Dog Days of Summer Essay Winner!

Congratulations to Stephanie Palmieri from California. We loved reading about how you spend the summer with your kids. Check out her submission below. Look out for our Back to School essay contest at the beginning of August!

I have a few favorite ways to keep my kids busy over the summer. I definitely feel like this is the number one question moms ask each other, and it often has us shrugging our shoulders. I have three girls, so plenty of kid energy to keep busy. I often think back to my own East Coast childhood, back in the suburban Philadelphia area for inspiration. We used to run around in our bathing suits at my grandparents’ farm until we ran out of breath, and went from jumping in the pool to playing Capture the Flag. The feel of the humidity on our skin was almost as sticky as the watermelon my grandma used to cut up for us on picnic benches and the hammock in the backyard. Now we live in the Los Angeles area, a big city, but I feel like some of those same unspoiled memories can still live on in our backyard now. We have a giant blow-up pool that my kids can spend hours in under an umbrella, swimming with their Barbies and LOL dolls. The humidity might be quite what it is on the East Coast, but the West Coast sun makes up for that with its shining rays. Capture the Flag has been replaced with chasing our dogs around the back yard in an amazing game of tug of war with a chew toy. When they are ready to cool down, my kids will often read up on their favorite dinosaurs just in time to visit the Museum of Natural History. I definitely believe I have incorporated some of my favorite childhood memories that seemed frozen in time into life with my girls. You can change the scenery and where you live but that Pennsylvania girl still runs wild and free in my heart and now I see the same carefree spirit in my own children.