Laura Nelson

Happiness is. . .

Laura Nelson
. . .unplugged summer fun!  This summer, I experienced one of those magical parenting moments that are few and far between.  While my oldest was on a trip, my two boys and I had hatched a plan.  We found directions for making wooden stilts, gathered the supplies and began our project.  My younger son was not as interested in stilt making but he did like the idea of making a "Cuponk" style game with cups, a board of foam core and some ping pong balls.

We spent part of the day gathering supplies and then headed home to begin construction.  The cup game came together very quickly.  In fact, my boys assembled it all on their own without my help!  They proceeded to spend about an hour playing (relatively) quietly without any aid from me!

It was glorious!  They entertained themselves creatively, without electronics, AND without my interference.  I was able to sit and get some work done in a quiet house while listening to the happy banter between brothers.

I have to admit, moments like those are not common in my house.  My sons are energetic, high-spirited boys.  Playing quietly without the aid of video games, computers or TV is rare for them.  Our goal this summer was to drastically limit their screen time.  We've met with a great deal of success but I've reached the point when the extreme summer temperatures are working against me.  I can't tell them to play outside when it's 108 degrees!  The pool isn't even fun anymore.  Bath water temperatures are better than nothing but they are far from refreshing.

We have had to resort to movies with some Wii Fit thrown in to get moving.  One fun thing we've been doing a lot this summer is playing some card games I got on a trip early in the summer.  They're put out by Gamewright and they're a ton of fun.  We have been playing Zeus on the Loose and Frog Juice.  Both games are educational but, don't tell my kids!  They just think they're fun.

So what do you do to keep your family happy and unplugged in the heat of the summer?

Stay cool!
Laura