Although it’s not officially summer, in some parts of the United States school is out, lemonade stands are everywhere, and there’s plenty of free time to be had before classes resume. Are you and the kids in your life ready for some fun in the sun? Perhaps the following five tips will lend order to your preparations for kid-focused summer adventures:

1. Make note of your city/town’s schedule of family-friendly summer activities. This could include outdoor concerts, parades, picnics, and more. Give each child in your care an opportunity to select two activities in which to participate, and bring the siblings along for the adventure.

2. Complete an audit of your outdoor toys and swimming pool gear. If it’s broken, out it goes. If it’s no longer age or interest-appropriate, find a home where it will be put to good use. If it’s in the keep pile, be sure that it’s clean and in good working order and then let the summer fun begin.

3. Go through the kids’ summer wear and decide what to keep, what to give away, and what to toss. This is the perfect time to make sure last year’s apparel still fits. If not, summer sales beckon.

4. Get acquainted with the summer reading programs available through your local library, kid-focused publishers, and national book sellers. You’ll be glad you did. And once the novelty of having no school wears off, the kids may be thrilled to bury their noses in a new read or two before classroom life starts up again.

5. Plan a few summer enrichment activities for the kiddos. This could include signing them up for camps with day or boarding programs, half or full-day summer school courses, classes at the local art museum, volunteer opportunities at a favorite non-profit organization, or a “stay-cation” in which you take the kids on a variety of outings and activities in your neck of the woods.


* Photo by Jonathan Eggers