Parenting Guru: 10 Things I Love About Summer with My Kids

I've always loved summer. The warm, carefree days. The sun shining bright come dinner time. The smell of sunscreen, the ocean, chlorine. Everything about summer makes me want to breathe in and let go. And this summer I've been doing my best to do just that. With three kids (ages 7, 4, and 2), it would be easy to plan every moment of every day, but instead we're taking each day as it comes. And we're loving it. Here are just a few of the reasons...

#1: Sandy Feet

We're all water babies and love sinking our feet deep down in the hot summer sand. We find every excuse to splash in the waves, bundle up in terrycloth, and take in the endless horizon -- leaving our worries far behind.

#2: Helmet Head

My family got me a bike for my birthday at the beginning of the summer, and I'm already loving hitting the road with my little ones. There's just something freeing about feeling the wind on your face and going nowhere in particular.

#3: Home Runs

My baseball-loving boys play countless hours of ball on the lawn, and I adore seeing them bond over great hits, amazing plays, and dreams of a fantastic future. Now, to actually get to a professional game...

#4: Clocking Miles

We've been hopping in the car to drive to the beach, to friends' houses, to visit family. And each adventure has us exploring new places, uncovering new treasures, and making great memories with each other and the people who matter most to us.

#5: Saying Yes

Without a lot of commitments, I've found myself saying 'yes' a lot more. Can we sell water balloons on the street corner? Yes! Can we buy a popsicle from the ice cream man? Yes! Can we read one more chapter? Yes! I'm a much cooler mom in the summer, it seems.

#6: Saying No

While I'm saying 'yes' to my kids, I'm saying 'no' to extra work and social media. As a work-from-home mom, I have flexibility in the workload I take on, and I'm doing my best to dedicate as much time as possible to my family. While I may not be making as much money, I am making memories, and I'll make up for the rest come back-to-school time. And on their behalf, I'm embracing the summer slide -- we're learning through play, and saying no to worksheets and flash cards.

#7: Playing with Knives

My kids are wannabe chefs and they always want to help in the kitchen (with kid-friendly equipment, that is). This summer I've been able to let my oldest chop up veggies for his salads (yes, he actually loves to make and eat salad), and my middle has been cutting the crust off his sandwiches. My youngest has even been helping me make morning smoothies.

#8: Countdowns

As my 4 year old works on mastering simple math, he absolutely loves to count down to our next adventure. Each day he wakes up announcing how many days it is until dinner at a friend's house, our road trip south, and the next family birthday. I love that he's constantly looking forward to more fun.

#9: Butterfly Spotting

In our family, we think of my father who passed away every time we see a butterfly. I find that in the slow days of summer, we're not only outside more to spot them, but we have time to really soak them in as they flutter by.

#10: Exhausted Eyes

At the end of each day, I love that my kids' sleepy eyes are the sign of a day well lived and loved. There's just something so lovely about knowing it was fun that wore them out, not pressure.

What about you? What do you love about summer with your kids?

Amy is a Shine Parenting Guru. You can read more about her summer adventures on her slice-of-life parenting blog, Using Our Words (be sure to follow her on Facebook so you don't miss out).