One of our favorite summer activities is picking fruit. The kids love filling up baskets full of fresh berries or ripe peaches. And I love seeing their purple-stained grins after they shove a handful of newly-picked blackberries in their mouths. There really is something almost magical about seeing where fruit comes from and enjoying it so freshly picked. Picking fruit is also a fantastic way to get kids excited about nature.
My kids love going to the pool, but it used to fill me with anxiety. I would worry about the chlorine in the water, the PVC in the pool toys and the chemicals in the sunscreen. Fortunately, companies are making a lot of progress when it comes to offering safe alternatives to toxic pool gear. And I am discovering my own cheap and easy DIY alternatives to things like pool toys. If you want to be stress-free at the pool, read on!
Ever since our visit to Boxerwood Gardens in Lexington, Virginia, my kids have been begging me for a mud kitchen. They spent hours there making mud pies with mud and gravel, salads with grass and flowers, and mud milkshakes. Plus, Pinterest is full of inspiring mud kitchen ideas. So I have begun the planning phase of putting a mud kitchen in our yard.
Now that I have a little girl (one with beautiful curly hair), I find myself searching for ways to keep her hair soft and tangle-free. With summer almost here, conditioning her hair has become even more important. Chlorinated pools and salty oceans usually lead to dry, damaged hair. Unfortunately, conventional hair conditioners are filled with dangerous VOCs and phthalates.
The first thing I think about when summer approaches is whether I am stocked up on sunscreen. I use plenty of sunscreen on my kids, and I apply it often. Despite my best efforts, sunburns happen. Rather than running out to the store to buy a bottle of conventional sunburn treatment full of toxic additives, I make my own sunburn relief using natural ingredients from the kitchen.
Ever since the warm weather came around, I have been dealing with my own personal bug hell here in the country. We have bugs in the house, bugs in our yard and even bugs in our cars. Roaches, wasps, yellow jackets, ants, mosquitoes, beetles, spiders, stinkbugs and, of course, cicadas. I consider most insects just harmless annoyances. But the black widow spiders on our front door are unacceptable. As are the mosquitoes, ants, roaches and anything that stings.