July 2023

49 Summer Hacks for Moms

Ask most moms how they’re feeling about summer vacation and you’ll get an “it’s complicated.” Yes, we wee so ready to be done with school, but at the same time, none of us are looking forward to hearing “I’m bored” and “I want a snack” on a continuous loop.

If we’ve ever needed some shortcuts, instant wins, or stress savers, it’s now. So try these 49 summer hacks for moms to make summer vacation actually feel like a vacation for you too.


Hacks Around the House

1. One cup per kid per day! If they can use just one cup from breakfast through dinner, the next day they get a special drink of their choice.

2. Summertime boo-boos? Remove sticky Band-Aid residue from their skin with baby oil.

3. Have a preteen whose sweaty feet are starting to stink? Apply roll-on deodorant before putting on shoes to keep them smelling fresh.

4. An onion works well to clean a grill. Just cut it in half and rub it cut side down over the hot grate.

5. Divide up snacks into bins. Kids can pick as much as they want from the healthy bin and junk is limited to two per day.

6. Put an activity bucket in different rooms, especially the kitchen. During the summer, kids have more time to play, so make tidying easier by having bins closer to where the fun is happening.

7. No list of summer hacks for moms would be complete without a good summer schedule like this one.

Slay Vacay

8. Pack for vacation by rolling clothes instead of folding. Rolled clothes wrinkle less and fit more compactly.

9. Dress your family in a color of the day. When you’re on vacation, if a kiddo gets separated from you, you’ll be able to say with certainty what color he or she is wearing.

10. Not down with matching colors? Take a family photo each morning. You’ll document the vacation and have an up-to-date photo.

11. Keep hotel room curtains closed with chip clips. Every minute of sleep counts when you’re on vacation! No clips? Use the clamps of a pants hanger.

12. Use masking tape in hotel rooms to cover outlets, tape toilet seats down, and keep curious hands from reaching in drawers.

13. Grossed out by hotel germs? Put the TV remote in a large Ziploc bag.

14. At the start of your vacation, designate one piece of luggage for dirty laundry. At the end of the trip, any unworn clothes stay clean and folded and can go back in drawers at home. And the dirty bag contents can go right in the wash.

Easy Breezy in the Back Yard

15. Get the kids outside with one of our favorite summer hacks for moms: a scavenger hunt! The hack is that all the work is done for you by us!

16. Make one-of-a-kind T-shirts with water guns filled with water mixed with food coloring. Take the kids to the backyard and let them take aim!

17. No sprinkler? No problem! Make your own sprinkler with a two-liter bottle. Poke holes in the bottle and connect the hose with duct tape.

18. Make parties more colorful by freezing water balloons and placing them in the cooler to chill drinks. Once they’ve melted, let the kids do a toss.

Fun in the Sun

21. Keep flip flips from coming undone. Use a plastic tab from a bread bag to keep the strap from popping through the hole.

22. Designate a mom lifeguard for pool days with friends. If you’re swimming with other families, rotate every half-hour. Every mom takes a turn and has to watch the water with no phone in hand.

23. Apply sunscreen with a fun paintbrush to keep the kids from squirming and fighting back.

24. Protect your kids’ hair from chlorine by getting it wet before they jump in the pool.

25. Soothe sunburns with frozen aloe. Freeze it in ice cube trays and pop one out after a long day in the sun. (Bonus: use these on your skin when your pores are big and your eyes are puffy.)

26. Keep your valuables safe. Cool off in the ocean without fear of your wallet or phone getting stolen by wrapping them in a (clean) diaper. No one will touch it!

27. Another way to keep valuables safe is to put them in a Ziploc bag and bury them in the sand or stash them under your blanket.

28. Keep kids busy on the beach for hours. Buy a metal detector and when they aren’t looking, toss some coins and other prizes in the sand.

29. Instead of trying to wash sand away with water, try rubbing sandy spots with baby powder. The powder soaks up the moisture that’s making the sand stick to your skin.

Rainy Day Hacks

19. Stick masking tape across a doorway in a web-like design. Let the kids ball up paper and toss it. One stick equals one point!

20. Bring the scavenger hunt inside on a wet day with an indoor scavenger hunt like this colorful treasure hunt.

When Bugs Bug You

30. Use cinnamon to keep ants away. Sprinkle some around the sidewalk during chalk drawing fun and mix a cup into your sandbox.

31. Keep your shoes on to keep mosquitos away. Yep—mosquitos are attracted to stinky feet.

32. Burn herbs to keep mosquitos at bay. When you fire up the grill, throw on some sage or thyme. Both are proven to repel mosquitos.

33. One last mosquito tip: Plug a fan in and aim it at your legs. Almost any breeze makes it difficult for mosquitos to fly and they tend to stay closer to the ground.

