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Family life

SAHM summer sanity savers

Jennifer wonders if she's the only one not excited about the summer holidays.

By Jennifer Pinarski
SAHM summer sanity savers

Having an "idea jar" can help with keeping your kids busy over the summer holidays.

It's not even a week into summer holidays and already I'm stressed out. Sure, there are no lunches to pack (which seems to be the biggest relief for my friends), but trying to keep my two- and five-year-old children busy is already overwhelming. We overdid it last week, including an awesome Canada Day party hosted by our friends, with the fallout being a black eye for my son (totally accidental at said Canada Day party). My daughter has self-initiated potty training and refuses to wear clothes or shoes anywhere and both children are in desperate need of a sugar and TV detox. Yesterday morning the two of them wandered around wailing like zombies, clutching their bellies and begging for Max & Ruby — that is when they weren't trying to bite or throw Lego at each other.
 
Trying desperately to turn the day around, we spent the day outside and steady snacking on raw fruit and vegetables seemed to smooth them out. And when all of our tempers had settled, we made the Pinterest-famous Mom, I'm Bored Jar.
 
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Hardly a new idea, with hundreds of variations all over the Internet, but our summer activity jar is a very simple collection of activties written out on scraps on construction paper and tucked inside a gift bag. The only rules were that it was something both children could do and that the activites couldn't cost a lot of money.

They include:
  • pick berries and make jam
  • build a fort
  • go fishing
  • play at the beach
  • make popsicles
  • stay in our jammies
  • visit the zoo
  • go for ice cream (lucky for us, our hometown is home to Kawartha Dairy, rated one of Today's Parent's top ice cream shops in Canada!)
  • have a campfire
And once our jar is empty, there are still the 50 essential summer activities from Today's Parent. So I can't ever run out of things to do, right?
 
My strategy is that after breakfast we will pull an idea from our jar and start our adventure. Armed with healthy snacks, sunscreen and a full tank of gas in the car, I'm hoping that the rest of the summer will go a little bit smoother than the first few days have. Because honestly, I don't think it could be worse.
 
Do you have an Idea Jar? What activities do you have planned this summer?

Photo by Brungrrl via Flickr.
This article was originally published on Jul 13, 2012

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