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SALT LAKE CITY — I imagine when my mother was raising a family back in the '80s, in a world sans Pinterest and mommy blogs, she didn't know what other moms did with their kids during the summer if they didn't live on our block. But I'm parenting in an entirely different era where I'm bombarded on a daily basis with messages via social networks about what I should and shouldn't be doing with my kids.
When I was a new parent, I bought into everything, hook, line and sinker. But after seven years of being a circus monkey in order to make summers magical for my children, I've thrown in the towel. While you may hear other mothers announce their excitement to have the kids home all day, every day — I'm keeping it real.
I'm scared. Really scared. So I'm taking the pressure off myself. I had a bucket list compiled from ideas found on mommy blogs around the Internet, written by women who probably make their own toothpaste and never feed their family processed foods, and I'm doing a rewrite. My new goal for summer break? Survive.
Make ice cream in a baggie.
1. Buy ice cream.
Watch the sunrise and bring a picnic breakfast!
2. Feed the kids breakfast as often as possible. We've already witnessed the sunrise every morning for the first few years of their lives.
Sleep outside on the trampoline together!
3. Let the kids sleep outside on the trampoline ... without me.
Got an old chair lying around? Give the kids a permanent marker and let them go to town on it!
4. Draw with them ... on paper.
Make a fruit pizza! Let kids help you with the toppings like strawberries and blueberries!
5. Order pizza.
Have a yard sale and let the kids help!
6. Have a yard sale when the kids aren't there, because most of what we sell is their old junk that they would never willingly part with.
Play games, like hide-and-seek!
7. Play hide-and-seek, and find a really good hiding spot to enjoy some peace and quiet for as long as possible. Bring a good book and a Diet Coke into said hiding spot.
Host a themed play date, like a Pirate Play Date, and provide inexpensive eye patches, pirate hats out of newspaper, and Goldfish Crackers as "sea food."
8. Invite some kids over to play. Have Goldfish Crackers as a snack.
Make a carwash for the kids' bicycles using PVC pipe, pool noodles and your imagination!
9. Let the kids play with the hose.
Write sight words on diving sticks and call out a word. See who can dive into the pool and find that word first!
10. Take the kids swimming.
Now that the pressure is off, bring on the summer!
Nicole Pollard has been writing for KSL.com and Deseret Connect since 2011. Contact her at email@example.com.