Last week I talked about getting organized for an intentional summer at Simple Mom; this week, I’m sharing a few more sanity savers to help you make the most of your summer.
If you’re still looking for more summer fun inspiration, be sure to check out this list of 101 Ways to Embrace Summer, with everything from crafts and activities to summer food and cool treats!
Make Ready-to-Go Arts & Crafts Boxes
As our girls have gotten older, we’ve found that they prefer arts & crafts over toys. I’m a huge believer in giving kids plenty of time for free art, but having an abundance of supplies at their fingertips can sometimes be overwhelming, resulting in a whole lot o’ mess and not a lot of creating.
To combat this, we often put together ready-to-go arts & crafts boxes with supplies for a few different projects so that they can pick and choose from their box rather than having to dig through our larger bins.
As a benefit, you can prepare them ahead of time with a week or more worth of supplies so that you’re not constantly searching out new things for them to do.
You don’t need me to tell you how easy it is to lose things when you’re on the go with kids. They take a water bottle with ‘em to camp, leave it on a table, and suddenly it’s gone. A hat gets mistakenly taken home by someone else. You bring a side dish to a barbecue and forget to grab your spoon before you head home. I’m not the only one these things happen to…right?
Fortunately, the solution is simple. Use a handy labeler to print out labels for pretty much anything that is leaving your house for a more crowded destination! Even if you do forget something somewhere, or it accidentally makes its way home with someone else, a label makes it so much easier for the finder to get it back to you.
In your kitchen, you can also use a labeler to label the contents of the containers in your picnic lunch or to add directions to the top of a freezer meal.
In the toy room, label craft supplies and toy bins so that an afternoon of indoor play doesn’t have to mean a mess for mom to sort out later.
The label maker is your friend when it comes to saving both time and money!
Review Your Calendar Weekly
The thing about summer is you lose some of the routine that’s inherent in the school year, which can mean forgotten commitments and dropped balls if you’re not careful. To avoid a last-minute rush out the door for a forgotten play date or field trip, review your calendar weekly to make note of any scheduled events during the week or the following weekend.
If possible, do this before you make your grocery list for the week, so you can pick up an extras you may need (such as snacks for an all-day event or pasta salad fixins for a get-together.)
Plan for Meals on the Road
This is by far my biggest weakness, but Shaina from Food for My Family has shared a ton of great tips in the last week or so to help you (and me!) plan for meals on the road. Read her tips for low-stress, spontaneous summer picnics as well as her family’s strategies for balancing healthy meals with a busy summer schedule.
Pack a Go Bag
Diaper bags may be a thing of the past for you, but don’t underestimate the power of a “go bag”. Keep a bag packed and ready to go with all of the necessary summer gear – including hats, glasses, sunscreen, bathing suits, towels and snacks (or whatever your list of necessities looks like) — so that you’re ready whenever the opportunity or inclination arises!
The real secret to the “go bag”, though? Restocking it as soon as you get home so it will be ready for your next adventure!
How do you keep your sanity in the summer?