“School’s OUT… for… summer!”
As a mom of four, I used to dread hearing that song sung with so much enthusiasm. I knew the time was here to keep these kiddos occupied so I could still get the things done that I needed to do each day. I despise electronics and video games, so I avoid those as much as possible.
After I got some experience under my belt, I realized how valuable it is to take some time each day to spend intentional time with my kids. Not to mention it wears their little butts out!
So, we began exploring options to both entertain kids this summer and wear them out. Here are some that we tried and love:
1. Water Play
It is the best when it comes to tuckering those babies (of all ages) out! It does not matter to my kids how they get to play in the water. It can be the hose, water balloons, baby pools, or going down to the local swimming hole at the river. Just being in water keeps them happy and plain exhausts them. Win-win for me! Do not forget the sunscreen!
2. We Got a Trampoline.
They are not for everyone, I get that, but it is amazing what even five minutes of jumping can do to get the wiggles out! They also LOVE when I get on it with them and we jump and run around! This is a win also because you burn so many calories doing this! Even a smaller-scale one-person trampoline could do this trick for them.
3. Sand Toys
While they are incredibly messy, sand toys will keep them entertained for hours! We caught a neighbor getting rid of an activity table and all four kids gather around it for hours.
4. We Garden Together!
They love helping dig the holes, water the plants, and gather the fruit of their labor. Even if you choose to grow only flowers, it is an incredible lesson for them. It also provides some early responsibility for them.
5. Go for a Walk!
Even if it is a short walk, getting their little feet moving makes a huge difference in their energy. The smaller their legs, the faster they have to move! We love exploring new areas around our home and the older kids like to ride their bikes or scooters with us as we walk. I recommend not forgetting bug spray for this one!
6. Chalk and Bubbles
As cliché as they seem, they're always a hit with my kids! They will spend hours drawing all over our driveways and chasing bubbles around the yard. These are both cheap options as well. Create drawing or “biggest bubble” competitions for them to challenge their abilities!
Your kids probably won't remember exactly what you did to entertain them this summer. But, they will always remember the efforts you put toward them having fun with you! Never underestimate the power of spending time with them, and not being glued to your job or household chores. Those babies love you as you are and want your undivided attention. Offer yourself grace if you miss a day. Challenge yourself to be intentional with them. Watch your relationship flourish this summer!