The Ultimate Exhausted Parent Cheat Sheet For Summer

How to take the stress out of summer.

Parents guide to summer, cheat sheet Natalia Blauth | Unsplash

Are you parents who love summer, or do you secretly dread the massive changes in your household schedule? Are you scrambling to find a daycare or day camp for your kids that is affordable and fun? Are you wringing your hands anxiously looking for waitlists to open up and take your kids? Summer can be a stressful time for many families. While the schedule disruption may seem like a small frustration, many parents are left scrambling looking for things to keep their kids occupied and cared for during work hours. Here are some simple suggestions to keep kids busy and having fun while you enjoy the summer.


Here is the ultimate parenting cheat sheet for summer:

1. Picnic dinners

This is the very best cheat for summer meals! Kids love picnics! They are super easy to put together and you don't have to heat up the house for the dinner. Cut up cheese, cold cuts, veggies, and fruit, buns, and crackers. This is the easiest summer meal you can pull together.

The Ultimate Parenting Cheat Sheet For Summer Pexels / The Lazy Artist Gallery


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2. Afternoon ½ day summer camps

If your kids are late sleepers and you are also looking forward to a slower schedule, choose afternoon ½ day summer camps. The pace is slower for the whole family. Afternoon camps tend to have lower registrations as most parents are scrambling to get kids out the door in the morning so they can head to work. Afternoon camps were a lifesaver in our house.

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3. Splash parks

If you aren't fortunate to live in an area that has access to natural water areas (lakes or oceans), free community splash parks are fantastic! Our favorite ones are the parks that are filled with sprinklers, water cannons, and at least a waist-deep pool for sitting and soaking on a very hot day. If you can't make it to a park, fill a water table in your backyard — just as fun!


4. Local festivals and family events

These free festivals are usually packed with kids' activities like face painting, crafting, and sports opportunities. Find out fun things about your neighborhood, city, and local government. Get involved and see what your town has to offer.

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5. DND days

We lovingly call those DO NOTHING DAYS! We have no plans. We sleep late. We eat breakfast AND lunch in our pajamas. We eat ice cream right out of the bucket and we laugh a lot. I urge you, even if it's for only one day this summer, to have zero agenda. Make no plans, put the tech away, and break out alternatives like a screen-free activity book, a picnic game, or a bubble machine. Have a good old-fashioned day. Make this the summer you have fun as a parent too! Set aside the agenda and just have fun this summer!


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Natalie Blais is a hands-on relationship and life coach with over 10 years of experience in relationship strategies, and intimacy education. She works with her clients seeking a solution-focused approach for rapid and long-lasting results.