Izzy, complete with post-swimming lesson hair, licks a homemade ice-lolly.

Isabel broke up from school on Thursday of last week and, thankfully, the sun appeared right on cue over the weekend. We’ve been working on a big decorating project over the last few days, but we’ve still managed to squeeze in a few trips to the park, some time in the garden, ice cold drinks and summery food.

Although I’m apprehensive about juggling work and full time childcare for two little people over the next 6 weeks, I’m also incredibly excited about having the children at home with me. Jesse will be starting pre-school in September and I sense lots of change on the horizon, so I’m going to make the most of the relative simplicity my life has at the moment.

I was reminded recently that one of my main responsibilities as a parent is to fill my children’s lives with wonder. Of course, children can find wonder in most things if only they have someone to help them find it. There’s really no need to wow them with pyrotechnics or a big band on a daily basis {although, they’d love that too}. They will be amazed by mud in the garden, listen intently as you read a story, and enthralled by an opportunity to do something they’ve never done before.

With this in mind, and inspired by Emily Quinton of The Start-Up Wife, I sat down with Isabel and Jesse last week and compiled a list of things to do this summer. Here’s what they came up with…

1. Swimming Lessons – Izzy’s desperate to learn, and I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never signed her up for lessons. She finally started a two week intensive course yesterday morning. A 30 minute session in a small group, everyday, for ten days. I overflowed with pride as she strode off towards the pool, swimming cap pulled firmly over her sandy blond locks, ready to master the water.

2. Read – Jesse pines for the library almost constantly and Izzy is working her way through the Harry Potter series. We’re just going to go with it and see where books can take us this summer.

3. Make Ice-Lollies -We’ll do this repeatedly I’m sure, but our inaugural batch were made with vanilla yogurt and crushed peaches. I highly recommend.

4. Have a BBQ – We don’t have a big garden, and we don’t own anything Mr.LA can {legitimately} throw charcoal on. Our BBQs are generally conducted on something disposable perched precariously atop fallen bricks. I make a mean pasta salad though, and kebabs that sport halloumi and colourful veg are quite magical when you’re 3 and 7. Add a few treats like fizzy drink and ice cream for afters, and the children will be in heaven.

5. Visit the Beach – This was Jesse’s contribution to the discussion. One word. ‘Beach’. I’ll be only too happy to oblige.

6. Face Painting – I’m so glad Izzy suggested this one. At least I’m covered if it rains, even if I do have to endure having MY face painted as part of the fun.

7. Picnics – We had our first today in the park across the road. We used Jesse’s buggy to wheel a huge pot of freshly made pasta salad to a nice shady spot on the grass. The children hurriedly devoured mouthfuls of it in between rides on the swings and trips down the slide.

8. Bake Muffins – Muffins are currently the bake du jour according to my children. Izzy has grand plans for something involving nutella. Who am I stop her?

9. Make Tuna Satay – OK. I can appreciate this one seems a little random, but that’s what happens when you give kids carte blanche to pick and choose what they do. There’s a back story to this one. Izzy sampled some tuna satay in Bali 2 years ago. The experience was obviously so immense, that it has stayed lodged in her mind all this time. Anyway, I’ve found a recipe, and a trip to the local fishmonger might just turn out to be  an adventure.

10. Toast Marshmallows – I’m not sure why, or how, Izzy imagines we should do this, but I’m game if she is.

11. Get A New Bedroom – More on this one shortly. There are bunk beds readers, bunk beds! And a few treasures from Etsy…

If you feel like making your own summer list be sure to leave me a link below, or simply fill the comment section with your wildest dreams for how you’ll spend the next six weeks.

Loveaudrey xxx

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