Schools Out For Summer…Time for KidVentures


We’ve wrapped up preschool and second (!!) grade successfully, and now we are onto bigger and better things- namely, summer vacation.

We have day camp happening, we have friends visiting, I have a fortieth birthday celebration weekend (or three) in the works, and we are heading to the Smoky Mountains for vacation. However, there are still many, many, many summer days to be filled. This is where KidVentures comes in.

KidVentures is authored by local mama Jen Murray. You may know her as Quatro Mama, as she’s the mom to quad six year old boys (aside- you may have seen her whole family in a recent Conner Prairie television¬†commercial¬†. Jen is a hands-on mama in the best kind of way, and shares some of her families favorite activities in KidVentures.

As I flip through the ebook, I see our summer gently unfolding. There’s coffee can ice cream and there’s jump in a pile of leaves, two things I just need reminding to do. But there’s also build your own zipline for toys and build your own sprinkler– can you even imagine?!?

KidVentures spells out, step by step, material by material, exactly what’s needed for 50 different hands on, power-free activities for kids. There are also accompanying printables, which includes diagrams for more complex projects. There are also a few forms for activities of observation, and a sweet checklist for a camping trip.

When left to their own devices, my kids invent games. Very weird, hilarious games. Maybe this will make it into KidVentures II.
When left to their own devices, my kids invent games. Very weird, hilarious games. Maybe this will make it into KidVentures II.

I think I’m going to have Meg peruse the list and pick a few to try, and have Andrew do the same thing. On days they aren’t at camp, we can pick a few to do, and we won’t be vegetating in front of Mario Kart or Candy Crush or whatever the next obsession will be.

KidVentures is available as an pdf ebook, as well as for Kindle through Amazon. Go check it out, and get your whole family off the couch!

How do you keep your kids engaged in the summer? Do you have rules about electronics and passive activities?

Around the Internet

This past week two fun things happened– I took part in a podcast with my friends Heather Sokol and Lorraine Ball, AND I got to read an advance copy of my friend Judy Miller’s new e-book, What to Expect from your Adopted Tween.

Wednesday, Heather and I invaded the world headquarters of Roundpeg, and had a good chat with Lorraine and Allison Carter about the world of the mom blogger. Joining us was Cami Back, of, and it was a great conversation regarding the changing face of motherhood and how the Internet can be a really useful tool for so many different reasons. Check it out at BlogTalk Radio.

My review of Judy’s book went up on the Open Adoption Examiner this weekend. If you are in any way involved in open adoption, or know someone who is, please read the review and get Judy’s book for yourself. All of those thoughts, fears and questions you’ve thought about yourself? She addresses them with grace, poise and a positive attitude. Adolesence is going to happen to your kid whether you like it or not, you may as well be prepared!

What else happened on the Internet this week?

My friend and cohort at Persephone, Selena, wrote a great piece on how not to talk to infertile people. She had to put a few dollars in the swear jar, but it’s a great post, with fantastic comments to continue the conversation.

Marcie wrote about not being the mom she wants to be– don’t we all feel that way sometimes?

Lori wrote on Gratitude, and it struck me. And it’s striking me now, as I attempt to link this up and the kids are playing “haircut guys.” Mam is combing my hair with a wooden comb she got with a Melissa & Doug vanity set for her birthday, and the Fox is blow drying my hair with an (empty) water shooter. Gratitude, indeed.