Now that school is out and summer is well underway, we’ve been experiencing some changes in routine. Some days our schedule is jam-packed. Other days I’m scrounging for things to do to keep my little one stimulated and having fun.
It’s no surprise that a change in routine can be difficult for everyone, especially our kiddos. So, a few weeks ago I decided to start some simple and fun summer traditions to try and keep some routine and consistency. Some of them required planning ahead. Others just slowly became a tradition because we enjoyed the activity so much. They’re nothing too out of the box, but have helped us all look forward to our summer ahead.
1. Toddler Garden
Back in April, we decided to plant a little city garden with our daughter. We planted lavender, basil, rosemary, daffodils along with a strawberry plant and cherry tomatoes. We bought a toddler-friendly raised bed for the herbs and it’s been great for her height and age (she’s 3). Since starting it, she asks to water them and check on them every night after dinner. It’s been great to give her the responsibility of watering the plants and seeing her big smile as she watches them grow. I think this project has also taught her patience and how to appreciate nature. I may have cried when her first strawberry ripened a few days ago and she was so excited to eat it. Her hard work paid off and it was so satisfying for her.
2. Sunday S’mores Summer Tradition
On a cooler Sunday in May, I bought good old-fashioned marshmallows, Hershey’s bars, and graham crackers to make s’mores over our fire pit on the patio. It’s such a classic but fun evening activity to do after dinner. We have a little fire pit we usually use in the Fall that we use to make them. But if you don’t have one, a gas stove top could work just as well (with extra parental precautions, of course). Our family enjoys this new little tradition and we all look forward to Sunday s’mores after dinner.
3. Bug Catcher for Summer Nights
This may sound like an odd tradition, but we’ve made it a habit this summer to take walks in the evening and catch lightning bugs. We put them in a Melissa & Doug bug catcher that we found at our local Whole Foods. For all of you bug enthusiasts, not to worry we set them free after a few minutes. It’s fun to watch my daughter’s face light up as she observes them up close and asks us questions about them.
It’s never too late to start traditions with your family. These have helped us have somewhat of a routine through these messy, but fun summer days. Have any fun summer traditions you do with your kids? Share in the comments.
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