7 Summer Parenting Hacks to Help You Survive School Break

Work smarter not harder this summer vacation

By Susannah Ferguson, Hulafrog Today Managing Editor June 8, 2023

Summer break. Kids love it, parents... well, it's complicated. We love the idea of lazy summer days, but in reality, it can be a bit of a, well, you know. 

So how to survive the next three months? 

First, let's remember you can be a great parent who loves your kids and would still prefer they spend some portion of the day somewhere else. No shame in that game. 

But for the part of summer where they're home 24/7? We're sharing seven tips that'll make life a little simpler and help you survive until school comes again. Oh yeah, and did we mention how much we love and admire teachers??

This article originally appeared on Macaroni KID's sister site, Hulafrog.
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1. Lessen the laundry
For some reason, kids can dirty their clothes while doing practically nothing at all. Which leads to even more laundry than usual when they're home complaining about being bored for three straight hours. Take a proactive step to stop at least one shirt change in its tracks by using cupcake liners to catch popsicle drips. Genius, cheap, and gives you back at least a little control.

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2. Contain the cups
Somehow two kids can use 34 plastic cups per day in the summer. You've got enough to worry about without running the dishwasher every two hours. Label a plastic cup with each kid's name, then glue some magnets on one side. Voila, personalized cup attached to the fridge and ready for water all day long. Now the dishwasher's free for all the other messes they'll be making.

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3. Outdoor play for the win
Send the kids outside when you need some peace and quiet. Even better, give them some water balloons to play with and call it a shower. But filling those balloons is one task we'd love to outsource. Grab some used up and cleaned out pump dispensers (like the ones you get for hand soap or body wash), fill 'em with water, and let the kids fill their own balloons. Talk about reduce, reuse, recycle.

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4. Banish 'I'm bored'
Stop the "I'm bored" in its tracks this summer with daily to-do lists. Before your eyes roll back in your head, no, they don't have to be color-coded works of art. Grab a piece of paper and write down five (or more — be ambitious!) tasks kids have to do each day. Some ideas we love for the lists? Read for 30 minutes, play outside for 30 minutes, make your bed, take out the trash, and write a letter to a relative. See, that was easy and will buy you at least an hour.

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5. Best times are camp times
Summer camps are your friend. Kids need a little time away, and tbh so do you. No need to go overboard with scheduling. It is summer, after all, but a few day camps sprinkled throughout the break will give you all some much-needed time apart. Snag some discounts on popular camps and sweeten the deal even more. 

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6. Just relax
Remember it is summer, and mistakes will be made. It's all good. Let the laundry pile up, eat cereal for dinner, and watch too much YouTube. There's no permanent damage, and if everyone survives 'til the flip side of summer, mission — and many memories — accomplished.

7. Check your Macaroni KID often!

We will be updating our Macaroni KID site and calendar throughout the summer so check back often for all the local fun!

A version of this article originally appeared on Macaroni KID's sister site, Hulafrog. Subscribe for free to Hulafrog now!