Yay! Summer is almost here! Lazy days! Lemonade! Ice cream! MOM I’M BOOORED!!!!!!!!!
I really do love summer. I love not rushing to school in the morning, washing uniforms and making lunches. I am thrilled to laze around in my pajamas reading books and magazine to my heart’s content…
Then, my reality sets in. I have two little people looking to me to be their source of entertainment, whimsy and lemonade glass re-filler. When does school start again? (kidding, sort of)
Summer is also about spending at least some together as a family, working on creating some fun, lasting family memories. For the past two years, we have loaded up the old Honda Pilot and taken road trips. This experience has led me to be on the look out for cool stuff that is great in the car (or plane…or boat). For travel, I always stock up on Klutz Collections. WTS Toy Review has done some great Klutz reviews in the past – check out Klutz Paper Fashions Fantasy and Klutz Invasion of the Bristlebots. The concept behind these books and products is a hard cover instruction book with all requisite supplies attached to the front cover. We’re talking easy clean up here, and it is definitely convenient to not have to keep random parts including coloring pencils, glue, googly eyes etc. together. At around $20 I realize that I can probably put together my own huge craft box filled with the supplies from all of the books, but we are talking about travel and convenience here people, and these books take the cake AND latte!
At the beginning of the season I also like to head to my local dollar store (or Toys r Us depending on how much you want to spend) and stock up on new outdoor and water toys. I find that summer fun stuff really lasts only one season before it starts to break down, so it’s best to have a few new things each year. (Editor’s note: I know it is a bit early in the season but keep this tip in mind: At the end of the summer you can get amazing deals on discounted summer items. Bag them up and don’t let the kids see. When you take them out next summer they’ll be thrilled – and you’ll be pleased at the awesome savings!)
As the days drift by, I slowly will pull out some magic with new summer-fun surprises. Last summer the kids were really into water balloons. For $2 and a hose my kids and a lot of their friends had a blast. I also like to add new sidewalk chalk to the collection each summer. Sidewalk chalk is an awesome way to hang out with your neighbors kids without actually having to let them in to destroy your house.
Keep in mind when searching for outdoor toys – all toys are not created equal. I would like to take a few lines here to provide you with a brief warning. Crayola has recently introduced Crayola Washable Colored Bubbles. Cool in concept, not so cool in the washing machine. They failed my washability test…you are better off making your own (email me if you need a great bubble recipe).
For more easy outdoor fun, you can’t go wrong with sprinklers. I like to have a variety of different ones. Some spin around, and some will move up and down, and some will squirt you right in the eye out of nowhere! It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, sprinklers are lots of fun on a hot day. Some of my favorites are the Sizzlin’ Cool Splash Balls Sprinkler, or the Discovery Kids Outdoor Sprinkler Globe.
I hope that everyone stays safe, remembers sunscreen (for you and the kids), and has lots of fun this summer.