34. If you do get bit, make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the bite. Leave it for 10 minutes to stop the itch.

35. An upsidedown cupcake liner is a great way to shield drinks from bugs. Just poke the straw through!

On-the-Go Pro

36. Use empty baby wipe containers to travel with small toys, crayons, or even snacks.

37. Use egg cartons to transport snacks that can easily get smashed.

38. Keep road trip supplies organized with hanging shoe storage attached to the back of the front seats. Kids can help themselves to art supplies, toys, snacks, and even drinks.

39. Have a summer go-bag in the trunk. When it’s time to head to the pool, park, or beach, most of the packing will already be done and you’ll be less stressed when you’re trying to get out the door.

40. Cool off a hot car before everyone gets in by opening and shutting the door five times.

41. Hot steering wheel? After you park, turn it 180 degrees (or as much as possible) to keep the top away from direct sunlight. Just don’t forget to turn it back before you drive away!

42. Freeze a saturated sponge overnight in a Ziploc for an easy icepack.

Summer Foods Simplified

43. Wrap foil around the popsicle stick to catch sticky drippings.

44. Make dripless popsicles by adding gelatin to the mix before freezing them.

45. De-stem strawberries with a sturdy straw. Just poke the hole from the bottom of the berry up.

46. Use frozen grapes to chill a glass of wine.

47. Assuming your ice cream could last long enough to get freezer burn, store the carton in a Ziploc to keep it fresher longer.

48. Put out a snack spread mid-morning and let the kids graze. Think mini-charcuterie board. This will keep them from constantly asking you for a snack.

49. Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays. You’ll be able to keep your iced coffee cold without watering it down!




5 Routines Your Summer Needs

My kids were champing at the bit for summer to start! They couldn’t wait to sleep in, spend their days in the pool, play in the neighborhood creek with friends and stay up late. I love the freedom that comes with summer but too much can wreak havoc for us.

I’ve found my kids do best with a mix of some freedom and some routine. So, while we’ll shift from our school year schedule, I like to give summer its own rhythm that allows for spontaneity but stems the chaos. This includes a summer morning routine but allows for flexibility during the day. Whether you’re a planner or relaxed, here are 5 routines your summer needs.

1. Morning Chores

Morning chores have so many benefits. First, it helps us give our house a clean reset every morning, which is sorely needed with a houseful of kids home during summer. I also have more time to teach my kids new skills like how to iron or clean out the pool filter. Doing chores, making beds and picking up bedrooms helps get our mornings launched so that our day is more productive.

2. Reading Routine

Summer is the perfect time to get your children hooked on reading. Unless my kids are at camp, we have one hour of reading each weekday. This is usually right after lunch, providing all of us a quiet breather in the day or just before bedtime. Set a goal for your kids to read a certain number of books or a certain number of days. 

3. Screen Time Rules

Decide up front how much screen time your children will be allowed during the summer and communicate that to your children. You can set an amount per day or per week. In our home, screen time is allowed in the evenings and for a couple of hours on Saturday mornings. Even in summer, when children don’t have homework, Kids need to be engaged in creative activities and play. You can also save screen time for rainy days or afternoons that are too hot to play outside and encourage games that sneak in skills like keyboarding, coding, and math.

4. Dinner Routine

Admittedly, this one is hard for me. With days at the pool, weeks of camp and varying work schedules for my kids, skipping out on a dinner routine for the summer is easy. My goal is to aim for three to four sit-down dinners per week as a family. It keeps us eating healthier, keeps us from spending too much money eating out and helps us stay connected when we have dinners together at home. If you’re at swim team practice every weekday night, use weekends to carve out time to eat together.

5. Bedtime Routine

I like setting a summer bedtime for my school-aged kids while reserving the right to lift it if we’re on vacation or enjoying an evening of night swimming. I usually set a bedtime that’s later than the school year but also lets me have some alone time in the evening. If my children don’t keep a modest bedtime, they start to sleep in each morning, which makes them less ready for bed that night, creating an unhealthy sleep cycle. Having the same bedtime helps all of them to know what to expect for the evening and be ready for the next day.





2023 Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Want to keep your kids reading over the summer? How about joining a free summer reading program or two!? Check out this great site that lists all the reading programs available for a summer full of imagination!




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This class is interactive and experiential. Please be prepared to participate. I will send you an email prior to class with useful tools and tips as well as material for our activities.

July Class
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Time: 7:30pm - 8:30pm EST
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Registration Deadline is Friday, July 14, 2023 and will be limited to the first 24 participants.

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Location: Online via Zoom
Registration Deadline is Sunday, August 20, 2023 and will be limited to the first 24 participants.

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What you will learn:

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Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
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Fall Session:

Dates to be announced soon.


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