This is the magical week when alarms are not set, lunches are not made and kids get to sleep late before the summer schedule of camps and sports kick in. This bucolic, lazy time lasts about 15 minutes, and somewhere around lunch on Day Two, every parent hears the first utterance of the summertime mantra: “I’m Bored”. My first response is to produce a to-do list that includes everything from cleaning the chimney to re-grouting the tubs but considering the youngest can’t operate heavy machinery yet, I instead have to get creative. First, what is free, cheap or bargain basement, and what is within walking or babysitter-driving distance?
My first thought is always to send my kids on a forced march to the public library. If they don’t have a library card, this is the week to get one – libraries today have everything from DVD’s to Yoga classes, lots to offer! Check out the Summer Reading Kick Off at the Roswell branch in Atlanta, including a visit from the Roswell Fired Department. Summer Reading Kick-off with the Roswell Fire Department . And in Savannah they’re making a Splash about reading ..check out their cute animated YouTube: http://www.liveoakpl.org/top-story/summer-reading-2009-be-creativ.php. And the College Park library in Atlanta is loaded for bear: food from the Waffle House, Smoothie King and a visit from Doggie Pals, Atlanta Therapaws therepy dogs. Summer Reading Kick-Off: Special Guests : Doggie Pals (Atlanta Therapaws), Waffle House & Smoothie King!
Want to laugh and cry at the same time? Check out some killer clips from a great PBS fam film, Through a Dogs Eyes ..it chronicles the story of service dogs and the people they serve. Some really beautiful clips for all your “bored” animal lovers at home.
Speaking of dogs, if you love the “Martha Speaks” books and haven’t caught the new animated version, on GPB, then check it out at 3pm daily all summer long (no annoying commercials on GPB!) Then go to Martha Speaks website for some hilarious games with fun sound effects.
If dogs are just too tame for you, get in touch with your wild side and head to Columbus, GA to the Wild Animal Safari. We took a carload of kids and loaded up on the brown bag special: one for us brought from home with lunch in it, and a $3.00 bag of kibble you purchase there to feed the animals. It’s incredible – giraffes, bulls, cows, goats, you name it come up and stick their heads in the window! It’s worth it to pay a little extra to use the cars they offer – zebra-painted vans that can withstand the slobber and drool (that’s the animal’s slobber and drool, by the way.)
So after a safari, what’s for dinner? How about upside down day? That’s when we have breakfast for dinner. Frozen sausage, (easy!) then my favorite, The Popeye Sandwich. You take a piece of bread, plop some butter into a frying pan, cut a perfect hole in the middle of the bread, then drop a raw egg and cook until done. Top it with some sliced bananas and I do believe you have a full-on one-pan meal that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to cook..and since the kids as so bored, put them in charge of cleaning!