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Do you need some tips to help you save your sanity this summer? My friend Paige has some great ones PLUS a free resource with summer activities you can do with your kids at home! The highlight for me is the Disney-themed movie night, obviously. Hopefully these easy tips and ideas will help create a meaningful and memorable summer for your family.
I’m Paige Bruce. I’m a trauma-certified therapist, child-at-heart, and an adventure mom to three equally adventurous kids.
To be frank, I am a wildly passionate child and adolescent therapist who helps parents grow in their parenting skills, reduce parent-child conflict, and train and educate passionate people working with children and adolescents. I talk a lot about inner-child work and healing from our own childhood to become the parents we want to be (and will be) while also smashing mom-guilt and unrealistic expectations for parenting in the real world.
Summer is coming in HOT! And that’s no joke. We’re moving into the season where parents become full-time entertainers and the days of focused work are gone. For me, the summer season is accompanied by excitement, sleeping in, eating all the ice cream and memorable family adventures. The other part of summer is knowing that, as much as you love your sticky-fingered mess makers, the unadulterated quality time and energy you’re going to be putting into making summer magic means there’s a lot less time and energy to maintain your own sanity.
I’m here to help you keep summer from stealing your sanity while still creating the magic you hope for. You can continue being the intentional, incredible, SANE parent that I know you are.
My Top 3 Tips to Save Your Sanity This Summer
1. DO let your kids be bored.
Contrary to their belief, it is healthy for kids to be bored. To keep it simple, our brain is incredible, always working, thinking and problem solving. This productivity can also lead to an overload of stress and limits to attention. Being bored gives the brain an opportunity to destress, promotes creativity, increase problem-solving, and increase our ability to sustain attention and increase self-control skills. This summer, embrace boredom and reap all the benefits of maintaining your sanity and pumping up the creativity, self-control, and attention span of your kiddo.
2. DO prioritize quality over quantity.
While just existing in the same space isn’t enough, it’s also not your responsibility to entertain your child 25/8 over their summer vacation. Do prioritize quality time over quantity of time. Be intentional with your time this summer by making a bucket list with your kids. Make sure to include activities that your kids want to do, you want to do, and things you’d like to do as a family. Pick one or two days a week to assign those activities to. You can spend intentional time knocking items off your bucket list while reveling in the summer magic and family memories—sanity intact.
Some of our favorite summer bucket list items include themed family movie nights, making and using puffy sidewalk paint, creating giant indestructible bubbles, jolly rancher bubbles, camping, swimming, and “yes” days.
3. DON’T be too serious and get stuck in the “shoulds” of summer.
Stop “shoulding” on yourself this summer. It’s ironic that a time known for leisure and fun can feel so stressful and all consuming. Summer is meant to be lived as you want to live it (so is every season of life, but that’s a different conversation). Instead of focusing on all the things and ways you feel like you “should” show up this summer, identify and focus on those ways you want to show up this summer.
I am not a bedtime story mom (I know, it’s surprising), but I am an adventure mom. I am going to really focus on creating those adventure moments with my kids this summer because that’s what excites me. Accept the parent that you are and the things that will light you up while spending time with your kids without judging yourself for not showing up like Susan down the road. You will have a more fulfilling and accepting experience.
Creative and Easy Summer Activities
“Luca” Themed Family Movie Night
Honestly, what’s more magical than Disney? There are a few movies that get me right in the “summer feels”. Luca is one of the most recent and we LOVE it. Family night has become a weekly tradition, especially in the summer months because, for some reason, they feel a little more magical.
For the ultimate Luca themed movie night, we found some ideas online and made them work for our family! We followed and altered, a special Luca-themed dinner menu for our movie night.
My favorite part was that each recipe was simple enough that I was able to have some quality one-on-one time with each kid. They each were able to help me prepare a different part of our evening.
- Drinks: Blue Ocean Drink
Have you had Ocean Water from Sonic? Recreate it at home for this movie night. It is basically blue coconut Sprite, so you just need a few ingredients to make it yourself at home. Find the recipe here!
- Dinner: Our Favorite Pasta
It’s spaghetti and meatballs for us, but whip up your family’s favorite pasta recipe. Keep it simple or go all out and make the trenette al pesto like they eat in the movie!
- Dessert: Ocean Fish Jell-O or Store-Bought Gelato
Make some blue Jell-O in individual cups with a bit of whip cream and some Swedish Fish on top for an on-theme dessert idea. Even easier? Pick up some gelato when you’re at the grocery store and serve it up at the end of the night! Everyone can even pick out their favorite flavor.
If you really go all-out, you could spend the day swimming or fishing and wrap up the evening with a Luca-themed dinner while watching the movie together. It’s an evening of perfection. *Insert chef’s kiss*
Need some more Disney movie night ideas? Check out this blog post: Disney Movie Night Snack Ideas.
If you’re looking for summertime ideas, CLICK HERE for a list of my family’s favorite summer bucket list activities including instructions, how-tos, and links to purchase the materials. Make sure to grab your freebie to make summer magic easy and accessible!
Catch the full details of my favorite tips on the podcast Mindful As A Mother Episode: PAIGE- 3 Tips to Keep Summer From Stealing Your Sanity.
Thank you so much, Paige, for sharing your tips with my readers! Make sure to give her a follow on Instagram for more helpful parenting tips.