This is the official first day of summer (is anyone else tired of explaining to their kids that it isn’t quite summer yet after June 1? can’t we just align the seasons to the calendar already??) — and the biggest item on our family’s summer checklist: eat outdoors. We may have to string some bug netting around the yard to do so (grr mosquitoes!), but picnics by the river, dinner in the backyard, fresh berries on the farm and cook-outs are definitely in order.
Yesterday when I arrived to pick the boy up from school, he was busy making a popsicle with black and red blocks. “Strawberry and burnt marshmallow” flavor, he explained. I realized he’s never roasted marshmallows before, and started trying to explain the concept of s’mores to him. (And mentally added s’mores roasting to our weekend agenda!)
And if you need more ideas of things to do outdoors this summer, here are two:
The Great American Backyard Campout is this Saturday, June 25 — sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and REI. Visit their website for events near you or just camping tips you can use this summer. … Speaking of REI, when we stopped in to buy our summer sandals, I was delighted to find this nifty — and free — Kids’ Adventure Journal to help little ones document their summer adventures. (And spur them off the computer and out doors!) If you don’t have an REI store near you, you can download the journal from their website.
KaBOOM is launching a Park-a-Day challenge — asking parents and kids to visit as many parks as they can this summer. Why? To get your kids active, of course, but also to find new playspaces in your neighborhood while helping KaBOOM create a map of parks and playgrounds and highlight areas where playspaces are lacking or in need of improvement. Visit their website to find a playspace or submit your reviews.
The foodie tot is already getting excited about this. “Will we go to a playground we’ve never been to before?” he asked eagerly. (And yesterday, “Can we go to a swimming pool we’ve never been to before?” Why not!)
Stay tuned for some Foodie Tots’ picnic-friendly recipes. In the meantime, what’s your favorite thing to eat outdoors?