Summertime is finally here!
The sun is finally shining, everything has turned from brown to green, and the kids can play outside without sweatshirts. Summertime in Wisconsin is officially started!
While this summer may look a little different due to closures and health concerns, we are still planning for a great few months. Less screen time, more activity, and fresh air are our main goals. Along with new hobbies and different approaches to some old ones, summertime fun will be had by all.
Still Staying Safe During Summertime
Even though Wisconsin has mostly opened up, we are still using lots of caution with our family. With the twins’ premature birth, I’m always one to err on the side of being too careful. So, no restaurants, indoor activities, or big crowds for us. I’m putting my gym membership on hold, the boys are not going to camps or school (which is only offered virtually. No thank you!) and we declined a wedding invitation.
It may seem like we’re being too strict, but there are plenty of things we can do. Plus, I’d rather skip a few things for a couple months than have one of my kids be on a ventilator in the hospital.
We have decided to let our kids play with other families (like our neighbors and close friends) that have also been careful and continue to be. We have to create a little balance and normalcy.
I think everyone is entitled to their own choices based on their comfort levels, so I’m hoping everyone respects ours.
Things We Can Do
Summertime calls for being outside as much as possible. In Wisconsin, we really only get a few warm months, so I’m hoping to make the most out of them. Also, outdoor activities to appear to be safer in terms of contracting illness, so it’s a win win.
I hope these activities give you your own ideas to make your summertime enjoyable too.
As I mentioned, we are letting the boys play with our neighbors. We got super lucky that they have kids almost the exact ages as ours. So, letting the boys play on our swing set, outdoor games (think hide ‘n seek, freeze tag) and pretend play with them has been so good for everyone.
At their ages (eight and ten,) I’m able to watch from a distance. It’s been a great time to get a few things done or read some books while keeping an eye on them.
The best present I’ve received lately is my Kindle. It’s got special lighting, so I’m able to read outdoors.
Not only is it portable, it’s easy to find free books. Kindle Unlimited is a service from Amazon which allows you to borrow books, eight at a time, and right now, you can get a month free. Also, did you know you can check out free ebooks from your local library?
This is the one I have. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link. There is no additional cost to you, and I may make a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.
If you already own one or have another device you read on, check out the free trial here:
Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
The only thing better than playing with friends is visiting our animal friends. My boys love the zoo, and have been visiting since they were little. It was a favorite field trip with Grandpa.
Our local Zoo has started to open up the outside exhibits, but you do need reservations. So, we will be waiting for the crowds to get a little smaller.
In the meantime, there are other fantastic animal experiences. Wildlife preserves, animal rescues, and petting farms are just a few ideas for you to begin your search with.
In our area, we went Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary. During the strict stay at home orders, you were allowed to drive through. Now that they are lifted, you can walk through the park, pet, and feed animals. There is everything from deer and goats to zebras and cougars. No, you can’t pet the cougar, but you can get a lot closer than you can in a regular zoo.
Camping is another favorite pastime in this family. My husband loves to sleep outdoors, and it seems he has passed this love down to the boys.
While we probably won’t be heading to any campgrounds or State parks, we will be doing a lot of camping in our yard.
My husband pulls his VW bus out, sets up a tent, and starts a campfire. No one ever turns down a S’more or a chance to sleep out in the fresh air.
Our newest family purchase allows us to put a whole new spin on movie night. Since movie theaters are still closed and drive in theaters are fairly expensive, we decided to get a movie projector. Not only can we watch on a huge screen in our living room, but we can bring it outdoors.
My husband makes a ton of popcorn, the kids get in their jammies, and we all get comfy. Our projector allows you to hook up a phone, computer, DVD player, or streaming device, so we can choose almost any movie. Recently, we’ve been introducing the kids to classics like The Money Pit, Romancing the Stone, Groundhog Day, and Splash.
Plus, it’s a socially distant activity that we can invite our neighbors and close friends to. Everyone is in their own chairs outside, so they can get as close/far as they feel comfortable.
Here is the projector and screen we ordered (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Getting Active During the Summertime
Finally, since the quarantine has put a damper on our indoor activities like the gym, I’ve had to find other ways to get active. I’ve really tried to start running, but it’s just not my thing.Walks and riding bikes with the kids is fun, but we needed something new.
Enter roller blades!
My husband used to rollerblade all the time, and when the boys saw our neighbors doing it, they wanted to try it too. Ice skating and rollerskating was something I like to do as a kid, so we decided to get everyone a pair (Amazon Affiliate link.)
The cool thing about the twins’ blades is that they are adjustable. Not only will they fit them for a while since they can go up four sizes, but they can also convert to roller skates to make it easier to balance.
Well, there are a few of our ideas to get started with some summertime fun. I still have a few more ideas up my sleeve that I’ll share when we try them.
How about you? What are you doing to make this summertime fun and memorable? Share your ideas in the comments, and I may mention them in a future post.
Here’s to a fun and healthy summer!