When I tell you summer is four weeks away, do you inwardly think “Yay!” or “Yikes?” If you think “yikes” (and hey, I’m in that category, because keeping a 5-year-old entertained for the next 3 months is not easy), then this list is for you:
1. Sign up for summer camp, swim lessons and other summer activities. This is at the top of the list, because it has to be done immediately as spots for these popular events fill up quickly. Here is a link to most of the summer camps offered in the Metro area and swim lessons through Portland Parks and Rec.
2. Line up pet-sitting and house-sitting for any extended vacations you are taking this summer.
3. While you are thinking about your vacations, go ahead and make a list of what you need to pack for those vacations. Circle whatever you need to buy and buy it now, rather than waiting until the last few hectic days before you leave.
4. Take stock of your children’s summer wardrobe and see if a shopping trip for new shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, sundresses, swimsuits, sun hats and sandals is in order. Now is a good time to hit up your local consignment stores for those items before the stores sell out.
5. Buy new sunscreen for the family. Sunscreen needs to be replaced each summer, because its effectiveness decreases after a year. While you are at it, check to make sure everyone in your family has sunglasses (little kids may have outgrown last year’s sunglasses).
6. Also buy new bug spray, if you will be taking trips where the bugs like to bite. Take inventory of your home first aid kit and car first aid kit as well. Restock things like bandages, pain killers, and allergy tablets. If anyone in the family is allergic to bee stings, make sure you have plenty of EpiPens in those first-aid kits.
7. Reprogram your thermostat for the warmer weather.
8. Clean out your garage and storage shed, so the family can access their camping equipment, sports gear, beach chairs and gardening supplies. Hey, I know a professional organizer who can help you with that! http://respacedpdx.com/sfd/
9. Check your Chinook Book (you know, that book you bought as part of a fundraiser for your kids’ school/moms’ club/garden club) to see if you can use any “summery-type” coupons, such as discounts for ice-cream, outdoor stores, bike and kayak rentals or outdoor activities.
10. Sign up for the summer reading program through the Multnomah County Library. My son really looks forward to this every year!
11. Make a list of 10 easy, free or inexpensive activities you can do with your kids for the inevitable, “Mom, I’m bored!” whine. Trust me, you will thank yourself later for this. Now excuse me while I go work on my own list of 10 boredom-free activities …
Image of the dreaded I’m-Bored-Face, which precedes the “Mom-Play-With-Me!” whine, courtesy of Campanero Rumbero at Flickr.