* A friend of mine just wrote a blog post about all the beneficial bugs she’s finding in her garden, and that reminded me that, before we talk playsets and pools, nature used to be interesting places for kids to play. Bring more nature home by creating a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat in your yard. And then keep some butterfly nets around. You’ll be surprised how much use they get!
* More fun with the family? Everyone in the pool! All your biggies are going salt-water, however, so cancel the chlorine and make the switch. Hey, if the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino can have saltwater pools (the only two on the strip, apparently), then so can you! And after our third 90-degree day here in Atlanta yesterday (and it’s still May), I’d like to drag a lounge chair into a pool right about now.
* Have you noticed the addition of bocce courts at some restaurants? How about those attractively-boxed bocce sets at Target? This game brings back very fond memories for me. My dad grew up in the shadow of Shea Stadium in Corona in Queens, New York, and whenever we would come home from my grandmother’s house in New Jersey, we’d stop at the Lemon Ice King of Corona. After being served from the storefront window of this neighborhood institution, we’d cross the street and watch the old men playing bocce. If you don’t know what bocce is, the best way to describe it is as lawn shuffleboard, although many people refer to it as lawn bowling, which I find confusing because there are no pins. And even if you don’t want to play the game, the balls are heavy and interesting and would make a nice design accent. (photo from the Italian American Society in Troy, New York)
* Are you the kid in your house? Think home theater, hammock, happy afternoons experimenting in the kitchen. Speaking of cooking, check out the new(ish) magazine, Where Women Cook. Here it is with Molly Wizenberg on the cover. She writes the terrific blog, Orangette, and wrote a book titled A Homemade Life, both of which are sure to provide you with culinary inspiration. And then kick back and enjoy or invite some friends (or one special one) over to play with you! When’s the last time you rang someone’s door bell and said, “Do you want to play?” Fun!
* Oh, and one last play tip for today: the Kudzu Must-Do 52 reminds us to check playsets for needed repairs. According to the Playground Inspection Professionals, poor maintenance contributes to 40 percent of all playground injuries. Ouch. Don’t want anyone getting hurt and ruining your good time, do you? I like the built-in picnic table on this playset–I’m always up for a nice macaroni salad.
Let Kudzu help you pump up the fun in your home. Find landscapers, pool installation and service companies, kitchen remodelers, and handymen. The bocce ball set? Stop in Corona and get an Italian ice while you’re there. Watermelon. Pits and all.