Real summertime is here! Not to be mistaken in south Texas with the early arrival of hot days in early spring. School is out and now the real summer begins.
With tots, summertime can feel just like the rest of the year, free-form days of following the child. As the kids have grown, so have their interests, and so we find the summer camps and fun activities that fit the ideal summer plan.
This year I’ve certainly felt a great pull of nostalgia as I recall my own summers as a child and moments and flavors that stand out. We had a plastic Snoopy snow cone maker with a crank that we used all day, every day as kids.
Now we find ourselves looking for those same experiences and tastes of summertime — in hopes that our kids can experience them, too.
Here are some elements that we’ve added to make it a nostalgic summer.
- Daily Journaling: Each of our children has a summer journal in which we’re encouraging them to write about their day. This will not only encourage daily writing (win!) but also give them a treasure to remember the details and continue to build their own voice.
- Snow Cone Maker: We found a deal at Wal-Mart with this machine for under $20 and it works pretty well. The ice is so fluffy and each cup takes under a minute to prepare. That coupled with some simple flavor syrup, lemonade or fruit punch and the kids have a sweet, cool treat for any of our myriad hot days of summer.
- Summer Camps and Activities: We’ve found a number of city events, educational summer camps, and other activities locally through our summer camp guide that fit our kids’ ages and interests. We’re also finally at that point where a family spreadsheet is involved as we’re both working parents with different schedules. Our favorites are through IMAS, City of McAllen, and STC and the summer schedule will continue to evolve.
- Ice Cream Machine: The final piece of nostalgia that the whole family is happy about is the ice cream machine. We found one that was under $30 and works splendidly. It takes more time and ingredients than the snow cone machine, but the added time and effort are well worth it.