Summer is almost here! I know a lot of people are excited about the warm weather right around the bend. Here in the southwest it is already hot. Like 100 degrees hot some days. I am not a fan of heat. The thought of going out in the heat of the day, getting all sweaty, and worrying about sunburns and dehydration in the kids makes me want to just throw on a movie for the kids and hang out until fall. Fortunately for my kids, I know this isn’t the best way to spend the summer. Instead, we tweaked our routine a bit to maximize fun and minimize heat exposure. I think those of us who love our schedules and routines forget that we are the master of the routine, it isn’t the master of us. Don’t be afraid to change things up to suit new needs!
With the girls still needing a morning rest period, we tend to do most of our outings in the middle of the day. These are peak sun hours, which means I need to change things up. I’ve started to try to get right outside first thing in the morning. My mom actually taught me this one. Growing up we were always on swim team. Practice was first thing in the morning so the pool could be open for fun the rest of the day. As a result, we got up early, got out of the house, and burned off some energy right away. We were happier kids and we got some outdoor time before it was too hot out. You don’t have to join a swim team or anything fancy. Just head outside as early as possible.
This can be challenging if you also have babies. They need to eat pretty soon after waking and take longer to get ready to get out of the house. I try to keep my expectations low. This isn’t the world’s best outing. We aren’t trying to go all Pinterest with this one. The girls sleep in onesies in the heat, so they just wear that out. Sometimes we just pile into the back yard. Other times we get to a park. I bring breakfast, but that usually consists of Cheerios and raisins. It isn’t fancy, but it isn’t too messy and the kids eat it. (Well, the girls eat it. Ben plays and needs a second breakfast when we get home.)
The key to the early morning outing is to take a few minutes the night before to prep everything. I set up a bag with our breakfast, sippy cups, and water. I put the sunscreen by the diapers so I apply as soon as the kiddos get up. (It is best to apply it 15-30 minutes before you head out into the sun.) The kids wake up, we do diaper changes and potty trips, and we are off! After about an hour or so the kids have gotten a chance to burn off some energy and we are ready to head home before the heat of the day has really set in.
Once we get back home we settle into the regular routine. Ali and Sammy get their nap, and Ben gets his one on one time. We reserve the middle of the day for our indoor activities. We do free play and learning times. I aim to still get us out of the house midday, but we stick to libraries and other indoor places. Anything out of the direct sun works. After dinner, we try to get Ben outside for a second time. (Ali and Sammy are pretty happy to just play indoors.) This is a great time for some extra one on one time with either Pat or myself. We also take walks as a family.
It can take some planning to switch up how you have been doing things. I know I don’t like having to upend a routine that has been working, but the heat sometimes makes it necessary. Getting out of the house first thing lets the kids get some fresh air and exercise, a great way to kick off the day. Heading back out after dinner gives us a chance to take advantage of the evening sun and spend quality time as a whole family, or get good one on one time. All this and we manage to avoid the heat of the day.
How do you update your schedule to avoid the heat? Comment and share!
Today is a Babywise Friendly Blog Network (BFBN) Day! Check out how all the ladies are preparing for summer break.
Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: How to Have a Fun Summer Even With a Routine
Mama’s Organized Chaos: When Summer “Break” Is Hardly a Break At All- How to Get By
The Journey of Parenthood: Summer: Balance Fun and Structure
Twinning Babywise: My Summer Commitment to Contentment