Archive for the ‘summer activities’ Tag

11 Ways to Reclaim a Relaxing Summer for Your Family

Summers start with the best intentions. We fantasize about long, peaceful days at the beach building sand castles with our toddlers or playing tennis with our teens. Casting off a busy school year, we’re excited to finally relax the rules. Yes to the ice cream cones with insanely sugary toppings just before bedtime (heck, what bedtime?). Yes to the car keys (so what if it’s three late nights in a row?). Breakfast brownies? Why not? Another TV show? Sure, go ahead. It’s summer vacation, right?

Then, in Week Three, reality sets in: the bedtime routine now takes twice as long, everything has become a negotiation, and those idyllic days at the beach — well, they’ve become the setting of the sunscreen wars. How did these relaxing summer days get so… stressful?

Whether your kids are having a throwback 1970s summer, a Free-Range or a Hovering Helicopter summer, beware of the ever-tempting “summer slide.” The summer slide is the parenting equivalent of the “summer brain drain,” where what we know as parents slides, well, down the drain. In an effort to keep our summer fantasy alive, we sometimes bend our rules just a little too much and then suddenly… SNAP.

Before things get totally out of control, let’s get back to the basics, kindergarten-style — and start digging our way out of this sand pit to avoid getting buried alive. It’s worth reminding ourselves that summer is a break from routine, after all, not a break from parenting.

Here are 11 things you can do now to reclaim your relaxing summer:

1. Stop with all the choices.
Teachers offer “choice” in small doses. They don’t offer a range of snacks and they don’t ask kids if they’d rather go to art class or gym class. Giving too many choices gives up too much control, and teachers know to do that sparingly.

2. Go ahead, disappoint.
You-Get-What-You-Get-And-You-Don’t-Get-Upset. Don’t be afraid to disappoint. Resilience, learning how to bounce back, is a skill that can be taught, but not if we’re smoothing over every conflict just to avoid a momentary tantrum or mommy guilt. We need to learn to live with the short-term discomfort and concentrate on the long-term gain.

3. Sloooow down.
Seeds grow slowly; chicks hatch when they are ready; important things take time. Children and teens don’t understand time — they want what they want when they want it. We too often react by jumping on their timeline. When we contort ourselves to suit their whims, we not only upend our lives, we give away the opportunity to teach them about patience.

4. Stop asking permission, OK?
“Mommy just has to run this quick errand, OK?” Teachers don’t ask permission. Ending declarative sentences with question marks is giving power to a little person who doesn’t actually want it. What children want is the security of limits and parents who know when to say no, even in the summer.

5. Let them clean up.
Overscheduled children don’t have time to clean their rooms or do their chores. Teens with summer jobs and SAT prep are just too busy to pick up their clothes off the floor. In school, if you haven’t cleaned up your mess, then you cannot move on to your next activity. By failing to insist upon this at home, we let our kids control the disorder in our houses and in our lives.

6. Revisit Oz.
The single most exciting thing that happens in kindergarten is that children take their first steps on the way to reading — starting on a yellow brick road that leads to a vast magical world they can now visit on their own. And then we and our kids get busy and forget about the Emerald City because life is too rushed and there is already too much reading assigned at school. Take back Oz; remember how lucky our kids felt when they first decoded the printed page.

7. Circle time.
It’s important to ask our kids about their day, every day. Create your own version of “circle time” at home. Tell the kids about your day, your challenges and triumphs, and ask them about theirs. This becomes even more important with teens, who will know that sharing what they are up to with their parents is just part of the deal.

8. Teachers, not friends or fairy godmothers.
When we try to be our child’s friend, we not only cede authority, we actually cheat them out of a more important relationship. We are there to teach and love and guide, not to grant their every wish.

9. Rest time.
Teachers know the importance of rest. Regular and adequate sleep is essential for kids at every age. Even tweens and teens should have a regular bedtime right up through high school. The end of summer should not be like a bad bout of jet lag, with no one able to get to sleep at night or up in the morning.

10. Mind their manners.
Manners never stop mattering. As parents, we all too often rush, cut corners, forget to be as polite as we could and let our kids get away with the glib manners of the 21st century. Nothing has changed; manners are still magical and it is within our power to teach them.

