Family Fun in Your Own Backyard
by Kimberly Blaker | Contributor
It’s the season your kids have been waiting for, so how will you maximize the long lazy days of summer with your family? Celebrate the carefree season to its fullest with these outdoor activities and adventures your whole family will enjoy – right in your own backyard.
Under the stars
Take full advantage of the peaceful summer nights and campout in your backyard. Kick off the evening by watching the sun set, then build a bonfire (in a fire pit), roast marshmallows, and gaze at the stars. Bring out your guide to the stars and see what you can spot: the Little Dipper, Hercules, or Sagittarius.
Set up this classic outdoor game that the whole family can play. Then hold a summer’s end family croquet match. Give handicaps to each family member based on their most recent scores for a game that’s fair to all.
Up, up and away
Is the wind hampering your fun? It won’t be for long. Make the most of that breeze, and get your kite up in the air.
Step right up
Organize a backyard carnival to raise funds for your favorite charity. The whole family will have a ball putting on this event. Hang posters in local businesses, and submit a press release to your local radio station and newspaper. Ask friends and neighbors to help man the booths, and set up games such as a bean bag toss or number wheel, a baked goods stand, fortune telling, face painting, and refreshments.
Make summer gardening a family affair. Ask each member to choose a favorite vegetable to plant. If you’re getting a late start, look for starter plants that have already sprouted. Work together to get the garden ready and plant it, then give each person his or her own responsibility for keeping it up: watering, pulling weeds, picking ripe produce, and preparing the vegetables to eat or store.
HEAR HOW INDUSTRIOUS COLLEGE KIDS ARE SPENDING THEIR SUMMER
as told to Savannah Peer | Contributor
Bethany Powell, TWU Student, Senior
English Major /Education Minor
“This summer, I’m going to be working as a part-time library assistant for North Central Texas College and as a part-time student assistant for TWU’s Financial Aid Department. My experience with working while I’ve been in college has been that I usually am too busy to spend the money that I earn. I do have regular bills that I pay, but I usually end up saving about 40-50% of my earnings every two months.”
Caitlyn Fahey, Texas A&M Student, Senior
Communication and English Major
“Right now my plans are to finish my last class during the summer I session, and I graduate in August. I have an interview on Wednesday for an online marketing firm and will hopefully be working for them this summer. If not, I also work for International Studies Abroad as a Global Ambassador who promotes their programs on the Texas A&M campus. As a Communication and English double major I hope to get work experience that will help me get a job after graduation.”
Shelby Ball, Baylor Student, Junior
“This summer is going to be a busy one for me. During the first half, I will be going on a six-week field camp for my degree. We will travel all over the western and mid-western parts of the country examining different geological environments and learning how to draft, map, and recognize formations. During the second half, I will be doing a volunteer internship with the National Weather Service in the River Forecast Center.”
Jessica Serna, UTD Student, Junior
“I am an Eagle Scholar Intern, and I will be working at a local school teaching photography and helping 7-12th grade kids prepare for college through project-based learning.”
Zachary Helmberger, UTD Student, Senior
Mechanical Engineering Major
“Since this is my senior year, I will be graduating in May with my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. I plan on traveling during the beginning of the summer to take a little bit of time off between school and work. Starting at the end of June, I will be working full time at L-3 communications in Greenville, Texas. L-3 is a defense contractor for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.”
Abrielle Cuccia, UNT Student, Junior
Behavior Analysis Major
“I will be working at Gateway Church and as a children’s worker. As a children’s worker, I go up on stage and emcee. I play games with the kids and even teach them some nights.”
Tomás Rangel, Collin College Student, Sophomore
“For the summer, I will be working with a real estate company that works on flipping homes and selling them for profit. With the money that I make flipping homes, I will invest the money in the stock market. Then late in the summer, I will be traveling to Jamaica.”