No-Cost August Family Fun!

family counselor child help "Summertime... and the living is easy' fish are jumping' and the cotton is high'" so goes the song. In this economic climate, however, the living may not be so easy. School won't start for awhile so make the most of the time left with your children to have at least once or twice weekly (or daily if you're up for it!) fun, no-cost activities. It's a great way to bond with your children, learn more about one another as well as have some laughs and lower stress.

If you live in or near a large city, there are probably museums or art galleries that have occasional free admittance days. I recently went to the Late Nite Summer Block Party at the Dallas Museum of Art and had so much fun. There was not only wonderful art, but artist's demonstrations and a live band.

I've always loved picnics in one's own back yard. You don't even have to grill sandwiches, fruit, lemonade on an old bedspread in the backyard can be loads of fun. Everyone has a role in helping to make it successful. You can look at the various shapes of the clouds or if after dark, check out the stars.

Many public libraries have reading clubs, author readings and maybe even free movie nights. The library is also a wonderful place to check out books of interest to you and your child and read together. Books can also teach skills such as cooking, camping, foreign languages, photography and care of a companion animal. Dare to learn something new with your child!

Speaking of camping'have you ever camped out on your screened-in porch or in your backyard? You might give it a try.

Nature walks in your own yard or at the park can be fun. They also can instill appreciation of life and respecting the boundaries of other creatures. Some kids would enjoy photographing your finds for later discussion.

Have fun with your children with what's left of the summer. As you well know, they grow up all too fast.

Copyright ' 2009. Condensed in part from Sharon's award-winning book for parents and educators, Peer Pressure Reversal

No reproduction without written permission from author.

P.S. Please see my other column, The Counselor's Corner, concerning automatic negative thoughts.

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