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26 Summer Date Ideas

June 30, 2020
Summer date ideas

It’s summer time! And what a strange summer it’s been so far…

Look, we ALL need some fun, de-stressing dates with our spouse this summer. Talk to your spouse and pick a day of the week to be your “date day” and then make it happen! Even if you don’t have a sitter, some of these can all be done from the comfort of your home. The rest are social-distancing approved.

Also, if you want more stay-at-home date ideas, I’ve got a whole year’s worth of ideas right here.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the at-home date game: Truth or Date. It’s a ton of fun and all you need is some paper, a printer and your spouse.

The great thing about this list is that most – if not all – of these ideas can be done as activities with your kiddos! So if you’re looking for something to do during these hot summer days as a family, look no further.

Happy dating!

26 Summer Date Ideas:

1. Light a fire and make some s’mores – or, try this S’mores Puppy Chow

2. Have a picnic

3. Go swimming (at night!) 

4. Sign up for a Masterclass (our latest favorite is Chris Hadfield’s class on Space Exploration!)

5. Make your own ice cream (check out this Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana “nice cream” from my friend Tabatha at Joy Fueled Journey!)

6. DIY some cocktail popsicles

7. After the kids go down, grab a blanket, head outside and do some summer Stargazing

8. Go hiking

9. Go kayaking/canoeing 

10. Head to the beach – try surfing, paddle boarding or jet skiing!

11. Go berry picking

12. Go for a bike ride

13. Create a finger-licking BBQ spread (or, just order out!)

14. Have a water balloon/squirt gun fight!

15. Create your own slip-n-slide

16. Watch an episode of Tidying Up and organize a room/closet/drawer

17. Play soccer in the rain

18. Do an exercise video together (I love MommaStrong!)

19. Go to a farmer’s market

20. Make this pink lemonade ice cream, sit on the porch and watch the sunset

21. Read a favorite book together 

22. Create your own mini golf in the house

23. Take food to a food pantry

24. Create a blanket fort and watch a movie on your laptop inside the fort!

25. Try an at-home couples paint & sip

26. Order takeout and play Truth or Date (download the game below!)

What are some of your favorite summer date ideas? Comment below!

Activities & Crafts

Father’s Day Craft & Gift Guide

June 17, 2020
father's day craft and gift guide

If you’re looking for a Father’s Day craft to do with your little one, you’ve come to the right place! My sister-in-law, Amanda (our resident Arts & Crafts Guru), created this adorable craft with her daughter, Lily. This would be a nice touch for a dad or grandpa who loves fishing! For more Father’s Day inspiration, check out the results of our Father’s Day Survey: What Dads Really Want for Father’s Day. Also, don’t forget to click through the crafts & gift guide from other mama bloggers at the end of this post!

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Activities & Crafts

5 Tips for a Fun & Easy Summer Schedule

June 11, 2020
fun & easy summer schedule

Ah, summer time. Hot sun. Playing in the pool. Running through the sprinklers. Bare feet on the grass. Eating popsicles. It’s the best when you’re a kid. 

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    I remember one summer we spent with a mom who these days be crowned a “Pinterest mom” – she had a different activity scheduled for every day of the week. It was awesome. We went to the beach, to the park, to museums and the library. We had a blast. 

    Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed or burdened to become this activity-planning, Pinterest-worthy mom. There’s a lot to live up to on the Interwebs. 

    However, I’ve made small, achievable decisions that have helped me to make my kids’ days fun, engaging and (sneakily) educational – that don’t make me feel overwhelmed. I hope this can help you too if you’re in the same boat! 

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    Activities & Crafts

    Insanely Simple & Cute Mother’s Day Craft

    April 23, 2020
    Insanely Simple Mother's Day Craft

    Recently, for my father-in-law’s birthday, my sisters and I made a craft for him from the grandkids. It was insanely adorable – and incredibly well received. (There were tears. That’s a win in my book.)

    Mother's Day Craft Simple

    Unlike my sisters-in-law, I’m not a very artsy person. So I will jump at any craft idea that is simple enough for me to handle with my rambunctious boys. This one is very simple – and I made it even simpler.

    Even a dad could do this craft with the kids.

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    Activities & Crafts

    Activities to Wear Out Your High Energy Kid

    April 22, 2020
    activities to wear out your high energy kid

    So you’re stuck at home during this quarantine and your kid is driving you crazy…what do you do?! I’m constantly in a state of searching for activities for my high energy kid, Finn. Aside from displaying the Gospel to my kids, it seems like my #1 daily goal is to get energy out of them! God did not grant me children who will sit quietly and color or read books all day. So I’ve had to learn the hard way how to get energy out of my boys through trial and error. This is some of what I’ve learned.

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      My strategy for the day is typically to feed them, get energy out of them, and then try to have some quiet time. I’ve found that they will play on their own more independently if those two needs are met. Our day starts with breakfast, a short devotional where we read a Bible verse together, and then trying to go for a long walk or some sort of activity (preferably outdoors) that will help Finn burn off some energy.

