Summer Traditions

Sunflowers for Wishes @ Buttonwood Farm
Sunflowers for Wishes @ Buttonwood Farm

I seriously can’t believe summer is already back. It seems like we blinked, and suddenly the school year is ending and my “babies” are entering kindergarten and second grade. Now that the kids are older, summer is more precious. It’s becoming clear that the years of childhood are very short, and time moves so quickly. We have a few summer traditions in our family, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with my sons again this year, in just a few short weeks.

Tie-dye Day

I don’t know when it began, but we kick off the summer with “tie-dye” day. I grab the kids a handful of white shirts, and we spend an afternoon creating a bright summer wardrobe of long and short sleeved tie-dye shirts. Last year we did cotton beach bags, too! It’s super fun, and saves me the stress of watching them destroy their “good” shirts with mud/sunscreen/saltwater/etc.

“Yes Day”

With inspiration by CTWM blogger Elise, “Yes Day” has become a much-anticipated event in our house. We started it last year, and had another one over the winter. The premise is simple: I choose a random day when we are free, and I say “yes” to all their requests, no matter how crazy they may sound. Last year’s included breakfast cupcakes, crabbing at the beach, and a “backwards dinner” (i.e., dessert first), and they’re still talking about it 11 months later.

Surprise Adventure Trips

We always start the summer off strong– day trips to the beach, the park, local museums, etc– but around late July, we lose steam. The kids become grumpy and a little…bored. I don’t think boredom is a bad thing at all, but I started mixing things up by adding “Surprise Adventure Trips” last summer, and the boys love them. We head to our local library, ask what museum passes are available, and simply pick one! If you didn’t already know this, your local library has discount passes that you can check out just like a book to tons of fun places– state parks and beaches, museum, cultural centers, etc. We pack a lunch, grab whichever one is in, and give it a whirl!

Canning for the Winter

My mother made loads and loads of jams and jellies when my brother and I were young, and I’ve kept this tradition going with my own children. We love to browse farmer’s markets and pick-your-own stands for “bargain produce” which we then can as jams, jellies, or pie fillings to enjoy all winter. A friend had a bumper crop of amazing peaches last year, and we are just now finishing our final jar of vanilla-cinnamon-peach jam (our favorite). We are all looking forward to making lots more as soon as the local produce starts appearing once again!

What are your summer traditions? Though I swore I’d never say this in my mom-of-babies days, the years are short– enjoy them!

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