Michael and Sophie played in the sandbox, kicked soccer balls, drew pictures at the picnic table, got their own snacks, and did all of that mostly independently. I played super heroes with them for a while, Mike joined us for hide and seek, and the kids sat beside me on the outdoor love seat often to ask questions, snuggle and rest, or to tell me funny things that happened (a bird sat right next to Sophie before it noticed her building a sandcastle and flew away, for example).
But you know what I did mostly? I read. I'm finishing my second book of the summer, and it feels so freakin' good. This is my sixth summer as a mommy, and the first one where I feel I can sink into a good book the way I must in order to fully enjoy it. I pass out too quickly when I read at night, especially during the school year, so daytime during summer and holiday breaks has always been treasured reading time for me. Getting long stretches of time with my kids has all but replaced that reading habit for these 5+ years, but thanks to a sandbox, swings, soccer balls, and the bittersweet miracle of kids just getting bigger, reading is back.
When it was time to go in to make dinner (stress free and from scratch--man, I love summer), I asked the kids to water the plants on the patio since they were looking a little parched today.
Chores are another benefit of that getting bigger thing.