This summer has been a rough one for me. I mean, you know, of course it's been awesome with our community water park close by, swim lessons, a family trip, cousins visit etc! (I'm not being sarcastic, it definitely has been great). Yet, in between all that fantastic stuff, I'm still dying in this Arizona heat. And on top of it being so dang hot, since the sun is up at 5 am during these summer months, so is my two year old! Yaaaaaaaaay.
*Not that he was sleeping so much better before the summer, but c'mon, to wake up at 6 a.m. sounds like quite the dream now!
For those of you that know Micah, you know he's not the kind of two year old who can sit nicely in front of a television screen in the early morning while you try and get an extra hour of shut eye. No, Micah is the kind of two year old who hangs from the dining room chandelier, unlocks the garage door, and plays in daddy's tool box at 5 A.M. when you think he's sleeping. True Story.
Therefore, I have been extra zombiesh this summer, and have had to come up with lots of easy, mess free, indoor activities for my kids to do while I walk around in a daze....sort of. So if any other desperate moms need some ideas of how to stay sane during the summer, I know these aren't super original, but here's what I've come up with:
Mess Free Finger Painting: I know this was on Pinterest (everything is) but I'm sorry to say I can't find the link. Basically you squirt some paint in a large zip lock bag, place that on top of a white sheet of paper (you know, so your two year old actually believes he is painting a real picture, on paper) and tape it all down. Now, your child can happily finger paint for however long it lasts without any mess for you! YES! Micah and Emma love this. It keeps them both entertained for about 30 minutes. ;)
Indoor Trampoline: I finally broke and bought a little exercise trampoline off amazon last week. Lets just say, that I was getting tired of seeing my couch cushions on the floor. Aside from an occasional fight over who gets to jump next, this has been the best twenty five dollars I have ever spent.
Pipe Cleaner Jewelry: This is actually one of Emma's favorite activities to do. When I'm feeling
desperate generous, I buy fruit loop cereal and the kids have a lot of fun stringing and eating it afterwards as a treat. It doesn't have to be stringed on pipe cleaners, but it just makes it really easy for the little ones.
Bubble Baths: Yes, I let my kids take a bath whenever they want, or whenever Micah wants, since he's the one who always requests lots of them. I turn the water on very low, then unscrew the knobs so Micah can't have too much fun, and fold laundry while I watch them take turns filling cups of water up and dumping them on each other. Super fun.
Dance Parties: Or as my kids and I call them "Dance PARTAYS!" Really. Have LOTS of dance parties. If you want a list of songs that will knock your kids socks off, let me know. ;)
Show and Tell: Oh my gosh, this must be the secret to some awesome public speaking, ..or primary talks. I pull out our piano bench, and everyone takes turns running through the house finding something to "show and tell." Lasts for hours. ( It can lasts for hours, if you want it to.)
Hide and Go Seek: Simple. People hide and you go seek them. It's a hit. ;)
Make Your Own Lunch: This may sound lame, but one of my kids favorite things I let them do a lot this summer, is make their own sandwich. It's also one of my favorite things because it takes them quite a while to spread peanut butter and jelly on their own, and they are really happy the whole lunch.
Mommy's Store: OK, this has been AWESOME! My friend Devin posted about this on her blog and gave me the idea. Basically you fill a box (as you can see, mine is an ugly,old crummy one. But feel free to make a cute one, if you're not lazy like me) fill it up with a bunch of dollar store toys, treats, books, or whatever you want your kids to be able to work for and buy from you. Jonah has really loved this whole idea, and it's been a great motivator for him every day to do chores and stay busy.
Even though I have found some good activities for the kids this summer, it hasn't been enough to convince me that summers here aren't all that bad. It's pretty bad. What I can looking forward to is fall and winter, which almost make up for the bad summers. Almost.