Summer Family Fun

By Marsha Fottler.

Barbara Glanz is a motivational/inspirational speaker, consultant and author of 11 books, which, I guess, are classified as self-help for want of a better and more complex descriptive category. Glanz is so popular worldwide that she’ll be included in the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records because she has spoken to groups on every continent. Yes, it was a brief lecture on Antarctica to about 40 people dressed warmly, but she got her points across.

Most of Glanz’s audiences are comprised of business types (although the policemen of Singapore loved her enough to ask her back next year) and her books and DVDs deal with deal primarily with enhanced customer service, blending life and work, contagious enthusiasm in the workplace, employee retention and the like. But, in her book Care Packages For The Home, Glanz is writing much closer to where her heart lives – in the kitchens, dining rooms and play rooms of her children and grandchildren. Within the pages of this paperback are dozens of ways to regenerate the spirit of home and enhance communication between everybody living in the house.

In the book are games and craft projects, travel activities, ways to develop a rewards programs for chores performed, how to create family memories and histories, recipes for children, how and why to have family meetings, ways to make nightly dinners meaningful, and lots more. Whether you read some chapters or all of them, you’ll come away with practical strategies and inspiration geared to make you want to put some focused time into improving your family life. She has some especially good advice for single-parent and blended family households.

Glanz includes experiences from her friends and fellow motivational speakers, creative moms and grandmothers and she sprinkles throughout the books many hilarious cartoons dealing with everyday family life that borrowed from published sources. There are tip boxes and lists to get you started and keep you interested. In every chapter she begins with an “idea,” then illustrates the “idea in action” and finishes with “tips.”

For children who like to play with their food before eating (and what’s wrong with that) Glanz includes a recipe for Peanut Butter Play Dough. Kids can create fun shapes and characters and then yummy them up. Only one rule – start with clean hands.

Peanut Butter Play Dough

Smooth peanut butter, start out with a couple tablespoons

Honey, about a teaspoon to start

Nonfat dried milk powder, enough so the peanut butter is not sticky

Mix with a spoon and then roll into ball. Start having fun. When finished, eat


(Care Packages For The Home by Barbara Glanz, $16.95, paperback.

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