It's not quite officially summer, yet. But, I've already been stocking up on a few summer essentials, as I've bumped into them on sale in the various stores around town. And this year, I've stumbled onto a great way of storing and presenting them, that has really sparked some summer excitement for the whole family (from the teens on down) by taking the whole lot...
...and packing it up into a spare box (a plastic tote might be even better - but then, there's just something magical about an Amazon box), and placing it on the floor of a closet. That way, when it's time to head outside on those long summer days, or when neighbor kids come knocking, or we head to the park with friends...but run out of things to do...there's plenty of little items to spark creativity, already on hand, and ready to go.
To begin with I've loaded the box with the basic essentials (a relative term, at best):
- bubbles (they come in so many different types and varieties, a person could create an entire "box of bubbles" if they wanted)
- a few squirt guns
- a couple of jump ropes (to be joined later by a frisbee, or any small, portable, outdoor sporting type equipment)
- sidewalk chalk
- water balloons
- a beach ball
- sun screen
- mosquito repelling bracelets (this summer the insects are not going to be an excuse to stay inside)
- and a couple of craft/baking kits (for those rainy days)
I still have hopes of adding a summer reading list (I'd like to stock up on books relating to the movies coming out in the theaters or on DVD, this summer), some geocaching supplies (for the teens), and maybe some sketch books, and field guides (along with insect jars or binoculars, or whatever goes along with the guide), and a science kit or two. At any rate, I'll try to keep it fresh, with a few surprises thrown in throughout the summer to supplement the basics of bubbles and chalk.
Really, it's not so much what's in the box, as it's the idea that there is a box...just waiting to be rummaged through.
Now, I just have to stock up the freezer with popsicles, and ice (for beat the heat art, science, and engineering fun) , turn on the sprinklers, and wait for summer to arrive.