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~ Fun Summer Ideas For You And Your Family ~

8 Unique Outdoor Games for Kids

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Family Fun, import | Leave A Comment

outdoorsAlthough much anticipated, summer break can seem like an eternity for kids.  Below is a list of fun ideas to keep your little one occupied all summer long. And remember: summertime or weekend activities don’t have to be elaborate. Penny Warner’s book Kids’ Outdoor Parties contains a multitude of great ways to get your child outside and active.

 

Big Foot Relay

This game requires two shoeboxes (per child), tape and scissors.  Have your child tape the lids onto the boxes.  Then, cut a one-inch wide and four-inch long slit on both tops. Have the participants slip their feet into the slits and race.

 

Batty Bowling

Have your child find a number of zany or silly items that can be easily knocked over by a ball, such as cups, action figures, books, cereal boxes and a bathroom trash can. Line them up like you would bowling pins and let your child try to knock them over with a beach ball, tennis ball or golf ball.

 

Name-It Ball

Have all of the participants make a circle and give one player a rubber bouncy ball. Let one of the players pick a category like “breakfast cereals.”  The kids will start passing the ball to other members of the circle. When a child receives the ball, they must name off a breakfast cereal (Rice Krispies, Captain Crunch, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms, etc.) If a member of the circle receives the ball but cannot name off a breakfast cereal, they are out of that round. They are also “out” if they hold the ball for too long or repeat an item that another player has said already. Be sure to remind them that they have a million chances to win with other categories, like candy bars, board games and pop stars.

 

Frisbee Tower

Get together a bunch of small Frisbees and put them in a pile in the middle of the yard. Have the participants divide up the Frisbees until they all have an even amount. The game starts with the first player putting his or her Frisbee on the ground. The next player will place his or her Frisbee on top of the first and so on and so forth. This continues until the tower gets too heavy and falls over.

 

Blind Walk

This game requires a bandana or something to make a blindfold with, as well as a variety of objects to make the obstacle course. Make an obstacle course with any household or outdoor items (garden hose, watering can, buckets, etc.) from one end of the yard to the other. Allow the children to scan the obstacle course for a few seconds and have them walk blindfolded through the course, one by one.

 

Pick Pocket Tag

This game, also known as “flag tag,” requires several strips of cloth. Have each child stick a strip of cloth in their back pockets. The players should try to collect as many cloth strips from other players as they can. The player with the most strips at the end of the game wins.

 

Kill the Cockroach

Split the participants up into two teams and have each team form a line. Place an odd object – sock, empty can, plastic cup, etc. – in front of both starting players. They should kick the object all the way across the yard until they reach the finish line. The person who gets there first scores a point for his or her team.

 

Drag the Body

This game isn’t as sinister as it sounds. Divide the participants up into two teams, providing each team with a blanket. Instruct a player from each team to lie down on the blanket. The teams will drag the person on the blanket to one end of the yard, trying to beat the other team to the finish line.

 

Gather the neighborhood kids and get outside.  Your fun ideas will quickly get you voted coolest neighborhood parent – a unanimous opinion from parents and kids alike!

Blogger Doug Adams loves spending time with his family.  This summer, the family’s favorite outdoor activity is cornhole (this site provides their supplies).

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Summer Salads

Posted by on Jun 21, 2009 in import, Meals | 1 comment

Who doesn’t love a crisp, cool salad in the summertime? here are a few recipes to get you started! 🙂

Crunchy Pea Salad
1 cup thawed green peas
½ cup Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
½ cup sliced celery
½ cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup torn lettuce
2 Tbsp. diced green onion
½ cup roasted cashews, macadamia nuts,
1 Tbsp. sliced pimento roasted peanuts, or sunflower seeds
¼ cup sour cream
Combine peas, lettuce, celery, cauliflower, onion, pimento and nuts. Mix together sour cream and dressing. Toss together.

Bean Fiesta
1 can (16 oz.) each: red kidney beans, yellow wax beans, green beans, garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 large red onion, sliced
1 large green pepper, sliced
½ cup vinegar
½ cup oil
1 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine beans, onion and green pepper in a large bowl. Mix vinegar, oil and sugar. Pour over bean mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate at least 3 hours in refrigerator.

Vegetable Salad
1 head broccoli, cut in florets
1 small red onion, sliced
1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
1 tomato, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup non-fat Italian dressing
Optional: Avocado, marinated artichoke hearts, or any vegetable.
Mix all ingredients and allow to marinate in refrigerator several hours.

Macaroni Salad
3 cups cooked macaroni
1 cup (4 ounces) cubed cheese
1 celery stalk, chopped
¼ cup sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickle
1 Tablespoon diced onion
1 Tablespoon diced green bell pepper
¾ cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Chill before serving.

Cucumber Couscous Salad
1 (11-ounce package) Whole Wheat Couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cup water to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, five minutes.
Cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in cucumber, green onion, parsley, basil and Couscous. Mix well and chill for at least one hour.

Summer Squash Salad
2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
8 crimini mushrooms
3 oz Parmesan cheese, cut into thin slices
2 cloves fresh garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
6 leaves fresh basil, julienne
3 oz extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tsp. cracked chili flakes
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Split the squash and zucchini lengthwise and lightly oil. Season with salt and black pepper and grill over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Turn the squash once to cook it evenly. Cut the squash into half moons. Next lightly oil and season the mushrooms and place onto the grill for 4-5 minutes. Place the cut squash and mushrooms into a mixing bowl and add the parmesan cheese, sliced garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and the cracked chili flakes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

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How To Play Hopscotch

Posted by on Aug 20, 2008 in Family Fun, import | Leave A Comment


photo credit: rachaelvoorhees

Hopscotch is a great, classic game that can be enjoyed with friends—the more the merrier! You get to jump around, throw things, and just enjoy being outside in the beautiful summer weather.

Draw a hopscotch pattern, like the one in the photo above on the ground with chalk or use masking tape on a floor and number each square in order. Give each player has a marker such as a stone, shell, etc.

Stand at the beginning and toss your marker in the first square. Hop over square 1 (you must skip any square that has a marker in it) to square 2. Hop through the grid on one foot unless there are two squares side-by-side, then you jump landing with one foot in each square. Hop to the end, jump and turn around 180° without leaving the grid, and hop back. Pause in square 2 to pick up the marker, and out. Toss the marker in square 2, hop through the same way, then square 3 and so on.

Have fun!! 🙂

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