Let face it, as moms we love summer time! Long days in the sunshine and tired tiny humans at the end of the day. We are finally free of being stuck within the same four walls all winter and we can let those kids run wild outside! Free at last!!
Here are a few of my hacks to make your summer even better! It will save you time and energy. Plus, you will have more time to make memories with your kids!
Whoever invented those things is a hero in my eyes! We use them all year long in our house! You can use them as a bumper on a toddler bed (so they don’t fall out), you can cut them so can hook them at the top of the door so kids don’t slam their fingers in them, and so much more!
However, the summer time is the real thrill with these bad boys! We use them in the lake, playing in the yard as an obstacle course, build houses with them, and of course as pool toys.
Always have the basics on hand:
I always have a can of baked beans and a bag of chips in the cupboard, hot dogs and buns in the freezer. I also pre-make hamburger patties for the freezer too. That way we can always have a last-minute picnic. That way we have a quick and easy dinner when we are in a pinch, because we stayed out playing in the yard too long.
The freezer is always stocked with ice cream and popsicles in the summer, that way I can cool down the kids after running in the yard.
Summer time is the one time I splurge on the basic also. The penny pincher in me hates this, but it’s much easier to toss juice boxes and bottled water in a cooler for the park than filling up bottles. We also have quick snacks for the go too- like snack bags of chip, string cheese, mini cookie bags. It does save money in the long run because the food is not being wasted because it goes stale so far with the summer time humidity.
I can’t stress enough how many times we have used glow sticks in the summer! You can find the at the dollar store for a cheap, fun activity for the kids. We run around the yard with them, we make CAMPING LANTERNS with them, we do glow in the dark ring toss, we do night time bike rides by taping them to our bike tires, and we even use them out on the boat!
*stock up on them after Halloween when they are on clearance!
Embrace the grilling:
I always thought my husband had a good gig out there grilling dinner (in peace), while I was inside prepping the rest of the food with two kids under foot! Now, my kids are older so I kick them outside with their dad to play in the yard. We also invested in a grill with a side burner, so I no longer have to fry the onions/mushrooms/peppers inside. If you toss the veggies or potatoes with a little olive oil and make a pouch out of some tin foil they can be put on the grill too! The best part is there is little clean up, you don’t have to be inside ‘cooking’, and you can take a moment of peace to relax!
Think outside of the box of chalk:
I recently discovered Crayola’s Side walk Paint and let me tell you it’s worth every penny!!! The kids love painting with it, and it washes out of every piece of clothing! It’s worth the money!
I have also found these spray side walk paint in the Dollar Spot at Target. I would not recommend this for young kids since they have a hard time holding the bottle and they could spray it in their eyes.
*you can make your own (I have) by grating just normal side walk chalk with an OLD cheese grater and mixing it with water. Do this outside, as it will make a mess!
Ants no more:
When you have tiny humans running around the house spilling apple juice, misplacing cheerios, and apple sauce pouches are squirted everywhere… no matter how many nights I washed the floor, we get a few curious ants in our house or on the patio.
Here is my all time cheap, easy, and semi-kid friendly ant killer.
One cup warm water
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons Borax
Mix, and soak one cotton ball, placing on a paper plate near the ants.
*Don’t allow pets or kids near it
Always buy light colored popsicles:
I already have made this mistake this year. Dark colored popsicles will stain those new summer time clothes, plus it will look like a blood bath! Stick to the lemonade, lime, banana, and pineapple.
Stay away from the grape, strawberries, and raspberries!! It will not only stain but the dripping down your kid’s legs, arms, and yes tummy will look BAD! It can be a disaster!
Have an Ouchy kit in the car:
I always have an Ouchy kit in our car. I have learned my lesson from falls at park and running with those shorts on pavement. Skinned knees are a way of life in the summer time, so I am always prepared with Band-Aids, bottle water (to wash off the dirty), and wash clothes for ice. It’s always in my car and ready to go!
Car seat safety card:
With summer time travel, it’s important to keep car safety in mind. Heaven forbid that your family is in a car accident. At times, the driver is unconscious at the scene, however the kids are safe in their car seats in the back seat. If you have a card taped to the side of their car seat with emergency information on it, it could be a life saver.
Make sure to include any allergies or medical conditions that your children have. This will help the first responders on the scene. Also include their name and date of birth. After an accident, children will be scared, even calling them by name will provide them with great comfort! It also allows the paramedics and nurses access to their medical records!
Have a name and number of at least one emergency contact person, someone who would not be in the car with them. Such as a grandparent or other relative.
Child safety bracelet:
When your out in the summer time, kids will run. They will be overcome with emotions and just take off with excitement. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a park, county fair, amusement park, or zoo. It just takes a moment to lose sight of them. That is why I take an extra precaution.
My kids wear a ROAD ID, you can find them here for like $15. It’s just like the one I wear when I go for a run. They wear them all the time, and they never take it off. It has my contact information on it, along with daddy’s, and grandpa’s phone number. So, if heaven forbid she does get lost, and since she is only three and has no idea what phone numbers are, someone can reach us ASAP.
This was the best money I have ever spent as a mom!! Hands down! This simple little fan runs on batteries and its tiny finger friendly, with its foam blades.
I have used in the baby car seats when they were younger out and about, in the play area when they were younger and sat still on a blanket with some blocks, and of course out on walks. To this day we use them all the time!! When my kids fall asleep in the car on the ride home, I sit in the drive way with the window open and I turn on these fans to increase air flow. I also still use them on walks, and in the boat on those really hot days!
Air plane pillows for the WIN:
There is nothing more painful then seeing your kids fall asleep on a walk, only to have their necks all kinked weird. It looks so uncomfortable. It’s the million-dollar question, do you wake them or leave them?
Well, since we walk a lot in the summer, I toss the pillows in the stroller for those afternoon marathon walks. The walks where I can’t stand the nap time battle or I just pack them up and head out for some exercise and peace!
The kids think it is so special to use them, they fall asleep right away, and I don’t have to wake them to fix their neck!
We love to tape lights like these battery lights to the top of our tent to make it fun for the kids. We also bring them when we stay at a cabin to tape to the bunks. Its fun for the kids to “watch the stars” and its easy way to make them smile at the end of the day!