The dog days of Summer may be well behind us, but that doesn't mean it's time to pack in the outdoor adventures quite yet. Crisp Fall days lend themselves perfectly to throwing on a sweater and embarking on family fun from sun up till sundown. Here, 25 ways to take advantage of the season!
No barbecue, no problem. Just because you don't have big plans for Labor Day doesn't mean you can't have the best time ever. Forget the stress of a trip or a party and lay low while still making memories as a family. We're all about activities you can do in your backyard, but since it is a holiday after all, do something special and go on a mini excursion you can start planning the day of. Ahead, we've put together great ideas that will bring on the fun as fast as you can hop in the car — or on a bike!
It's hard to believe that another school year is starting! Before the mornings get (even more) hectic and the weekends are packed, be sure to end August with some memorable "Summer only" activities. Whether it's heading to the beach for one last time or celebrating their last weekend of "freedom" with a backyard camping night, we have 10 musts that will end the Summer on a high note.
There's no better way to cool off in the Summer than to jump in the pool or head to the beach. But if your tot is still learning to swim, you need to make sure she's safe in the water. Here, Circle of Moms members share their five favorite swimming aids to help keep your child afloat and on her way to doing her own strokes in the water.
The great outdoors await your family this Summer, so don't let some pesky bugs ruin the experience. If you thought choosing a safe sunscreen was complicated, you haven't entered the world of bug repellents yet. Just hearing the word DEET sends some parents running inside for cover, but actually getting bitten by a bug may be worse for you than some of the chemicals found in bug sprays — the incidence of tick-transmitted Lyme disease has more than doubled in the last 15 years and mosquito-borne West Nile Virus infected 5,000 people last year alone.
So how can we safely protect our kids from these bugs? While botanical and all-natural solutions sound healthy, an 18-month Environmental Working Group study found that certain chemicals are are not only more effective than botanical versions, they're safer too. According to the EWG, parents should look for the following repellants listed in bug spray ingredients to ensure a high level of protection from a variety of biting insects and ticks:
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or its synthetic derivative PMD, but only for kids over 3-years-old
These chemicals, when used according to their directions, will protect tots from bites and bug-borne diseases. And they're easier to find than you would think. Click through to see five options that will keep kids safe and bite-free this Summer.
The temperature's rising, school's out of session, and all your kids want to do is sit inside and play. Make the next warm Summer day more fun than ever with games, crafts, and activities they can't really do indoors. From messy projects to those that will cool tots off with splashes of water, we've come up with 41 activities that will have tots begging to head outside this Summer.
— Additional reporting by Emily Bibb
It can get extremely hot during the Summer, but kids still need time to play outside. Instead of avoiding the heat by waiting until dark to go to the park or paying a lot of money to go to a water park, try one of these inexpensive outdoor activities. From playing with spray-able sidewalk chalk to driving to a local watering hole, these ideas are fun, easy, and will keep your kids cool!
You probably won't have a hard time getting kids near water this Summer, so you might as well help them have as much fun with it as they possibly can. Get them slipping and sliding with these ideas for games and activities that will keep them entertained for hours. In most cases, all you need is a hose that's lying around the house. Read on, and let the wet fun begin!
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about drowning.
I took my eyes away for seconds to check on my 4-year-old swimmer. "Great job!" I shouted out, so proud that he had reached the other side of the pool without any help. He was coming along quite well as a swimmer! I wasn't surprised; we've practically lived at the pool since he was 2 years old! Related: If hospitals don't teach new moms how to breastfeed, who will? I turned my head back to my 3-year-old whose quiet desperation was begging for me to grab him. He was bobbing for a breath. His hands weren't splashing. Without a word, his wide panicked eyes were imploring mommy to HELP! Seconds ago, he was playing on the steps. Seconds ago, while my head was turned, he had decided to swim to mommy. Seconds ago, I didn't realize I may only have seconds left. I pulled him up and rushed him to the side of the pool. He gasped and coughed. I had been right there with him the whole time, but with one moment it could've been bad. So bad. It all could've happened so fast. We were lucky. This week, the BabyCenter community has been abuzz with an article about what to look for in drowning—the first paragraph alone should shock anyone into reading and memorizing the whole article to learn more about what to look for when it comes to drowning. None of this is new though, BabyCenter blogger Kristina Sauerwein wrote about her experience a couple of years ago in the post "In a blink, my son began to drown." "Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect," writes Mario Vittone, author of "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning." Drowning is quick and silent. Have you ever had a close call while swimming with your kids?
Sidewalk chalk is one of those playtime staples that offer endless amounts of entertainment without requiring anything fancy. One bucket will do the trick and lead to several opportunities for fun and learning. All you need are a concrete space, a wild imagination, and a hose (or mother nature) for cleanup. Here are five ways to have fun with sidewalk chalk today!
- Play games: Introduce your kids to classic playground games by drawing them! Hopscotch, four-square (not the app), and snail are easy to draw and will keep the kiddos playing for hours. You can even challenge them to create their own game and develop their own rules.
- Draw a city: If you have a large driveway, let the kids take over by creating their own city. Draw streets and encourage them to incorporate their favorite restaurants and shops. Then, when all is said and done (if they aren't exhausted), have them ride their bikes through their pretend city.
- Create a mural: Your kids will get a thrill out of using the driveway to create a giant work of art. This is especially fun around a holiday to bring a festive spirit outdoors.
- Make chalk buddies: If you don't mind a little mess, allow the kids to trace each other with chalk. They can then fill in their outlines creating a mini me or their own life-size chalk buddy.
- Use as a teaching tool: Use chalk to help them learn. Make large shapes, write the alphabet, or practice arithmetic. Designate a specific color chalk to highlight corrections.