Friday, June 3, 2011

Fabulous 5 Summertime Funtime Ideas

Okay, so I know I've been terrible about posting on here, lately. One of my excuses is that our internet connection has been spotty. Hopefully the technician that came out today was more effective than the one that came out last week! Ugh! I won't bore you with the other twelve. (You're welcome.) :)

My sister sent me this awesome list of summertime activity ideas, and I'm totally logging it away for future reference, but honestly, many of the ideas are much more suitable for older kids. (By the way, if you have them, I'd love to see your pics of any of these ideas that you use!)

So these Fabulous 5 Funtime Ideas are specifically tailored to the toddlin' tots out there:

1. Blow bubbles.

Seriously, this is Caleb's favorite pastime, lately, which is great because we don't have to go any further than the bathtub or our little balcony to do it. Usually, I blow the bubbles, and he chases them, yelling "no, no." It's really quite amusing. We got some professional pictures taken this week, and some have pics of him chasing the bubbles, so hopefully I'll post some of them, soon.

Grammy got him a sword-style wand that he likes to swing around, too. It's a little scarey, but since he doesn't get the whole blowing gently thing yet, it's great! (He spits forcefully or puts the smaller wands in his mouth. Yuck!)

2. Buy miniature ice cream sandwiches.

You can imagine what happens to the big ones, but the mini ones seem to be just right--for Caleb's little hands, small apetite, and short attention span. Unlike popsicles, when kids bite into ice cream sandwiches, they don't get that icky feeling when that cold stuff hits their teeth.

3. Freeze yogurt on sticks or (even easier) Gogurt tubes.

Actually, since Caleb likes to bite things off, I have to break off small pieces for him. It's worth it on hot days, though, when juice or water seems more appealing to all of us than dairy does. Josh (who's 8 months old--yes, already!) loves to suck on the frozen yogurt and slobber all over the messy tube, once it's empty!

4. Make smoothies.

You don't have to do anything fancy, here, folks. This is another way to get both dairy and fruit in, too. Here's what I use:
  • 1 can of orange juice concentrate
  • about 2 cups of frozen fruits or berries (We've used blueberries, strawberries, and peaches!)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2-3 cups milk
  • Sugar or sweetener, to taste
Simply thaw the frozen fruits in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until they're somewhat soft but not warm, and then put all the ingredients in a blender and puree! (I use a plastic container and a cheap-o immersion blender, which makes for easier cleanup.)

5. Allow for spontanaity!

Okay, this goes both ways: You want to allow for flexibility so you can all enjoy those days when the weather is just right, and you want to be willing to abandon your plans for special outings when weather or moods just don't cooperate. The second part is really easier to do with little ones than it will be in a few years.

Don't tell them that you're going to the zoo, the beach, or whatever, ahead of time, so you don't have to feel guilty for "lying" if plans change. But if the weather is really too hot or muggy or whatever, or you little tike is just plain out of sorts, do yourself and your kid a favor, and switch the "fun time" to another day. You'll both be glad.

With little ones, you also need to be flexible enough with your own plans to realize that they might not exactly have the same idea of what's fun. I'll post about how I learned (and applied!) that lesson on our recent trip to the zoo, on Monday. (The above pics are from that trip. If it looks like I think my "boys" are more photo-worthy than the animals we went to see, well, looks aren't always deceiving!)

I hope you're already planning some unplugged time to enjoy the summer with your little darlings. I know I am!

This is

reminding you that the days may be long, but summer is always way too short!