I woke up the other day and realized we were halfway through the summer. Yeah. Depending on the age of your kids, that either makes you depressed that it’s almost over or depressed that you still have half to go.
2/4 of the Smith kids are in camp, but that leaves Martha with me every day and the big kids here every afternoon. After my weekend at Elizabeth’s wedding, I haven’t really done any dedicated #WednesdayPlayday activities for you, but I DO have a running list of the toys that our kids gravitate to on a daily basis. You know the ones… a house bursting at the seams with toys, and your kids go to the same ten things day in and day out.
Well these are our “things”. (Oh… many of these are affiliate links since I buy everything at Amazon… see my affiliate disclosure here, but in a nutshell… I get a peanut or two (see what I did there?!) if you buy any of these items via these links.)
We were given the first set of these and they ain’t cheap. BUT… they are used every single day. Honest. Recently I discovered PicassoTiles for half the price so now we have another batch and the kids are even MORE engaged if that’s possible. They work great on our sheet metal coffee table and this summer the kids have started taking them out to build floating structures in the baby pool.
A blast from the past, but these markers are still around! Eleanor loves anything to do with art, but these have been fun for both Oliver and Martha who enjoy the added bells and whistles of the scented markers.
In keeping with the retro vibe of the smelly markers, I got this 80s style aerobic trampoline. This is NOT the one made for kids with elastic around the edge, but rather one made for grown ups. It feels a little more durable and is just as fun for 40+ pound Oliver as it is for little Martha. They burn energy on it, hang on the support bar, and set up lots of picnics on the surface.
Bonus 80s fun… you’ve seen this, right?
No idea where ours came from, but My Little Pony is a nice hybrid toy for the summer… it has a ‘hair’ component for Eleanor to groom, but it’s also small enough to tuck in a bag AND can wet. Bonus for swimming pools and beach days. (Incidentally, apparently we have Princess Twilight Sparkle which was almost Louisa’s name… that would have been awkward.)
A girlfriend of mine told me about these and I got one for each of the kids. There are no batteries or technology whatsoever but it’s a fun way for everyone to doodle and practice their writing/ drawing/ you name it. Only dilemma is keeping track of the pen… each one comes with a holster, but with preschoolers, you know how that goes.
We have a rule that stickers are only allowed on paper or on clothing (i.e. not on furniture or walls) and these pads seem to help reinforce that! I try to get a new version of these whenever we have a road trip planned because the keep everyone pretty well entertained without making a big mess.
So these pens mostly remind me of Bingo so I love them. (True story… a girlfriend and I got stuck in Vegas one year because of snow back east and we were so broke that we spent hours playing Bingo. In Vegas.) All three of the kids love these pens because they’re interesting, easy to use, and colorful. I’ve started seeing these at Homegoods and TJMaxx recently so keep your eyes peeled.
I had you at Ikea, right? I stock up on these. The colors are bright. The palette is big enough not to slide around but no so big that it gets swamped with water. It comes with cups and brushes. And they’re $8.
I’ve stocked up on these classic cardboard blocks. It will take you a month to put them all together, but they are SO satisfying to build with because you can make real life-sized towers. Recently we’ve discovered how to line them up like dominoes and tip them all over. Keeping each of the kids away from someone’s tower is like the Hunger Games so there’s that little bonus feature to these also.
For summer, this is an obvious, but I’m amazed by how much time all of the kids can spend just standing around this water table pouring water into various containers, or refilling squirt guns or watering every plant in the garden 12 times over.
Anytime you all want to stop by for some My Little Pony portraits smelling of raspberry or a floating magna-tile mega-raft or a cardboard block fort, say the word! Chances are good that we’ll be using one of these toys! (Oh… and if anyone is in San Francisco… wish my little brother a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)
Don't miss a post! Sign up for email or RSS updates!