summer fun with young kids

At the beginning of this summer one of my friends started a private Facebook group for us to invite our other mommy friends to and then share playdates and activities. It makes it so easy to just post an event or park we’re going to, or see what other people are up to and decide to join them. Oftentimes it’s just meeting up at a playground and letting the kids run around and play while the mommies get to chat.

This is a great way to expand your social circle as you meet other moms that are friends of friends, and such a great way to hear about activities going on in your area as we have all shared things as we find out about them. Programs at the library and local parks, festivals, swim lessons, anything!!!

Here is a list of things I enjoy doing with my kids in the summer!
-Playgrounds: don’t always go to the same one! Seek out new playgrounds, find out which churches have public playgrounds, etc… Also bring stuff to the playground so if they get bored with the equipment they have other things to do! Chalk, bubbles, trikes/bikes, sand toys, kites…

-Gardens: we have a botanic garden we like so much that we bought a membership to it, but it’s free on Tuesdays so we can go then with friends who don’t have a membership! We usually take the stroller and the kids will get out to look at the flowers and statues. Our favorite part is the sensory garden where there are plants that feel different, smell different, etc…! We also have a calendar garden locally that’s really fun!

-Zoo: this isn’t the best with a large group, but you can always go “together” understanding you might get split up and decide to meet at a certain time for a picnic lunch.

-Splash pads: bring some buckets/cups! Hours of fun!

-Public and private pools: we love going to friends pools but I also love going to public pools that have zero entry and splash pad type features, makes for a less stressful time for me since my kiddos can touch the bottom.

-Berry picking: this is a big favorite of mine because it is THE BEST photo op. The kids love it too, all you can eat berries while you’re picking, and we usually end with a picnic.

-Bowling: I have heard of a lot of bowling alleys doing “kids bowl free” programs in the summer. At the age my kids are we only need to go once a year, haha, but it does make for a fun outing on a day when it’s too hot to be outside!

-Parks Department activities: our parks department has activities throughout the year for different age groups.

-Library: summer reading program, story time, activities for different ages, free movies, etc…

-Beach: I was not a beach person before I had kids and now I love it. It is amazing how long kids will play and entertain themselves at the beach. We are about an hour from Lake Michigan so we’ll load up in the morning and then stay at the beach as long as the kids can handle it, usually till 2pm, then they all sleep on the way home! Pro tip: skip the sand toys and buy kitchen tools at Dollar Tree! Scoops, strainers, funnels, colanders, etc… They are sturdier and my kids like them more than beach toys!

-Playdates at your house: rotate with your friends because each person’s house/yard has different benefits! Provide an easy lunch for everyone or ask people to pack lunches and plan one or two activities like a kiddie pool and sprinkler, a mud kitchen, giant bubbles, yard games, tie dye party, whatever!!!

-Think outside the box! We have gone twice this summer to a sand and stone supply place because I needed to pick up some more rocks for the landscaping I am working on, but we’ve made it a fun outing and let the kids pick out some rocks too! They loved it! We also went to a tractor junk yard to get some tires for a project and that ended up being a fun field trip!

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