The Ultimate Bucket List for Moms to Tackle Before School's Out

The Ultimate Bucket List for Moms to Tackle Before School's Out

There’s so much to do before school’s out, and this list will help you get it all done.

By Lorraine Allen

When kids are out of school for the long summer vacation, a parent becomes exponentially busier trying to keep the little ones out of trouble and happily occupied. So before that happens, try to tackle this bucket list, so that by the time school’s out, you’ll be prepared and have a blast in the warmer months when your kids are at their happiest.

1. Schedule yourself a serious pedicure. You’re never totally ready to welcome summer without one!

2. While you’re at it, put away all those boots and dig out your summer sandals.

3. Look into kid camps in your area that will take up at least part of all that free time, read reviews, and pick the ones that fit your budget and your kid’s age and personality best. Summer camp is a great way to encourage kids to try something new without a huge commitment.

4. Get camp forms, fill them out, and mail them in with down payments to secure spots, because most programs do fill up fast!

5. Plan a family vacation. Even if it’s just a long weekend camping somewhere near home, look into it, and book it. Everyone in the family deserves a real break each summer. That’s what those long weekends are for!

6. Get out the kids’ summer sports gear. Dig through and see what you have in terms of buckets, shovels, balls, bats, and so on, before vacation starts. See what you might still need to be properly equipped for lots of outdoor fun. This is also an ideal time to check the tires on the bikes and assess if your kid has outgrown any crucial gear or needs a new bike helmet.

7. Stock up on sunscreen. Nothing ruins an awesome summer day like a bad sunburn.

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8. Get some new art supplies. These are real lifesavers on a rainy day, or a too-hot day, or a sick day. Think of creative things that are engaging and a bit different to keep your kids busy longer, like brown paper bags to make puppets, or Popsicle sticks to make structures, or modeling clay to make sculptures.

9. Put away ALL those last bits of cold-weather clothing still lying around. Having less clutter when the kids are home will make your life easier, and make it simpler to keep your house in some sort of sanity-saving order.

10. Pick a great big “summer project” to do with each kid. Talk to them about maybe redoing their room by repainting a wall or two and weeding out all the toys they have outgrown. Or if they are off to middle school, make a scrapbook of their elementary years. Or build something in your backyard together, like a fort or butterfly garden bed. Make it big and exciting, and they’ll have something to look forward to, focus on, and keep them busy during all that free time you need to fill.


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11. Plan some BBQs and/or picnics with friends. Get them on the calendar now, to help break up the monotony of the long summer break. At least one or two a month is a good start!

12. You also need to be sure you can find some form of ME TIME somehow when school is out for the whole summer. Line up a babysitter, even if it’s just twice month for half a day -- or whatever works for your budget. Then, schedule something fun for yourself, a date night with your husband, or a girls’ night with a friend. You deserve a break, too!

13. Start collecting empty glass jars and lids to make firefly lanterns on those magical summer evenings that childhood dreams are spun from.

14. Make a fun summer reading list for each person in your home. Even if your kids can’t read alone, or don’t love reading, summer is a perfect time to work on that by looking into popular titles and exciting new books, and making a go-to list to stay motivated. Usually, local librarians are happy to help with this fun project -- for free!

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15. Buy yourself a new lip gloss and sunhat. You don’t need a whole new wardrobe to give yourself a fresh summer look.

16. Hit the discount store and get some cheap fun water toys, inflatable balls, water balloons, chalk, bubbles, and sand toys. While you’re there, look for picnic supplies like pretty paper napkins or plastic cups, which are always useful for eating outside, and maybe even a piñata to help celebrate the last day of classes.

17. Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget the BUG SPRAY.

What do you make sure you get done before school’s out for the summer?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

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