Quick thanks for your sweet comments about my mom's laundry room makeover! So fun to hear from so many of you on various forms of social media. I'm thrilled you all liked the before and afters! That was such a fun project. Ok. Moving on. :) Summer is in full swing! How are we all doing? Thriving or surviving? I usually start out thriving and by August I'm in total survival mode. I am finding that as my kids get older I'm enjoying each summer more and more. It's such a treat to escape their busy school schedules and have more quality time together. I also think I enjoy our summers more each year because I've developed a few summer routines that keep things running a little smoother while we all spend SO much time together. Here are six things I do each year that help me keep my sanity during the summer. :)
Other lists that are always popping up around our house are the kids' chore lists. The above list was one I made for the girls when they were younger and below is a current weekend list.
Another list that I put up every summer is our "get out the door list." I created this list above years ago when my youngest was a baby. We were going to the beach and pool almost every day and it was so much work getting three little ones out the door that I felt like I needed a checklist to keep my sanity! It was so helpful that I create a new updated list each summer. SO nice to be reminded to grab things I might normally forget like sunglasses, water, or goggles as I'm walking out the door. Lists make it so my brain can be on auto pilot. :)
2} CREATE A BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
I cut the stars out of an old bulletin board border I had from my teaching days and just put Velcro on everything so we could change out the goals and rewards. My girls LOVED these! They were seriously so effective. The act of putting a star on for each thing they accomplished at the end of each day was like gold to them.
Obviously you don't have to create something like my star charts to have the same effect. Simple stickers on a piece of paper would work. Little kids especially thrive with this sort of thing. I'm working on something similar for my 4 year old little buddy this summer. :)
3} HAVE HEALTHY SNACKS READY
One of the hardest things for me about summer is the constant snacking! Some days I feel like all I do is prepare snacks and meals. And you all know how I feel about this sort of thing. :) When I shared how I'm organizing my new fridge I talked about having healthy snacks cut up and ready to each as much as possible. I've found this helps tremendously with the summer snacking.
Often I'll prepare something like this in the mid morning and when the kids want a snack I'll tell them to head to the fruit/veggie tray! If they eat most of it they can get crackers or something else, but at least I know they are getting some nutrition AND I'm not preparing snacks 348 times a day. Or something close to that. :)
4} ORGANIZE YOUR ART/CRAFT SUPPLIES
We all know I'm all about organizing everything. :) But if there is one thing that has to be organized for summer it's our arts and craft supplies. Summer is a great time for your kids to be creative and find their inner Picasso! But if supplies aren't organized and become a constant daily mess it's no fun for anyone.
These pics are of how I organized my mom's art supplies in her recent laundry room makeover. So simple. When the kids are done creating, they can just put everything back in its bin in the cupboard.
For this summer I created an organized art caddy to corral the kids' go to craft supplies. Crayons are in their own container. I also have a craft cupboard in the works in my new office. Coming soon to a blog near you. :)
5} HAVE A FEW ACTIVITIES READY
While we love to go where the wind takes us in the summer and have less of a schedule, I still like to have a few activities ready for those afternoons when kids aren't getting along as well or they need some quite time or a break from friends. There are so many places you can go on-line to find fun activities or art projects. I've collected quite a few on some of my Pinterest Boards if you are looking for this sort of thing.
One activity I love to do each summer is record my kids' school information from the previous school year. These are a few pages from my girls' albums they completed years ago. I haven't taken pictures of more recent pages yet.
I got REALLY behind on our albums while we were building our house so I'm going to prioritize these school pages for sure this summer. (For more info. about my kids' albums you can check here.)
6} BE PREPARED FOR TRAVEL
I shared a few tips on traveling with kids in this post here.
And who doesn't want that?
*Would love to hear any tips you have that help you to thrive during the summer!