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Coach Mom Newsletter - june 2012

Creating a Summer Your Kids Will Never Forget

Smoothly transitioning a family into summer can be tricky. The big change-up in schedules can throw everyone off, so I have included suggestions to ease the transition. I have also packed this issue with a variety of ideas to make this your most enjoyable and memorable summer yet!



Communicate your expectations as parents – bedtime, chores, rules for having friends sleep over (how many days per week and which days).

Ask each member to define how they best rest, and build it into the schedule. For some it means enjoying sitting in a quiet room reading. Others rest better by doing creative things like building with Legos or drawing.

Discuss opportunities to serve together. (See the list of ideas below.)

Research online to find fun and inexpensive things to do in your area, and discuss what most appeals to you. (Dallas-area families can see the list of free or under fifteen dollar options below.)



Schedule quiet time, independent reading time, and brain-building time.

Assign children who are ages nine and up family dinners to prepare and serve (and don’t forget clean up). Write it in the calendar.

Sign up the children for some camps, but don’t overdo. Spending the whole summer telling your kids to hurry and get in the car, then darting here and there is not a relaxing way to spend summer.

Think about a value you would like to emphasize this summer and plan practical ways to teach it.

Trade off with another couple for a get-away weekend, and take advantage of weekend specials at local hotels.

Mark your calendar to register your children online for school several weeks before it starts. (This will be one less thing to do in the fall if your district offers this option.)


Take Action

Create a paint station for budding artists or plant a small garden for children to tend.

Reconfigure a playroom or redecorate a child’s bedroom.

Create a handy place for sunscreen, goggles, and swim toys.


Serve Together

Draw pictures and pass them out (along with hugs) at a nearby assisted living home.

Have a summer book drive for a local elementary school.

Pull weeds for a widow neighbor.

If your children are older, offer to care for a young couple’s toddler while they go out for a quiet dinner.

Clean out closets and donate nice clothes and goods to a local shelter.

Give each member of your family twenty dollars to share with someone else, then watch and pray who God would have you bless with giving.

Bake some cookies for a minister at your church to demonstrate your love and appreciation for him/her.

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Summer Fun About Town

Thank you to Neil Lemon for his post on http://www.iliveindallas.com/fun-things-to-do-in-dallas. Below are some excerpts from his post that will give you ideas for fun things to do in Dallas this summer:

Take the Trolley Tour - The M-Line's air-conditioned and heated trolleys run 365 days a year, providing local transit service to Dallas' vibrant Uptown Neighborhood. All rides, except charters, are free. There is a voluntary fare box, and I'm sure contributions are welcomed. (Mr. Rogers and San Francisco don't get to have all the fun.) Find the trolley schedule online. Cost: Free (donations accepted)

Digitally Tee Off - This isn't your grandpa's driving range. Top Golf is a revolutionary sports entertainment complex combining games with great food and an environment you can enjoy year-round with friends and family of all skill levels. Top Golf features computerized microchips in every golf ball that track your shots’ accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets ranging from 20 - 250 yards away. The food isn't half bad either.  Cost: $3.80 a game 9am-3pm, $5.80 a game 3pm-close

Eat your way through the Farmer's Market - The Dallas Farmers Market has been a fixture in downtown Dallas for six decades. It has grown into a true Texas treasure as one of the largest public markets of its type in the country. Often you can make a meal out of all the free samples.  Cost: Free

Bike on the Katie Trail - Rent a bike for free on Thursdays after 7:00pm at Fleetwood KitKat's near SMU, the only self-proclaimed Dallas Cruiser Bike Boutique. The Katy Trail is a 12-foot-wide concrete bike trail and an 8-foot-wide parallel, soft-surface running path, with several entrances and plazas linking the Trail to other area parks. It extends 3.5 miles from Airline Road to the American Airlines Center. Once completed, the bike and pedestrian path will link the Mockingbird DART Station near SMU to the West End in downtown Dallas.  Cost: Free

Be a Conspiracy Theorist - Since 1989, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza has welcomed more than 6 million visitors from around the world—people of all ages seeking information and understanding about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Did you know that the infamous window from which Oswald shot Kennedy sold on eBay for more than a million dollars? I've heard that the "X" on the street moves every year. How's that for a conspiracy? Check out the plaza and the museum and judge for yourself. Cost: $13.50 per person

Go Mural & Statue Gazing - Deep Ellum is a hotbed for graffiti. Many of the music venues use graffiti artists to advertise music shows. In the late 1980s, the city allowed a number of local artists to paint the walls of the Good Latimer Expressway tunnel.  The tunnel was demolished in spring 2007 to make way for the DART Green Line train. Since then, more projects have been developed to restore the area’s longstanding artistic legacy such as the Traveling Man Series.  Cost: Free

Commune with Dog Lovers - Check out Deep Ellum’s Bark Park or Unleashed, the indoor dog park, and meet other dog lovers. Some dog parks are more popular than others, but they can be found all over the city. Cost: Free, and $7.50 a dog

Appreciate art at Nasher Sculpture Center - The birth and growth of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection started more than fifty years ago. In 1950, Raymond and Patsy traveled to Mexico, where they became interested in pre-Columbian art and bought the first works in what would become a sizable collection of objects from ancient Latin America. Old classic movies based on American novels are regularly shown at the Center on Thursday nights. Free.  Cost: Regularly $10, Movie nights are free

Get a Bird's Eye View of the City - Reunion Tower, or the "Big Ball," is synonymous with the Dallas skyline, appearing on tee shirts and coffee cups. It offers a view from 500 feet above the ground. There is a restaurant at the top, but you don't have to eat dinner.  Just order Cokes from the bar and enjoy the view. Cost: Free

Acquire Bow Hunting Skills - Texins* Archery Club (*correct spelling) offers group lessons and yearly memberships to their archery range. They'll hook you up with a compound bow or, if you're feeling medieval, a classic straight bow. Classes are held each Wednesday 6-7 pm (except holidays), no reservations needed for groups under 10 people, minimum age 8 years.  Cost: $10 for gen. public, $5 for members

To see ten more ideas, see Brenna’s latest blog post - 20 Fun Things to Do in Dallas.

Not in the Dallas area? Google search "Free Family Fun [your city/area]" and share ideas in the comments on Brenna's post. Be sure to include the city/area, so other readers in that area can share in the fun!

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Other Moms Chime In

Thanks to Jamie and Lisa for sharing these tips on helping kids transition into summertime smoothly!

My oldest always has a hard time with change. So, the beginning and end of the school year is always hard for us. I have a big dry erase calendar that I hang on the wall during these times. I put everything on the calendar that is coming up so he knows what to expect. And, it gives him something fun to look forward to. He can see it, and he can see that it is coming and it makes him more relaxed and able to enjoy himself. – Jamie Trisler

I enroll my youngest in summer camps that are fun for him (mainly sports camps) that start fairly early in the morning. This helps him stay on schedule with waking up at a normal time and keeps me motivated to get all my work stuff done while he is gone that way when he returns home I'm ready to have fun with him for the rest of the day. – Lisa Perry

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