How can #SUMMER2018 be here already!? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were dreaming of being tan and poolside with our babes instead of sitting in a half-mile long line to drop them off at school in our PJ’S and bed hair?
Well, GOOOOODBYE drop-off line and HEEEEELOOOO SUNSHINE!!
Let’s talk about this contrast for a minute...and I’m about to get real with you. Why is it that during the school year we CAN’T WAIT for summer break, but when once it’s here we feel like this?
like.....STOP SAYING MY NAME FOR JUST ONE MINUTE PLEASE!
I’m trying to have only 2 cups a day, so sometimes when I wake up at only 6 am, I’m more sad about the fact that my coffee intake will be over before the sun even comes up than I am about being awake that early on summer break.
In all seriousness though, I LOVE SUMMER BREAK! The best part really is (all jokes aside) that I get to spend full days with my kids without worrying about homework, projects, school clothes, or packing all the right snacks for their lunches.
So, I want to share a few of my tips for making it through summer and REALLY, TRULY enjoying your time with everyone.
#1. STOCK UP ON SNACKS! And I don’t mean.. make a regular grocery trip..no no, you need a snack trip...for a small army! In our house we have a yogurt drawer FULL of yogurt and also a cheese drawer...those are 2 healthy snacks that kids can grab for themselves. I always stock up on lots and lots and lots of fruit too...and on your first trip--don’t even get junk food! Get them used to whatever healthy options you’re supplying and before you know it they’ll be begging for the good stuff as you run out. Here are our 2 fav yogurt options that are lower in sugar than the kid brands offer.
#2. CRAFTS!! I love using amazon in this area. You can be as specific as you want in the search and you are almost always guaranteed to spend less than you would at a craft store and still please everyone. I have a 7,4, & 2 year old...so this is something I resort to on a day where we have no plans and it’s just TOO hot to go outside if we aren’t planning on getting in the water. And we can’t just get in the water every time we go outside, so this is set aside for mornings and evenings. Obviously if you’re a parent you know that SLIME rules the world right now
...and here is a link to my FAVORITE kit which also has multiple themes!
Some other faves for my kiddos’ age range are mini canvases to paint, water color pallete and some blank mini canvases, puffy paint, those kits with crayons and colored pencils and stencils inside with lots of construction/printer paper.
3. MAKE A SCHEDULE!! I’m such a scheduler. I have to have a routine or I go crazyyyy. So having a toddler and preschooler who naps really helps out at our house...here’s an example of my daily schedule and it makes all the difference in the world!
#4. SCHEDULE AT LEAST ONE TRIP!! Ok, lets be honest...SUMMER feels long right?! Its fun, but after the first few weeks (or days) you might be over it already...and I’ve found that scheduling a trip or family adventure gives everyone something to look forward to on the days that seem to never end. You can go as crazy as you want! When summer first started, our family decided we were going to take a month long road trip! ONE WHOLE MONTH! We’re 3 weeks in and that has dwindled down to a 9 day trip...but it’s been so much fun to just TALK about it with everyone and let our kids in on the planning. If your budget doesn’t allow for a full blown vacay...you can plan day trips to free/inexpensive things in your town or neighboring towns. You might have to be willing to drive a little ways, but there are some FUN splash parks near us that are FREE! Pack a picnic basket, towels, and lawn chairs and make an entire day of it! Or you could find season passes to a local waterpark... that's much cheaper than flying to the beach and you would get multiple uses out of it!
#5. HAVE FUN!! Mom’s...it’s ok for the house to be messy everyday, all day! It’s OK! I know that looking around and trying to relax in a messy house is nearly impossible, but don’t let it ruin your summer! My house stays muddy because we have an above ground pool in our backyard and LOTS of dirt...but I’ve found a way to keep the clutter away for the most part...first of all, you have to let go of the idea that it will stay perfect and you’ll feel much better. Second, don’t do it all yourself! If your kiddos are 2 and up...they can help clean their messes. If you look at the schedule I shared above...i find a half hour segment before nap and bedtime each day to have my kids help me clean (and again, this can’t possibly happen EVERY DAY...but once you get it down, it could happen ALMOST everyday)...so we find a pocket of time and I will announce to the kids “Ok guys, in 3 minutes we’re turning off the TV (or putting down whatever you’re doing) and everyone is cleaning (insert # of their age) things in your rooms (or whatever room you want picked up)”...they whine for a second, but I always say “each time you whine, you add one more thing!!” and that usually stops the whining. With my 2 year old, I have to help her with her 2 things...but her room is usually clean so she helps me in the kitchen or the play room. If we’ve been MEGA busy and things look realllllllly outta control, I will just have everyone do 10 things and go from their. Once they’re all done with their #...they get a 2 minute break to do whatever...and then they have to do another round of putting things away! It usually takes the entire 30 minutes, but everyone’s room ends up looking pretty good.
#6. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES!! Memories are everything, especially while our children are little. And sometimes it’s nice to crawl into bed after a long week and see all the fun memories you’ve made as a family!
I hope you all have a fun, bright S U M M E R!