Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

The Coaches Couch

Summer fun for children out of school

Heidi Simmons

Certified Life Coach

It's summertime, and the living is crazy.

The weather is perfect for barbecues, days at the pool and trips to the beach. Sound too perfect? Well, it is.

The children are also out of school for several months now, so the above diversions are only going to last so long. If parents want to keep their sanity this summer, don't despair. There is a plethora of amusements to pursue right in their own backyard. So, before their children can say, "I'm bored." They will be armed with an arsenal of adventures, for all budgets.

Camping or on a safari

For the younger set, ages 3 and up, let their imagination and not your wallet lead the way to creative play. Your children might not be aware of the "magical" times that can happen with a clothesline and clothespins. Help them build an outdoor tent for a camping experience or safari.

Take a standard clothesline and tie it from one tree to another or fence post about 6-8 ft apart. Next take two blankets – one for each side – securing them to the clothesline with pins at the top making an "A" shape. Now pound in several clothespins into the ground on both sides to anchor the bottom of the blankets in place. Next, lay down several blankets inside your tent with pillows for the floor and bedding.

Safe in their own backyard, prepare a meal your children can eat in their tent served on "pie-tins" to make it more rustic. Give them a flashlight, books to read, etc. so when it gets dark, they will feel like they're on a grand adventure but still close to you.

Two cans and a string

Another favorite is making your children an old-fashioned version of a "telephone." Take two empty soup cans, remove the labels and clean. First, make a hole in the bottom center of each can, attach a 3-foot string and secure it with a knot to the bottom of the hole, so the string cannot come loose, making it as taut as possible. As your children talk to each other, the string transfers the sound of their voices through air vibrations traveling to the bottom of the can, it causes the string to vibrate to the other can, so their voice will be heard.

Down on the farm

Ever go to an alpaca farm? Well, there is one right in Temecula. The Alpaca Hacienda is a place for children of all ages to learn about these animals, how to spin alpaca fiber into yarn and feed one by hand. All tours are private, so book one in advance. 951-440-9021.

Kenny's Strawberry Farm in Fallbrook gets your child out in the sunshine, picking berries to work up an appetite. The entrance fee for each child is a purchase of a small container for picking at $8. The restaurant on the property offers strawberry lemonade, shortcake and ice cream bars. For more information, call 951-212-5808.

It's a zoo

Sugar Plum Zoo in Temecula is a family friendly petting zoo for all ages. Kids 3 and under are free, and those 3 to 12 are $5. There is also a chocolate shop on the premises. For more information, call 951-390-3566.

Movies in the park

Harveston Community Park in Temecula offers free, family movies at dusk, along with free concerts and paddle boats for rent on their lake. For more information, call 951-694-6411.

Regal Cinema offers a 2023 summer movie discount program for children the first showing Tuesday and Wednesday of every month. All tickets are $2 each. For more information, call 844-462-7342.

Mind games

Outdoor Escape Room Scavenger Hunt Old Town Temecula, by Mind Trap Escape Rooms, offers a one of a kind excursion and brings an "escape" element into the open air where children and adults can solve puzzles, find clues and hunt for answers as they unravel a mystery. With three more indoor locations, two in Temecula and one in Murrieta, this experience is $20 per person, and up. For more information, call 951-506-5565.

Lights, camera...action.

JDS Studios in Temecula is offering a visual and performing arts summer camp for ages 10 and up, which is hands-on, creative and educational from June 19-30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn improv, script writing and backstage production. Other acting classes are also available. For more information, call 951-296-6715.

Limelight Acting School is opening a new Temecula campus. Starting Friday, June 30, children can take acting lessons, voice over techniques, how to audition, private lessons and more. For more information, call 661-505-2990.

With much to offer in the way of local entertainment, there are still those who for many days this summer will have their children with them at home. Looking back to when that was me, I learned to be very creative early on. From teaching my children how to bake, to plant a vegetable garden, to playing hopscotch, it was always the best of times when we did things together. So enjoy my friends, they won't be young forever.

Heidi Simmons is a certified life coach with over 14 years of coaching experience in Southern California and a background in working with women with major health issues and life transitions. As a certified life coach, end of life traditional coach and reiki healing practitioner, she specializes in chronic diseases, such as cancer, family estrangement, end of life transitioning and those experiencing bereavement.


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