Every summer I like to buy an assortment of fun things and little treats. (Buying things: it’s how I cope.)
Our first treat this summer was a selection of Hostess items (Twinkies, cupcakes, Sno-balls, a fruit pie) for cultural literacy. (Verdict: no one liked them as much as they’d expected to, but it was fun to do/try.) We also tried the York Peppermint Patty ice cream bars (verdict: pretty good) and the Reese’s Cup ice cream bars (verdict: two kids didn’t finish theirs and the others thought they were fine; I thought they were VERY YUM and I gladly ate the ones the two kids didn’t finish).
Then I bought the game Scrambled States (photo from Amazon.com). William got an “area of concern” marking in U.S. geography this past year, so he and I are working together on our geography dislike/difficulty. (My grandfather was a cartographer. You can imagine the pain he felt when, for example, he would ask me if I knew where Egypt was. Me: “Let’s see. It’s not in North America or, like, near England. …Wait. Right?”) We’ve been playing the game for a couple of weeks, and it’s a really good one. It’s marked “8+” and it’s definitely perfect for Rob and William (and, er, me), but it’s easy enough that the 7-year-old twins can play it with us too as long as I keep reassuring them that the rest of us have already LEARNED our states (…theoretically) so of COURSE we’re better at it.
Then a jump rope (photo from Amazon.com). Well, TWO jump ropes, because when I bought the one Elizabeth had asked for, Edward wanted to know why I hadn’t gotten one for him. …Well, THREE jump ropes, because then one of the kids left a jump rope in the driveway and I ran over the handle.
Last week I ran into some neighbors at the store and they heartily recommended Skip-bo (photo from Amazon.com) as a game parents could play with children without wishing for sweet, sweet death (see: Candyland). I bought it on the spot, at that very store. Upsides: I can play it with all five children at once (it’s for 2-6 players); even 5-year-old Henry can play with some assistance, and I notice it’s helping him with numbers (sequencing and figuring out how many more cards he needs to make five). Downsides: With six players, everyone was bored waiting for turns, and we barely finished stacks in time to refill the draw pile. A four-, three-, or two-player match works much better—which is fine, because it turns out that playing a game with all five children is not ideal for my sanity anyway.
Every summer for the last few years I’ve bought a new kid album for the car: we spend kind of a lot of time driving to and fro. This year I got The Yellow Album (photo from Amazon.com), from SpongeBob SquarePants. It’s better than I’d expected.
I asked the kids if they could think of anything else fun we’d gotten this summer, and William said “THE CAT!” Okay, we didn’t on purpose get him as a summer treat, but he HAS worked out that way: there’s been lots of cooing over the cat, and playing with him, and watching him. Big success, A+++++ would recommend.
Have you bought any summer treatish things? There is still a lot of summer left.