Top Five Things I Do with My Kids in the Summer

(All Photos taken by my husband Tim Jackson www.timjacksonphoto.500px.com)

This is our second summer living full time in the Hudson Valley. There have been a lot of changes between last year and this year on how we spend our summer days. Last year I felt like I lived at farms that have play houses, we had lots of play dates, and the kids played daily in our inflatable pool with slide in the backyard.

Pool
This year the kids are three and four and it seems like their abilities have changed so much. No longer do we spend hours in a baby pool but we are in a real pool with them summing like crazy. My oldest is learning to swim to the bottom of the pool to pick up toys and my youngest is kicking around in his puddle jumper.

Hiking
We also go for a lot more hikes this summer. We hike in the woods on trails or around local historical mansions. Both kids are able to hike about 2 miles. Sometimes it requires a bit of coaxing and adding in competition but they do it and we all have a great time. Our last hike to a waterfall was a long one. My youngest fell and reopened a recently healed cut on his knee. I was sure the hike was over and we would have to turn around. I carried him for a bit and the gave him short goals to walk on his own. I pretended that I could not carry him anymore and he had to help me to make it the rest of the way. It worked like a charm. We made it to the waterfall and he walked most of the way back on his own.

Farm
Many of our regular readers know we spend one day of the week at our CSA (consumer supported agricultural). The kids help to pick, they feed the bunnies and check out the chickens. They look forward to farm day and so do we. It is a fun day for everyone.

Camping
Weither you are tent camping or using a camper we have found some of our fondest family memories are while we are camping. Last year we camping with the kids for the first time. A bit out of practice we were not prepared for rain so we hovered under a tree to cook breakfast and the kids had fun playing. There is something magical about watching kids splash around in warm rain.

Indoor Play Space
On really hot days we retreat to the indoors. It is not often we partake in these indoor play spaces, they can be a bit expensive but we reserve a couple days in the summer that we budget for these fun indoor spaces. They get the kids out of the house and because it’s something special they always have so much fun. If this is not in your budget, you may find an indoor play space that is free at your local mall.

However you plan to spend your summer remember that you can do most things for free or cheap. Kids will enjoy simple things and this makes room for them to use their imagination. Happy Summer!

Written by Jamie Jackson

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