This is the beautiful, peaceful period of time when moms, dads and kids everywhere are no longer required to stick to the strict schedule that school requires. No lunches to be made and packed, no Science Fair projects to create, no homework to complete.

Summer is a great time to start a new hobby. Maybe it is learning to play an instrument or a new language.

Here are a few things that you can do at home.

Backyard Movie night

A movie projector and somewhere to shine it — a wall or dropcloth — are all it takes to host an open-air movie night. Projectors can often be rented, and some good consumer models sell for less than $100, which can be a good investment for movie lovers who enjoy entertaining.

Make Ice Cream At Home

If you’re unlikely to use an ice cream machine more than a few times a year, take a DIY approach featured on Instructables. Gather several plastic bags, milk, sugar, vanilla, ice, and rock salt to make ice cream in less than 20 minutes.

Start Arts and Crafts

Learn how to sew, knit, or crochet this summer, or take up scrapbooking, pottery, or painting. Research suggests that crafts can serve as a natural anti-depressant, increase cognitive ability, and even improve reasoning skills.

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