If you're in the UK then it won't have escaped your notice that this summer has been WET - very wet. Wet enough that going out to splash in puddles has been a common activity with Little Miss C. Wet enough that when I told her I was taking her to the local Splash Park one day her first response was to go and get her wellies and rain coat and put them on! The outdoor toys that we bought her for her birthday have been used, but we've not had the long lazy days in the garden making the most of them in the way that I imagined.
This last weekend though all that changed. The sun came out and even managed to do so on the day that I'd planned a birthday BBQ with some friends in the garden. We were able to sit in the sunshine and watch the children run around the garden whilst Mr C cooked for us all. No one required an extra jumper, shoes were kicked off and the sun cream even made a rare appearance!
As I sit here on the deck right now with my laptop, above is my view. There's some dappled shade to keep me cool, but a warm breeze, bright blue sky and lots of very green plants thanks to all the recent rain - if I could just ignore the noise of the builders on the roof attempting to sing along to the radio it would be perfect. Yes it is hot, very hot, but please let's not complain. We all moaned about the rain, but now the sun's here let's make the most of it.
There's no need to splash out on expensive things to keep the kids entertained in the school holidays when the weather's like this - just send them out into the garden and do whatever you might have normally done indoors outdoors. With toddlers painting activities are so much easier and less mess if you just do them outside. A bit of paint is much easier to get off the grass than off the sofa and curtains and at the end of it all you can legitimately just turn the hosepipe on them to help them cool off and clean up! For little ones a paddling pool full of water and loads of containers can provide hours of fun - as well as somewhere nice and cool to put tired, swollen pregnant feet.
As long as you can keep children's bedrooms cool in the daytime we also find that all the heat and running around outdoors leads to a better night's sleep too. Drawing blackout curtains during the daytime helps rooms not heat up from the sun as much and they can also block out the early morning sun too - to the extent that we even managed an 8am lie in on Saturday. Perfect.
We might not get much sun here in the UK in the summer but let's make the most of what we do have and please don't complain about it too much - after all we're not sure when we might see that yellow ball in the sky again!