Aug 07 2015
Sun, Fun, Family
Sun’s out! School’s out! Hopefully your sanity is still reigned in!
It’s that time of year in which kids’ schedules and general sense of structure tend to go out the window—sometimes taking their mothers’ peace of mind with them. Thank goodness it's almost time to go back to school!
The good news for moms everywhere is you can still provide your kids with an activity-filled end of summer that’s simple yet a blast.
First, allow us to take you on a little trip down memory lane: Think back to the summers of your childhood, before the era of technological gadgets and scheduled play dates.
Remember how we were mostly free to roam and play as long as we were home by dinner? It was a far simpler and more trusting time in which we had little more than our bikes, a few friends, and a whole lot of imagination to keep our summers interesting.
We realize the world has changed and aren’t suggesting you take an identical approach to summer for your own kids. But we are saying there’s a world of fun to be had during these months that will encourage your family’s well-being off of the couch, away from a Wi-Fi connection, and out into the great wide open.
Warning: Your kids may end up having so much fun they might not even realize your sneaky schemes of attempting to keep them active.
Start with designating a family “activity day” at least once a week in which the whole family spends time together doing a fun outdoor activity. Allow each member to choose something they’d like to do and place it on a summer bucket list.
Fun in the sun ideas:
Need some ideas? Try these tried and true activities!
Bike rides: Dust off the wheels, grease the gears, and take the kids on a bike ride. If you have little ones that are still too small to ride their own bikes, pop a seat on the back of your bike and add some bonus toddler weight to your pedaling. As a reward to everyone, make the last stop your local froyo shop.
Hiking: Burn calories while exploring the great outdoors and teaching your kids a thing or two about nature. Pack a lunch and set out on a local trail, or combine it with a weekend camping trip complete with s’mores and ghost stories.
Water sports: If you live close enough to a body of water, rent stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, kayaks, canoes, or snorkel gear for endless aquatic fun. Your kids may even end up discovering a new hobby or a hidden talent they didn’t know they had before.
Swimming: Splash into summer fun at your local pool. Place rings or “buried treasure” at the bottom of the pool and have your kids swim down to get them. Organize a pick-up game of water volleyball, a few rounds of Marco Polo, or a good old-fashioned diving or cannonball contest.
Yard games: Don’t underestimate the classics: freeze tag, capture the flag, or hide n’ go seek. If it’s extra hot out, set up a slip n’ slide, fill up some water balloons, or turn on the sprinklers, and let the games begin.
Parks n’ rec: Take your kiddos to the park and have them slide down slides, swing on swings, and climb on trees. You may just find yourself getting in touch with your own inner child and wanting to join them.
Summer fun the safe way:
While having a blast outdoors is the great, safety always comes first. A few things to bear in mind while out having fun during the summer:
Sunscreen: This is a no-brainer for most moms, but something to keep in mind is most sunscreens (yes, even the waterproof or “long-lasting” ones) wear off after a few hours and should be reapplied accordingly.
H20: Be sure you and your kids stay especially hydrated while participating in outdoor activities. A good rule of thumb is the “8 by 8” rule—eight glasses of water by 8pm. If you suspect your child has become mildly dehydrated, restore their electrolytes with coconut water.
Bugs: Keep spray on hand during hikes and camping trips, especially in particularly humid areas. If your child gets a bug bite or a bee sting, assuming they’re not allergic, scrape the stinger off with a credit card, clean the bite with a mild soap or disinfectant, and place baking soda on the affected area.*
Poisonous plants: The big ones to watch out for are poison oak and poison ivy, especially in wooded areas. Teach your kids how to spot and avoid these plants. If affected, rinse with lukewarm water and apply a calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Be sure to thoroughly wash all clothes that come in contact with the plant.*
Band-Aids: These are always good to have handy, especially since there’s bound to be a couple scraped knees and elbows along the way. However, the minor ones can typically be instantly fixed with a theme Band-Aid and a kiss from mommy.
Now get out there and summer away! There isn't much of it left!
*As recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology