I know everyone wants to be prepared for all the excitement ahead of us with summer break so I’ve put together a quick, most likely not complete, list of what I like to have on hand for our summer festivities.
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Bathing Suits – We live in Florida so one bathing suit just won’t cut it. Sometimes my kids wear 2-3 bathing suits a day just playing in the yard. So we need to make sure we have extras for the spontaneous trip to the pool or the springs.
Water bottles – Again we live in Florida so we NEED to stay hydrated! That is why I LOVE this new Tervis tumbler my sister got me!
Towels – Meh this is optional. It gets so hot here you practically come out of the water dried off. That might be an exaggeration but my kids rarely use towels I pretty much bring them to keep the car seats dry, which again isn’t necessary since it tends to be so hot they dry pretty quick.
Sandals – This ground will burn the bottom of your feet right off! Even the sand on the beach can get so hot its abusive to let the kids walk across it without sandals.
Ice pops – Yep got a few boxes in the deep freezer! Cheaper than ice cream and less messy in the heat! The perfect snack any time of day in the summer!
Bathing Suits – seems repetitive but I swear this is a legitimate entry on the list. This is solely for the purpose of being left in the van. These are rarely worn, they are left in the back of the van for days that we have no intention of doing anything near water but end up at the splash park or beach anyway. I’ve started letting the kids wear bathing suits under their clothes pretty much all the time but its always nice to know that they’re there just in case we need them!
Sunglasses – These are important for EVERYONE in the family. Straining your eyes all day in the bright sun makes me tired. So unless I want to be in bed before the girls I need to wear mine when I’m outside. K and M steal mine all the time and L has kid ones that fit her.
Small pool for the yard – this is a MAJOR need. We don’t have a pool in our yard all the time because it is a drowning risk. But as the weather warms up we like to get a kiddie pool out back. This year we splurged and got one with a slide. This is perfect for lazy days where I don’t want to go anywhere but the kids don’t want to be inside. I swear my kids would live in their pool!
Sprinklers – Just like the pool this is super important. **Just make sure you run the water for a bit before the kids play in it since it comes out scorching when you first turn it on!** I can hook up my sprinkler and the kids will be entertained for HOURS. They run around laughing in the water and its a cheap way to fill the long summer days.
Indoor Games/Crafts – my kids are now at the age where they love board games. I like to put them up high so they are only taken down when I can play with them so they always seem special. I also like to have a few crafts planned and ready to go for when the weather isn’t too nice. **I do not entertain my kids all day. They have to use their imaginations and play by themselves more often than not, I just like to keep a few things on hand for when I want to do some crafting and they want to join me.**
Quick Food – Don’t confuse this with fast food. Quick food is usually something I prepare on Sunday and portion out to use during the week. I have a bin of snacks that they can’t get to without me and I make quick lunches and dinners. During the summer I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making food for them so unless they want to cook and bake with me we grab some quick food and have a picnic out back.
Movies – I let them stay up later during the summer. They don’t get to watch a lot of tv in general so I save up movies they want to see and we’ll do late movie nights with them. We pile blankets and pillows on the floor and have a sleepover in the living room. Usually I will make some popcorn and we’ll all snuggle together and enjoy the show. I love that they don’t watch a lot all the time because it makes these times even more special.
I’m sure there are plenty of other things that can be added to this list but for my family this is our basic summer survival list.