As a parent, the end of the school year and the beginning of summer can be both amazing and dreadful. Amazing in that you don’t have to pack lunches or cajole your kids out of bed or have to stay on top of their schoolwork. As much as I couldn’t wait for them to get back into school, I won’t miss those Powerschool notifications. I never sugarcoat anything, and I will be honest and say we had a pretty rough year with the virtual schooling. On the other hand, now I have to worry about how to keep them occupied. It’s a different world now than it was when I was a kid. I’d just go knock on my friend’s door, and we’d go play. When I got older, we’d meet up somewhere on our bikes.
I’m not sure what everyone’s kids are into… but my 12-year-old and 14-year-old would stay in their pajamas and glued to their devices or the Xbox all day if left unchecked. It drives me crazy. So, of course, we have a few camps booked. I also hate overscheduling them in the summer. Then, there are the summer thunderstorms that ruin that planned trip to the pool. All reasons why it’s important to me to have some alternatives around the house. Puzzles, paint kits, craft kits… all must-haves for me to get the kids off of the devices and rescue me in a pinch.
I’ve kept the paint kits from Pink Picasso stocked up ever since last April, when the pandemic really locked everyone in. The vendor sent a free sample of the adult version, and my super artistic 12-year-old loved it. The “adult” ones can be good for that age range too. Of course, we do have kits for kids as well.
Craft kits and puzzles are other favorites in our house. My daughters both loved the Paint-Your-Own Squishy and Tie Dye kits. The friendship pin kit is another great option for older kids. We also have some small craft kits for the younger ones.
On a personal note, I thought I’d share a few things I plan on doing with my daughters to get out of the house. I’m always looking for ideas, so I’m sure there are other moms out there doing the same thing. First, we always get a blueberry (June/July), blackberry (July), and red raspberry picking (August) day in. We go to Butler Orchards. Things are different out there due to Covid, so make sure you check the website. The biggest change is that reservations are needed. We also always hit up Dave & Busters and Flight several times a summer. Another favorite is Paint This in Old Town. We also go to Crumbs and Whiskers in D.C. or now, Mount Purrnon in Old Town. New this year, I’m going to take my girls on this road trip. It’ll be a fun, short trip out of town. Have a great summer!
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