Huckleberry Days

Do you want to make memories that will last a lifetime? If so, then start a tradition of Huckleberry Days with your kids or grandkids this summer.

Huckleberry Days are named for the famed character from Mark Twain’s book: Huckleberry Finn. I learned the basic idea for this over twenty years ago. The company that promoted the idea no longer exists or else I would give them credit.

Planning ahead for your Huckleberry Days may take a bit more effort, but it’s worth it. Plus you’ll be able to utilize the summer car kit you made from last week’s post. You did make it, right?

Involve your children in the preparations. Younger children will be thrilled. Tweens to teens may roll their eyes. Ignore them and carry on. Or better yet: Inhale quickly in surprise and ask them, “Can you see inside your brain when you do that?”

Huckleberry Kit
(Some Assembly Required)
• 3 Large Envelopes
• Paper
• Crayons or Markers
• Smart Children with Creative Ideas
• Each Child May List 3 Ideas
for each of the following categories:
1. Something to Eat
2. A Place to Go
3. Something to Do
• Parents set the budget and the rules

Hold a family meeting. Let kids call out all their wild ideas for each category (see some ideas below). Allow both younger and older children to have input if possible. Don’t worry parents, you always have veto power, but just for a little bit let the kids brainstorm. They may surprise you in a good way.

Our kids each listed one idea per card (or drew a picture of it) and they were all inserted in the labeled category envelope. When it was time for a Huckleberry Day, kids took turns picking one card from each of the three categories.

We scrambled the cards when they were younger or had them pick blind from the envelope. Sometimes we had to pick again because the choices simply didn’t work together. Other times we rose to the challenge and created a humorous memory the kids will never forget.

Category Ideas:
1. Something to Eat
We tried to be flexible regarding the food choices. (Ice cream for dinner, anyone?) Sometimes we merely took a child’s favorite snack from home. Sometimes we made a picnic lunch. The more flexible you are once in a while, the more fun it is for all of you. You’re not doing this everyday.

2. A Place to Go
Obviously favorite summertime choices were: the park or a playground or the swimming pool, but the backyard is also a place.

3. Something to Do
• Car ride to the country or the city
• Water fight
• Favorite game
• Read-athon
(You can tell that was Mom’s idea)
• Science experiment
• Trip to the shopping mall
(Not my favorite, but it was cooler there)
• Tie-dye t-shirts

“I want some.”

We used our Huckleberry Days as an incentive or reward for cooperation and getting along with each other (sometimes in short supply during summer months). Usually, we had one day per month. We found if we had them too often they lost their specialness.

Huckleberry Humor
Crazy fun comes in the combination of those three categories: Here are a few:
• Make homemade root beer floats beside the car while the cows watch
(On the trip to the country)
• Walk to the Pizza restaurant, buy fresh bread sticks, then to an ice cream store for cones
(Still my favorite meal)
• Hunt for fossils on a rocky hillside. We found a rattlesnake.
(Okay, that wasn’t funny, but it was interesting)

Huckleberry Days are not about perfection. They are about building relationships with our children and storing up memories to last a lifetime.

Speaking of memories, what are your favorite childhood memories of summertime adventure? Tell me about them in the comments below. Then head out to build some more with your kids or grandkids this summer.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,
And watch out for snakes!

© 2017 SuZan Klassen

2 thoughts on “Huckleberry Days

  1. When we first moved to the house we’ve lived in for 48 years, 69 highway north of I-435 didn’t exist (neither did I-435). What is now 69 highway was a big, open grass space between new housing developments. The kids and I took a picnic lunch to what is now about 97th and 69 on the top of a knoll and had our picnic there. I think of that day often as I pass over the spot on the six-plus lanes today. Where have those years gone?

    1. How wonderful to have such a special memory. Though most of us appreciate the benefit of our modern highways, there are always trade-offs. It takes a great deal of land to make those highways and all their related interchanges.

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