11. Summer doesn’t equal spoiling.
At every age, kids think getting everything they want will make them happy, and it will be a very long time before they learn this isn’t true. We know the truth, and if we don’t teach this lesson early and often, the unbridled greed inspired by media can soon overwhelm our family’s true values. Days at the beach are a treat. A family vacation is something special. Summer doesn’t have to equal spoiling.

Summer is just a different season, not a different childhood. It can be so easy to confuse the two.

As read on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/11-ways-to-reclaim-a-relaxing-summer-for-your-family_b_5566703.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

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Water Fun in Ann Arbor: Pools, Spraygrounds, & Beaches

There’s nothing like water when it comes to beating the heat and entertaining kids! KidsOutAndAbout provides its extra-special list of great places in and around Ann Arbor – Detroit where kids can splash to their heart’s content.

Buhr Park Outdoor Pool features a six-lane, 25-yard pool with a deep well and a separate zero-depth entry children’s wading pool with interactive play toys. Also 39 acres of rolling hills, picnic areas with grills, a children’s play area, softball diamonds, soccer fields & outdoor tennis courts are features at our park.

Canton Parks: Splash Playground: Cool down at Canton’s Splash Playground located in Heritage Park near Heritage Hideout. Just touch the fire hydrant to start the water fun!

Fuller Park Pool has something for everyone to enjoy, including a waterslide; seven-lane, 50 meter lap pool; shallow area with ramp access; 12 foot deep diving well and plenty of open space and lounge chairs to relax.

H2O Zone Sprayground In Westland: The H20 Zone is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.,Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting).

Independence Lake Park: Spray Zone: Blue Heron Bay is the perfect place to bring your family for some water fun! Whether you are taking a ride on our water slides, eating a delicious lunch at our new concessions building, or running through our many water-spraying structures, you are sure to have a great time.

Indian Springs Spray ‘n’ Play: Children of all ages will enjoy Indian Springs Metropark’s Spray ‘n’ Play. Get soaked in the water spray area, scale a rock-climbing wall or cargo net and explore a maze. Three distinct areas accommodate older children. A toddler area includes a painted labyrinth and sand pit with oversized scoopers for digging. The Spray ‘n’ Play play area is open year round while the water spray area is open Memorial Day to Labor Day 11 am – 7 pm daily.

Island Lake Recreation Area: The park has great canoeing, volley ball courts, picnic shelters, swimming and cabins to rent.

Kensington Metropark: Enjoy a day in the water at Martindale Beach all summer long. Martindale Beach will be open May 24 through Labor Day, from 10 am to 8 pm daily

KLR Splashpad in Oxford: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Noon -7:00 pm

Lake Erie Metropark: Escape the hot days of summer and take a plunge into the “Great Wave” wave action pool at Lake Erie Metropark. Hold steady and practice your balance against three foot waves for hours of fun.

Lake St. Clair Metropark: Swim in Lake St. Clair or at the Olympic-sized swimming pool at Lake St. Clair Metropark. The lake waters and 50-meter pool with waterslides and a diving well are the perfect places to cool off and enjoy a warm day. The pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and the lake is open from May 1 to September 30. A beach shop and food concessions are conveniently located nearby.

City of Livonia Aquatics: Outdoor Splash Pad – Open June – Labor Day, The City of Livonia has two fifty-meter outdoor pools and one twenty-five meter outdoor pool. They all offer lessons, open swimming, pool rentals for parties, swim passes and special events. Outdoor Summer Swim Lesson Registration starts Mid-May.

Mack Indoor Pool is the city’s only indoor public pool and offers a variety of programs and opportunities for every swimmer. Our six-lane, 25-yard main pool has an attached 30 by 42 foot children’s tot pool. A ramp leading into the pool provides for easy accessibility. Our heated indoor pool allows you to swim, even if the weather is not “summer like,” while our huge windows let in the sunshine.

