Tag Archives: family activity days

Family Outdoor Activity — Fore! I Mean, Touchdown! I Mean, Gooooaaaaal!

We had a family outdoor activity day yesterday and spent it playing a great game — mini-golf. Well, T., C. A. and I played mini-golf, Spencer played a brand-new hybrid game I like to call mini-gobasebaskethockfoot. (Coming soon to a stadium near you, no doubt.)

Have you ever played mini-golf with a two-year-old? We did 18 holes yesterday as part of a family outdoor activity dayand I can honestly say I never have. Sure, Spencer had a club and a ball and there were all sorts of cute landscaped holes that we walked around, but whatever it was he was doing, it was not mini-golf. Not even close.

“It’s like playing with a walking windmill,” T. groused as he watched me line up the ball in an attempt to avoid not only the stable hazards that the landscape designers had put on the course, but the toddler one that had arms and legs and affinity for causing trouble. Despite not playing the right way, he sure had fun —  he would grab the ball (not necessarily his own, sorry people behind us) and hit the ball and kick the ball and toss the ball, not to mention the club — swinging it like a bat and a hockey stick and a sword.

A few times, when it was Spencer’s actual turn, as opposed to the time he just decided to hit the ball on his own, he was content to stand with T. and let his dad show him the right way to do it. Still, when the instructional period was over, he was happy to go back to playing his rules, his way. (And once again, people behind us, I’m very sorry.)

Our family outdoor activity day was also spent riding go-karts, something Spencer was totally content to do the right away. C. is big enough to do drive one on his own and A. rode with T. so that left Spencer and I to tackle the road together. I drove much slower than the other drivers, purposefully, but he didn’t seem to notice. He sat in the car, a big smile on his face, giggling the entire trip around the track.

We capped off our day with grilled cheeseburgers, a trip to the playground and T. playing whiffle ball with the kids in the yard. Of course Spencer didn’t play whiffle ball, I think he calls it whifcricktrackandfield, but at least he had fun!

What type of great family activities does your family like to do?

Want to learn more about Spencer? Check out Shock and Aww on Facebook and my other parenting blog, We Are Both Right. Also, I’m on Twitter too. (Because I have all this time on my hands.

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Sadly Saying Goodbye to Family Summer Fun

I have a confession to make.

I was not looking forward to C.’s and A.’s summer vacation. At all. In fact, I’d venture to say I was dreading it. Dreading. It.

Who says such terrible things? They’re my kids! I’m their mother! I love them! I should be so grateful to be spending a huge chunk of time with them. Not to mention, they worked really hard all year, keeping up some pretty awesome grades, participating in numerous after-school activities and just being all-around good kids. They deserved some family summer fun!

And yet, as June 24 inched closer and closer on the calendar the pit in my stomach grew deeper and deeper.

I guess it was becuase it was my perception that the long school break isn’t always family summer fun. In fact, for me it is usually a lot of work. My kids are great, but they aren’t the best at keeping themselves entertained. In fact, they are pretty terrible at it, C. in particular.

I always find myself joking at some point in the middle of summer vacation that not only am I not a camp director, I didn’t even go to summer camp (save for one week of day camp one year when I was nine or ten), so how can I be expected to come up with dozens and dozens (and dozens) of activities designed to keep these kids busy all day?

And speaking of work, I’m a work-at-home mom. I have enough trouble trying to squeeze in my assignments when they are out of the house for seven hours at a time, much less when they are underfoot. But I have to work, because you know what else I don’t like about summer vacation? It costs a lot of money! Sure, there are lots of free or inexpensive things to do, but there are many activities that aren’t so much with the cheap. And even if we stayed home all day, summer just seems to cost more — we eat more food and use more electricity and water and just spend more money. It makes me crazy (and worried).

So yes, summer vacation was approaching and I was pretty grumpy about it.

And then June 25 dawned and our family summer fun began. I’m happy to report that I was completely wrong.

We went to amusement parks, the aquarium, the beach, the zoo and the public pool. Spent a few nights in a hotel or two. Saw lots of fireworks, a magic show and a baseball game. Cheered on the brave knights at Medieval Times. Celebrated the birth of a new cousin. Spent countless hours going for walks and bike rides and at swinging and sliding at the playground. We even survived a hurricane!

But it wasn’t even the activities that made summer so lovely. We’ve just had a great time, spending time together, laughing and making memories. I feel closer to my kids than ever before. They feel it too.

“Mom, this was the best summer vacation ever,” C. told me today. “Thank you.” All I could do was hug him back, the tears welling up in my eyes. How could I have been so mistaken about something so wonderful?

And now, as September 7 inches closer and closer on the calendar, the pit in my stomach is growing deeper and deeper.

How long until their first vacation?

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