summer afternoons

Olivia finished her first year of preschool last week and now that summer is here, we are always striving to get outside and enjoy the weather and time as a family. Some days that is easier than others and this May has been incredibly rainy compared to years past. Most mornings we wake up, I shower, make and eat breakfast with the girls, the girls take baths and then we head out the door for a playdate, errands or an appointment. Afternoons are usually spent outside just playing and relaxing, whether before lunch or afterward before naps.

After the girls wake up from their naps, I feel like we are always searching for activities to keep them occupied. They usually nap from about 2-4:30pm and there are those 1-2 hours before dinner where they seem to basically be asking for snacks or to watch TV. Being that we try to limit both the snacking and screen time, I have been trying to plan fun little activities that get us out of the house and out of our routine a few days a week. Even if it just means going to Nana's and having a picnic in her yard, filling the gas tank & getting a carwash with them along for the ride or reading books in the sunshine, it feels good to give them something to look forward to when they wake up that's different and exciting. 

The girls love books probably more than any other activity, and sticker books are a close second. They will literally sit on our couch for two hours straight doing their favorite sticker book (here). Olivia actually does each page and Poppy mostly just stacks stickers on top of each other and onto everything around her, but it keeps them occupied and having fun, plus pretty hilarious to hear Poppy say, "sticker book peas Mama" with a big smile.

Olivia has been loving doing wipe clean preschool workbooks as well, as she is learning to write the alphabet, her name and spell words. Her favorites are this one and this one.

For books, you can find all our favorites in this A-Z post here, but lately we've been loving the new board book version of Adventures with Barefoot Critters (above), The House in the Night, Each Peach Pear Plum, the Orla Kiely board books and Fairy Friends board books.

We also love going to local ponds to feed ducks & geese, taking walks around our neighborhood, park hopping, having "snack picnics" where we pack a handful of healthy snacks (a few favorite are blueberries and blackberries, bare cinnamon apple chips, pistachios, string cheese and sometimes popsicles) and just camp out somewhere nice and enjoy the warm weather. We always bring along our gathre mats for a comfy place to sit; we love these because they wipe clean and are perfect for both indoor and outdoor activities.

We also love laying in the hammock, doing bubbles or sidewalk chalk (another great way for Olivia to practice her letters) or running a fun errand like the carwash or to the book store. Some afternoons we bake, have tea parties or do puzzles and water wow pads in the backyard (the girls love these, they're great for the car too). We have a bunch of bird feeders in our backyard so once a week I will refill the feeders with the girls' help. We just recently added a new window feeder to our collection so the girls love standing by the window and watching the birds just a few inches from them. They love learning the names of birds and calling out the colors they see on each one. I grew up birdwatching with my Dad; he basically knows everything about every backyard bird ever to exist, and with just a few random descriptors he can identify them in seconds. Birdwatching is a hobby I love so much so it's fun to raise my girls instilling that same interest in them. And to see birds up close and all their little features really makes you appreciate God and the splendor of His creation.

Another popular activity for summertime is anything + everything water-related. My parents have a pool which we take full advantage of during the summer but it's not something I'm able to take all 3 girls to unless I have Dustin along because I need to basically be in 3 places at once and when water is involved, that is a challenge. We had a blow up pool last summer in the backyard which was fun, but then killed all the grass underneath it so at the end of the summer I threw it out. Ha. I'm on the hunt for a nice water table because I know the girls would love that, but every one I see is so full of plastic and bright colors, so if you have any recommendations of one you love that is a bit nicer to look at, I'd love to hear them! We also love playing in the sprinkler with the girls especially on super hot days and this sprinkler attachment makes it extra fun.

Now that Summer is here, we are trying to spend as much time outside as possible and its always nice to switch up our routine. I'm pretty sure the girls would be content doing the same thing day after day, but Dustin and I love taking them new places and making new memories, even if it's just down the street to sit in the grass, eat animal crackers and read their favorite books. Last summer at this time we were starting to renovate our kitchen -- a major task -- and a week after we began demo we found out we were pregnant with Baby #3. It was a long, hot summer for all of us and I am so grateful to be on the other side of things this summer, not only with my kitchen complete but with all 3 of my girls here with me.

Hope this gives some fun new ideas for the warm days ahead! Thanks for reading! XO

1 comment:

  1. Do you garden with the girls? They're at the perfect age to help you grow and water some tomato and jalapeno plants, herb container plants and some flowers! My toddlers love going out and watering every day and picking the food when it's ripe!


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