As I sat outside on my deck the other night watching darkness arrive earlier than the night before, I made a quick list of things I didn't do with my kids yet this summer that I need to squeeze into my schedule before it's too late. Kickball: I said at the beginning of the summer I was going to round up some kids in the neighborhood and organize a kickball game, including my two little guys. Kickball is a game that anyone can succeed at, because, quite frankly, anyone can kick a ball. Even my 3-year-old.
Unlike baseball, where you have to be able to hit, and not everyone can, kickball gives every kid a chance to succeed. Even if you have to let a younger child be safe at first base, you at least don't have to kick the ball for him.
It's also a great way to teach the concept of running bases. Miniature golf: I had every intention of playing a round while on my beach vacation, but never did (something to do with $8 a round per person). Ever since, my sons have been bugging me to play.
For those of us living to the north, courses are not open during the winter months and may even shut down in the fall, so now is the time to play. Putt-putt golf is a great family activity -- or as my wife suggested, is a great father-sons activity.
It could be your kids' first step to falling in love with real golf, a sport you can then enjoy together for a lifetime. Batting cages: Usually we save going to the batting cages for baseball season. But you'd be surprised how much fun they can be during the offseason. In fact, without the pressure of feeling you have to do well with the season just around the corner, my guess is your kids will enjoy it even more than when you take them in February. Disc golf: Like kickball, disc golf is a sport any child can play. You might have to bend the rules or distances a bit, but no matter what skill level your child is, he or she can probably throw a Frisbee to some degree.
And don't think you need to find an official course. I've played in my backyard using common obstacles like the swing set or a tree. Frisbee golf is the perfect way to explain that a birdie in golf will not fly over your head.
There are probably many other sports or recreation activities you might have planned to do this summer, but haven't yet. Now is the time to get them done before the final horn sounds on your summer vacation.
Jon Buzby's columns appear in newspapers and magazines around the country as well as numerous websites. E-mail your comments to email@example.com