When Mother Nature Rains on Your Summer Fun

campoutHundreds of towns and cities throughout the south are cancelling or postponing their Fourth of July festivities due to massive storms slamming into the region.  Torrential rains have turned the area into a soggy mess forcing parents to scramble to salvage their family’s mid-summer plans.

If Mother Nature rains on your parade, cook-out, party or other outdoor activity this season, consider keeping your kids entertained inside with these summer-themed projects:

Campfire Prints:  Have kids use crayons, markers or colored pencils to draw a large circle on a piece of paper.  Next, have them glue gemstones on the circle to mimic a stone fire ring.  Then, have your children cover their hands with red, yellow and orange paint.  Guide their hands over the fire ring, and then have them stamp their handprints on the paper to form the campfire’s flames.  If you are worried about the mess, use adhesive dots instead of craft glue for the gems and ditch the paint for colored construction paper.  Simply trace your child’s hands on red, yellow and orange construction paper, and then have them cut-out the finger flames and glue them to the paper featuring the fire pit.

Indoor Balloon Battle:  Blow up one balloon for each child.  Tie an 18-inch piece of string to the balloon and tie the other end to the back of your child’s pants.  On the count of three, have the kids try to pop another player’s balloon without letting their own get popped.  Popping can only be done with the hands, though players cannot touch their own balloon with their hands.  When a player’s balloon pops he must leave the play area.  The last player with an unpopped balloon wins the game.

Kicked-Up Smores:  Don’t let the rain drown out your smores-making fun.  Rather, move the party inside and let kids roast flavored marshmallows on a gas burner or a small charcoal grill set-up in the entryway of a garage.  To add more flavor to the traditional campfire snack, use shortbread cookies instead of graham crackers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups rather than plain chocolate.  Then, really kick it up by having kids dip their smores into bowls of coconut, chopped nuts, toffee bits or sprinkles for added fun.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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