SUMMERS for parents can be bittersweet: the temperature warms up, which means spending more time with their kids outside, but school is also out and that means coming up with ways to keep them busy.
Comedians and relatable parenting gurus, Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, from #IMomSoHard have shared how they keep their own kids entertained for super cheap.
Speaking exclusively to The US Sun, the two talked about how you don't really need to spend too much money on keeping the kids busy during the summer simply because it's pointless.
Kids will actually spend plenty of time playing with the cheapest of toys.
"Growing up, our parents weren't worried about how to keep us entertained, like there's a hose outside, go have fun," Smedley first said with a laugh.
"We don't want you inside, just go outside and play," Hensley added, pretending to be one of her own parents.
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"But now, more moms feel a lot of pressure to come up with ways to have fun in the summer.
"We want summer to be epic and the pressure comes from a good place, but it's still pressure."
Smedley revealed that yes, their parents were unto something when they told them to play with the hose.
"So many activities in the summer involve a hose, such as water slides,water balloons, bubbles."
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With just a quick trip to the Dollar Tree, a bathing suit, and some imagination, the entire family could spend hours playing under the sun.
On the other hand, Hensley, for years, has put together an obstacle course for her kids to spend a few days completing.
"It's a lot of jumping, not running," she explained, pointing out that she doesn't have a big yard, so there's no excuse not to try it.
"You can use hula hoops for them to jump through, items for them to use as cones so they can run around them, and tents to crawl through.
"I also just give them the stuff and they spend half the day building it and then several ones actually competing against each other.
"It will tire them out pretty good."
If the weather isn't favorable, a good old-fashioned dance party can do the trick. Both Hensley and Smedley swear by them.
"You can let the kids DJ and you can also teach them a little bit about music as you bust some moves," Hensley explained.
"It's so simple because you just turn some music on, turn off the lights, and have at it."
In a two-for-one attempt, Smedley will put together picnics and camping trips in her own backyard when she wants her kids to try new foods.
Designed to look like "camping food," she'll sneak in a few new items and the kids will feel more inclined to try them simply for the experience.
Although this one sounds complicated, they swore that scavenger hunts are super simple – and you can get the whole neighborhood involved.
Without limiting the hunt to their home, the duo of moms will reach out to their neighbors to have them put out items, like a teddy bear or a potted plant, that the kids can search for.
"Have a list beforehand and write things like 'Look for a yellow car' or look for a butterfly, and when they find one, they can check it off their list," Smedley explained.
"It also takes two seconds to call up your neighbors and people love to be included like that," she assured.
And not only does it keep your kids out of the house, but they can make friends by including other neighborhood kids.
This can then turn into potential sleepovers and play dates, which means more alone time for the parents.
As your kids spend all that time outside, you have to make sure they are taking the measures to remain hydrated and safe from the harmful effects of sun exposure.
Hensley herself has a very persuasive rule that her kids live by.
"This makes me sound strict, but we have a very firm rule when the kids go outside," she began.
"If they go to any events, whether that's a sporting one or going out for a swim and you don't have a water bottle and sunscreen, you lose screen time."
"At this point, my daughter is nine and my son is 11 and they can figure out that they just need to rub a stick of sunscreen all over their face."
The duo behind #IMOMSOHARD has partnered with Mother's Cookies to launch the “World’s Funnest Mothers” Sweepstakes.
Starting now and running through June 26, moms will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 fully customizable “World’s Funnest Family Vacation.”
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To enter, moms need to post an Instagram pic or reel in their main feed featuring their best fun mom idea that inspires their kids to Stop and Taste the Frosting for the end of school/start of summer.
Each post must include hashtags #WorldsFunnestMothers and #Sweeps, and tag @MothersCookiesUS.
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