Stay Organized When School’s Out for Summer!
I thought I’d share a bunch of my favorite parenting-related ideas for the summer season—not all are laser-focused on organizing, but hopefully they’re helpful nonetheless. My kids are in their early- and mid-20s now, so these are some tried and true tips!
Job charts: Kids have extra time on their hands, so it’s the perfect opportunity to enlist their help around the house. Whether you work on creating a job chart together, or you just make one for them, it’s a great opportunity to teach some responsibility.
Reading chart: Encourage them to keep reading by offering an incentive to hit goals. When the heat is just too much, head to the library or your favorite book store for free air-conditioning and new books for the rotation.
Summer bucket list: At the beginning of the season, we sit down as a family and brainstorm a list of all the things that we want to do before the kids head back to school. Ideas can be as simple as making homemade ice cream or as big as going on a road trip. And away we go!
Snack station: Kids are notorious for idly snacking the summer away. To get ahead of that, I suggest you stock two healthy snack stations on Sunday or Monday—one in the fridge, the other in the pantry—and tell the kids these should be sufficient to last the week. Pantry items could include trail mix, whole grain crackers, all-fruit bars, nuts, and applesauce pouches. Refrigerator picks might be string cheese, apple slices, Greek yogurt tubes, sliced veggies and single-serve hummus cups.
Insta-Smoothies: Pre-making smoothies in bags is a terrific way to make sure there’s always a healthy breakfast at hand. Set aside 15 minutes on Sunday to fill zipper-top plastic bags with cut-up fruit and stash in your freezer. Whirl in a blender with yogurt and a scoop of protein powder and presto—a drink that starts the day right or a healthy and cool afternoon snack.
Fruity water: Fill a jug or pitcher with water and cut-up fruit every evening before bed and let it infuse overnight. Sip throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Picnic pointer: Keep a picnic basket stocked with disposable plates, cups, utensils, napkins and wet wipes. Make some quick sandwiches and you’re ready for an easy outing even if it is to your own backyard.
Trunk tip: If you don’t have a car trunk organizer, I highly suggest getting one to prevent things from rattling around in there. Some of them even have a cooler compartment for storing snacks and drinks. This is one of our favorites!
Grab bag: Stash a tote in the trunk stocked with sunscreen, bug spray, an extra set of clothes per person, wipes and towels. You’ll be ready for impromptu adventures.
In a bind (er): To keep boredom at bay on road trips, try making a travel binder. Put markers, crayons and pencils into a soft case that clips into the binder. Print out coloring pages, tic tac toe cards and other games to play on the way.
Shower power: Cheapie plastic shower caddies from the Dollar Store are ideal for road trip meals. Seriously, this is genius.
H2 Oh!: Use a tall hamper (the kind with holes up the sides) to store large pool toys such as noodles, floats and inflatable rings. This keeps them neatly corralled and allows them to dry between uses.
Hang time: To make an outdoor, electricity-free drying station, simply mount a large coat rack with pegs in the garage to hang damp towels and bags.
Pooled resources: If you’re beach-bound with little kids, bring a small blow-up pool. It can act as a play yard to keep toddlers in the one spot.
Cool idea: For a fun twist on freezing water bottles to pack around food in the cooler to keep it chilled, freeze water balloons instead. When they thaw: water balloon fight!
For ideas to make summer time traveling easier for your family, check out our Amazon Faves and Raves. We have some of our favorite products to make travel organized and simplified!
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