5 Things To Do In the Summer

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Summer is a magical time in the land of bay breezes and self-driving cars. Slowing down and having simple routines and plans usually lends itself to a lot of connection between the 3 of us, and some fun too. Here are 5 things we've been up to, and you can easily try with your own children, if you'd like. 

Set Up Loose Parts

I've chatted before that I don't entertain my children very often because there are so many wonderful benefits for parents and children alike. Instead I prefer to sit nearby and observe them while they direct they own play, both indoors and outdoors. 

In the dead of summer, some days it's just too dang hot to go outside, and so I like to set up loose parts in different ways around the house.  I find this practice so simple and rewarding. Every week or three, I try something new. One week it was geometric shapes on a light table, the next - sparkly jewels next to play dough. I've set up tiny toy animals in the sandbox, and seashells next to the water table. A basket of dyed wool next to magnatiles or even ribbon clippings also has much more potential than meets the eye. Then I hope for the best that my children find something clever to do with it all (I sit close by and observe, without interfering, when I can). They nearly always do. 

Visit A Hands-On Aquarium or Museum (and take the guided tour)

We visited a small hands-on aquarium on the coast and watched as Brother Butterfly burst out chuckling after touching a piece of slimy seaweed, and listened with smiles across our faces as Sister Butterfly enthusiastically raises her hand and offers thoughtful questions and comments to our tour guide, "if a whale and a giant squid got into a fight, who would win? My guess is the squid would pull down the whale with it's tentacles!" The guided tour was surprisingly fun for the whole family and we walked away learning more than we expected (mostly because our toddler napped through it). 

Try A Simple DIY Project

I continue my love for a handmade home in the summertime, even if it doesn't look en vogue. Sister Butterfly decorated our table cloth in such a bright and cheerful way, using the ends of fruits and vegetables and fabric paint. I hand poured our beeswax candles. Dinner time has felt so warm and inviting ever since.  

4. Start A Summer Nature Table

We took a long walk in the tall, summer beige grass and observed the snails that seem to hang on for dear life as they sway back and forth in the warm breeze. The children both collected a few keepsakes for their summer nature table. Many children love to collect what they find out in nature (just be sure you're keeping sustainability in mind). I like to bring light baskets (the Goodwill has plenty), jumbo tweezers, a plastic jar with holes for collecting insects, and a small magnifying glass for discoveries. Then we bring home our favorite things and add it to our nature table.

Bonus! The nature table gets a lot of attention for play as well - seashells become telephones, pinecones are added to block structures, and flowers added to nature soup. 

Read Summer Books Together

It's also a time for reading summer books over and over. The kids and I are reading The Lion and The Mouse, and I just finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Talk about receiving the right message at the right time! Have you read it?

What about you? What are you reading lately? How is your summer going and what summer fun have you been having?

With love and respect,