What I Did on Summer Vacation

Emily's Birthday Bash 2008It’s almost August… you’ve been to the beach, the park, the fair, and to see Grandma. Twice. Your kids took horseback riding lessons and learned to write HTML at computer camp. You’ve picked them up and dropped them off from more places than you can remember and more times than you can count. And yes, they are driving you crazy. And yes, there are still 42 MORE DAYS UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS!

Who’s idea was this staycation anyhow?
But wait… there’s a way to keep your kids busy AND have fun AND learn a thing or two along the way. (Oh, and in the process they may even help you make dinner — and a margarita.)
The Unofficial Guide to
Getting Your Kids Cooking During the Dog Days of Summer

Teach your kids to…
juice limes
salt glass rims (see where I’m going here…)
zest lemons
tear basil
cut mint
wash veggies
wash lettuce
tear lettuce
spin lettuce
peel veggies
remove herb leaves from stems
slice cucumbers with a plastic knife
chop zucchini with a plastic knife
dry-rub a steak for the grill
remove the seeds from red peppers
make hamburger patties, and wash their hands after
whisk a marinade
break eggs
pound chicken breasts
measure ingredients
taste-test the spice cabinet
make a salad dressing
blend smoothies
grate cheese
and….

Take a field trip to…

a u-pick farm for blueberry season
a local dairy farm
the grocery store for an A-Z scavenger hunt (hey, it is air-conditioned!)
the grocery store for a global foods scavenger hunt
an ethnic neighborhood’s market
a different Farmers’ Market

On back-to-school-night, how pleased will you be to read your son’s essay hanging on the classroom wall: “This summer vacation was the best ever! I helped make dinner for my family.”

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