Spur-of-the-Moment Summer Fun with Kids & Dogs

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#ShareFunshine  #CollectiveBiaspedigreecollage4Summer is quickly approaching (my college girls are already home, my middle schooler is done next week) and if you’re on a tight budget like me, you’re probably scrambling to come up with fun summer activities that don’t cost an arm and leg. But summer fun doesn’t necessarily have to mean traveling to exotic locations and staying in fancy hotels. Summer Funshine can be just around the corner from your home.

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We don’t have anything planned this summer. It’s o.k. because summer is a great time for Spur-Of-the-Moment Fun. With no homework, bedtime, or set dinner time to worry about, I like to gather the kids and dogs and head for the nearest lake. Nashville has great parks and lakes and this one happens to be 10 minutes from our house. We don’t have to plan… we just go when we feel like it.

We like to go there after dinner when the temperature drops and crowds are nonexistent. I usually just pack a treat for the kids and dogs. We spread out our Navajo blanket and cool off with ice cream. We eat healthy 99% of the time so I don’t worry if we enjoy an occasional treat.
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A few days ago we felt like going to the lake and packed a cooler with some treats like M&M’s® Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches , SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars, M&M’s® Plain and M&M’s® Peanut.

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pedigree35Of course we can’t forget our furry family members, Teddy and Billy. While grabbing human treats at Wal-Mart, I also picked up two bags of Pedigree Dentastix®.pedigree2

pedigree39Walmart has a huge selection of pet essentials. Billy had a hard time deciding between the two flavors. I think he prefers the original Pedigree Dentastix®.pedigree17 Teddy loves both.pedigree50For entertainment I brought a dog toy made of old socks. Billy LOVES socks, so this was a perfect toy for him. I call it his four-legged octopus.pedigree26Below you can read how I made this dog toy. It’s Billy’s favorite toy now.pedigree19As you can see, kids and dogs had a great time munching.pedigree30pedigree40Since I was the photographer, I had to make sure at least one SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bar was left for me. I love anything with nuts.pedigree12After our treat, we explored the lake/park which also has a fishing pier.pedigree1We hiked around the entire park which smelled of honey suckle. The fragrance was lovely. We talked and laughed. What more can you ask for?

pedigreeIt felt great just being there, appreciating nature and good company. The dogs loved it, too.pedigree9

pedigree31Billy is “smiling” ear to ear in this picture.pedigree32My oldest also enjoyed a quiet moment after her busy college graduation ceremony.pedigree34Even though the air was  warm, the water was still very cold.Unfortunately the basketball court was taken on that day, but my son has enjoyed shooting hoops there many times.pedigree54Sanders Ferry Park is gorgeous in the evening.pedigree53Summertime FUN doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, we didn’t have to drive far and spent very little money on treats. But we had a good time.  In the end, it’s the little moments and things we’ll remember.

                DIY Dog Toy pedigree26

pedigree27Have a bunch of old socks lying around? Don’t toss them, make a fun toy for your pup. It’s super easy to make, cheap, and a great way to recycle. These are the socks I had lying around the house. The more socks you use, the more legs will the octopus have.pedigreetoycollage1Step 1: Stuff the socks to create a little “ball”. Take that  ball and stuff it in the larger sock. Place that sock in as many socks as you wish.

Step 2: Tie a ribbon or piece of fabric around the ball as tight as you can.pedigreetoycollage2Step 3: Cut the tail of your socks into several strips.

Step 4: Using three strips at the time, braid them into sections. Make your braids as tight as possible. Use rope or extra sock fabric to tie the braids in place.pedigreetoycollage4Now you have a brand new toy for your furry friend. Billy loves playing fetch with his new toy.

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I’d love to hear your favorite ideas for making summer FUN!

 

 

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