Are you ready for summer? We imagine it as a time to relax, sit by the water, grill with friends, go camping and enjoy nature's bounty. Yet it's not all that relaxing when you find yourself struggling with gear, realizing that you are out of supplies deep in the middle of nowhere, or finding that last year's beach ball has no bounce just when you get to the shore.
With a bit of preparation now, though, the relaxation of summer can be yours. First, let's get ready for camping. Your tent and sleeping bags have probably been in storage all winter, getting musty and dusty. Now is the time, with fresh spring breezes blowing, to air them out. While they are getting refreshed, you may want to check to make sure there are no rips or tears that might catch you unaware on a rainy summer night.
There are some other camping equipment that might need a once over as well. Does your stove have propane? Does your first aid kit have all of the band aids and salve that you might need? Are your matches fresh, your flashlights filled with batteries, and your cooking gear clean? Taking care of these details before you need to pack up will certainly make it that much easier.
Now, let's check on a few more summer items. It's always helpful to make sure that your children's swimming suits fit rather than find out that they've outgrown them 10 minutes before the first lessons begin. The same goes for items like water sandals and life jackets.
What's next? Our preschoolers are getting ready to hit the road on their bikes, getting great exercise and learning an essential new skill. If they are jumping up and down to go, it would be hard to take time pumping up tires and oil chains, so you may want to check on them now. As with swimming suits, helmets may no longer fit, and you are certainly going to want to protect those growing brains!
Many of you will be traveling this year, boarding planes, trains and climbing into automobiles. Traveling can be stressful for children, as they are away from their familiar environments. Planning now can help, and the more involvement children can feel in the plans, the less stressed and the more excited they will become.
First, you may consider getting your children their own luggage and letting them practice packing and carting it around the house. There are many rolling suitcases that are perfect for children, such as Trunki, which kids can either pull on their own or ride when they get tired. Second, you may also want to peruse toy and bookstores to nab a few special items which you can bring out just as they begin to get squirmy. You're set!
One more reminder: don't forget yourself! Take a second to find your own new swimming suit, pair of shorts, and a stack of your summer reading. With a little advance preparation, a relaxing summer can be all yours.
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