Schools Out Schools Out!!!


No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s
Dirty looks.

Kick the tables
Kick the chairs
Kick the teachers
Down the stairs!


This was a chant we used to sing on the last day of school when I was a child. Don’t like the last part anymore. However, none of my class mates ever meant it. It was a mindless ritual on the last day of school. And this was before Alice Cooper made a hit from the first stanza.

So here it is, June 11, 2012. It is that time of year again when schools are closing down for the summer.

When I was young summer was a time to go swimming at the pool, story time at the library, time to read and think, play with neighbor kids, picnics at various parks, or to go on family vacations to Lake Hope or the Appalachian Mountains.

Back then, in the 1950’s, summer was mostly unorganized fun. There were some organized activities. But not too many; certainly not as many as there are today. It was a time of unstructured play; a time to lay back, be creative on our own and in our own ways.

Used to love to lie on my back in the grass and watch clouds float by and morph into all kinds of weird shapes. Next door neighbor friend and I used to try and imagine what the clouds looked like – a monkey, a dragon, a banana, a heart. Then we would play with paper dolls on the front porch. Do paper dolls even exist any more?

What do you think this cloud looks like? I think it looks like an inchworm sauntering across the sky.

It sounds so simple now. Quaint even. But the girls in my neighborhood also liked to make Hollyhock Dolls. We would cut off a full blown bloom and one bud for each doll. We used toothpicks to make the dolls. One toothpick went into the full bloom to make a skirt. The end of that toothpick held the bud. That was the head. Sometimes we stuck a toothpick horizontally through the top of the skirt to make hands.

One summer I gathered as many different color hollyhocks as I could find and made dozens of them. I arranged them on a piece of heavy cardboard. I had a ballroom full of pretty colored dresses.


What did you do or make during summer break as a child? What do your children do during summer break?
Featured Recipes   Inexpensive Summer Fun 

No matter what age or era I think there are some activities that kids everywhere like to engage in; like blowing bubbles, playing with clay, or ‘goin fishing.  

But bubble solutions and play dough or clay are very expensive these Recession Days. So today I have gathered together some inexpensive home made recipe for some summer time activities for your kids and for the kid in all of us. 

The neatest part of these recipes is that they are so easy even your children can make them.

Play Dough

1 cup flour

½ cup salt

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 cup water

A few drops of food coloring

Place everything in a pan and heat until mixture is workable. Let the paly dough cool completely, and seal from exposure from air when not in use, such as a cookie can.

Bubble Recipe

1 gallon water

1 cup dishwashing detergent

  ¼ cup glycerin*

*Available from a pharmacy

Mix the ingredients all together. The solution gets better with age. The longer it sits the stronger the bubbles are.

Other recipes for Bubble Mixture.

Dough Balls for Fish Bait

4 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cornmeal

4 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons vanilla

1teaspoon anise seed

Combine all ingredients. Add enough water to dampen, and mix thoroughly. Put mixture in a rag. Using string or ribbon tie the rag into a bag. Put the bag into boiling water for about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Then place in a plastic and refrigerate until you go fishing. Will be good for a week or two.

Other recipes for Dough Balls.

Depression Garden

My mom used to make these and they were fun to watch.

Put some lumps of soft coal or porous brick in a glass bowl. Add two tablespoons of water, table salt and bluing.

Next day add two more tablespoons salt.

On the third morning pour in a mixture of two tablespoons each of salt, water and bluing, then a drop or two of mercurochrome, or food coloring to each lump.

By the third day, if not before you will see crystals (flowers) growing in the dish.

These are the directions my mother followed when making a DepressionGarden. It is from a yellowed newspaper clipping.

Below is an updated version of a Magic Crystal Garden complete with the scientific explanation if needed for a school project.

Joey Green’s Mad Scientist Experiments

Below is another version of the crystal garden that uses ammonia.

Kiwi Web


Starting this week I will only be publishing posts and recipes twice a week instead of my usual three times a week. Look for me on Mondays and Thursdays. I am taking one day each week for vacation this summer. I have some clouds I want to watch.

Quote of the Day

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock


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2 comments to Schools Out Schools Out!!!

  • Summers for me were idyllic. There was a big pasture behind our house and beyond that was a forest that went for miles and miles and in the middle of it was a beautiful meadow that was filled with wild strawberries every summer and on the edge were blackberries.

    I was born in an age where it was safe for mothers to give their kids a paper sack with a sandwich, an apple and a bottle of kool-aid that she’d frozen the night before and then push the kids out the door and told to be home before dark. We’d cross the pasture and head into the woods and build cabins, fight foes, look for tadpoles in a shallow pond, pick strawberries, climb trees and a heaps of other things that kept us interested and learning. We didn’t have mothers or fathers to sort out squabbles, we learned how to do that on our own.

    We also had a camp on a lake nearby and a place at the ocean. While none of it was structured, there was something going on every single day and it was largely kid organized. We put on performances, created parades, made shell necklaces, froze our feet off in the water.

    When I had children there was much less of that and much more organized activities at regular camp, sports camp, holidays, etc. I think my kids had less than I did.

    My grandchildred have even less. There’s not enough money for camp for lots of people any more.

    I have never made fish bait! We have kids coming over all the time to fish out back and I end up buying expensive prawns for them to plop in the water to no effect. 🙂 I’m making these.

    • Roberta

      Your summers do sound so idyllic, Maureen. Indeed we both were in the same age. My brothers and I were often on our own too. Yes. Squabbles with brothers and friends were sorted out on our own.

      I also remember picking berries. I don’t know how my dad knew where most of these places were. But he knew where patches of elderberries, wild strawberries, blackberries, etc. were. We would pile in the car with a sack lunch and go pick berries in fields, abandoned houses in the country and along rairoad tracks. Then we would come home and he and/or mother would make jams and jellies. We also had fresh berries for breakfast and/or dessert in the evening.

      We used to eat the berries straight off the bushes too. The juices woud stain our mouths. Such fun!

      Thanks for reminiscing with me. 🙂