Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

Our summer days always include reading.  I don’t think a day passes that we haven’t sat down and read together, and I love that we aren’t feeling the hustle and bustle of a typical school day afternoon.  We also love to have adventures together, and sometimes the two go hand-in-hand.  A couple of weeks ago I posted on Paging Supermom (as part of their Books Alive series) about how the two are combined!  Reading + Adventures (outdoors and in the kitchen) = Summer Family Fun!  They are simple ideas, but those are the best kind!  ☺

Our family is in LOVE with the Frances books by Russell Hoban. That Frances is such a character, and we laugh so hard at all of her adventures…or misadventures.  One of our particular favorites is Bread and Jam for Frances. The story is darling, and delivers a moral about learning to eat and appreciate different foods.  It’s definitely one to have on your shelf!

picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | oldsaltfarm.com

It’s hard not to read this book, and want bread and jam too!  One of our  most favorite summertime activities is picking berries, and it’s a fantastic activity to do with your kids.  The type of berry picking available may differ depending on where you live, and even the picking time, but it usually varies between May and August. There is a fantastic farm a few miles from where we live, that has the most plump and juicy blackberries just perfect for picking.  Everyone gets their own bucket, and we see how many pounds we can each pick, There is always lots of eating along the way! Check the hours of the berry farm, and if it’s really hot where you live (like it is here), go early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hot sun.

picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | oldsaltfarm.com

If you do a search for u-pick farms in your area, chances are you’ll find one that you can take your kids too.  It’s wonderful for so many reasons–enjoying the outdoors, teaching them where food comes from, working together to accomplish a task, and eating yummy & healthy food.  It’s also just FUN! And…we always stop for ice cream on the way home.  ☺

picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | oldsaltfarm.com

The best part about picking berries is coming home, EATING THEM, and making yummy berry recipes, including delicious jam!  Freezer jam is SO easy to make, and doesn’t require any special equipment.  My kids love being in the kitchen, and making jam is so fun for them to help with–they can help smash berries, stir (with adult supervision–always be SO, SO careful with kids around a hot stove and hot food), put lids on, and more.

My favorite recipe is this one from Ball–great directions, and easy to follow. You can use sugar, Splenda if you need it to be lower in sugar, and even honey, depending on your preference. It includes amounts for each one.

And the end result???

picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | oldsaltfarm.com

Bread & Jam!!!

If you want the mason jar topper printables, just click on the images below to enlarge them, then save to your computer.  Insert them into a Word document, size as necessary, and print! I sized them to be no more than 2 inches wide, then printed, them on craft paper and punched them out with my 2 inch circle punch.

blackberry jam printable | oldsaltfarm.com

raspberry jam printable | oldsaltfarm.com strawberry jam printable | oldsaltfarm.com

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