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I love sharing reviews and giveaways via blog hops and this month I'm participating in the
Keeping Cool in the Sun Giveaway Hop hosted by Lindsey Blogs and Viva Veltoro.
I'm joining a group of bloggers that are sharing awesome products that help keep you cool in the sun. After reading my review, scroll to the bottom and find the other participating blogs and don't miss the amazing Grand Prize from our Hosts - a Step2 WonderBall Fun House!
Do you have a summer check off list? Now that we are out of the infant stage with Ruby, I am looking forward to getting to do more activities that get both girls active and enjoying the warm weather. I can't believe that it's the middle of July already! I remember like 2 weeks ago feeling "wow, how can it be June? But clearly it was already mid-June...I digress. So without further adieu, here's my summer check list.
1. Gather fresh local produce whenever we can.
We've already gotten a huge amount of strawberries and blueberries stored in the freezer! I love u-pick farms and our area boasts a ton of organic or no-spray family owned farms. This week our town is having our first farmer market grand opening and I am really looking forward to seeing it! It's very important to me to have a connection with where my food comes from and I want my daughters to see it too. I want them to see those imperfect plums with blemishes that are just as yummy (heck, usually MORE yummy!) than those perfect ones at the store. Seeing fruit that comes straight from the grower and that hasn't gone through the homogenized sorting process from the grocer is a big part of that.
This summer we are experimenting with GLAMping in our 'new to us' tent trailer. It was a really cheap find on craigslist last summer and is very rough around the edges, but it sure beats sleeping on an air mattress with 2 adults and 2 kids. Oh and the dog. It just keeps everything contained so much better than a tent does. But just to make sure y'all know that I am legit; I did grow up camping in a tent so I know what I'm leaving behind. ;)
3. Watch a movie under the stars.
Our town sets up kid movie nights at our local park on Fridays in August, which was a lot of fun last year. This year I've got plans to host our own movie night under the starts for the family too! It'll be a fun night of s'mores, cousin time and sleeping outside (in a tent!).
4. Teach Penny how to ride a bike.
Finding a bike, of any kind, for Penny to ride has been really difficult. She has a 13.5" inseam, and not too many bicycles fit her. We've gone through a ton of different trikes and balance bikes but none seemed to fit her. Then we finally got our hands on a Strider Bike!
Strider Bike has always been "the name" that stuck out in my head for balance bikes. The inventor designed these bikes to solve the problem that I've had this whole time - children's bikes just tend to be too heavy, cumbersome and complicated.
Strider Bikes are "balance bikes," which means the child builds confidence in learning how to ride a bike by balancing with their feet on the ground rather than learning how to balance and pedal at the same time. Strider Bikes remove the drivetrain and let the kid build their confidence by first walking with their feet and then graduating to gliding. Once they have the balance part down they will be more comfortable learning how to pedal.
We had the opportunity to try out the Strider 12 Sport. Penny chose it in blue because she wanted it to be an "Elsa Bike." From the time of opening the package to getting her on the bike was less than 10 minutes. Wanna know why? Because you don't need any tools for assembly and adjustment on this bike! Woo hoo!
The Strider 12 Sport uses quick release clamps on the seat and handle bars. This made it very easy to make quick adjustments when Penny was first starting out and I was trying to find the right height for her to be comfortable using the bike. The tires are made from an EVA polymer and will never go flat and are light weight.
In the evenings we've been enjoying walking on the walking path that goes behind our house. It's been the perfect place for Penny to gain confidence with her Strider because we don't have to worry about her getting too close to the road. The path is paved and mostly flat and just a short walk away from a playground - so when she needs a mental break from the bike, we just pop over to the playground and then encourage her to ride the bike home again.
It's take a few tries to get her to become comfortable with the bike, but slowly and surely she is starting to take longer strides and I bet before the end of the summer she'll be gliding like a pro.
One of my favorite parts about the quick release clamps for adjustment is that it makes it so easy to share this bike between siblings. Miss Ruby, who is a whopping 16 months old, wants to be just like her 3 year old sister. So if Penny gets a ride on the bike, you bet Ruby thinks she is getting one too! I guess you're never too young, right? ;)
Enter to win your own Strider 12 Sport (MSRP $119) in the giveaway widget below!
Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, and the Keeping Cool in the Sun participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.