The last day of school is the official kick off to summer. It’s time to celebrate beautiful weather and have fun in the sun. The key to having a great time and making the most of what summer has to offer is being organized and prepared for summer activities. Below is a summer checklist from our friends at Pish Posh Baby that will help you keep your summer sanity.
- Daycare/Camp – Do you want to prevent your kids from saying these two dreaded words, “I’m bored!”? Sign them up for daycare or day camp a couple of days a week. It will give them something to look forward to, keep them stimulated and learning new things and best of all, it gives them the opportunity to socialize with kids their own age while on break from school. There are many camps available that cater to kids hobbies from dance, art and sports. If your kids are younger, a diaper bag or tote will be essential for staying organized and providing everything they will need to get through the day.
- Road trips – Take along items for a road trip are a summer time sanity saver. Keep a travel case or backpack filled with on the go activities to keep kids entertained on the road. Pack items like books, crayons and color books, and iPads for games and music. If your kids are old enough, have a family sing along or play travel games like “I Spy.” You may also want to include a portable DVD player to entertain kids with their favorite movie or learning programs. If travel times will include naptime or bedtime, be sure to pack their favorite blanket, pillow or baby doll to help them fall asleep.
- Car Shades – Nothing is worse than getting into an overheated car at the end of a fun day. Park in an area that will have afternoon shade, and as an added protection use a sunshade to block the heat of the sun. Roll windows down before loading kids in the car to cool down the interior of the car.
- Coolers – If you’re headed to the park, the beach or a drive in the mountains for a picnic, include a separate cooler for beverages. Ice won’t last all day, but an insulated drink carrier will help extend the life of ice to keep juices and waters cold for longer periods of time.
- Baby essentials – If you have a newborn or toddler who may not be old enough to get around on his own, a baby carrier is a must. Nestling them into a carrier will save your neck and shoulder muscles and free up your hands for assisting older kids. Umbrella strollers can be a lifesaver in crowded spaces like a visit to the museum or the zoo. They fold up easily for transport and provide a handle to mount the diaper bag and eases transport from point A t point B. Stroller organizers are useful for keeping items like pacifiers, toys and wipes at your fingertips. Cup holders can be mounted to the stroller to keep bottles available at a moment’s notice.
- Swimsuits – Kids love to play in the water. Swim suits are a summer essential for water babies. By having several swimsuits on hand, you can always be prepared for swim lessons, playing in the pool or going to the beach. Nothing is more of a bummer than needing a suit and it’s in the laundry. To extend the life of your kids swimsuits rinse them after exposure to chlorine or salt water, do not wrap wet suits in a towel, hand wash in cold water with a gentle detergent and let them air dry. Never leave swimsuits to dry in the sun as colors will quickly fade.
- Sun Screen – Sun block is an essential for summertime fun. Preventing sunburn is a priority for every parent. Whether the kids are at the pool or in the backyard, sunscreen is an essential part of summer safety and skin protection. Use a waterproof sunscreen with an SFP of at least 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. If your child has fair skin, consider using an SPF 50 for added protection.
- Snack/Lunch Containers – Busy moms need to keep healthy snacks readily available for hungry kids. Preparing snacks ahead of time in portion controlled containers will make grab and go easy and it will save frustration when kids want a snack.
- Hair Accessories – Active kids, especially girls, need to have their hair put up and out of the way. Be sure you have pony tail holders and barrettes on hand to keep hair restrained. For kids who enjoy playing outdoors, a ball cap or sun hat will help protect their faces for too much sun exposure.
- Beach Towels/Toys – Fun at the beach, pool or waterpark requires extra preparation. Oversized beach towels provide a clean space for small kids to play and eat, while older kids can wrap themselves and warm up after swimming. Packing special water safe toys or floaties for younger children will help keep them engaged so the entire family will have an enjoyable experience.
- Cameras – Nowadays most smartphones are equipped with high quality cameras and video recorders. Take plenty of pictures to share with friends and family. Kids love to look at pictures and remember the fun they had on family excursions. Having a record of their first time diving off the diving board, their first home run or just splashing at the beach will be memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Being a mom during the summer can be like being a cruise director on a ship with hundreds of activities to plan and orchestrate. Summer time can be one of the busiest times of year for families that have multiple kids so taking time to breathe and get organized will make life on the go much more pleasant. Take advantage of the many products that are available to make your life more manageable as you navigate the fun of summer.
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