Summertime fun or flop?

My family loves summer fun. We actually live for the summer. Trips, barbecues, camping, late nights and warm weather are the things we look forward to coming out of our rainy Pacific Northwest spring . When the twins were born we thought of all the fun things we wanted to do with them over the summer. Our first summer was pretty cool. They were not moving around as much so we were able to attend events with no worries about child proofed back yards, steaming hot grills, pets, and other things that come along with hanging out at a BBQ. Summer ended with tons of fun and memories.

This year we thought it would be the same and boy were we wrong! Our twins turned 19 months when the warm weather hit and instantly we were bombarded with BBQ invites, which was awesome! We packed the car with the kids, their toys and headed to what we thought then was fun. After attending our first three events we noticed that most people do not have childproofed backyards. Then we quickly realized, hey, we can’t just relax because they are all over the place exploring! Has our summer changed? Is this yet another transition into parenthood that we were not prepared for? Now, most people reading this might not think this is not a big deal. For us, it was. We are summer people and love everything that summer brings. After the third backyard was not prepared for not one toddler, but two toddlers, we decided to write a list of items to be on the lookout for and items to bring with us to the next BBQ!

Look out items:

Pets: Be sure to ask your friends and family about their pets and how they live in the area where the event is going to be held. It is important to know this so you can monitor the children and direct where they should play and what’s OK to touch in the backyard.

Lawn Equipment: If the lawn equipment is out in the open, politely ask the host to put the tools away. Even if it is something small like a rake it could be dangerous.

Flowers and grass: it is important to check out the grass and plants for yourself. You can’t control what your host does with their yard, but if there are plants with thorns, holes in the ground, too many sensitive flowers that the host doesn’t want touched or damaged you might have to skip the event or leave early. Little ones are curious and in the blink of an eye they could prick their hands and damage an important plant.

Weather: keeping up on the weather is important in the summer. If it’s too hot it might not be a good idea to have your babies or toddlers outside all day around a hot grill. Keeping them hydrated and properly covered from the rays is extremely important for summer fun.

What to bring with you:

Stroller: having a stroller in the backyard is convenient. You can use it as a high chair or even nap area by laying the back down.

Toys: having your child’s favorite toys helps distract them from messing with backyard accessories.

First Aid Kit: accidents happen and you need to be prepared. Sunscreen and hats should be packed as well.

Water and snacks: having your own extra water and snacks help prevent dehydration. Being extra prepared is being prepared.

Pool gear: just in case you show up and there is a pool that you didn’t know about, have all the gear on hand – including safety gear!

Folding chairs: It’s always good to have a back up seat in the trunk.

Blankets and portable nap gear: having extra blankets and portable gear for the babies to take a nap will extend your visit and give you much needed adult relax & fun time!

A Summer smile: After a few bad events it’s easy to write off all BBQs until toddlers get older. Come prepared and be upfront with your host, it will allow you to enjoy great events and create fun summer memories!