The Daily Dad gives us great tips on surviving the summer.
Despite more than 30 years of research on fathers, there’s no real consensus on what it takes to be a good one. Ask any number of scholars and academics in the field and they’ll give you a list of all-too-often impossible “must-haves” in order to be a good dad. At The Daily Dad, we’re pushing back against all that. Our mission is to encourage, promote and celebrate inspiring, engaged and involved dads everywhere. Our claim is that any man, of any marital status, employment status, custody status and whatever-other status can be a good father by just starting where they are.
We get it: school is out, your kids have been home for just a few days and you’re out of ideas to spend the time together! I mean, you can only make going to the grocery store an adventure for so long. So we put together a few ideas of activities to keep you and your nuggets busy this summer. But first, here are some things to keep in mind:
Listen, nothing is worse then going to the beach or on a beautiful hike, only to come home and be red as a tomato the next day. Then the peeling starts. Then the denial. Then the bargaining. Then the acceptance. It’s brutal. Don’t let your kids go through it. Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale of the Skin Cancer Institute suggests that we can never apply too much sunscreen, and instead that most of us are applying too little sunscreen! So lather up this summer. Don’t worry about that golden glow: just prevent the firery burn!
Dehydration is no joke. We often forget that our kids can overheat just as easily as we can. Anyone who has a toddler who has napped in the summer with their favorite blanket can attest to how sweaty they can get! So you need to replenish that loss liquid and help them stay hydrated. Keep a few extra waterbottles with you when you go out. A great trick is to freeze a waterbottle that is 2/3 of the way full, then fill it up with water in the morning before you go out- you’ll have chilled water for several hours.
HATS (& DAD VISORS)
Trying to keep a hat on a child is like herding cats. We know. But keeping the sun off their head and out of their eyes will really help make an outting outdoors much more plesant. TIP: let your kids pick out the hat. Yes, they may pick out the most horrific hat in the store, but they will be much more likely to wear the hat if they picked it from the start. Also, retire your dad visor. Please. Just… just leave it in the closet (or fireplace).
BUG SPRAY & FIRST AID
If you’ve not read our Diaper Bag Necessities article, you have got to head over there because we totally talk about other stuff to bring when you’re with your kiddos. If you’re going sans diaper bag, then remember to bring bug spray (even if it’s not in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains). Bugs host their annual get together in the summer, so they’re out and hungry. Put a little first aid kit in your glove box just for any accidents that may happen. It’s always better to be prepared than to panic when you’ve got a bleeder!
Plan times where you can get out of the sun and into some shade, preferably with a little A/C. This will make EVERYONE feel better. Popsicles and ice cream (or a little fro-yo) also help to keep temperatures and tempers down. Nothing is more uncomfortable than being hot and sticky and sweaty, so try your best to plan moments to cool down on those hot summer days.
SUMMER TREASURE HUNT
ARRRRR! Here’s the deal, we want you to have a great summer with your kiddos, but we also don’t want you to go broke this summer. We put on our thinking caps (not dad visors, see above) and came up with this little gem: a Summer Treasure Hunt.
Print the map out, put it on the fridge, and embark on the summer treasure hunt of your lives! There are enough summer toys and water guns in your children’s toy chest, so spend this summer making memories with your kids doing things that are absolutely free of charge. Did you hear that? You can enjoy a fun filled summer FREE OF CHARGE and build memories with your kiddos along the way.
When you’ve completed one of these tasks, give the circle a check mark, fancy “X”, or a sticker until the entire map is checked off. Then keep the map and any tokens from your adventure in a box for your kid’s keepsake. Imagine how fun it will be for them to look back at the effort you put into planning a great summer with them!
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Photo: Flickr/Todd Anderson