Prep Your Kids for Summer

Summer is fast approaching and now is the time to shop for all the items you need while the store shelves are full and the selections plentiful.  It is hard to think about bathing suits and shorts right after putting our winter coats away, but advanced planning will save you from the stress of running around trying to find necessary items the week before summer camp starts or the day before you leave for your summer vacation. Prepping your kids for summer now will also save you money.

Flash back photo of my kids from 2010

Flash back photo of my kids from 2010

Here is the list of items that you must check in your supply:

  • Bathing suits: 2-3 per child except if they are doing summer camp. In this case, you want to have at least 6 (2 per day from Mon-Wed, laundry on Wednesday to get you through the rest of the week).
  • Beach/pool towels: I recommend buying one nice towel per person and then if your kids go to camp, buying cheap towels that you won’t stress about if they get destroyed or lost. You can buy a 6 pack of hotel towels at Sam’s Club or Costco for around $25. Also, Five Below and Target often have towels for $3-$5 per towel. Personally, I have towels in two colors (one for each child), so I know who loses what.
  • Goggles
  • Water shoes/flip-flops
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Life-vest (for younger non-swimmers or boaters)

If your kids go to camp, you will need to label all of their clothing. I recommend Lovable Labels . They are self-adhesive and last all summer through washing and drying, so they are worth the money. To save a few bucks, you can get the mini-dots.

I recommend that you let them use an old backpack for summer camp. They sit all day with wet bathing suits and towels and often get muddy and gross by the end of summer (even if you wash it regularly). Regular washing and rough handling by your kids will break down the material and most of ours end up with holes by the end of summer. Save your money for a new backpack for school in the fall.

If you are one of those people that throws away 15 tubes of half used sunscreen every year because it expires, then maybe it’s time to plan a little better. Sunscreen is expensive and if you are throwing away 15 half used tubes, then you are also throwing away money. With the cost of sunscreen between $6-15 per tube, you could be throwing away $50-100 worth of sunscreen each year. Or, if you are using expired sunscreen, it could result in sunburns that could ruin your day, your vacation and harm your or your child’s health.

How many tubes of sunscreen do you need? This will vary depending on how much your family is outdoors during the summer, where you vacation and if your kids go to summer camp, but here is my calculation to give you an idea of what you will need. AND, most places have sunscreen 20% off right now, so take advantage and stock up, but don’t overstock!

  • 1 bottle or tube per child for camp (labeled and in their daily camp bag
  • 1 for the car (just in case you didn’t put it on before you leave the house or need to reapply)
  • 1 face + 1 body in the kitchen to put on in the morning (I use separate ones for body 30 SPF and face 50 SPF)
  • 1 face + 1 body in the pool bag
  • 1 face + 1 body per week, if you are going to somewhere sunny for vacation

Advance planning will give you more time and money to enjoy all the fun summer brings with it.

If you want to read more about prepping your kids for summer day camp, please read our blog post on Summer Camp Organizing.

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