Family, parenting

How to Have a Fun Filled Summer Without All the Fluff

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Can you believe Summer is almost here? My kids are only going to be in school for another month and then it’s time for Mom to entertain! Unfortunately, Summer always sneaks up on me and I haven’t been the best planner in the past.  So, this year I want to change that. We don’t have much of a budget for summer fun, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do fun things.

Traveling isn’t the only way for summer to be memorable for kids.  When I was a kid, my best memories are of us packing a picnic as a family and going to the park.  It’s the small things that truly have the most impact.


Do you know what saves my sanity? Routine. I like my kids to know what is expected of them and what we are going to be doing during the day.

Waking up earlier than my kids to get myself ready makes a huge difference. When I feel put together, it helps the day run smoother. My kids have to do certain tasks in order to play on electronics or play with friends, so our mornings usually start out with checking chores and tasks off of each person’s list. My older kids have to wake up, get dressed, and clean their rooms. I always have a couple of other things they help with as well.

Playing outside in the morning is always a hit, especially when the afternoon heat rolls in. My kids usually come in and have some tablet time or book reading time when it’s unbearably hot outside.

We try to keep our nighttime schedule intact over the summer. Sleep is so important when it comes to feeling well. Bedtime doesn’t get any slack during the summertime unless there is something really out of the ordinary going on.

Outside Summer Fun

As a mom, it can be hard to come up with interesting fun things to do all the time. But, here are my goto things to keep my kids playing outside.

Trampoline Sprinkler

I know that everyone doesn’t have a trampoline in their backyard, but we do! And my kids love to get the hose and spray wet it down.  Swimsuits are a must for this one! My kids love to slip and slide everywhere and get some extra bounce going. If you don’t have a trampoline a running through the sprinklers is a great alternative! 


Sidewalk chalk is a great activity to entertain kids for hours! I give my kids challenges with drawing things. Last year I had them draw train tracks for my younger son. Games like tic-tac-toe and the dot game keep them entertained for a good long while as well.

Water Gun Fight

I always keep the cheap water guns that come in little packs stashed away in my closet for hot summer days. The whole neighborhood usually joins in and my kids get hours of fun out of it.

Water Balloon Catch Game

I have a summer birthday, so we always played water games in my backyard at my parties. My favorite game was always the water balloon toss game. You have one water balloon and stand close together and throw it to one another. Each time it’s caught, you take a step back. So entertaining! And the best thing is water balloons are so much easier to fill up now!  


My husband always makes fun of me, but we have an industrial grade bubble blower. I found it on a good deal one time and couldn’t pass it up. Hours of enjoyment has been facilitated by this thing. #noregrets

Special Snacks

I don’t know about you, but summertime always gets me in the mood for some nice cool treats. We have some fun ones that we make every year.

Lemonade Popsicles

You can call me lazy or inventive, but I don’t really enjoy putting a ton of effort into something my kids are going to down in .5 seconds, so lemonade popsicles are a win for me because they are easy and quick to mix up and freeze. Also, I have been told I’m crazy, but I don’t put a limit on the number of popsicles my children consume during the day as long as they are outside for the majority of it. (I obviously do not believe in bribery 😉 ) Oh, and did I mention we aren’t patient people either?  We love the Zoku Quick Pop maker (because, ya know…I’m not always the best planner). I keep it in the freezer and then pull it out when we want to make popsicles. It’s a blast for the kids to make their concoctions and watch it freeze.

Marshmallow Fun

I’m going to preface this with it not being my favorite thing about summer, but it is tradition, so I can’t get away with nixing it. When my husband was younger, he and his sister would always put marshmallows in the microwave and watch them “grow.” My kids, of course, had to try it and now want to do it all the time. I only allow it during summer. I know, WEIRD! But my kids love it, and now it can be passed down from generation to generation. Sorry, mom’s in the future of my family!

Get Out of the House

Sometimes everyone just needs a break from home!

Take a Drive

When my mommy mind can’t take the chaos anymore, we go for a drive. Occasionally, we pick some ice cream up and just drive around. My husband grew up in the area we live in, so sometimes he takes us to fun obscure places that my kids love to explore. So much fun!

Go on a Picnic

My kids love going to the park and having a picnic! They really enjoy helping me make the food and pack it up. They get so much satisfaction from it. The freedom to run around while eating is a plus too.

Camping or Hiking

I have a husband that really enjoys camping. I don’t love it because of all the preparation on my end, but it’s totally worth it and it doesn’t cost any more money than it would to be at home! Taking a fun hike with the kids is always exciting as well. My kids have a thing for collecting rocks, but I just love being out in the fresh air.

I just want summer to be simple. We always throw a few down days in where pajamas, movies, books, and popcorn are a must. To be honest, though, we spend a lot of time at home and just enjoy each other!

Summer doesn’t have to have a bunch of momentous amazing things going on for it to be good.

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