Monday, June 20, 2016

3 Simple Ways to Create The Best Summer Ever

3 Simple Ways to Create the Best Summer Ever

We are SO CLOSE to summer vacation I can practically taste it!

With just three grueling, pointless half-days on our schedule left, I've been busy working on some details to help us make the most of our summer break as a family.

I thought I would share three simple things I put together (and you can, too!) that I am particularly excited about. I hope to use these to make sure our summer vacation is intentional, fun, and full!

Fill a Summer Bag

Filling a Summer Bag makes Summer outings super simple

Have you ever set out on a playground adventure only to discover wet slides and no way to wipe them down? Or realized that you forgot to sunscreen the little ones and they just happen to be having the time of their lives in direct sunlight? Of course you have! Who hasn't? Enter the Summer bag.

I fell hard for this insulated bag from a Vera Bradley store and immediately envisioned the boys and I bringing it along on all of our summer adventures this year. I took about 20 minutes and packed up lots of necessities for any typical summer outing (like sunscreen, small towels, wipes, diapers, band-aids, small snacks, tissues, hand sanitizer, bubbles, crayons, etc.) Before we take off with it, I throw in everyone's sun glasses, some filled thermoses or water bottles and occasionally a picnic lunch.

The great thing about this bag in particular is that since it's insulated, it's okay to toss wet things into it (like towels), and it will keep things like water bottles and packed lunches cool while we play. But you can use literally any tote you have!

By the way! You can watch our bag travel through each one of our adventures this summer by following the hashtag #SummerBagTravels on Instagram!

Make a Summer Schedule

Use a dynamic Summer Schedule to stay on track and help kids be accountable for their days

Are you a schedule person or a fly by the seat of your pants person? I am certainly the latter. If I could go through life on my whims and inspirations, I would be the happiest person you ever met.

Alas, parenting life is not ideally set up for the creative mind, so I sometimes need a little accountability for myself due to my nature. I also want simple ways to let the kids know what we are up to and what is expected of them without being too harsh or complicated. So I made a changeable summer calendar out of poster board, binder clips, classroom word cards, and a glue gun (all found at the dollar store.) I hung it on their closet door where we can change out the activities of the following day during our bedtime routine each night.

Putting this in their room gives them a clear idea of what's coming and a chance to get excited about fun things. It's also a bit to stay on task, because without that - we would definitely waste our summer days away with pj's and movies. Hopefully we can keep up with this - it has the potential to be so helpful!

Keep a Summer Journal

Keeping a Summer Journal as a simple, inexpensive scrapbook will preserve priceless memories for years to come

Okay, creatives - this one's for us! I'm a sucker for memory keeping, so this is my attempt to create a summer scrapbook of sorts. Did you know that keeping track of moments and revisiting memories enhances a person's happiness surrounding them? Reason enough to keep a journal or scrapbook! I hope to use this one to keep my kids writing a bit this summer, but I fully expect to do most of the memory keeping myself. As long as they are involved and it gets treated as a family treasure, we're nailing it.

To make mine, I just picked up a regular composition notebook from Target (I think it was like $.79) and then used mod podge to dress up the cover with summery scrapbook paper. Then, to finish it up, I added some shimmery washi tape (because, of course.)

Inside, we make note of everything we do together, track some of the things we'll be working on, and glue in little mementos we pick up along the way. At the end of the summer, we'll look through it together to enjoy all that we did together on vacation, and then we'll hang onto it for years to come!

PS - while you're at it, this is a perfect time to refresh your collection of sunscreen, bug spray and band-aids. ;)

3 Projects & 90 Minutes to a Perfect Summer

Let me know if you give any of these things a whirl, and what you added to yours to make them extra helpful or special - I'd love to grab some more ideas for ours! Have the best time!!

Ready, set, Summer! xo

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