Tips to Surviving 80 Days of Summer Break

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North Phoenix Moms Blog - Tips to Surviving 80 Days of Summer Break

Well, the inevitable has happened. The long, hot days of summer have arrived in the desert. The last month was uncharacteristically kind to us desert dwellers…..so much so in fact, that perhaps, we were in the slightest bit of denial that it would indeed happen. No? Just me?  Nevertheless, the mercury is on the rise and for most Valley families, school is out for summer. In our house, it has been exactly five days since that final bell rang and already, my kiddos look expectantly at me as they wander out of their rooms, sleep still in their eyes, and ask…..”Mama, what are we doing today?”

That’s the question of the season isn’t it? Well, 80 days to be exact…..but who’s counting?

Before having children, I prided myself on my ability to “go with the flow”. Having a plan for the day was a luxury….not a necessity. And plans were meant to be broken. Enter a newborn baby and all that perceived spontaneity went out the window for this mama. Routines are now a mode of survival. And while plans do not always go as, well, planned, somehow it makes the craziness of parenthood just a bit more managable. Perhaps its the glimmer of hope it gives me for a day of memory making, carefree fun, and not-a-single-sibling-fight-to-be-had. But more realistically, if I am being honest, it gives mama the upper hand. The kiddos know, mama holds the key to unlock summer fun….therefore, be kind to mama. Three year-old’s reason like that right?!?!?

Now 2 summers in to school age kiddos, I have a little plan….and if it works like it did last year…..well, this mama will be quite happy! It goes a little something like this…..

For each day of the week, we have a little theme. A theme that is consistent from week to week, yet is vague enough that mama or papa still have flexibility to change things up on a whim. A theme that the kiddos can understand and look forward to, yet not get so fixated on a particular outing/activity that they are devastated when plans change….and they do…..trust me.

Our themes this summer:

Make Something Monday: Have oodles of kiddo activities pinned on Pinterest that you never get to during the summer? Have a yummy kid-friendly recipe that you want to try out in the kitchen? Well, scroll through that Pinterest board on Sunday night and pick whichever one strikes your fancy. The best part? Whether it’s an elaborate mosaic stepping stone, super bouncy rubber balls, or making easy-peasy rice krispy treats, the littles will ADORE it……because they made it…..with YOU!

Summer Fun 1

Out On The Town Tuesday: Get out and explore this wonderful city of ours….just make sure the AC is working in your car! There are TONS of free family acitivites to be had and if you go mid-week, the crowds are (almost) always smaller! Check out your public library for a Culture Pass to a local museum or head out to a nearby shopping center for a kiddo dance party. Bam! You’re a hero mama!!

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Water Fun Wednesday: You know it’s going to be hot! What better way to cool down than with water play. Tour the local splash pads……from shopping centers, to the zoo, to public parks, they are everywhere and my children have never met one they didn’t like.  In fact, here is a link to get you started: SPLASH PAD ROUNDUP. A FREE surefire winner every week!!! I personally guarantee this one…

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Thoughtful Thursdays: My kiddos and I have always loved the library in the summer time and this summer it will be extra special because we have a new reader in the house, Whoop Whoop!!! The public library system has an awesome reading program in place this summer that the whole family can take part in. The kiddos earn points and prizes and really, what more incentive does one need than a free Chipotle coupon?!?!? Kids who read are kids who think…..we think just a little bit more on Thursdays!

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Friday Fun Day: Here is your wild card mamas……this is the holy grail day of our summer weekly routine. This year, my kiddos are old enough that we are going to purchase the Pogo Pass and with it, we can check out all of the family fun centers, athletic events, and museums we can handle…..and for a super reasonable price! This is the day that I can use as an incentive for the rest of the week…..You know the drill. “Do you want to fill-in-the-blank on Friday kiddos? Well, I need EXTRA super-duper behavior the rest of the week for it to happen.” Friday Fun Day is your dangling carrot…….and as I have discovered, it is the day I most look forward to as well.

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Because when it all comes down to it, summer can be hard. Particularly here in the desert where the harsh weather keeps us indoors more than we would like sometimes. But truth be told, we only have 18 of those summers with each kiddo before they are off and running.

18……yikes! My oldest is already a 1/3 of the way there. I don’t know about you, but when I look at it that way, I want to savor those 18 summers as long as I possibly can. And in order to do that, I must have my sanity. And if my summer “routine” gives me that needed sanity, well, my mama friends……I will plan away.

Happy Summer!!!

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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.

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