Growing up in a tropical island was a lot of fun. We went to the beach, the pool and we played outside all year long. I loved rainy days because we could play outside in the rain, get completely wet and muddy and the best part was that my parents were actually OK with it as long as I wasn't barefoot. So, as soon as I left my house to play outside, shoes off! I loved it. Everyone around had a bike, roller skates and a kiddie pool in their backyards. I had countless wounds in my knees, elbows and chin due to lots of outside playing time. It was the best. We were a big gang of kids from all ages that played together almost every day during my childhood in Puerto Rico.
Drinking Water out of a Hose
Every month there was a sleepover at someone's house or a pool day at El Monte's swimming pool, where my Mom used to take us almost on a daily basis. We all watched movies together, played with each other's toys and had quite a successful Kool-Aid popsicle business. I sold strawberry and grape popsicles for 25 cents each and had a sign on our front door to promote my business. I think at some point I was even making Christmas cards for sale. Talk about being a young entrepreneur!
Now that we are raising our own kids in a non-tropical place, sometimes I find it very hard to find activities that do not cost money and are fun for our children (other than popping a movie in the DVD player, of course!). It is not that I am against video games or TV, because sometimes it is great to have them available, but I really want them to be able to play outside as much as I did when I was growing up. I want to see them barefoot and drinking water out of a hose!
After a good four months of hibernation in the Midwest, the sun finally decided to come out and now the kids have absolutely no interest in spending one minute indoors. Are we having people over today? Followed by Is Papi going to BBQ tonight? Have been the constant questions since we had our first nice Spring day a few weeks ago. The kids wake up and all they want to do is go outside, barefoot, to play in the backyard. A few days ago we had a group of friends and their kids over for a BBQ. It was in the 80's and they all put on my kids' extra bathing suits and played on the grass for hours with a hose. It looked like they were at an amusement park! They absolutely loved it and so did I.
One of the things that I love the most is to entertain, and now that my kids have friends of their own I host quite a bit in our new house. This past weekend, Enrico and I decided to purchase a swing set for our children's birthdays, and even though these are not cheap, it is a great way to keep them entertained and active for years to come. This Summer, between the swings, the slide and the hose we just need a couple of slip and slides and our backyard will become our kids' play zone while we enjoy a nice cold drink on the deck. It doesn't get much better than this. Ay Mama!
And today, just for fun, a Kool-Aid popsicle recipe for the kids to enjoy!
-1 small pkg. Jello (any flavor)
-1 envelope unsweetened Kool-Aid (same flavor as the Jello)
-1 cup sugar
-2 cups boiling water
-2 cups cold water
-Dissolve Jello, Kool-Aid and sugar in boiling water. Add cold water. Pour liquid into small cups and place in the freezer.
When they are slightly firm, insert popsicle sticks into the cup. Freeze overnight. My personal favorite is grape. Buen provecho!