I think we all have a love-hate relationship with summertime, actually hate is not the right word. I don’t hate summer at all! I know that my summers with the “Three Amigos” being by my side nearly 24 hours a day are numbered, and I don’t take that fact for granted. In fact, I’m so aware of it that I can’t help but being constricted by the squeeze of guilt urging me to make the absolute most of every day. But, of course, perfect summers are not realistic. I’m going to yell sometimes, the kids are going to squabble, the summer reading or math worksheets I’ve printed aren’t all going to get done and at some point the dog is probably going to find a fresh pile of deer poop in the yard roll in it!!
It’s life- it’s imperfect as hell, and yet when we look back at the absolute chaos, we’d literally trade anything in the world to go back in time and do it all over again. At least that’s what my “empty nester” friends always tell me.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I start out the summer with high aspirations; This year- we are going to make a lemonade stand, we are going to take a hike to a waterfall, we are going catch fireflies and roast marshmallows and go fishing.. .. but as we all know ‘late August mom’ just isn’t as tenacious as ‘early June mom’. And so, I’ve done hours of research and brainstorming ways to make THE MOST out of THIS summer. My list of “SUMMER FUN ESSENTIALS” is designed to keep the frazzled and exhausted late summer mom in us all at bay for as long as possible!
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TOP 10 SUMMER FUN ESSENTIALS
1. Cusinart Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt and Sorbet Maker
Of course, my first summer fun item involves the kitchen! My kids really love making ice cream, they love eating ice cream- I’m pretty sure they would love taking a bath in ice cream if that was an option. This is a delicious way to pass some time with a sweet reward at the end. Get creative with your flavors, take turns choosing what you are going to create each week. Maybe make it a Sunday afternoon dessert tradition. It’s the kind of thing that they will really remember for years to come. This gorgeous hard cover, The Perfect Scoop, will give you all the recipes you need!
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2. Classic Popsicle Molds by Zoku, BPA free
This isn’t the old school popsicle mold that I remember from the 80’s where they stick would come out and leave the frozen juice inside. This BPA free Easy-release Popsicle Mold by Zoku comes with reusable plastics sticks, drip guard with easy grip handles, detachable molds that have clearly marked fill lines and wide mouths that made them easy to pour liquids into and clean. Sure, buying popsicles is easy- but if you are into the experience this is a fun activity and your kids will be counting down the hours from the minute you put them in the freezer!
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3. MalloMe Premium Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
Listen, I’m old school… when it comes to roasting marshmallows, I’m of the mindset where “finding my roasting stick” is all part of the process! But I tell you what… these are super cool! You can roast two mallows at once and they are retractable for safe fire distance and compact storage while not in use. Break these out around your next campfire and I promise you’ll have everyone with a scraggly ole’ branch J-E-A-L-O-U-S… lucky they come in a pack of 6, because sharing is caring!
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4. Giant Yard Pong
I’m not really sure who is going to have more fun with this, the adults or the kids! Plus, you are training them for their future beer pong skills in college! So, let’s just call this an investment in their future educations, shall we?!
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5. Our Moments, Kids Edition- Conversation Starters for Road Trips
I don’t know about you, but we’ve got a 9-hour road trip coming up in a few weeks and I already antsy about it! Of course, we’ve got some DVDs and the kids will get some time on their devices, but what’s the real nitty gritty of the time trapped together in about 100 square feet of proximity – it’s the conversations! These cards are very thought provoking and can be a springboard for some really meaningful glimpses into your children’s perspective. I secretly like video tape them when they answer, because those are the videos are that are worth the watch 10 years from now when they are all grown up. sniff, sniff
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6. Rainbow Kite
If you haven’t flown a kite with your kids lately… don’t you think now’s the time to do it?? Confession- I haven’t. just being real here folks. But you know what, I’ve just inspired my own damn self! I’m buying this rainbow beauty cause if I was 6 years old (like my youngest is turning next week) I would probably think this thing was pure magic! It’s the #1 best-selling kite on amazon right now, has great reviews, very easy to assembly/dissemble, and it only $11 with Prime shipping. Make Mary Poppins proud, buy the kite, grab your kid and let it soar!
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7. WOWMAZING Giant Bubble Wands Kit
There’s just something about bubbles and can keep a kid’s interest for hours! Make them GIANT and they become completely mesmerized! I love this double handled flexible wand because it’s easy enough that my youngest can use it and it seriously makes the biggest bubbles I have ever seen! It comes with a bubble concentrate that simply needs to be mixed with water in a beach pail and you are ready to go!
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8. Kick Ball Set
I love kickball #sorrynotsorry, I have since my days on the playground back in West Philadelphia, well not really in that location… It just sounded good! This is a lawn game you can play with the whole family and hopefully a few ringers from another family. And it’s easy enough where even the youngest kids can get in on the action.
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9. Orville Redenbacher’s Hot Air Popper
Whenever a summer thunderstorm foils our outdoorsy time and brings us to the couch to cozy up and watch a movie, my kids automatically know its popcorn time! Now, I know how convenient the microwavable bags of popcorn are, but seriously, they are SO, SO BAD FOR YOU and air popping tastes miles better and is way more fun! Plus, you can control the amount of butter and salt added, or even level up the health game by adding coconut oil or nutritional yeast—I can’t promise your kids are going to like that swap, but it’s worth a shot!
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10. Tie Dye Kit
I know, so 70’s… and honestly, I doubt my boys would even wear a tie dye shirt- well maybe the younger guys, no way on the middle schooler. But here’s an idea- TIE DYE BEACH TOWELS! Now that is something that they could get into, not matter how cool or grown up they may think they are. I guarantee that if you give them a big white towel and a tie dye kit and sit down to create with them, they are going to have an absolute blast and you are going to feel so Pinteresty and accomplished. Get your “mom of the year” award speech ready- because you are now a contender!
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