Summer is here. We are IN IT. As the mother of a two-year-old, I’m excited that my daughter’s at an age where she can take part in some fun summer-y activities. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the need to slow it down and really enjoy some quality time with her. I read an article recently about how as mothers, we only get so many summers with our children, and to savor this time the best we can (I could seriously tear up thinking about that – breathe in, breathe out). I’m seeing more and more how true that is and want to do my best to spend intentional, present time with my little one over these next couple months.
However, every once and a while, I find us in a bit of a rut as far as new and interesting activities go – there’s this need to break out of just going through the motions of the everyday, if that makes sense. What better time to change things up than now? That being said, I did a little digging and put together a simple bucket list for us to tackle. Nothing too long or overwhelming, just several ideas that could allow us some quality time together…
Read Books Outside – Grab an outdoor blanket and go out to your backyard, favorite books in hand. Reading is something we do pretty much every day – it’s an easy activity and going outside is a nice way to change it up a little. No yard? You can go to your nearest park, which may be even better! A sunny reading session and some time on the playground could make for a sweet little outing.
Enjoy a ‘Safari Night’ at the Zoo – Every Saturday up until July 15th, the Dallas Zoo hosts an evening of nature and live music at Safari Nights. We went last summer as a family, along with my in-laws, and it was SO NEAT. You can bring blankets and chairs and get comfy before listening to the band. There’s food available for purchase, and get this…BEER AND WINE, too.
Blow Plenty of Bubbles – Not much elaboration needed here. Do you know of any little ones who don’t go completely crazy for bubbles? Yeah, me neither. My daughter’s at an age where she wants to hold the wand and bottle herself…and then dump it all out. However, I recently ordered a bottle of Fubbles, which are supposed to be no-spill and perfect for little ones! We’ll be giving those a try.
Visit the Splash Pad – Just like bubbles, most little ones LOVE play fountains. With more than 40 around the metroplex, there’s likely one close to you. If you live in southwest Dallas, Grand Prairie, or Cedar Hill, you may want to check out the splash pad at Hillside Village – that’s where you’ll find us. It may be nice to splash around a bit yourself – you’ve gotta stay cool, too. Bring a change of clothes and duck into the bookstore after, for some extra reading time.
Take a Day Trip – Change things up and be a day trippin’ family! Honestly, the options are endless. You could head to Fort Worth and check out their zoo, which continues to be one of the country’s Top 5. Also, the science and history museum there has some very kid friendly exhibits going on. Willing to go a bit farther? I hear it can get crowded, but I’d still love to check out the Magnolia Silos in Waco. Google “day trips from Dallas” and be overwhelmed with choices!
Draw with Sidewalk Chalk – Another simple outdoor activity. If we’re being honest, I do most of the drawing and my daughter does most of the getting-it-all-over-her-clothes, with a side of scribbling. There’s an Instagram account, @randomthingsdraw, that offers step-by-step instructions for cute little doodles. Imagine my daughter’s amazement when Mommy drew a snail on the porch! Ok, maybe not amazement, but I found it fun. Extra: She pretty much has her colors down pat, but this a great way to reinforce.
Head to the Lake…Beach – Some of the lakes around DFW have little beaches that are perfect for families. Sure, they’re not your typical sprawling ocean beaches, but they do have sand! Think of them as adorable mini beaches, some of them including picnic tables and playgrounds. I’m eager to try the one at Lynn Creek Park on Joe Pool Lake.
Perhaps this goes without saying, but because we live in Texas, some of the outdoor activities may be best to do in the morning or evening. But, there you have it. Some fairly simple and do-able options for you and your little one (or your whole family!) this summer.
Are you doing any similar activities or have any other ideas? Let us know!