Let’s be real, those summer time holidays aren’t as fun with little ones. Of course they have their moments and everything is special because maybe it’s their first Independence Day or they’re big fans of fireworks. But it gets to a point where all you just want to do as a parent is enjoy a nice meal with family and friends outside. But we don’t really get that, instead picture something like this.
A quickly scarfed down hot dog, maybe a sip of lemonade or beer and you just running after your toddler making sure they don’t hurt anyone. Why are you worried they might hurt someone? Because thanks to one of their uncle’s your three year old has a sparkler. Why would they give him a sparkler? Well, they thought it would be fun….it wasn’t funny.
Personally the Fourth of July was always a favorite of mine, BBQ’s, baking pretty pies, fireworks and even maybe a carnival or two if we can find one but my children couldn’t careless about such things. Besides the above scenario, they aren’t impressed by the holiday. If it were Halloween we would be in business with G and Bodhi would be happy with food, food and more food. But it isn’t October and Bodhi can’t eat anything. I mean he can, but the list of what he can eat and the list of what he wants to eat are completely different. So sitting at our home or a friends house with no other kids, no fun activities and no foods that are Bodhi approved doesn’t seem like an exciting evening for them. Plus they are both completely unamused by fireworks, I know they aren’t human we are working on it. So to keep them and us happy, this holiday season I’ve put together a little survival kit.
Fruit Purees: Are always a “must” especially with babies but even G can be distracted when a good fruit puree is around.
Decorative straw kit: Now hear me out, this has nothing to do with fun and festive drinks. I got these beauties at T.j Max. fully intending not to use them for anything but toddler activities. Instead of fun decorative straws we turned them into magic wands. Like I said earlier, our child is Halloween OBSESSED so playing magicians is a norm in our home.
“No Crabby Attitudes” Sign: Okay so this one is really more so for time out purposes. I found this wandering through Home Goods. Having a sign that works with the theme of the holiday is always helpful for G. He is a theme guy and besides his father the only dude I know who can stay in character for more than a week if needed. My boys are comedians so I need to use that when thinking of fun activities and yes, even punishments.
Granola Bars: These are the best reward/distraction. Some times I can stop a tantrum right before it happens if I have the proper reward. Of course pick something that works for your little ones but for us it’s granola bars. He told G a couple of weeks ago he wasn’t allowed to have them, ONLY because they were like the only food Bodhi could stomach so now they are all he wants. What is it with toddlers and the forbidden fruit thing? Either way for the time being they are the perfect snack to calm down any tantrum.
Little Wooden Ship: I got this as well as the fabric organizer you see in the picture above from our local hardware store (Newtown Hardware). It really isn’t like your typical hardware store. The buyer for the store is fantastic and there is literally something for everyone. You can go in for a box of nails and leave with new fabric for your chairs, scone batter, and even toys for the kids. When I saw this little ship I knew I could find a use for it! For the fourth I intend to use it at sort of a hide and go seek game for G. This will keep him occupied/happy while still giving me the time I need to meal prep and entertain guests!
Fabric Organizer: This will serve as a place for his crafts on the Fourth. Between colored pencils, glue, glitter and construction paper I’m sure it won’t stay organized for long. But whether it makes him or mama happy, at least it will be festive and keep up with the theme.