Even though my children are only 3 years and 1 year, summer’s approach immediately triggers in my mind the childhood idyllic fantasy of *summer vacation* (the asterisks are meant to imply starry-eyed wistfulness. Yeah, bear with me.) While enjoying a day at the beach with my dear, very pregnant friend Vicki and her 2-year-old, Kailin, we decided the kids were old enough for a backyard campout. We must be some kind of child-entertainment geniuses, because I just received an email from party-planner-extraordinaire Lisa Kothari, (author of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs… What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties) assuring me that such an event will “turn a hum-drum night into a night of spectacular fun.” OK, I’m sold!
According to her book, she recommends:
Let the kids sleep outdoors in a tent overnight. Play flashlight tag, get a telescope and gaze at the stars, make tie-dyed t-shirts, or blow bubbles and shine your flashlights on them.
Do we still get points if our husbands do the actual outdoor sleeping alongside our little ones? The woman is due in July, after all. She can’t be expected to fit in a sleeping bag, much less have to traipse inside 8 times a night to pee.
I like this next tip from Kothari; My kid gets to play with dirt, and I get homegrown strawberries in a few months. Win-win.
Have fun with strawberries. Buy mini strawberry seeds and little terracotta pots. Have the kids decorate the pots and then plant the seeds. For a strawberry relay race, put strawberries on spoons and have the kids race up and down a relay path. For drinks,
freeze strawberries in the ice cubes.
You can find more in her new book or online at www.pepperspollywogs.com