Stay Sane this Summer with Sun, Stimulation and Staycations!

Summer’s here — hooray! The kids are home, the days are sunnier, hotter — and longer. Gulp. Now insert soundtrack of whiny “I’m bored’s,” Frozen playing for the millionth time in the background, the washing machine humming because your kids seem to always be getting sticky, muddy, and sweaty, and the sound of the ice cream truck rolling down the street promptly at nap time, no matter when nap time is.

Feel your pulse quickening? Don’t! We’ve got you covered with lots of fun, educational, and inexpensive (or free!) ideas. You’re welcome!

Check Out Your Local Library


Local libraries have changed a lot since we were kids. Sure, the days of the Dewey Decimal system are long gone — but libraries have also become legitimately cool!

Nowadays, libraries host fun events for kids like zoo animal visits, yoga classes, and story times with favorite book characters, therapy dogs and even local authors. During the summer, many host day camps for kids, with fun themes such as robotics, the circus, and superheroes!

Make reading part of your daily routine by enrolling in your library’s Summer Reading Program. Not only will regular reading help your kids avoid the ‘summer slump’ — it will also give you some much-needed quiet time! For tips on how to get your child excited about reading, check out 8 Ways to Inspire a Love for Reading!

Children’s Museum


We all love the children’s museum — but after several long winter months of weekly visits, your kids (and you!) are likely a little burned out. But on a super hot, humid or rainy day, nothing saves the day like a trip to the museum!

If you have a membership at your local children’s museum, you should see if it’s on the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) Reciprocal List. The ACM Reciprocal Network is a voluntary group of roughly 200 museums open across the U.S. and Canada that reciprocate discounted admission to one another’s members that hold premium family memberships. So, your local museum membership can get you 50% off general admission for up to six (6) people at any ACM museum. Check out the list and plan a day trip to a museum (or two) near you!

Get Pickin’


Strawberries, blueberries, peaches and melons — who doesn’t love summer produce? Teach your kids a little about Mother Nature’s candy by taking your kids to a local U-Pick farm. Slap on some sunscreen and head to the farm earlier in the day (to beat the heat) — then have a picnic after you’ve picked your fill. It will be a fun change of pace for you and your kids — plus, your truck-loving tots will go wild for the farm machinery!

Once you’re home, have your kids help wash and prep your fruit — then pick a few recipes to make together! Your kids will love being a part of the process of picking, prepping and making their food — plus, studies show that even the pickiest eaters are more apt to try new foods if they’re involved in the preparation process.

Feeling inspired by Mother Nature? Start an outdoor garden with your kids this summer!

The Park


Ok — so your neighborhood park is a tried-and-true part of your routine, but what about a park in a different part of town? Or a ‘splash’ park? Or a nature preserve? It’s summer — slather the sunscreen on the kids, fill up the water bottles and play outside!

There are state parks, historical sites and national parks too. Did you know that the National Parks Service includes 407 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands? These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers, trails and even the White House! Pick a few in a one-hour radius and explore. All of these options are technology-free, fun and educational.

Be a Tourist… In Your Own City


Imagine your best friend is visiting from out of town. Where would you take her? Make a list of all the cool places in your city — attractions, restaurants, sites — and take your kids for an adventure in your own city!

Is there an amusement park you’ve never been to? A cheesy-but-fun city tour by segue, bikes or boat (like Ride the Ducks)? A local food truck or ice cream parlor that has garnered rave reviews? Take the kids and explore your city — you might even discover a few new favorite places to add to your repertoire!


So grab your laptop, calendar and kids — and get planning. Make this your most memorable, educational and fun-filled summer ever!

Need more ideas? Here are 15 Fun & Free Out of the House Activities to do with your kids!

Photo credits: Sarah M.Strawberries By Julie Magro (CC BY 2.0)
Source: National Parks Service

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Sarah

Sarah is a yoga practicing, mostly vegan, coffee chugging, Jack White-loving, stay-at-home-mom to three kids 4 and under in Cincinnati, Ohio. In her free time, she does freelance work for Cincinnati Parent, Dayton Parent and Indy's Child, and blogs about her adventures with three kids in the Queen City.

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    www.Way2blue.com

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    Created some following your recipe, then did yet another
    batch and added pistachios and subbed almond extract.

    Reply

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