One of my dearest friends has a wonderful family motto: Use what you've got, do what you know. Well, I've got two kids, another rainy day and it's summer. We have some unavoidable, unpleasant expenses we need to take care of so the challenge for me it to give my kids a great day with little or no expense involved. To add to the challenge, my children are six years apart so I've got to make it fun for both.
I bet there's tons of parents everywhere who have the same thing happening, too. It doesn't help that many of us are surrounded by people acting as if the only fun that matters is the fun that costs you a fortune. Well I say, HA! Watch and learn, people, watch and learn.
**1** The dining room table is cleared off for painting and/or Lego projects. Knowing my kids, it will look like some war zone city with Clone Troopers everywhere positioned to do battle.
**2** The box of brownies is waiting on the counter. The little one loves mixing the stuff up and the big one loves eating them. Win-Win.
**3** Books are on the ready. Even the oldest likes taking turns reading from the books the little one likes. I don't care who you are, Junie B. Jones and Diary of a Wimpy Kid is just funny.
**4** And, the video games are ready, too. There' nothing funnier than beating the stuffing out of your mama because she can't figure out how to use the controller. Yes, I will throw down my pride and let my kids make a mockery of my lack of techincal skill.
**5** That's not a jump rope. That is a lake of poisonous fish. Or a lava pit that must be avoided at all costs. Or it's The Lasso of Death.
**6** Picnic under the dining room table in half an hour. Don't be late. It's not really a table anymore. Now it is the dark and scary dungeon where we prisoners must eat our rations and then escape. Because we've got a Lego creation to build on top of the dungeron/table.
**7** It's also Love Your Neighbor Day. We're going to get our umbrella, grab some of the brownies and take them to our neighbor who has been so sad since becoming a widow. The brownies won't make things better, but maybe she'll smile seeing three soaking wet, but smiling faces. And we'll smile because we like playing in the rain. Another Win-Win.
**8** I think it's the perfect day for the kids to fix me lunch. Sure, it will probably be something like a peanut butter sandwich and cookies but, who cares? My second grader thinks this is the funnest thing to do.
If the weather clears up enough, there's a free movie at the library. We also have coupons for free smoothies at a local shop.
I think I've got the day covered but if not, I'll just look into my trusty little Summer Folder which is filled with freebies, calendars, coupons, etc. It totally pays to be just a little prepared for days like this when you're trapped due to bad weather. And if I run out of ideas, then I'll open the floor to the kids and see what they come up with.
I love summer!