The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

July 15, 2013

Fun Summer Activities for Parents and Kids


Monday, July 15, 2013 — (StatePoint) School’s out and parents are in search of great summer activities to do with their kids. With seemingly endless hours to fill, finding enough fun and practical ideas to entertain kids can seem hard.

From outdoor physical activities to indoor crafts and fun with food, there are countless summer family activities for kids.

Try these options the next time you’re looking for something to do:

Fun with Food

Kids love pasta. It comes in various shapes, sizes and colors, plus it’s easy to make and good to eat. In her new kids cookbook 'Noodlemania!', Melissa Barlow serves up 50 imaginative recipes for adults and kids to prepare together. Barlow’s book includes pasta recipes for hot and cold main dishes, salads and even desserts.

'Noodlemania!' also includes interesting math facts, cooking tips, colorful photos and fun pasta trivia to keep kids learning while whipping up their playful pasta creations.

Try this Little Ladybug Salad recipe with your kids:

• 2 cups mini penne

• 1 container cherry or grape tomatoes

• 1 can sliced black olives, drained

• 3/4 cups mini pepperoni

• 3/4 to 1 cup Bernstein's Cheese Fantastico salad dressing

• 2 whole olives, cut in half

Cook the pasta; drain and rinse with cold water and then let cool completely.

Wash the tomatoes and then set three of the biggest and most oblong-shaped tomatoes aside. Cut the rest in half or quarters.  

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the cut tomatoes. Add the drained sliced olives, keeping several slices out with the reserved tomatoes. Stir in the mini pepperoni. Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Scavenger Hunt

Children enjoy hunting for hidden treasure. A scavenger hunt gives them a chance to explore, get some exercise and think creatively. Select some common things for your kids to find -- playing cards, pinecones, or shiny rocks -- and hide them around the house and yard.

Compile a list and give point values to each item -- the harder the hiding spot, the more points it’s worth. Have children take bags and start hunting! Once time is up, check the found items and add the points.

Knock, Knock

Encourage your young jokesters to spend the afternoon crafting some unique stand-up routines. To create an authentic comedy-club feel, find a brick wall to use as a backdrop, lend your kids your loudest sports coats and punch up their punch lines with your best ba-dum-TSH.

A child who doesn’t want to tell jokes can be the emcee, introducing the performers and encouraging the crowd to enjoy the show.

For a free sampler of summertime activities, recipes and crafts for parents and kids visit

With a little imagination, even the most boring day can quickly turn memorable!




PHOTO SOURCE: © nyul -