So the kids are home from camp? Want to make sure their minds don’t turn to mush this Summer? Here are some ideas for Summer fun.

Create Your Own Escape Room

My kids love escape rooms, but it is not often that I find an age-appropriate escape room, where my kids can help me solve most of the clues. Most instances include myself and/or the other adults in our crew solving trigonometry type problems while the kids get frustrated that it takes hella long to figure out:

So C = 180° − 76° − 34° = 70°!

Anyway, I had the idea that I would create escape rooms for my girls. Eventually, each of us began to develop an escape room for one another to decode. This activity gets us through an afternoon, thanks to the time it takes each of us to plan, organize, and escape each room. My babies come up with excellent clues like, behind the stone ladies’ crown hides the key, once you find multiply 10 x 3 and pace yourself with glee. My girls get pretty creative with their clues and have now decided to stage their rooms complete with music. Yeah, I am one proud momma!

Art Museum Storytime

Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, Flirtation. Courtesy of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

When I was in undergrad, one of my favorite things to do was to visit an art museum, find a piece of narrative art and create a story inspired by its depicted scene. Now, I take my kids to the art museum and walk our favorite galleries until we find our inspirations. First, I snap a photo (if permitted) once resting we write or verbally make up some pretty funny stories. My oldest daughter has upped the ante and recreates/draws the piece that inspired her creative story. Some of my favorite galleries for narrative arts are the Getty, Denver Art Museum’s Berger Gallery, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Deering Gallery.  Plus I am excited about the opening of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts!

An Evening Stroll

There are times I walk in the house from work and find my kids crazy from a day of under or over stimulation.  In these instances, I ask myself, “are we gonna make it through dinner without one of us in tears or screaming at one another?” If ever I answer no, dinner is either being ordered or momma is warming leftovers. In the meantime, we grab our water bottles, and walk and talk about our days. It is during this time that my girls love hearing stories about when momma grew up-you know the old days of talking on a phone attached to the kitchen wall! The walk might start rocky but it ends smooth with hungry bellies, tired bodies, and a family reconnected, plus if I time it properly – dinner is at the door!

MavenMomma with her little Cali kids

Running in Circles (Bubble Fun)

My secret weapon for an impromptu party with my 7 and 9 year-olds are bubbles. When an evening walk is not the best option, I turn on some music and head outdoors with a bubble wand in hand. My daughters run around like banshees; screaming and grabbing bubbles. It is one of the most adorable reminders and ways we embrace childhood.

Life simple pleasures.

Dinner with Friends

It takes a village and sometimes the village needs to come together to feed the children. Typically on weekends, a friend will text, and we will spontaneously end up at a park with pizza feeding our kids or all coming together for an early evening potluck and play date with kids. These dinners are always a welcome reminder that we are not alone in the parent ‘hood.

Harvest and Cooking

One of our favorite Autumn activities is a farm visit to pick fruit and veggies.  Then the girls and I bake or cook with the ingredients we harvest.  

harvest picking
A family tradition since my daughters were lil bitty girls.
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