From the June issue’s Letter from the Editor (that’s me)

Posted on June 24, 2008

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The May grays have given way to June Gloom but I can’t complain. The sun always comes out eventually. And then all is right with the world. It’s hard not to be cheerful in Southern California. Where we live, the sea breeze keeps the temperatures low and so even with the summer heat, we can keep cool. Yup, even with the kids out of school – there are countless parks to visit and of course, the beach.

This summer I’ve signed the kids up for classes here and there to keep them busy, to provide enrichment so that they can exercise their brains and of course, to make friends and have fun. However, I’ve left plenty of downtime in their schedules, days when there is no class, formal play date or agenda planned – just idle days to chill out and do whatever comes to mind. Kids need this free time (heck, adults would probably benefit from some down time, too!)

With the high cost of gas these days, I’ve being prudent about where we’ll be taking our trips – I haven’t even bought any amusement park passes (too expensive!) – and what activities we will be doing. Here’s a rundown of some fun free things you can do

* Sign up for Your Library’s Summer Reading Program

Catch the reading bug and participate in your local library’s many activities for the summer. There are prize incentives for readers who sign up for the program as well as shows and other events at the library. Best of all, it’s FREE!

* Host a Play date

Invite a couple of your child’s school friends for a summer class reunion! Keep it simple with a few toys and games, and perhaps a healthy snack. Your kids will be happy enough just seeing their friends and they can come up with fun things to occupy their time. Vary your play date venues, maybe even alternate with your kids’ friends’ parents – go to the park, the library, or even the mall – you don’t have to do anything fancy or spend on anything, trust me, the kids will be happy just hanging out with their friends.

* Start a Mommy Camp

Okay, this is one thing some parents and I are still in the process of developing. Basically, we are trying to come up with themed play dates and having each parent/family host one theme. For example, I will host a science experiment play date while another mom will host an arts and crafts play date.

* Park it!

Hooray for public parks, open space and if you’re lucky – a public water park. Also check with your local recreation department regarding free swim days at your community pool.

Well that’s all for now. Have a fun summer! Stay cool.

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