School either has started for you, or will start soon. In the Imagine Toy Company office, we are looking forward to three weeks of summer vacay before school starts again. If you’re in our boat, you have probably started the earlier bedtimes and more scheduled days to help kids adjust to the school schedule. That doesn’t mean that you can’t squeeze all the joy out of what’s left of summer like the last drops from your favorite bottle of wine.
The end of summer is a great time for fresh fruit. Peaches and blueberries are in season in the northern part of the US, and in the south, more tropical fruits like Grapefruit, pineapple, and navel oranges are in season. Take a trip to an orchard or farm and spend an hour or two picking fresh fruit. After collecting your fruit, you can make pies together, desserts, can, or freeze the fruit to eat all winter.
You can easily make an afternoon of picking fruit, many orchards have other activities, like hay rides and zip lines that you can do before or after picking the fruit. You can also bring a picnic and eat in the country while you are there. If you decide to cook with it, use that time to cook together, and definitely eat as much fresh, delicious fruit as you can.
Watch the Stars
Soon, it will be too cold for many of us to relax outside at night, or bedtimes too early. The end of August is a great time to go out at night and turn your eyes toward the heavens. Go camping or just hang out in the backyard. Lay down some blankets and cuddle up and look for shooting stars. Make as many wishes as you can! Look up the constellations that you can see from your house, and see if you can spot them with the kids. Make sure to bring out bug spray, the mosquitos aren’t gone yet. If you start early enough you can roast some marshmallows before the lightshow begins, but let the fire die down before the stars come out to see better.
The quietness of looking at the stars is a great time to talk with your family about wishes, plans, and thoughts about the upcoming school year. This is a perfect time for peace and togetherness before the madness of the school year sets in.
Go to the Woods
It starts slow, but the change from summer to fall is already close. Go for walks in the woods and see if you can notice any differences in the way birds, animals, and flora look or behave. Take pictures and see if you can find any leaves starting to change color. Collect a couple fallen leaves and make etchings at home or use them to make stained ‘glass’.
To make leaf etchings, you will need freshly fallen leaves that are somewhat flat, plain white paper, and crayons. Collect your leaves on the nature walk and bring them home. Arrange one or more on a piece of plain white paper and cover with another sheet of paper. Try to keep the leaves from sliding around while you color over them with the long side of a peeled crayon. Make sure to place the leaves vein side up to get the best picture. Hang them up for beautiful autumn decorations.
To make the stained ‘glass’, you will need wax paper, colorful leaves, and pieces of broken crayons. Tear off a piece of wax paper and arrange a leaf or leaves on it. Smash the crayon pieces into pea sized pieces and scatter a few with the leaves. When you are ready, take another sheet of wax paper and put it on top and iron until the crayons have melted and the edges are sealed. Make sure you aren’t using steam.
Have Late Summer Family Fun Before School Starts
Make the most of the end of summer with your family by having outdoor adventures before it is too cold.