Summer can be a time of lazy days filled with sunshine and a carefree spirit. It can also be a time of long days filled with restless kids desperate for an activity, especially if it’s raining and you’re stuck indoors. I’ve found that maintaining a routine and having a ‘go bag’ of needed items keeps us sane, as well as having a few special activities ready to go for the moment you hear those dreaded words: “Mom, I’m Bored!” Here’s what’s keeping this busy household running smoothly this summer:
Dry Erase Board
Our routine changes daily in the summer, and my kids wake up not knowing what to expect. After a school year of knowing the routine each morning, that’s tough for kids! In order to let them know what to expect each day, I have a dry erase board with the daily schedule set up where they can see it over breakfast each morning. Nothing fancy, just writing the day of the week and that day’s activity with a picture let’s them know what to expect for these routine-loving kiddos.
“Mom, I’m Bored” Basket
Here’s the secret weapon for fending off bored kids and grumpy rainy days. Have a basket filled with new toys and activities hidden away—even if the toys are small, they’ll be novel enough to keep the kids busy. Take a quick trip through the aisles of Family Dollar and grab puzzles, small toys, and craft supplies. You can even jot down activity ideas on notecards, such as ‘Play I Spy” or “Find 5 things that start with the letter S”. When you’re hit with a rainy day or the inevitable question: “so, what do we do now?” you’ll be ready and waiting with a slew of new ideas!
Having a bag ready to go has been an incredible timesaver! We have a backpack fully stocked for short hikes with needed items like bug repellent and sunscreen. Our pool bag is stocked with fresh towels, a change of clothes, swim diapers, and goggles. I’ve even purchased extras of everything so each bag has what it needs and we’re never stranded without something important, like the all purpose baby wipes — perfect for not only babies but also wiping sticky hands and faces. Having specific bags packed and ready to go means we get to spend more time doing what we love and less time running around trying to collect water bottles and diapers.
Coolers are Cool
One way I’ve saved money this summer is packing our own snacks and lunches. This cooler bag sits in our kitchen ready and waiting, and I simply throw in juice or milk boxes, snacks, and sandwiches. Now there’s no excuse to splurge on expensive food while out when we have everything we need with us in our cooler. Plus, it allows us to spend more time doing what we love when we don’t have to search for cold water and food.
Summer Bucket List
Nothing fancy here, just use a piece of paper to make a list of local activities you’d like to do together this summer. Involve the kids by brainstorming ideas such as berry picking, going to the lake, visiting an amusement, the zoo, etc. I’ve even done this on a piece of large freezer paper and taped it to the wall so we can check things off as we go. Not only do you have a list ready and waiting chock full of activities, but also a way to see how much you’ve done by summer’s end.
With those five ideas in place, you’ll be ready to tackle summer head-on no matter what the day brings. Rain, spontaneous trips, routine starved kids? BRING IT ON, and enjoy!