Three Tips to Simplify Your Summer

Simple summerSummers are hard. We all have grand plans in the beginning, but we’re now halfway through and it’s time to get real. Embrace what’s working so far, drop anything that’s not, and take a glance at these tips to simplify your summer activities.

Have everything within arm’s reach. After a few summers of scrambling to find what we needed for the pool each time – I finally wised up and put a basket near the back door that holds sunscreen (for kids and parents), bug spray, sunglasses, hats, and any other pool essentials. I’m not sure why I never did this before, but it has made it so much easier to just “jump in” with my littles.

Embrace short cuts. I had every intention of experimenting with different popsicle recipes, maybe making some homemade ice cream. In reality, that’s only happened once so far. What I have found to work is to take whatever juice box my kid has abandoned, and pour the leftovers into some popsicle molds. It takes two minutes and we don’t waste any juice! Another short cut I’ve found handy is to make some freezable cookie dough (just once) and freeze it in small servings. Then we make 4-5 cookies at a time in the toaster oven (so the kitchen doesn’t get hot) and we aren’t scarfing down a dozen cookies in one day.

Expand on some fun ideas. Take a look at a list of activities (like this one), and just add to the ones that already work for your family. We have regular dance parties at our house, so to spice it up we put on socks and had a “skating” party instead (made even more exciting, since socks are a rare treat in the dead of summer around here). We also love to make tents and forts, so to make it even more special we had a read-a-thon with a stack of books and flashlights (never underestimate a kid’s excitement over a cheap flashlight).

Hang in there mamas and daddies! I know we are all experiencing different stages of this love/hate relationship with summer, but it is possible to just ride the wave and enjoy. What did I miss? Any other glaringly simple tips to get us through the rest of the summer?