Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Tip: 7 Ways to Summer-ize!

Celebrating summer!
When we winterize our homes, we seal the windows, insulate the pipes, and brace ourselves for the iciness of the season.

And when summer comes, I'm a strong advocate of doing quite the opposite: throw open the windows, turn on the sprinklers, and dance in the warmth of the season!

Of course, summer can get too hot for comfort, and if you have children at home, summer boredom can quickly set in too. So, to help stay focused on all of the lovely things that summer has to offer, here are seven simple ways to summer-ize:

1. Whenever possible, open the windows! In Tennessee, this is more of a springtime event, but I always prefer fresh air over recirculated air. Old wives (and new studies) will tell you that this just helps to make your home a healthier place. Plus, it conserves electricity (cha-ching!). 

2. Plant something. Anything. Whether you're in a one-bedroom apartment or on a hundred-acre farm, you can grow something. (Trust me: I can. You can.) In the process, you can also work in a little science lesson for the kids. Sunflowers are a rewarding choice, if you have a nice spot to plant them outside. They grow quickly (for impatient gardeners :) and last until fall. Zinnias are easy growers and will usually reseed to grow next year. Herbs and aloe grow well in pots and are quite handy to have around. Tomatoes will do well in patio planters, and radishes are fun, especially when their red tops peek through the dirt to be quickly harvested. (Don't tell the kids, but in my experience, growing your own vegetables encourages vegetable consumption. :) No matter what you plant, playing in the dirt is both productive and good for the soul.

3. Stock up on summer fun! Make it a point to restock your summer supplies for the year. Most importantly, toss and replace any expired sunscreen. For the fun stuff, kids of all ages love bubbles, and something about the controlled breathing and floating, iridescent spheres induce a settling calm. A sprinkler does double-duty, watering the lawn/garden and the kids at the same time. Water-squirters are cheap and entertaining. And I've been known to soak in a ten-dollar, plastic pool on occasion. In fact, just yesterday, we called a Water Day at our house: an easy, two-hour event where the host just needs water and cold treats! A great way to beat the summer heat (and boredom)!

4. Fill the freezer! Ice cream, smoothies, and sundaes, oh my! When sun-strained kids get moody, a cold, sweet treat may be the only attitude adjustment they need. And when you want to limit the chocolate and artificial cherry, stock the 100% fruit varieties too. Frozen blueberries and smoothies are another great way to sneak in some cool, healthy nutrients. The season is always sweeter when your freezer is stocked with these summertime staples.

5. Explore a book (or ten!). Books are super-portable, inexpensive entertainment for any time of year. If you're not vacationing this summer (or even if you are!), let your kids take their own wild adventures to places like Treasure Island or Narnia. Enroll in your library's summer reading program, and check out story times and other library and bookstore events.

6. Make lemonade. Fresh-squeezed or instant, lemonade just says summer. Add a bowl of lemons to your kitchen decor, and use them to squeeze up a summertime drink. You can encourage your kids to have a lemonade stand too. It'll teach them a bit of entrepreneurship, persistence, and the value of money along the way!

7. Hit the beach (or lake or pool)! I know it's obvious, but how many times have you looked back at the summer and wondered where it went? Choose your favorite water destination, and put at least one trip per month on the calendar for June, July, and August, so that you'll be sure to go. It's a great way to pack a little vacation into a day, and the kids sleep so well after a day of water play. :) 

No matter how you celebrate the season, be sure to replace your "Ugh, it's hot!" with "Who needs ice cream?!" and show your family how to fully enjoy the wonderful warmth of the summer.

How do you celebrate summertime?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love It!