fractured it.

4. If an eight-year old fractures his toe, there is a pretty good chance he won’t be able to finish to season. (Just for the record, my eight-year old is not the one with the fractured toe.)

5. If the dishes in your dish washer are not clean after running the wash cycle, you might check to see if the dispenser actually dispensed the soap packet.

6. I have either lost or misplaced my Tiffany & Co. bracelet. This makes me so sad.

7. The next time I make the decision to sit next to an entrance door of an auditorium during a graduation ceremony, I need smacked in the face.

8. Most of the current songs on my iPod, are only there because of Dancing With The Stars.

9. Derek Hough amazes me with his choreography every single week.

10. After three years of “doing the book” for Stevie’s baseball team, I heard the term “balk” for the first time.

11. There are lots of lessons to be learned on the baseball field. Some of them have absolutely nothing to do with the game.

12. I lost an earring this week.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!

Crazy Characters


The blog is driving me crazier by the day.

Several days ago, I sat down with my computer and pecked out an entire post devoted to the importance of character in our children today. Then, I thought I should wait before posting it. The next day, I decided I wouldn’t post it at all. Instead, I deleted most of it and thought I’d stow the first few paragraphs away for a post I might write at a later time.

And then, I come here tonight to talk about Mother’s Day and I find that my blog has a gazillion strange characters strung about in each. and. every. single. post. and I just want to throw my hands up and go to bed. It is impossible for a person who can’t stand for a bed to be unmade, canned food to be turned around backwards in the cabinets, or towels stacked unevenly to accept crazy characters on the blog.

My friend, Heather has been working on a new blog design and she assures me she can “figure it out,” but honestly, DRIVING ME CRAZY.

Hopefully, you can look past the crazy characters and deal with them until Heather can do some housecleaning up in here.

I had a great day with my momma, my mother-in-law, and two crazy characters who call me “Mom.”

I can’t explain how much I enjoy parenting these two. They are fun, loving, smart, compassionate, stubborn, comical, chatty, and clever. One of them is just like their Daddy. The other? Just. exactly. like. me.

And here’s me with my sweet momma, who has been on a crazy, life-changing, medical journey this past year.

I am so thankful that she is still here with us (Never realized how much I look like here until I saw this photo.) and so enjoyed spending the day with her and my mother-in-law.

What I Learned This Week

Here’s what I learned this week.

When you are having “issues” with your blog, it is best to copy and paste your post into a word document before hitting the “publish” button. Otherwise, your post may end up floating in cyberspace, and you may be left too aggravated and frustrated to re-type the entire mess.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of Iyour blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!

Saying Yes In My Mess

Today is a BIG day. My friend, Kristen over at We Are THAT Family is launching her new book, Rhinestone Jesus – Saying YES to God when sparkly, safe faith is no longer enough.

“In high school, Kristen wore a big, sparkly rhinestone “Jesus” pin every day and carried her Bible wherever she went. But she didn’t realize her faith, though sincere, was shallow: much like her artificial accessory, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true reflection of who she was.

Real life and motherhood catapulted Kristen into places and situations she’d never imagined. There came a day when she stood in the slums of Africa, poised on the brink of a risk bigger than any she’d ever taken. And she knew she didn’t stand a chance – unless she was ready to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing.

Rhinestone Jesus is the spiritual adventure story of one woman who went from living a safe, “good-girl” faith that didn’t cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say YES to a deeper, more authentic way.”

Through stories about life as a high school student, her (sometimes difficult) marriage, the hum-drum mundane days of motherhood, and a blogger, Kristen takes us on her journey. As a Compassion International Blogger, Kristen was invited to travel to Kenya where her heart and life was forever changed. After returning home feeling empty and broken, Kristen woke up from the American Dream, and said YES to an unbelievable God-sized dream called Mercy House.

I love that Kristen keeps it real in Rhinestone Jesus. She is quick to admit that her family is far from perfect – even talking about days filled with puke, poop, drama, and bad attitudes (which makes her seem like my BFF) but even through the crazy – in the middle of her messy life as wife and mother, she slowly discovers that God doesn’t require us to get our act together before revealing His God-sized dream, rather He is just waiting for us to say YES IN OUR MESS, wherever we are. Right now.

As a result of her YES – through obedience and love – her family continually strives to glorify the Lord in all that they do. At the end of each chapter, Welch offers reflections and personal challenges for readers – ideas for nurturing our families, serving as a family, and being centered on Christ in all things. She encourages Christians to seek the Lord, and say YES to whatever He is calling them to do, no matter how big, small or messy it may seem.

Rhinestone Jesus has left me wondering what I should be doing. I’m not sure what my YES looks like, and chances are your YES will look different from my YES. But this I know: One small yes can lead to BIG things. God isn’t waiting on us to get our marriage in order, our kids to be perfect, or to keep a neater house. He is simply waiting for us to say YES to Him, right in the middle of the mound of laundry, the toothpaste covered bathroom sink and the LEGO covered floor.


In the middle of our mess.

It’s that easy.


And speaking of easy… You can win a copy of Rhinestone Jesus by simply leaving a comment on this post. Two winners will be chosen by Random Dot Org on Monday, May 5th at 9:00 PM EST.

About the Author” Kristen Welch writes the parenting blog, We are THAT Family (you know the ones). She is an (in)courage writer, a Compassion International blogger, and a regular featured contributor to LifeWay’s HomeLife and ParentLife magazines. In 2010, Kristen founded Mercy House, a nonprofit maternity home in Kenya, Africa, which rescues young pregnant girls from extreme poverty. Mercy House is almost entirely funded by readers of her blog. Read Kristen’s blot at We Are THAT Family dot com.

In the interest of full disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers provided two copies of Rhinestone Jesus for me to give away to my readers. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.


And the winners are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2014-05-06 04:49:35 UTC

The first winner is Commenter #8 –  Jennifer S. who commented on May 1, 2014 @ 9:55 am.


Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2014-05-06 04:51:48 UTC

The second winner is Commenter #10 – Traci who commented on May 2, 2014 @ 5:15 pm.

Congratulations, ladies. I’ll be in contact via e-mail.