3 Ways to Simplify Your Summer
Although we’re in full blown Summer mode, once we got into the schedule of two of my three being away at school most of the week, I started to forget what it’s like to have all of them home all the time. All of the sudden the popularity of summer camps and long vacations seems to make more sense in the context of parenthood (rather than from the child perspective that I’ve had up to this point!) Luckily, in all of my planning and worrying about how to stay entertained has helped me to gain some perspective, (this article helped, too.) Today I’ve partnered with Joovy to share Three Ways to Simplify Your Summer!
1) Play Close to Home
Although summer vacations can take you all around the globe, regular summer days can and should keep you exploring in your own neighborhood! Right outside our door we have miles of sidewalk to cruise. It’s such a beautiful thing to go somewhere without getting in the car. To walk right down the street and enjoy being together, and being outside. While I know a lot of things have changed since I was young, I loved knowing my neighbors and getting to discover secret spots within walking and biking distance of my driveway. Near my parent’s house there was a place where the sidewalk ended before an undeveloped lot. I thought it was such a magical place where another world began! I want my kids to feel that same excitement about where we live, and we won’t be able to until we get out there and explore. Not to mention how much safer I’ll feel letting them go play on their own in a few years when I know the neighborhood as well as they do. Milo learned to ride his bike without training wheels earlier this year, but Eliot is well on his way with this Joovy Bicycoo balance bike. It’s built like a bicycle with a metal frame, hand brakes, and air tires. He feels like he’s as big as his brother pushing along as he gains the balance he’ll need to get going on a real bike soon. We didn’t have a balance bike with Milo, and can already see how learning to balance before learning to pedal will be such an advantage. Plum and I join the gang with the grow-with-you Joovy Tricycoo. From sitting and riding, safely contained within the surround arms, to learning to hold on and pedal on her own, she’ll gets to experience the fun of biking with the family starting now! I love that I can push her in the Tricycoo until she knows how to power it herself, because we can keep up with the boys as we go out exploring. Her cute little Noodle helmet fits her tiny baby head perfectly, too, and of course she loves wearing one just like big brothers. We can all get out together, just rolling down the street, as we stay close to home for some summer fun.
2) Stock Up on Old Favorites
I’m guilty of overdoing things while trying to create fun moments with my kids. I sometimes overlook or dismiss the simple old favorites because they’re too simple or too obvious. There’s a reason things like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, hula hoops, and water balloons have been around forever. They’re fun! I actually love drawing with sidewalk chalk, and I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. You can make game boards, hopscotch, or trace an outline of each of the kids’ bodies and let them color in the details. A driveway or patio offers the perfect spot for some old fashioned summer fun.
3) Pack A Lunch Daily
This might not sound like simplifying, but let me explain. While I’m already in the habit of packing lunches, I thought it would make the day so much easier to just have a lunch packed and ready to eat wherever we end up each day. These aren’t gourmet meals, we’re talking sandwiches, fruit and veggies, and simple snacks. I used to do this when we lived in DC and my boys were babies, and I loved the freedom of having lunch with me wherever we were. Whether on the front lawn on our picnic blanket, or down the street at the neighborhood park. Rather than having to rush home to pull something together, or grab meals out every few days, if you have a packed lunch you’re set for the day and can enjoy whatever adventures you happen upon. Somehow taking that element out of the middle of the day just helps keep things rolling smoothly, no one gets too hangry, and we’re able to continue enjoying the afternoons. I’m sure our summer will also have lots of days by the pool (ours is close enough we can ride our bikes!), some weekends camping or visiting friends, and some trips to local zoo and museums. It’s the many, many in-between days that will be easier and more fun by keeping them simple. I scheduled a babysitter a couple days a week to separate some work time and recharge time from the together time that I get to spend playing with the kids, so that I can feel free to play and explore right along side them. It’s summer for me, too, after all! The anxiety is becoming replaced by enthusiasm, and (as soon as the rain stops) we’ll be ready for the summer to begin!
This post was created in collaboration with Joovy. All ideas and opinions are genuine and authentic, of course. Thank you for supporting the brands that make my blogging possible!