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Family Fun in the Sun

Author: Kate Hayes
Published Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Robert and I both had an entire day off from work, which is rare. It also happened to be a beautiful sunny day. We decided to take advantage of our good fortune and do some awesome things outside as a family. We brought the two dogs and Annabel to the beach for a bit of fetch and sand frolicking.

Annabel loved watching her “doggies” run in and out of the water chasing a "ball, ball, ball." I heard over and over again her excited description of our dogs, Ein and Poppy, playing on the shore. "Ein all wet, Ein all wet! Poppy got ball, Poppy got ball!" She is becoming quite the detailed narrator. The water was a little too chilly for Annabel, but we all had a great time, and with summer just around the corner and the beach right down the road, we’ll be back.

After getting home and bathing exhausted dogs, we put Annabel in her new bike trailer and rode to the playground. It was the first time we have been able to take a family bike ride, and Annabel loved it! She was able to wear her new helmet, feel the wind on her face and watch the scenery go by. She announced, “It’s squirrel, it’s tree, it’s car, it’s big truck.” Who knew the world was so interesting from that vantage point.

We made a quick stop at the grocery store and headed home for a cookout. I picked up a bucket of sidewalk chalk for a couple of dollars, and it turned out to be one of the best investments I have ever made.

Yes, I love the new bike trailer, but the chalk was the real game changer at my house. “Annabel draw chalk. Daddy cook.” She was quickly done with drawing on the sidewalk and decided to experiment with drawing on her legs, the outdoor table, the fence, even Ein’s foot. The beautiful thing is, I can let her make a mess, and the rain washes it away! No damage done – I’m sure I’ve mentioned that Annabel is washable and loves bath time.

I realize I probably cannot let her color inside with markers for a little while now, at least until she understands the difference, but that's OK. We would both rather be outside anyway.

As much as we love the sun, rain isn’t a disappointment for a toddler either. If it is raining, she is thrilled to put on her rain boots and jacket to “splash puddles.” (Oh the messiness never ends). As a matter of fact, she tries convincing me it’s raining when it is not just so she can wear her boots.

Our family is looking forward to the summer ahead and the adventures of toddlerhood. What fun ways have you found to play in the sun with your little ones?


Of course summer safety is important so make sure to check out the FREE Summer Safety webinar with Dr. Theresa Guins, medical director of CHKD Urgent Care. 

Looking for more activities? Check out MyActiveChild.com.

About Kate Hayes

Kate Hayes lives in Virginia Beach, VA and is a first time parent to Annabel – born on July 22, 2015. Kate is a yoga and aerial fitness instructor. She especially enjoys teaching on the beach, and is certified in laughing yoga, and prenatal yoga. Kate and her husband, Robert, enjoy spending time with their daughter and their two dogs.