HOUSTON - How about some "tried and true" advice to entertain your family this summer from a mother of 10!
She even home-schools her children, who range in ages from 1 to 14. Laura Hernandez wants to encourage you to think about creating "Theme Nights".
She encourages us to not write-off the summer because of the pandemic, but to make it the best one. Laura gets real creative, when it comes to entertaining her family and shares five fun ideas.
"I think spending time as a family in the summertime is one of the most beautiful things in the whole world. And so, creating fun things that you all want to do together, and it's not just something that your kids want to do, and it's not something you want to do, but all together. I think having a family meeting and kind of brainstorming some of those ideas is a great place to start," encourages Laura.
It just takes a little creativity and planning to start having fun in a new way with theme nights. Laura loves having a bake-off with her kids.
"That's really fun because the kids can have a little competition and of course we never, never forget about that, because everybody wants the two desserts in one night. They think that's the greatest thing in the world. The kids love it because they break up into teams and they get to help pick out the recipe, shop for the ingredients, and then create it. Then we all judge, decide which ones we liked better, and who had the best cooking station, and the best taste, and all that is really fun," smiles Laura.
Laura suggests a lot of ideas through her program called "Mama Systems" to help families connect and turn their home from chaos to fun.
"I have some families that I coach who have done a camping theme night, and so they pull up a tent in their living room, or outside in the backyard and we'll do a little fire and do s'mores and spend the night out in the yard and the kids love it, like the greatest thing ever," says Laura.
How about taking Game Night outside?
"That could be going swimming in our pool or it could be Nerf guns with the water, I guess water guns or water balloons, or slip and slide or sprinklers on the trampoline. The sky's the limit," says Laura.
If you enjoy movie nights with your family, here's an idea to take it to the next level through "Mattress Movie Night"!
“We bring the mattresses out from their rooms, and so they all camp out on the floor and watch movies on the mattresses, on Monday night. They love it, they really love having something that at the end of the day. We have special needs little buddies and so even they are able to comprehend something like, 'Okay it's Sunday that means on Sundays we do sundaes,’ and so, they look forward to eating their ice cream," Laura says.
We saved the ooiest-gooiest for last with a shaving cream war.
"They have such a great time and it's truly not that messy because it just goes away right so it's not like anything's ruined by the shaving cream. You just put on goggles and it won't get in their eyes. I mean I think you should do it today," laughs Laura. Okay families, you've been challenged to get messy!
If you want more ideas, you can turn to Laura's "Summer Survival Course". She says she can teach you how to create rhythm and routine that won't seem rigid, but can bring peace to your home. She also told me about a fun card game I've never heard of called SKYJO. She calls it a secret math game and kids often don't realize they're practicing their math skills. Sneaky! It's usually available at most big box stores or online.
For more about Laura's ideas, check out: https://www.mamasystems.net/