I LOVE summer.
All of my babies are home with me, the activities and hustle slows down, and the slower pace just makes for a less stressed, happier mama. June seems to be flying by, though, and I took the first few weeks enjoying being able to sleep in, take care of the new baby, getting tasks around the inside and outside of the house in order, and enjoying the end of dance and baseball.
Now, I get to fully immerse the family into a more fun “routine” of playing in our new little pools and on our slip and slide, doing arts and crafts, baking/cooking, and going for walks. Of course we’ll throw in picnics and park, visiting friends and family, and just relaxing. But, for the most part, being able to go at our own pace makes me so happy.
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I’ve considered homeschooling for this fact — no bus in our area means I tote all the kids to and from the school twice a day 5 days a week during the school year which totally eats at my day and makes me nearly constantly in a state of stress. But I really like the school my son attends and would hate to disrupt the progress he makes each year in that setting (plus he loves seeing his friends at school).
With that said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What activities shall we do regularly this summer to keep my littles off of their tablets and video games and out into the wide world to soak up the sunshine? Read on, fellow flawed parents, read on…
These 6 Summer Activities will be on our rotating weekly schedule:
- Bubbles/Chalk – Our entire driveway isn’t paved, but we have a large enough chunk in front of the garages that we can certainly enjoy a little hopscotch, drawing, and bubble blowing. The backyard creates even more fun with bubbles as our dogs like to chase the bubbles and try to eat them (how dare they invade our home, you know?).
- Pool/Slip n Slide – We have a free city pool, but that usually means there are a LOT of people, you have to get there super early to wait in line, and frequently kids pass around illnesses. With a new baby, I prefer setting up shop at home and just inviting a friend or two over or rocking out ourselves. Then you can go in and out as you please, pee in the yard if necessary, and, heck, last year my son decided to skinny dip n slide (can’t do that at the public pool haha).
- Arts and Crafts – I ALWAYS love arts and crafts year round, but I can do some of the messier ones outside in the summer. I have seen a couple of ideas with paint and matchbox cars or water guns. Painting rocks and items we find is another one high on the list. Maybe we’ll have to try out some water balloons with a bit of paint in them. That seems easier to clean than water guns.
- Bikes/Scooters/Walks – My son learned to tie his shoes this year, at 7 years old. While this seems crazy to me (I learned when I was 4), the necessary tasks to learn seem to have shifted. This summer I’m dedicated to teaching him to ride his bicycle without training wheels (I learned this when I was 5). Last summer we were so busy moving into our new home, we neglected even getting our bikes out and he loves his scooter, so we allowed it to be substituted. However, I feel like the time has come to tackle this beast. Riding his bicycle without training wheels will be a skill checked off the list. My daughter’s a little more of a dare devil and a bit braver naturally, so I feel she won’t be too far behind brother on this one (she’s 3)… for now, she loves her strider bike and car (we let go at the top of the driveway and she flies down until the rocks stop her).
- Smores and Marshmallows over a fire – Summer would not be complete without a bit of toasting over a fire. Last weekend we finished our fire pit in the backyard along with a walkway from our driveway to our front porch/door. Then, we sprayed the yard to keep away mosquitoes and other bugs. NOW, we can sit around the pit, check on our garden, play in the backyard with the dogs (next up will hopefully be a play-set), and get in some marshmallow roasting without being in a campground (although that somehow makes them taste even better).
- Picnics – In the winter, we do picnics in front of our fireplace on the floor in the living room. So, naturally, in the summer, we do picnics on our porches, on the driveway, in the grass, or at a park. Seriously, eating outside be it a bbq or picnic makes summer feel well-rounded. Sitting in your bathing suit, drying out, and eating while you’re taking a break just makes the day better.
Let me know your favorite summer fun activity (whether it’s boating on the lake as a couple weekends getaways or something you do more frequently) in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!