GUEST BLOG: Getting Your Family (and Home) Geared Up for Summer
Summertime is a festive season – a time of gorging on hunks of watermelon, playing catch on sunny lawns, dashing through sprinklers, or grilling out with family. Granted, a 2005 poll found that summer is most Americans’ third-favorite season, behind its more temperate competitors, spring and fall. That may be because summer can be sweltering. That said, you can still enjoy all the fun of summertime, but be sure your family and home are “geared up” for it. Here are some tips to start out.
So, what does that mean – “gearing up” for summer? Think of it as the summer equivalent of spring cleaning. That list will depend on whether you have kids, because they could be prone to sunburns and they’ll likely be off school for three months during this stretch. If that’s your situation, here are just a few items to follow on your to-do list.
● Buy sunscreen and bug spray.
● Shop for sandals or swim trunks (especially if they’ve just gone through a growth spurt).
● Excavate the garage for bikes, helmets, roller skates, or basketballs and lacrosse sticks, dust them off, and gear your kids up for some summer sports and outdoor fun.
Fun Outdoor Activities
On that note, think of some fun outdoor activities that you and your family can do this summer. If you’re able to road-trip with the kids, that list might expand to include sunbathing in Hawaii, eating lobster in Maine, or sailing on Lake Michigan. If you’re staying local, it’s okay if you’re not comfortable with signing your kids up for a million camps. Look no further than your own backyard. You can make a bird-feeder, hunt for treasure, or play Frisbee golf. Camping in the yard with your kids might even instil in them that sense of magic so particular to childhood (depending on their age) – cooking s’mores, catching fireflies, or stargazing at the night skies. Some DIY summer activities might include playing bocce, cornhole, or color-blocked Jenga; racing in potato socks; setting up an obstacle course; or filling up water balloons.
None of these activities would be possible, however, if your family life isn’t in order. That means making plans well in advance, especially if your kids are in school. Coordinating between the obligations of work and the need to dedicate the lion’s share of your time to childcare isn’t easy. But your stress will be significantly reduced if you plan vacation time, sign them up for camps, or swap schedules with other parents so that June-August is planned ahead of time. Also, stock up on flip-flops, life jackets, beach towels, and swimming trunks. They’re likely to come in handy.
Let’s say you’ve already spring-cleaned your home. What about getting it ready for summer? To prep your house for this season requires doing tasks specific to the weather. These might include fixing the sprinklers, power-washing the deck, and scrubbing down the gas grill. Also, clean the attic, inspect the roof, and get out your summer tools and make sure they’re in working order – shears, pruners, lawn mowers, and weed-whackers. Finally, put those tools to good use. Mow your backyard so that all those fun outdoor activities (above) are possible. An open, sunny yard will even give you the sense of having expanded your property, because you can pass back and forth between the house and a lawn filled with kiddie pools, blooming bushes, barbecue smoke, and all the other festivities of summer.
To make the most of your fun in the summer sun, you need to get your family and home ready for the season. Once you’ve made sure everything’s working and in order, you can sit back, relax, and commence to making some unforgettable memories.