Tag Archives: Summer Survival Tips for Moms

Surviving Summer: Water Balloons

The first time the water balloon burst in my face, soaking my shirt and my recently cleaned bathroom mirror I attempted to laugh it off.

The third time I held back curses against the maker of water balloons.

The fourth time I contemplated laying on the bathroom floor and crying.

The fifth time I threw the entire package of 250 water balloons into the trash, cursed their maker and questioned how anyone with normal sized fingers was ever supposed to tie those slippery little things.

Obviously it is summer at casa de phillips and Pinterest is inspiring me to be all crafty and fun with my kiddos. I love me some Pinterest, but I do have to give myself a little bit of credit and acknowledge that I was crafty in the pre-Pinterest days as well. However, now I can merely find hundreds of ideas of ways to entertain, teach and play with my kids in mere seconds.

Today’s inspiration involved water balloons.

These particular water balloons were purchased in what I believe to be a moment of insanity last summer. They called to me from the section of the Target Dollar Spot, promising hours of water fun for my kids. These little pretties sat unopened in a play bucket in our garage for a year. Apparently that moment of insanity cured itself last summer and I never felt the urgent to actually open the purchased balloons and put them to good use.

Until today.

Summer has a new bit of pressure for moms. I believe that the pressure used to be “How am I going to entertain my children during the summer break without listening to cartoons 24/7, breaking up arguments and wondering who has been putting popsicles in the cat food bowl?” Now summer has morphed into “How am I going to creatively and energetically entertain my children in such a magical way during summer break without listening to cartoons 24/7, breaking up arguments and wondering who has been putting popsciles in the cat food bowl?”

Make no mistake, I love every summer entertainment tip out there. However, it can put a bit of pressure (IF we allow it…such the key phrase here, Mamas) on the mom as she attempts to make summer AMAZING! MAGICAL! MOMENTOUS!. Suddenly mom finds herself standing in the master bathroom of her home, hair dripping, water staining the mirror, surrounded by 15 ripped and broken water balloons.

As I stuffed the package of water balloons into the garbage, my two kids ran into the bathroom ready for this fun and amazing game I had promised. They had finished their school work, done their chores, ran around the house like crazy people, argued about the origin of Charlie and Lola and now were ready to have all this fun mom promised.

“All that fun” which I just happened to have stuffed into the trash can.

Deciding that I could either burst their little bubbles or get a bit creative, I opted for the later. We hunted down a pack of spare balloons (likely leftover from a birthday party) and attempted to fill those with water. This endeavor was way more successful than my previous attempt. We hauled out the balloons to the driveway, grabbed some sidewalk chalk and created “The Great Balloon Toss of 2012”.

In all honesty, the game did not work so well. The balloons did not burst until the 5th or 6th time they were thrown. I forgot to have the kids keep the score about halfway through the game. We did not even attempt to do a fancy over-the-shoulder throw or a closed-eye toss.


Yet the kids thought it to be the best game ever.



Which made it successful in my book.



Plus, the mirror in my bathroom is REALLY clean now…

A sneak preview of summer survival fun

Tick, tick, tick.

Summer is rapidly approaching. Are you ready?

Earlier this week I mentioned that I would be sharing the phillips family’s summer schedule next week. Until then, I wanted to give you a little sneak peak into one of my summer survival tips:

Reading Programs.

Last summer, the children and I participated in two reading programs. One at our local library and one at a Half-Price Books retail store. Through these programs, the children earned free kids meals to local restaurants, free ice cream, small toys and a stack of $3 gift cards. They also (unknown to them) learned accountability, responsibility and the pride in completing a task. Miss E. completed the programs as a “listener” while her brother completed them as a “beginning reader.” This year, E. will be able to do a combo of listening and reading while Isaac will be a full-fledged, chapter book-loving reader.

Interested in getting your children plugged into some great reading programs? Check out the list below.






  • Pizza Hut: This reading program is for kids in K-6 grades. It offers kids a chance to win a large sweepstakes once they have met the reading requirement. Although winning a sweepstakes is not going to happen to every reader, the website for this contest is a valuable source of book suggestions, literacy activities and fun learning games.



  • Build-A-Bear: In the past, Build-a-Bear had a summer reading program for kids. Although their website does not yet have details regarding this year’s program, it should still be in operation. Read books and earn fun Build-A-Bear prizes!


  • Public Library. Most importantly, do not forget the public library. Take advantage of reading programs and special events hosted by your public library this summer.

PBSkids.org (a favorite website of ours) has a campaign devoted to developing strong literacy skills in children. Sometimes as parents we want our children to accomplish a task (i.e. reading) but do not know how to help them with such an accomplishment. The Raising Readers campaign is a great place to start!

Happy Reading this summer!

If you know of a reading program that I left off of this list, please be sure to share it in the comments section. Thanks!

**Wondering why my oldest child is sitting outside in May under a blanket? Well, he had a fever the day this picture was taken. Bless his sweet little heart. I was sad for his fever but my mama heart always loves to see my babies wrapped up in quilts from their infancy.

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