Boy Wearing Pink Collared Shirt Running on Seashore

Last Updated on June 14, 2024

Summer is my favorite season of the year. I am a jealous guard over our schedule — we plan as little as possible to allow plenty of time for swimming, cookouts, reading, and lounging.

While it can be easy to get caught up in kids’ schedules, camps, trips and more, I’ve found that we really grow as a family and enjoy each other the most when we take the time to slow down and really enjoy each other. Want to more for the same this year?

Here are some hints to pass along to help keep your summer carefree.

How to have a carefree summer

While we certainly can’t guard our family against every busy, stressful or unpleasant moment they might face over the summer, I have learned a few key ideas and precautions to make things just a little bit easier.

So whether you have young kids or teens, are headed to the beach or simply just to your backyard, try out these 11 easy tips for having a carefree summer with your family.

1. Apply sunscreen before leaving for the beach or pool to allow it to soak in for maximum protection.

2. Keep an old, flat bed sheet in the car. A sheet is great for picnics and lounging, doesn’t attract grass or sand, shakes out easily, and stays cool.

3. A good sprinkling of baby powder helps remove sand from sticky little bodies.

4. Store pool and beach toys in a mesh laundry bag to shake off sand and water.

5. A daily siesta is a must in our household! We participate in the library’s summer reading program (Mom included!) and spend time every afternoon lounging under a tree on a bed sheet with a stack of books.  Lemonade optional.

6. The freezer is stocked with homemade popsicles made from yogurt with fruit, pudding with diced bananas, pureed fruit, left-over lemonade, and orange juice.

7. The easy-to-reach bottom shelf of the fridge is devoted to washable water bottles. Each child is excited to drink from their own special water bottle with a favorite movie character. They prefer their water bottle over sugary drinks.

8. After shopping at a farm stand, all hands participate in washing and preparing fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re stored in picnic- and eco-friendly containers and ready to grab for a snack by the pool or for a hike.

9. We use a salad spinner to clean garden lettuce by placing it in the basket with water (keep the spinner in the sink). Replace water until it is clear after spinning, then spin dry. My kids love to help with this chore!

10. When I purchase fresh meat, I put it in a container with a marinade before freezing. The meat is seasoned as it thaws in the refrigerator and ready for the grill.

11. We have our “Adventure Pack” always ready to go. I have a backpack stocked with sunscreen, insect repellent, baby wipes, antibacterial gel, a first aid kit, granola bars, tissues, extra batteries for the camera, antihistamine and an epi-pen for my daughter, a whistle, a bandana, and quarters for vending machines. When we decide to go on a hike, to the zoo, or for a day trip, we just need to add the camera and water bottles.

Looking for some additional ideas to have the best summer ever with your family? Check out these posts, too!

Summertime Bingo: Free Printable Game for Summer Play!

10 (Almost) Free Summer Activities for Kids

Cool Summer School: 9 Simple Summer Learning Ideas

53 Fun Role-Playing Ideas for Kids

Summer… When Kids are Carefree and Working Mothers … Aren’t

    What other tips have made summer easy and more enjoyable with your family? I would love to hear your favorite summertime hints in the comments!

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    1. My Summer time hint is:
      We live 10 minutes from the beach and I never know when we might all of sudden decide to go, whether it is to play at the playground, wade in the water , walk or swim!
      I always keep an extra pair of flip flops for dd so she can use them for sudden beach trips, a spare towel in the car, wipes, snacks, 1st aide kit, and beach toys.

    2. Great ideas, Michelle! I have to admit I'm a *wee* bit jealous 🙂 We live 8 hours from the beach!