Macomb Township Aquatic Center: 2 pools with water slide, a lazy river, and other water features

Mt. Elliott Park Water Feature on the Riverfront: universally accessible water feature with cascading waterfalls, water cannons and shooting bubblers, paved pathways stamped with animal prints, fishing outlooks, lush landscaping, restrooms, a security station and numerous seating options, Mt. Elliott Park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, water feature runs from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day

Splash at Palmer Park: OPEN: 10 am – 8 pm every day, FREE to the public; parking at the Splash Park lot in Palmer Park, (former swimming pool lot) on Merrill Plaisance between 6 and 7 Mile Roads,west of Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48203

Plymouth Sprayscape: If you’re looking for a place to cool off this summer venture out to Township Park and take a run through our Sprayscape! Township Park is located at 46640 Ann Arbor Trail, just east of Beck Road.The Sprayscape includes approximately 2600 square foot of space with 24 spray features including: Water Cannons, Horse Charger, Froggy-O, Daisy Mae, Water O’s, 12 ground sprays. The Sprayscape is designed to accommodate all ages and is available at no cost!

Red Oaks Waterpark: Kids enjoy the Soak Station, children’s water playground with 68 features, including water jets, curtains and slides, plus bubbler jets and a six-foot tipping bucket; must be 56″ or shorter and be accompanied by an adult. Or the Spray & Play, a water play area for toddlers, with 15 water jets and bubblers at zero depth.

Rolling Hills Water Park: With so many attractions, we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy – Float down the lazy river, catch a wave in the wave pool, or take a trip down one of our awesome water slides! The Activity Pool is popular with younger children due to its zero-depth entry, gentle bubbler, geysers, a waterfall and a kiddy slide for children under 45″ tall. Relax in the chaise lounges and sand chairs on an extensive sun deck located throughout the waterpark and natural shade or shade umbrellas in several grassy areas surrounding the deck.

Stony Creek Metropark: Enjoy a summer day in the water at Baypoint and Eastwood Beaches at Stony Creek Metropark. Beaches are open 10 am to 8 pm throughout the summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Comfort stations, food bars and first aid facilities are available. Fires, alcohol and glass containers are not permitted at the beaches.

Veterans Memorial Park Outdoor Pool features a fan-shaped zero-depth area with a “raindrop,” interactive water play apparatus, a handicap access ramp and a 125 foot waterslide. Minimum height requirement for use of the slide is 42 inches. We offer lounge chairs, picnic area, grills, tennis courts and a shaded deck area.

Warren Indoor Water Park: At the Warren Community Center, 5460 Arden (South of 14 Mile Road, west of Mound Road) 586.268.8400

Wayne County Family Aquatic Center: The Wayne County Family Aquatic Center opened originally in 1998, located at 12600 Chandler Park Dr. Detroit, Michigan 48213. We are located inside the City of Detroit’s Chandler Park 1/2 mile south of the Conner Exit (Exit 220B off I-94).

Willow Metropark: Cool off at the swimming pool: glide down the family slide, play a game of water basketball or just soak in the shallow area while your kids run through the water.

Do you know all your Local Library has to offer?

Libraries are often overlooked as places that can provide free or low-cost entertainment in the community. Here are 5 things you may, or may not, know about the Plymouth and Canton Libraries:

1. Need to brush up on basic computer skills or prepare for college entrance exams? Curious about digital photography or need to learn Powerpoint? Take a computer class. Both Plymouth and Canton libraries offer a wide variety of computer education classes.

2. You can use your library card to print a pass, at your home or at the library, to one of 60 participating museums across the state. The passes will give you either complimentary or reduced admission. Popular museums include Cranbrook Art Museum, the Holocaust Memorial Center and the Detroit Institute of Arts. These passes are available on the Plymouth District Library’s Michigan Activity Passes page

3. Don’t want to spend $10 going to a movie or a few dollars renting from Redbox? Check out the movie selection at the Plymouth and Canton libraries. You might be surprised to see many new releases and classic favorites.

4. Did you know that you can now rent e-books for your Kindle, Nook, iPad or tablet through the library? Both the Plymouth and Canton libraries have extensive e-book catalogs. You can search book titles and more on their websites.

5. Whether you want to join a book club, build Lego fortresses or learn to make bleach or Tye-dye shirts – the library has a class for you. Both libraries have calendars full of events for all ages. Check out what they have to offer and join in the fun.

The Plymouth District Library is open Monday – Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m; Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. The calendar of events can be found here. The Canton Public Library is open Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. The calendar of events can be found here.

As read on: http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/groups/5-things/p/i-can-do-what-at-my-local-library_4cbad421?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001&evar4=picks-3-post&newsRef=true