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Six Ways to Bond with the Family this Summer

Sue Riedl

Sue Riedl

Your family:

Trained chef and food journalist

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Summer makes family time easy. With no winter clothes to struggle with you can be out of the house in minutes. Family play will help you bond, get siblings cooperating and create stories to share and laugh about over dinner. When you’re back for a break you want snacks that are quick and easy to eat, like pre-cut veggies, fresh fruit and individual yogurts.

Backyard sports:
Even a small yard or a narrow driveway can have a basketball net, room to kick the soccer ball around (designate goal posts with paint cans) or a net set-up for badminton and volleyball. It can be fun to have a chalkboard in the garage and keep a tally of your success all summer. Losers buy the ice cream?

Water Balloon Tag:
No matter how old (or young) you are everyone will love filling a bucket of water balloons.  Then you can play a soggy game of tag, with the person who is “it” tossing the balloons trying to break them on other players (keep it below the belt).

Family Olympics:
Organize a weekend day to host a “Family Olympics”. Each person can be responsible for one event (or more). You can include anything from a beanbag toss, relay race and long jump to races in your local pool. End the day with a BBQ awards ceremony (or campfire if camping) and everyone can brag about their achievements.

You might think of hopscotch as schoolyard game but it dates back to the 17th century and is actually an excellent challenge of speed, balance, accuracy and agility. Use sidewalk chalk and get creative—make the longest hopscotch game ever—or the most winding. See who in the family can be the most inventive.

Sandcastle Contest:
Head down to the public beach and build sandcastles. Inspire yourselves by checking out sandcastle contests on the Internet (you’ll be amazed at the sophistication) and see what your family can come up with as a team. Make sure to take a picture when someone steps backwards and wipes out a tower.

Bubble Challenge
This Summer, Danino Go bottles come with a wand that can be used to make delicate, beautiful bubbles. Transform the empty containers into an inexpensive activity for the whole summer. Sit on the porch trying to see who can make the biggest bubble, the most bubbles or just see whose bubbles travel the farthest.

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