I originally wrote this post three years ago and feel the need to repost it every year. This technique has been so helpful over the years.
From the very first time he went into the ocean he loved it. He kept crawling toward it and we had to pull him out because as Ted says, “He’s braver than he is smart.” He will just keep going out into the water and not think anything of it.
The first time Teddy went to the beach when he could walk (1 1/2 yrs old)
He didn’t have to go in holding someone’s hand (2 1/2 yrs) and stayed there until dragged out
Two years ago this became a big problem. He didn’t want to get out of the water and I didn’t want to spend the entire day standing there with him, so I would let him go in by himself.
Don’t worry, I didn’t let a four year old just wander around, at this point in time I didn’t take the kids to the beach by myself. We would go and there would be at least five adults, someone was always watching.
I had to keep going and telling him he was in too deep. My dad said something about a line, and it dawned on me. I had a Sharpie in my bag. I called Teddy over and drew a line right on his stomach. I told him he couldn’t go out in the water past that line or he would have to come and sit down.
His first line (it was high because someone still sat close to the water)
Well, he went into the water and after every step he took, he looked down to see if he past the line.
I worked like a charm. I am a genius! I don’t have to keep getting up and telling him to come closer anymore.
The level of the line can change depending on the waves or how well he stayed below it the last time.
This week’s line
He knows if he sees me standing at the edge of the water with my hands on my hips that he went too far. He doesn’t even argue about it anymore. He comes out, he sits down (it’s usually the only time I can reapply sunscreen), has a bite to eat and then he goes back out when he’s done his time.
This is what happens when you go past the line
It usually happens once or twice at the beginning of the summer, the more he does it the longer he has to sit.
We’ll see how many times he has to sit this summer.
There are some things that are absolutely necessary for summer in order to keep the Kraus Kids occupied. The best part is, they are very cheap and easily replaced once they run out.
I make sure I have a nice supply of these essentials.
Jump ropes My girls will jump in the driveway, and up and down the sidewalk throughout the summer. I buy a lot of them because they will get used to tie things up, end up in knots and left out in the rain.
Bubbles You can never have enough bubbles in the summer. I get all sorts of contraptions for them to use and tons of bottles of the stuff. I do sometimes make them a batch of homemade bubble mix when I’m feeling like a Pinterest mom.
Sidewalk Chalk My kids have already gone through three buckets of these. They are always being left out in the rain. My kids do let them dry out and then use it, they say it still works fine, but since it is so inexpensive and keeps them occupied for hours I keep getting them more.
Hula Hoops These are not only used around the waist. They are targets to hit or throw through, something used to catch the enemy and used as an obstacle course. My kids use them for so many different things that they don’t care that they get bent.
Water Balloons We love a good water balloon fight in our house. I’ll fill up a couple of buckets for each team and let the games begin. It’s great on a hot day.
Balls Big or small, doesn’t matter, we need them all. Each game requires a different kind of ball. My kids make up their own games with their own rules all the time (Who remembers CalvinBall?)
Squirt Guns I’m thinking about investing in Super Soakers this summer. My son thinks he’s this great warrior, he shoots like a Stormtrooper. I may need to show him how it’s really done. The thought of a Super Soaker show down sounds like fun.
What are some things your kids “need” this summer?