Don’t let all the back-to-school sales fool you, there’s still a full month of summer vacation left and we intend to savour it. August can be tricky as we try to pack in as much fun in the sun as possible while also (let’s face it) trying to get organized for the upcoming school year.
From road trips to the Olympics, and just a teensy bit of organizing, we can help make the second half of your summer in Toronto a blast.
Make a list and then put it away
Why? You want to relax at the beach and go on picnics and play in the sprinkler. We know you do. But if you’re a mom, your brain is always spinning with all the things that need to get done. So go ahead and get them off your mind. Write a list, make it two lists, three! Include all the back-to-school tasks you need to do. Go ahead and jot down some kick-ass work projects you want to sink your teeth into come September, too. Then put them aside until the end of the month so you can fully enjoy the rest of summer, knowing that those lists can wait.
Explore & Play Close to Home
You’ve still got a bunch of weekends to make plans for local adventures or day trips or quick getaways. There are lots of fun things to do in August in Toronto. I know, I know, we’re all staycationed out. BUT! Don’t dismiss the benefits of a day away from the everyday. Even a few hours can refresh and rejuvenate.
Why? Don’t give up on those summer nights so easily! Grab your cocktail shaker and wipe down that patio furniture. Summer is not over yet and we’re allowed to have people over (in a responsible manner, of course!) These 11 adult beverages will take you all the way through to the Labour Day long weekend, and beyond if we’re lucky.
Why? Picture it. You’re on a family road trip and your children aren’t fighting. Instead, they are each watching their own movies or playing their own games in complete silence while you have total control of the music selection. We love that these Maxell headphones are sized to fit little heads, are lightweight and comfy, and have interchangeable black, blue, and pink caps. But the best feature is the built-in volume level protection that will protect little ear drums. At $9, the price is right, too.
Why? Before there was Pokémon Go, there was Geocaching. It’s basically a giant, world-wide, player-supported treasure hunt. People hide little caches (usually small boxes or cases) that contain a book or paper where people who find it can sign their name. There are often trinkets left that you can swap for your own trinket too. To play, download the Geocaching app to find a list of caches near you. They will each have descriptions that include levels of difficulty (start easy with kids), clues and coordinates, and a map. It’s great fun for the whole family, whether you’re playing right downtown or in the woods.
Emmy Levels Up, by Helen Harvey
Why? Emmy is living her best life online and in her own head. Her online alter-ego is Emmentine. She’s fearless, feisty, and fast, and the gamers on Islandr are in awe of her.
But in real life, Emmy feels inadequate, intimidated, and uncoordinated. And the cool but cruel new girl Vanessa makes absolutely sure she never gets to feel anything else. She’s even managed to get Emmy’s oldest friend to turn against her.
Then, Emmy discovers the Geek Gang: a school computer club. And, slowly but surely, Emmy and the other geeks learn that what makes them different also gives them strength.
Emmy Levels Up explores the toxic effects of bullying, not just on the bullied but also on bystanders who fear repercussions if they challenge the bully. It’s a poignant read as your kids prepare to reenter the schoolyard and all its social challenges. Order your copy here.
Why? Back-to-school shopping also means sorting through drawers and closets and clearing out the old stuff. Items that are torn, stained, and simply worn out can be cut up into cleaning rags, and old t-shirts can become art smocks. Donate, resell, or hand down anything in decent condition that the kids never wear anymore.
Olympic Crafts & Snacks
Why? Kids love the Olympics and the summer games are a great excuse to celebrate athleticism and team spirit as a family. Go all in and let the Tokyo games be your inspiration for crafts and activities throughout the Olympics. Don’t miss this easy guide to a backyard Olympic party that will definitely put you on the podium for Mom of the Year.