Unplugged Play: a morning at the park and my current favorite bag #FEEDUSA

ParkDay4

This has been the summer of walking for our family.  It is excellent exercise for all of us, especially for this mama who spent far too much time indoors over the long winter.  After months of being fairly sedentary, getting outside and walking nearly every day has been so nice for our whole family.

Plus, walking has given us a chance to better become local tourists and really get to know the ins and outs of this wonderful small town where we live. 

After a string of rainy and then super steamy hot days, we were more than ready for some unplugged play at our local park, so yesterday morning we loaded up my new favorite bag (more on that in a bit) and grabbed the stroller for Amelia, who would love to walk all by herself but can”t quite cover the distances just yet.

Then, out the door we went!

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Unplugged Play: Jump Rope

JumpJillian2

I mentioned last week that over the Fourth of July holiday we spent a few days at my parents’ place in rural northern Indiana.

It was wonderful to spend some time with my folks.  I think one of my favorite perks of parenting is getting to see my parents as grandparents.  In some ways, it gives me a chance to get to know them in a new light.  It is such a cool thing to see my parents and my kids enjoy each other’s company.

One of the highlights of our trip was that my kids learned how to jump rope under Grandpa’s careful tutelage.  Who knew that, not only was my Dad a fantastic jump roper as a kid, but that he is such a good jump rope coach?
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Unplugged play: a MEGA fort

MEGAfort

As I mentioned on Monday, the weather has been very un-July-like so far.  After weeks of sunshine, temperatures dropped and the rain clouds came and with it a slight dampening of our Summer fun.

But that didn’t last long.

We purchased a new washing machine (my first ever new, not-second-hand washing machine, hooray!) and when the kind delivery men saw how thrilled my kids were with the giant box, they gave them two more from the back of the truck.

Three HUGE boxes to play with?

Time to make a MEGA fort!

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Keeping cool on hot days: baby doll washing

washing baby dolls

Yesterday proved to be quite a wild weather day here in Indiana.  In the afternoon the temperatures soared into the 90s (though it felt even hotter) and by late evening we were listening to the wind howl and the rain pound our roof as storms rolled in.

Before the scorching temps and thunderstorms, however, the kids and I spent a happy morning outside, beating the heat with some cool water play (before the eventual humidity and roasting temps sent us indoors in the afternoon).

This summer I’ve noticed that my littlest girls still love one of their favorite Unplugged Play ideas from last year:  giving their baby dolls a bath.

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Unplugged play idea: kiddie pool + bubbles = awesome!

SKbubblekiddiepoolTOP

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far in central Indiana and, after the long winter, the kids and I were ready for it!  We’ve been loving the sunshine and the blue skies.

This week has been the first week of the year we’ve been using the pool, which is always one of our favorite backyard summer treats.

Normally we have a larger pool that uses a filter to keep it clean and the water clear all season long.  This year, however, my youngest doesn’t quite have her sea legs, though she’s eager to explore the water, so we decided a smaller kiddie pool would be best for our backyard space.

A kiddie pool for the summers we have toddlers seems to be a family tradition and my big kids don’t mind too much as long as we take them on plenty of trips to the big pool, too.

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