Five Summer Activities That Will Keep Your Kids Busy- So You Can Relax a little!

Me time 0101

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, InStyle®, CookingLight® and Sunset®. The opinions and text are all mine. #adv

Last week, we had just come home from my older son’s last day of preschool- when my husband asked.

” So how are you going to keep these kids busy all summer?”

And yes, this was a very valid question.

In addition to blogging, I also stay at home with my two boys, ages 4 and 2.  PLUS, I am expecting another child this fall.  My two sons are VERY energetic and love to play rough.  They love to run and get into things.   I find that our house works best when they have something fun to do.   Also, I find that activities and toys where they get to use their imagination are so much more valuable than any electronic toys we have in our house.

I love to be able to hang out on the deck and unwind. -Even if it just for a few minutes.  I don’t like to be hooked on electronics when I am watching my kids play, but I do like to chill out with a magazine.  Last week, I picked up two of my favorites when I was at Jewel-Osco.

If you want to unwind with a few of your favorite magazines,  get a coupon!  This coupon can be used at JEWEL-OSCO, Safeway, Vons, Pavillions, Tom Thumb, Randall’s, Shaw’s, and Acme Markets.   This coupon is for $1.00 off!- what a great deal!  Download the appropriate coupon for the store in your area, then Unwind!


So far this spring,  I have come up with a handful of activities they like to do in our backyard, while I can relax a little.   Being pregnant, I can’t be running around with them all the time.   Here are 5  activities that seriously keep them busy for a long time- so I can kick back and relax a little and have some ” Me time

1 Baby Pool Filled With Corn-  This might be the best $15.00 I have ever spent.  Last fall I purchased a baby pool on sale, along with a bag of corn from a farm supply store.  We usually keep the corn in a plastic container on the deck.  And every 1-2 weeks I will dump the corn out and let the kids play.  My kids will usually play in the corn nicely and quietly for 1-2 HOURS!   I will give them cups, spoons, egg cartons, muffins tins and other fun containers and toys to play with.  This really gives me a chance to kick back and have some “me time”


       2. Bubbles and Bubble Guns- I am not usually into buying my kids too many toys.  BUT  I have no problem supplying them with bubble solution, bubble wands and bubble makers to last them for the duration of the summer.  I like putting their bubble solution into a small plastic container and letting them ” experiment” with it.  My older son has figured out how to blow bubbles with cookie cutters and how to blow bubbles with some of his sand toys.  They love to count bubbles, make really big ones and jump on them.   My kids will usually play bubbles nicely together for 30-45 minutes- more than enough time for me to get some ” me time” in while I sit on the deck and watch them.

3.Chalk and their outdoor chalkboard – Both of my boys love to color with chalk- especially my younger son.  They love drawing pictures of their family, writing their letters ( loosely writing their letters),  and even creating stories as they draw with chalk.  I pretty much let them color with chalk anywhere they want in our backyard- our wooden swing set, the floor of our deck, the cement fire pit ( which we have never actually had a fire in) .  I figure the rain will clean it up.   I know not everyone is so relaxed about this, but we are.  It makes them happy and helps enhance their imaginations.   My husband built my kids a really easy ” DIY chalkboard” a few weeks ago.  We just happened to have a leftover piece of plywood in our garage.  My husband sprayed it with chalkboard spray paint and hung it on our fence.  Playing with chalk will usually keep my kids happy and busy for about 30 minutes. – which can be an eternity when you’re a mom to small kids.


    4. Outdoor Carwash – I have seen a lot of ” kids activities” on Pinterest over the years.  Many of them require a lot of prep work and they don’t hold my kids attention long enough to make the effort.  Also, many of them make a huge mess.  Too much of a mess for how long the activity will last.   One activity that I found on Pinterest that I keep going back to is the toy carwash.    I will fill up my kids water table- along with many other buckets and plastic containers of water.  I will put out funnels, sponges and cups of all shapes and sizes.  I will also bring all of their plastic cars outside.   My boys will play nicely with their car wash for at least an hour.  It it totally worth the effort of putting it together.  Another great opportunity for me to get some “Me time” while watching them out on the deck.


5. Play dough – I must admit.  I stayed away from Play dough for a LONG time.  The mess.  Seriously.  Until I brought it out one day and they sat quietly and played if for close to TWO HOURS.  So I have decided that even if they make  a total mess, it is still worth it.  Plus, the kids have so much fun!   We have a play dough basket in our house.  I keep cookie cutters, stamps, straws, popcicle sticks, muffin tins, egg cartons, little match box cars, small toy figurines,   and all the fun toys that have come with playdough sets.    My kids Love it!  I love listening to the stories they tell when they are playing pretend with their play dough!  I also let them bring it out on the deck!  This way, those small play dough crumbs bother me even less!  Such a great way to get some ” Me time” and it’s much cheaper than a babysitter. 🙂

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, InStyle®, CookingLight® and Sunset®. The opinions and text are all mine.



  1. Great post and much needed with my 2!

  2. I love the idea of a corn filled pool. My kids would love that on the back deck!

  3. Some great tips here! I’m pregnant with my first right now, and am looking forward to finding tips like this next summer! 🙂


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