How do we thrive during these dog days of summer when it’s so.dang.hot? Do we hide from the heat? Do we embrace it? The option is yours and I’ve got a few easy ideas about how to “choose your own summer adventure”.
Ways to Hide from the Heat
Go to Target and walk around in their air conditioning. Don’t buy anything. Just be present and say things like, “that IS neat.” At a restaurant? Great. Walk to the car wash next door and let your kids watch the cars go through.
Create a treasure hunt.
Make homemade Blue’s Clues paw prints and put them onto things to make an activity out of what you are doing next or what the snack is. My kids have since grown and learned to roll their eyes, but it turns out that my husband is uniquely gifted at writing and hiding treasure hunt clues. Bless him.
Practice trick or treating.
An added plus—this is a great way to use your leftover parade candy. Dress up, give them pumpkin head baskets, have children knock on a bedroom door, and give them a Werther’s. Better yet, get silly and slam the door in their faces. Then let the hilarity ensue.
Ask your kids what they’d like to do.
If they mention “ride a unicorn” or “invent an anti-gravity machine,” pull out some cardboard boxes and get to it. Maybe they’ll say something feasible like “bake cookies.” You can do cookies!
Read a chapter book or series aloud to your kids.
Give them Lego, kinetic sand or watercolor paints to keep their hands busy and together delve into a good story. Bonus points if there is a movie version of the book. I want my kids at an early age to pretentiously say “yeah, but the book is better.”
Buy yourself a pair of shorts.
If you’re like me, you’ll drag your children to Goodwill for a pair of jeans to cut into the jorts of your dreams. Give them each $3 while there and let them buy a really tall 2nd place karate trophy.
Start a new tradition.
Did you know that August 14th is National Creamsicle Day? August 18th is Helium Discovery Day, and National Toasted Marshmallow Day is August 30th. Observing goofy holidays can be a memory-making occasion for you and your sweet ones. Some may wear pink on Wednesdays, but your unique family could be the ones who somberly observe Pluto Demoted Day (August 24th).
Ways to embrace the summer adventure
Swim in a lake.
We may not have the ocean, but when enough boats are on Lake Manawa, it feels like there are waves at the swimming area.
Go to a water park.
In 1997, I literally lost a planter’s wart somewhere on the water slide steps at Fun Plex. My friend and I were amazed at how it was here one moment and gone the next. Gross? Sure. 12-year old bodies are weird, right? But the planter’s wart should not detract from the awesomeness that is water slides.
Participate in a water balloon fight.
This automatically makes you a fun mom. Be as organized as you’d like, or just enjoy the few moments of mayhem. Pelt your kids with a few- you know that feels good to do.
Discover a new park.
While there, swing on a swing. You will instantly feel cooler- both temperature-wise and awesome-wise, once you get over the nausea.
Let your kids have a dog boutique.
Our pups survived the years of babies pulling their ears and tails, so I figure they’re conditioned to survive a little bubble bath in the kiddie pool. Plus, the barrettes that don’t seem suited to human hair work pretty well in dog fur.
Actually buy something from the ice cream truck.
Summer won’t be here much longer, so why not? Cost-wise, this is on par with the water park idea, as I believe the average single ice cream treat costs $9.
Before we know it, snow will be swirling around our Halloween decorations.
But we love the Midwest, right? We can boast about our sweetcorn, Warren Buffet, the varied seasons, and our tendency to smile at strangers. We’re sweaty, but we will get through these hottest days of summer. We may as well attempt to be lighthearted in doing so. Choose your own dog days of summer adventure. Along the way, be a hero and have some ice cream for dinner.