Summer vacation is almost here and there is no better time to start planning for the endless, hot summer days with the kiddos.
Truly, I LOVE my children. I just love them more when they are in school five days a week (year round school doesn’t sound so bad in late June, does it?!?)
In my house, Arizona summer days end in non-stop bickering, complaining and constant messes.
I have not found the perfect solution to my summer woes (three months at sleep-away camp is not a viable solution), but I do have a few tricks to help me and the kids make it through until August.
1) Buy paper plates – I don’t do this year round; it is only a summer thing in my house. But when you have to feed children three meals a day, the dirty dishes pile up fast. By using paper plates, plastic utensils and cups in the summer, it really cuts down on running the dishwasher constantly and keeping up with the mess. I also try to use the oven as little as possible. A toaster oven can heat up the chicken nuggets and corn dogs, just like the real oven, but doesn’t heat up your whole house.
2) Buy a bunch of cheap toys – I start stocking up on the $1 toys from Target or the Dollar Store early. You know the ones — lots of sidewalk chalk, little notebooks, water toys, etc. Keep them hidden away, and when things seem like they might reach the boiling point, bring out something new (or use them as good behavior rewards). This will keep them busy for a long time and, at the end of the summer, I throw them all away with no guilt.
3) Display a Must Do List – I am going to try this trick this summer. Here is my list that I’ve created for the kids. You could easily create your own. I am hopeful that this list will keep me from harping on the kids each and every day (a mom can dream, right?!?).
4) Get out of the house at least once a day – If you do not leave the house everyday, you and the children will go bonkers. We plan one thing to do each day –even a trip to Costco or walking the mall can seem like a big deal. Also, try to get everything done in the morning, because after 1 PM it is just too hot to venture outside.
5) Plan evening activities too – I know you think this sounds crazy, but hear me out. You can take the kids swimming, run in the sprinklers or ride bikes around the park in the evening. Right after the sun sets, it does cool down a smidge. It is actually not too terrible and you don’t have to cover everyone in 85 SPF. Other ideas for evening activities include the Botanical Gardens, Phoenix Zoo (select evenings only), splash pads, or pick up a new family activity like visiting the driving range or tennis.
And, as always, please share with us what you do to survive this time of the year because we are all in this together!