Ten Things to Do to Get Ready for Summer

Amy Fauss
April 30, 2012

Ready or not, summer is almost here! It's hard to believe, isn't it? The smell of spring still lingers in the air, and yet the warmer temperatures foreshadow what lies ahead. For some of us, the anticipation of summer's arrival is a bittersweet mix of emotion. On the one hand, we can't wait to spend more time (unscheduled time!) with our children, and yet on the other hand we worry about how in the world we can keep them entertained day after day after day...

Here are ten things to do before summer arrives—things that can make the dog days of summer a little more enjoyable.

  1. Clean out your first aid box. Between scraped knees, bug bites, sunburns, and poison ivy, you will want to have all of the necessary first aid supplies on hand for the hard knocks of summer that are sure to come.
  2. Stock the bookcase with educational workbooks and new books from the library. Encourage your child to review what they've learned in school this year and keep their minds sharp by working through educational workbooks. Likewise, having a few new books available for your child to read could be just what the doctor ordered when sibling rivalries flare up or when boredom sets in.
  3. Freshen up your art supplies. Let's face it, soaring temperatures seem to hold us hostage during the summer, and having a few new paints, stencils and stamps will provide fresh inspiration for your little artist.
  4. Blow up inflatable toys and clean out the sandbox. Weed through toys that might have holes in them. Replace old sand with a fresh bag from your local garden shop. A new shovel and pail with a ribbon wrapped around it is an inexpensive way to say, "Happy Summer!"
  5. Consider opening a car wash... for your own fleet of vehicles, of course. What a fun summertime activity to cool you off! Free entertainment plus a free car wash is a win/win, right?
  6. Volunteer.  Each of us is so busy during the school year, but in the summer when schedules ease up, consider volunteering your time at a local community center, food pantry, or SPCA.
  7. Map out upcoming vacation routes. Pull out the atlas and give the kiddos a lesson in geography, maps, measuring distances, and more as you map out your summer vacations.
  8. Coordinate a play date schedule or babysitting swap. Choose a few good friends to participate in summer play dates with you and your child. Better yet, negotiate a babysitting swap with friends who will watch your child one day, and you can watch their child the next day. Don't forget how much you're going to miss those stolen moments by yourself!
  9. Consider taking up a new hobby. Hectic schedules during the school year don't always allow children to explore all of their interests. Perhaps there's an instrument your child has been interested in learning to play, or maybe it's time to dust off Grandma's sewing machine and learn how to make a few basic patterns.
  10. Commit to better eating habits for your family. Summer offers an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Take a break from fast food and drive-thru lines and opt for a fresher, more healthful summer lifestyle.

From the Parents

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