      So, if you’re working from home because of this COVID pandemic, I highly recommend trying to feed and de-energize your kiddos before trying to get some work done. (Another helpful hint for working from home: try to get as much work done as possible BEFORE your kids wake up. Get the hardest tasks done first, right from the start of the day. Trust me. Try it. You can thank me later.)

      A few helpful principles for wearing out your high energy child:

      • Utilize muscles that aren’t typically used – this is tiring for all of us!
      • Challenge them with activities slightly above their ability. If it’s too hard, they won’t want to do it. But if it’s too easy, they won’t burn off as much energy. It’s a balancing act!
      • Be okay with repetition – if something works, don’t be afraid to do it again and again…and again. You’ve probably noticed, kids love repetition.
      • When in doubt, go outside. Nature is somehow simultaneously stimulating and calming. God is amazing!

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      Activities & Crafts

      All About Jesus Easter Craft

      April 9, 2020

      And just like that, Easter is upon us! Before having kids, I never thought I’d be into doing things like Easter crafts and Easter egg hunts. As a non-parent, I felt like those things took away from the power of the Cross and Resurrection. But now that I’m actually a mom, I can’t help it – we’re doing all the non-religious Easter activities! However, I still feel very strongly about not letting those things take place of what “Resurrection Sunday” is really about: Jesus.

      My primary mission in being a mom is to teach my children about Jesus – whether it’s Christmas, Easter or the middle of June. We talk about Jesus all of the time, but Easter is a particularly special time to emphasize what Jesus has done for us.

      So today we did a Jesus-centered Easter craft that was super simple and fun, and we also used that time to talk about God’s sacrifice of His Son and how much He loves us.

      Pin this!

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      Activities & Crafts

      Baby & Toddler Sensory Play

      April 1, 2020
      Sensory Play Ideas for Babies & Toddlers

      With most of us on COVID lockdown these days, I thought it would be a good time to put out some sensory play ideas that you could utilize with your baby and/or toddler! Here’s some of our favorites. If you use any of these, make sure to tag us and let me know how it goes: @themommyofmayhem.

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        A word about activities with my 3 year old: they NEVER go the way I want them to. And I mean NEVER. And that’s alright. I think it’s all part of what God is teaching me through motherhood: that it’s OK to not be in control, that things will not go as planned and it will be alright. And sometimes, it’ll be even BETTER than I anticipated. Motherhood is messy, and at times turbulent, but I’m grateful for all the lessons God’s teaching me along the way.

        1. The Smelling Game

        This is one of my favorites, especially while cooking. I’ll take out different spices or ingredients and let the kids smell them (and, if they’re safe to eat, touch them). Our favorites are cinnamon, lemon, ginger, and coffee beans. When Finn was a baby, I had a spinning spice rack and we would put it on the floor and he loved to spin it around and shake the spice bottles. I would open up different spices and let him smell them. Now that Finn is older, we’ll play the “smelling game” where I blindfold him and he has to guess what ingredients I have based on the smell! He loves it!

        2. Water beads

        Water beads are so fun! They’re colorful and squishy, and it’s fun to watch them expand. I would recommend some caution with them, though, because they’re easy for little ones to ingest AND they can be messy. We only play with water beads on the porch these days. For Justus, I’ll put the water beads in a little plastic ziplock bag and tape it to the high chair tray so he can squish them around.

        3. Painting (in a bag!)

        Of course, you could just let your kids play with finger paint, but that’s really messy…

        …and this is why we suggest painting in a bag!

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        Activities & Crafts

        7 Science Experiments You Can Do with Your Preschooler NOW!

        January 29, 2020
        Science Experiments for Preschoolers

        Right now, Finn LOVES doing “science experiments.” We received a super cool science kit from my mom (the chemist) for Christmas, and it has been the gift that keeps on giving. (And also the gift that keeps facilitating messes…)

        Lately, it’s felt like our afternoons stretch on forever before it’s time to prep for dinner, so we’ve been doing science experiments to pass the time. I prep the activities at the end of nap time and then he has something to look forward to once he wakes up!

        I’ve searched Pinterest for all sorts of science experiments, but it seems like I never have quite the right supplies or ingredients. These are the ones we’ve done that you should be able to do with supplies you have at home right now!

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          Activities & Crafts

          8 Activities to Get Through Meal Prep

          January 15, 2020
          activities to get through meal prep
          For the busy mama: listen to an audio recording of this post!

          I don’t know about you, but just before dinner time is one of the toughest parts of the day. Trying to get a meal together while my kids are just DONE and I’m just DONE…is, well, how us moms lose our minds, amiright?!? 

          I thought I’d share some of my go-to activities that help me get through meal prep. The goal with these activities is that Finn can play by himself with minimal supervision (so, for example, painting/gluing/cutting something would be a big no-no). Also, I try to pick something that he can’t play with ALL the time. For example, he pretty much always has access to his trucks, but he doesn’t have unlimited access to his Play Doh. These activities might give me a solid 15 minutes of (mostly) uninterrupted time to get the bulk of the meal prep done. For most of these activities, I put Finn into his high chair or sit him at the kitchen table so I can keep an eye on him.

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