By Michele Moonan and Ashley Forte | July/August, 2020
The northern hemisphere may officially transition to summer on June 20th, but most Ridgefield families have been in “summer mode” since schools closed in March. With parents having to rapidly assume the roles of educators, everyday home rituals quickly took the place of learning: outdoor play became gym class, baking became home economics, and family time became sociology. As founders of the Ridgefield Moms, part of the Local Moms Network with over 100 locations across the country, it’s our duty – and pleasure – to give moms the gift of time by curating information and resources about everything Ridgefield. While we may not be able to turn back the clock on “summer mode,” we do strongly believe the season deserves its own fanfare. Here are our top picks for activities to keep your family entertained – and thriving – this summer.
Plant a Garden
Time spent in the garden generates a sense of teamwork amongst kids. Choosing what to plant teaches strategic planning; fertilizing, seeding, and watering teaches accountability; and harvesting a plentiful bounty affords a sense of accomplishment. An added bonus is that kids generally eat more vegetables when they understand the process, from plant to plate. Plus, kids love putting on a pair of gardening gloves, grabbing their bucket of tools, and hitting the dirt. Fortunately, we have incredible supply shops and sustainable farms right here in town, making it easy to purchase everything from gardening essentials to locally grown seedlings.
Nothing screams “summer” more than s’mores! We love the ritual of roasting marshmallows over a classic backyard fire. To elevate the campfire classic, we teamed up with food blogger Brenda Lanzilli of Salt Sugar Spice. She shared her ultimate s’mores recipe – a s’mores ice cream sandwich!
Ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, oven-toasted marshmallows. Method: Simply spread an oven-toasted marshmallow & chocolate chip ice cream between a top and bottom layer of chocolate frosted graham crackers, then freeze.
For a more detailed recipe, visit: https://saltsugarspice.com/smores
Host an Outdoor Movie Night
Lights, camera, action! Grab those lawn chairs, sleeping bags, wagons, or whatever else you have on hand and set the scene for a magical backyard movie night. Standard household supplies are all that are required to create a spellbinding experience for your children: buttery popcorn served in classic red and white striped bags; cozy blankets; and a projector projecting onto a simple bed sheet are all you need to create a backyard drive-in style movie night complete with snuggles and sticky and sweet, snack-filled fingers.
It really is amazing – sometimes a simple change in scenery or routine is all that’s needed to reignite a spark in young children. Whether you fill your summer with backyard gardens, s’mores, and drive-in movies, or you laze about soaking up the summer sun, we hope your summer of 2020 goes down in the record books as the best yet.
For more tips and to subscribe to our e-newsletter, visit us online at ridgefieldmom.com.
Photo Credit: JW Brown Photography