Category Archives: Humor

Eleven Alternatives to “Pokemon Go” … Stimulate Your Child’s Summer

child taking a picture

Child taking a photo at a museum.

Maybe you have time limits to your kids’ screen time and all you hear is, “But Mom (or Dad), there’s nothing ELSE to do!”

Maybe you don’t want your seven-year-old running across space, dodging vehicles, and landing in a canal or reservoir on their mad dash for Pokémon Go characters.

Maybe you don’t allow video games in your household.

Maybe your conspiracy radar is going off like a beacon because if Pokémon Go has really been downloaded that many million times and created such an interest … there must be something funny going on and you don’t want your children to be a part of that.

Maybe you just want to do better with the whole parenting thing this summer and seeing your kids with their faces buried in smart phones or tablets doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies.

Here are eleven activities you can do with your children to escape summer blues … and avoid chasing Pikachus.

1. Make cards for friends and relatives … and send them snail mail.

How many relatives, especially elderly ones, can you think of who would love to receive a homemade card in their mailbox?

2. Read a Shakespeare play, or some of his sonnets, aloud and perfect your British accent.

Or Irish accent. Or Western or Southern. You can even memorize a sonnet together and have an accent competition.

3. Make a list of original photos for your child to take.

You could also have a family (or pet) photo shoot with your child as the photographer.

Or a photo scavenger hunt.

4. Write and illustrate a story together.

Let your child run free with imagination and help out in places where he or she gets stuck. You might be surprised with what even the youngest children can come up with.

5. Learn fruit cutting or flower arranging.

You will find plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you get started, and create some great treats or gifts for family or friends.

6. Make chocolate.

Anything goes: bacon chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, orange mint chocolate, cinnamon chocolate.

7. Have a bake sale.

Or a homemade chocolate sale … and raise funds for a favorite organization or ministry.

8. Create a time capsule.

Decide together on what date in the future you will open it.

9. Put together a summertime scrapbook or journal.

Add something to it every day.

10. Create a long-term “bucket list”.

You might or might not have heard of John Goddard. He made a life goal list at 15 years of age, and accomplished over 100 of them. Encourage your children to do the same (and if you don’t have a life goal list, make one yourself!)

11. Start a blog together on a theme you and your child enjoy. 

My 11-year-old daughter loves reading, as do I. This summer, we launched a book review blog, Jewel Rose Reviews, where we hope to publish a review once a week on a book we’ve both read. That way, readers get input from two perspectives: mother and daughter, and Jessica and I get to read, write, and take photos together. All fun stuff!


So there it is. Some ideas to keep you and your kids busy this summer, whether or not you’re playing Pokémon Go. And if you have any tried-and-proven family activities you would like to share with other readers, please leave a comment!


The Greatest Joy

Funny Parenting Quote

Rejoice with those who Rejoice

Aiden coloring page

Aiden’s coloring page

Once a month, I spend my Sunday morning with a group of preschool-aged children at church. Okay, so it’s only about an hour and a half, but it seems longer. I watch them as they play with blocks, puzzles, and cars. We clean up together and then read a story. Afterwards, they do an activity, usually involving a coloring page.

This past Sunday, I had nine kids, including my five-year-old son. Most had already spent an hour in Sunday school class before I arrived, so by the  last half hour, they were getting a little squirelly. Between restroom trips and drinking fountain breaks, I was late in reading them their Sunday story, which was about a little girl named Emily who was jealous of her brother getting lots of attention because he had broken his leg.

A couple of the kids were already up and  racing off to reclaim their toys when I remembered the coloring page. I called over the din that we had a fun page to color, and it was something important that Emily learned, to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Most of the kids colored their pages, the parents came to pick them up, and another Sunday morning was complete.

That night, after reading stories to my kids, they decided they were going to have a “sleepover” in mom and dad’s room, which consisted of them lugging a small mattress into our bedroom, and bringing in a couple hundred stuffed animals.

We prayed for the night and I turned out the lights. I was tired and more than ready to fall asleep. The kids were whispering and laughing about something. I told them, for the third time, to please be quiet and that it was time to sleep.

“But Mommy,” my five-year-old called up from the mattress. “Remember? We’re supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”

I’m thrilled he remembered the verse. I’m not quite as sure about his application of it. For some reason, he neglected to recall verses I’ve taught him such as “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

But it’s a start. And if he does remember that verse throughout his life, and knows how to rejoice with those who rejoice, as well as weep with those who weep, I think he’ll be doing pretty well.

The Truth about Cleaning House

Cleaning house with kids