Ahh, Summertime!

Summer fun

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I have loved summer since I was a kid. Back then, summer was for playing outside, attending special church camps and events, vacationing, working in our garden, staying up late, laboring on our farm, and playing baseball.

My kids don’t have quite the same agenda, but there is still lots of playing, staying up late, church events, vacation, and baseball.

Pick up our July issue of ParentLife this Sunday and see all the great content about summer for families.

  • Moving or preparing a child to enter school for the first time? Check out Kristen White’s “Smooth Moves” (pp. 36-37).
  • Planning to spend lots of time outdoors? Then don’t forget these summer safety tips in “Super Summer Outdoor Safety” (pp. 24-25).
  • Looking for great summer activities? Dig in to “Create and Play” (pp. 30-31) and “Fast, Fun, and Free!” (pp. 32-33) for some great summer fun ideas.
  • Wanting a new twist on celebrating Independence Day? See “A Celebration of Heritage” (pp. 42-43) and find ways to celebrate Independence Day and explore history with your kids.
  • Make studying the Bible fun this summer. Check out “The Rizers” (pp. 20-23) to find out how they make Scripture memorization rock for kids (and adults — their catchy tunes will have you jamming to Scripture when you least expect it).

We offer lots of activities to help fill your schedule but let me recommend something often overlooked to supplement your summer fun: nothing. A day full of planned activities doesn’t give kids the opportunity to be bored and use their imaginations. Take some time to do nothing together. In fact, mark it on your schedule so you’re sure to keep your appointment with your kids for a day filled with kid-directed play.
Let us know what fun you are planning this summer!

Photo Source: vastateparksstaff

 

Summer Reading Fun

This summer our boys had summer reading to do for school. To help them stay motivated, we enrolled them in the summer reading program at our county library. Christy and I decided it was only fair that we join the adult summer reading program too! And what a great time we have had reading!

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Jonathan really enjoyed reading one of my personal childhood favorites The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series.

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We have read a bit of everything under the sun to Christopher but now that the start of kindergarten is only about a month away, our reading will turn to some books to get him ready. I can’t wait to hear Christopher’s reaction at the end of First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg.

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Christy has enjoyed reading Karen Kingsbury’s Redemption series.

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I finally finished some books that I have had on the shelf a long time, including The Shack and 90 Minutes in Heaven.

What are some of your favorite books that you have read this summer?

Word Play for Day

Check out this great article and summer fun idea from ParentLife writer and local school counselor, Bill Conger, about musician Roger Day.

music_dream_lil.jpgRoger Day doesn’t have any trouble getting in touch with his inner child. As a children’s performer, the former camp counselor travels the nation entertaining preschool- and elementary-age children with silly songs that he created like "It’s a No-No to Kiss a Rhino!" and "Mosquito Burrito."

"What I love about doing children’s music is that it’s all my own stuff," Day said following a July 9th gig at the Brentwood Library near Nashville, Tennessee. "It’s my own creativity. It’s my own imagination. I’m not doing other people’s music. I think that’s great for kids to see so that they are encouraged to use their imagination too.”

An entertainer on the college circuit, Day never envisioned making a living in the kid’s market. After his wife had the couple’s third child, he became a stay-at-home dad while mom returned to her speech therapist job with special needs children. During those three years, he played a few more college dates, but he felt led to transition to children’s music full-time in the late 90s. "I told everybody I’m going to do kid’s music, and everybody said, ‘Greeeeat! Good luck with that’  because nobody really had an idea of what you could do with it."

His songs are more than goofy ditties that kids sing. It’s also another way of educating them, something he has witnessed personally. "My son, who’s 16, mentioned at the end of school that they were studying ‘The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner’ because in one of my very first songs ‘Reach Up’ I talk about having no time for albatrosses hanging around us. He said that when he studied ‘The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,’ he thought: Albatross! I know what that is! My hope is that kids when they’re taking their SAT will say: ‘I wonder how many chambers there are in a snake heart? Ah, 3. How do I know that? Oh, that Roger Day song talked about it.’ "

To check out more about Roger Day’s music and his touring schedule, visit his Web site www.rogerday.com.

What is the best kid music that you secretly like to listen to?
 

Fireworks Safety

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Each Independence Day, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks — devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. Consider the following facts.

  • The risk of fireworks injury was two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 5-9 or 10-14 as for the general population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
  • In 2006, fireworks caused an estimated 32,600 reported fires, including 1,700 total structure fires, 600 vehicle fires, and 30,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 6 civilian deaths, 70 civilian injuries and $34 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2007, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,800 people for fireworks related injuries; 56 percent of 2007 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 36 percent were to the head.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a member of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by National Fire Protection Association, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

Do you see fireworks displays each year as part of your Independence Day festivities?