It totally snuck up on me. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately & completely didn’t realize the end of school was upon us, until looking at the calendar one day & it was like “Oh, the last day of school is in 3 days. Wait…whaaa??!”. Anyway, now I’ve got all these random thoughts, tips & ideas floating through my head & taking up too much room. So I figured well hell, why not blog about it?! So here we go:
(This list may or may not evolve as I think up new crap…feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments!)
*Make ice cubes out of whatever non-carbonated drinks you have on hand, that way your drinks won’t get watered down in the summer heat yet will still be cold! For example: kool-aid cubes for kool-aid, lemonade cubes for lemonade, etc.
*Set up a lemonade stand & get your kids to “work” it. It’ll teach them all kinds of great, valuable life lessons as well as earn them some summer spending money (plus 10% for yourself for raising them) & give them something to do to keep them out of your face for awhile. (PS: I have a great homemade recipe on this blog!)
*Water. When it’s hot outside water is a great toy. If you’re like us & don’t live somewhere that is flat enough for a cheap-o pool, give the kids water to play with. Some people would worry it would run the water bill up too much but it really won’t & the few cents extra that it may cost will be worth it to keep those kids busy…trust me. Invest in a slip & slide maybe. Or water guns. Or even just some water in one of those athletic type water bottles that you can squeeze & it streams out. Hell, fill up a Rubbermaid tub & let them splash each other in the driveway. Water amazes kids.
*Utilize your crock-pot & outdoor grill. Grills are a summer staple but a lot of people tend to view crock-pots as being more of a winter time thing. Not at all! Using your crock-pot will save you time in the kitchen, therefore giving you more time with the family. It will not turn your kitchen into a sauna, like the oven will. Doesn’t suck a lot of electricity, which is important during the summer if you use central air & your bill is higher.
*At the risk of sounding like a Martha Stewart rip-off, try to plan 1-2 things to do with your kids every week. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a craft, but summer is a great time to keep in tune with your kids…they’re not gone at school all day & quality time is extremely important. Something as simple as a walk or weeding the flower bed together counts.
*Two words: MOVIE. NIGHT. We do movie night pretty much every Friday & Saturday during the school year, & then during summer it’s usually every night. Sometimes we do family movie night (self-explanatory) & sometimes we send the kids off to their room(s) to do their own movie night. A lot of times we pop popcorn (from the kernels!) & have other snacks. It’s just a cool yet cost effective way to
get the kids out of your face watch a movie.
*Go to the local library. At the risk of sounding like a complete After School Special (remember those?!) I highly recommend the library. It is free(!), they usually will have at least 1 free(!) summertime kids program/event, & nurturing a love of reading early on provides soooo many benefits I won’t bore you with them all here (just think on it a minute & you’ll see).
*Invest in bug spray. Lots of it. I don’t know about you but bugs irritate the living shitballs out of me. Also invest in some itch relief cream/gel, sunscreen (wear it/put it on the kids every sunny day!), sunburn relief & it wouldn’t hurt to grab one of those to-go “boo-boo” kits….places like
Hellmart Wal-Mart used to have them for, like, 98¢ but they’re probably $4.99 nowadays. You could probably just build your own from stuff you already have.
*PoPsIcLeS!! Up until this year I was totally one of those popsicle Nazi’s that despised them because when it’s hot out (of course) they get everything within a 2 mile radius drippy & messy & sticky. Blegh. However I have seen the light! You can get a box of 100 (I think) for $3.80 at
Hellmart Wal-Mart, the childhood-reminiscent Pop Ice brand. They taste great & there are lots of them & they’re basically frozen sugar water. Sure the kids may get a little hyper but in my opinion it’s a fair trade off for a little extra mopping & a chunk of time that I don’t have to hear “I’m bored”. I’ve even stepped my game up to letting my kids have more than 1 in a five minute period. I mean hell…it’s not like they’re filling or something, like a T-bone.
*Cook-out time, bitches! We love feeding people (must have 1/4 Italian in us) & having a cook-out is awesome. It’s relaxing (well…more so then preparing a regular dinner), you can have friends/family over, you can keep the menu relatively cheap, and everyone can just hang out & enjoy summer….coated in bug spray of course. If you don’t have a grill just grab a bag of charcoal & go to a local park & utilize one of their built in grills. If you don’t have a lot of budget then decide on cheap stuff & split the grocery list with whoever is coming (who said you had to be the one to always provide everything?! Plus true friends/family should be more than happy to pitch in, in my opinion). All in all it’s a good time & one of our favorite things.
*Chores. As a stay at home Mom I keep a pretty usual, mundane schedule of daily crap to do. The kids have one or two chores to do regularly but during the summer they get a couple extra. Why? Because they’re there & perfectly capable of helping out. Because there are more dishes to wash, clothes to launder & mess to continually clean up. Because they can earn money. Because it teaches them responsibility. Because they’re good kids & usually don’t mind helping out.