The Secret to a More Relaxing Summer

I've got a secret to share with you today!

I'm not really that organized during the summer :)

Ok, that's not really it -- the secret is in how I APPEAR to be organized on those crazy summer days. 

If you've been following The $0 Summer: 105 Ways to Make Memories with the Kids series, you know our goal is to help you focus on more fun and less chaos.  (If you haven't been following along, we'd love for you to join us!)

We had one of THOSE summers a while back -- you know the ones -- every time we would head to the park or the pool or out to an event, something would get left behind.

Like the water bottles or the kids' socks (which you ALWAYS need at play places) or the towel so my kids wouldn't shiver when they got out of the pool. 

Or worse yet, I would forget the snacks!

Ugh!

So I got myself together and put a little system into place -- a very easy system that made my family very happy because we always had what we needed when we needed it (yea!)

Want to know my secret?  And bonus:  it comes with a FREE printable to make your summer less chaotic too :)

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20 Ways to Enjoy a Summer Night

20 Ways to Enjoy a Summer Night

One of our favorite parts of summertime is the not-so-strict-bedtime schedule so we love to find some fun things to do on a Summer night!

We head out after dinner for a walk to the park or spend a night doing something special. 

With the longer days and cooler evenings, summer is the perfect time to find some family events or activities that you can enjoy together after dark.

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How to Create Memories with Your Kids

How to Create Memories with Your Kids

Ideas for how to create memories with your kids this summer!

Many of us are now ‘officially’ on summer break.

For kids, it’s a time for popsicles, pool visits and unscheduled adventures!

For parents, it’s a time to reconnect with our kids who have been trapped in a school building for the better part of the year.  

It’s also a time to think about what we might do together this summer.

Now I’ll bet you’re thinking this is going to be one of those ‘list’ posts – as in, make a summer bucket list or a what we’ll do this summer list.

But it’s not.

Even though that’s a great thing to do – it’s not the ONE thing I want you to do –

Scratch that

It’s the one thing YOUR kids really need you to do this summer.

 

The item I’m talking about only requires a pen, a sticky note and 3 minutes of uninterrupted time ….

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15 Free Father's Day Cards & Activities {printables}

15 Free Father's Day Cards & Activities {printables}

Father's Day is coming soon so I thought we would round-up some printable Father's Day cards & activities the kids can print and personalize for Dad. 

These aren't regular boring old run-of-the-mill cards either -- we've found ideas for techie greetings, funny fill-ins and some unique ones that are sure to make Dad smile.

I hope these make life a little easier as you get ready to celebrate with 'The Best Dad in the World'!

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17 Summer Reading Logs & Rewards {with free printables}

17 Summer Reading Logs & Rewards {with free printables}

Inspiration for Summer reading with fun reading logs & rewards for kids!

As parents, we know that connecting the kids with books throughout the summer months is SUCH a good thing. 

Summer reading helps them to keep their vocab and comprehension skills strong so those first weeks back to school are much easier!

But honestly, keeping them reading can be a challenge with all the other fun activities they have going on -- like the pool and friends and s'mores by the fire ... not to mention the availability of technology and the desire to get sticky, dirty and wet any chance they get ;)

Which is why this first post in our 105 Days of Free Summer Fun includes awesome ideas & freebies that will not only inspire your kids to read but also allow us to retain our 'cool Mom/Dad' status without constantly bugging them to pick up a book!

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A Secret Club for Kids -- Activities to Help Siblings Get Along

Try this creative idea f

One summer, our kids decided they wanted to start their own club.

A secret club.

"One that only has kids allowed Mom -- you can't come in, okay?"

It's one of those times as a parent when you're excited for the creativity and independence but also a little skeptical about the motive ;)

Since parents have their own little secrets, I thought it was time for the kids to bond a little and this club might be just the thing they needed.

Little did I know it was just the thing I needed too!

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7 Great End-of-Summer Outings for Families

It's hard to believe but our kids will go back to school in less than a month!

I know!  The month of July always seems to fly by for us.

Soon we'll be dealing with schedules, homework and early bedtimes. 

But we're not going down without a fight ;)  There's still time left to squeeze in some awesome summer fun and adventuring so the kids will have something fun to write about when the teacher assigns that "What did you do this summer?" essay.

Are you trying to squeeze in a few more fun activities before the kids go back to school too?  Here are a few ideas for some get-out-and-do-something places that will extend the season and create a some great memories.

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Go BIG! Life-size Games & Art Activities that Make Kids Say "WOW!"

Have you ever noticed that normal sized things are boring for kids?

"Want pancakes this morning?" and all I hear is  "Ok."

But if I ask "How about a pancake the size of your plate?", then I hear "AWESOME!"

Yep, size matters to kids ;)

They LOVE things that are super big or super small -- small world play is always a huge hit and creating BIG art is something they can do for hours.

So in keeping with our 105 Ways to Make Memories with the Kids without Spending a Dime theme this summer, we are introducing some VERY BIG activities the kids will really enjoy!

 

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30 Fun Things to do in June: Holidays & Observances

Sometimes creating fun memories is as simple as celebrating a day together -- so I thought I would share some of the fun & unique June Observation Days that families will enjoy!

It seems that there is a Fun Day celebration for everything under the sun -- Hug your Cat Day or Make a Sandwich Day (odd but true).

And the whole concept of there being days unique observances is a little foreign to kids -- except when they ask you "There's a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, so when is it Kid's Day?" 

Of course, we all answer "Every day is Kid's Day", right ;)

For June, choose a few observation days that fit your family's life -- maybe you're an outdoorsy group and want to do something special for National Get Outdoors Day.

Or maybe your kids LOVE Bomb Pops -- then make National Bomb Pop Day a new family tradition.

In line with our $0 Summer: Fun & Free Ways to Make Memories with the Kids philosophy, it doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive -- it's the little things that create BIG impressions!

 

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Science & Water Activities for a Day at the Pond

One thing I really enjoy during the summer are days out with the kids! 

We like to explore almost anywhere but since we have a summer budget, finding free places to visit is always a plus since we like to get out a lot during summertime.

You don’t have to travel very far for the kids to feel like they are “on a vacation”.  

I began to realize the benefits of days out with the kids when I took the kids to a pond one morning – we packed a picnic lunch, grabbed our favorite blanket along with a few other fun things that I had stashed in the car and headed out for a few hours.

It’s amazing how much fun kids have exploring the water!

So today we are sharing all the fun things you can do on a trip to the pond, creek or lake – including a great book list, FREE printable list and some great activities everyone will enjoy.

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Ultimate Guide for Summer Fun with Kids

In our house, summer comes in two phases:

Phase 1: The Honeymoon

A time when we all (parents & kids) are excited about no schedules, no school and long days together.  We have a hand-ful of activities planned and a great summer bucket list of things we can't wait to do -- life is looking good!

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Family Camping Activities in Your Own Backyard

Fun family camping activities perfect for your backyard!

Planning to camp-out with the kids? 

A backyard camp-out might be the perfect start for your family!

Why the backyard?

It's a great place to 'test the waters' when the kids are young -- for both parents & kids :)  You're close to home in case you forget something (like that super-special-can't-sleep-without-it blankie) or need a bathroom but yet it's a new experience if you haven't camped before.

Camping is also a fun way to get kids excited about being outdoors and connect with nature - so get ready to grab your tent and those marshmallows for a night under the stars!

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