The Friday Five: 5 Ideas for Unplugged Summer Play

5 Ideas for UNPLUGGED Summer Play {SimpleKids.net}

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For today”s Friday Five, I”m writing about some of our favorite Summer Fun Unplugged Play Ideas:  the things that have been keeping my four little kiddos occupied and happy, that don”t require a power cord or batteries.

While I certainly don”t mind the occasional movie marathon day or Wii bowling family night, I prefer that my kids get plenty of unplugged, child-powered play opportunities.

The Summer is a perfect time for some of these sweet ideas:

1. The box fort I told you about in the Spring continues to be a big hit.  Back in March the box was mainly used as a special reading spot but today, thanks to a few more larger boxes, it is growing into a SUPER fort!

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Frugal, Fun Summer Birthdays

happy birthday

This Summer, from time to time, I’ll be re-running some of my favorite Simple Kids posts.  This first Summer ReRun is a guest post from Elise Adams of Adam’s Organizing.  I think you’ll really enjoy her article on frugal, but fun, birthdays which originally appeared in July of 2011. – Kara

There are 6 kids in my happily-blended family—including a couple teenagers, two toddlers and a few in-between too! If you start counting aunts, uncles and cousins…the number of birthdays we need to celebrate every year is nearly incalculable!

THREE Guiding PRINCIPLES

1. Time vs. Stuff

One of the primary principles we live by in our nuclear family is that the best gift we can give each other is time together. We aren’t focused on accumulating the latest gadget or picking up the newest toy. This defined principle (we openly talk with our kids about this) really helps me focus on what is truly important—even during Birthday Season!

2. Nature vs. Electronics

We focus on attentively hearing each other, extravagantly playing together and deeply connecting to one another. Movies or amusement parks aren’t really our cup of tea—we’d prefer an outing to the river for a walk/run/bike ride or a drive to the mountains to pick wildflowers. These adventures allow us time to talk (the car is such a great place to get recalcitrant teenagers communicating again) and also work well when combining different age groups.

3. Collaboration vs. All-on-Mom’s-Shoulders

This is where having a big family is a BIG plus! Whether we’re getting together for an aunts/uncles/cousins birthday potluck or gathering for my babies 1st birthday, in our family we all contribute something. My husband is a great dish washer and my Mom (the kids Grandma) usually brings salad, bread and drinks. Even if it’s a last minute-thrown-together plan where we all pitch in I don’t end up feeling exhausted and worn out at the end of the day when we follow this principle!

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Weekend links

SKYuccaJune

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The Friday Five: Max’s Seventh Birthday

Max turns seven!

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Yesterday, my son Max celebrated his seventh trip around the sun.  So, I’d like to dedicate today’s Friday Five to my son Max, to seventh birthdays, and to celebrating the kids we love.

Today’s Friday Five is all about Max and his seventh birthday:

One

You are my one and only son and I love you so very much, wild thing.  I know that you put up with a lot being the only son in a house full of girls, but it is safe to say that you are totally adored by your sisters.  Well, most of the time.

Once upon a time you were the biggest baby in the NICU (at nine pounds, fifteen ounces) and sometimes when I think about how far we’ve come together, I feel both humbled and proud at the same time.  Being your mama is a pretty amazing thing and I’m so happy you picked me!

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Grab Your Dancing Rain Boots for Marsh Mud Madness with Roger Day

Roger - Marsh 1

For it to only be June, I’ve been celebrating summer over on Swing Whistle Zing for far too long it seems—I think we got Spring Fever a little bit too early in our house.  In any case, I hope your summer plans involve catching some life music whether it’s at a neighborhood restaurant or a full-blown concert stadium.

But if your opportunities to catch live music are few and far between you might enjoy catching a concert on DVD, right in your air-conditioned living room, and I’ve got a recommendation that is sure to please the whole family.

Rodger Day has a new release called Marsh Mud Madness that was filmed and produced in conjunction with the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island and the Savannah Music Festival.

This DVD, featuring 12 songs, is a wonderful hybrid of educational video segments and concert footage from the Savannah Music Festival.   You and your family will learn all about the eco system of this East Coast barrier island while singing along with Roger’s original music about this unique location and its inhabitants.

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