Getting Ready for Summer : What to Start Doing Now

Its officially spring! Summer is on the way! That yucky four-letter word referring to white stuff is behind us for the next six months! (hopefully). We’re on to warm days, blue skies, open windows, grilling, camping, boating, and swimming! By the time you read this – we may already be into some of those warmer days! Goodbye gloomy cold days! (Except from me – I love cold, rainy, cloudy days)

Like winter – summer takes some getting ready for! When September pushes into October – we start digging out hoodies, looking at casserole recipes and potpies and stews to keep us full and warm during winter. Now it’s time to start ramping up for summer!

Here are a few things you can do to make sure that you and your family are ready to go for those hot summer days.

Check your kids summer wardrobe now

When we got that lovely teaser of warm weather right after Easter – my own mom got out the totes of too-big summer clothing that we inherited from my niece (thank you, sister-in-law!) and started seeing what we had ready to go and what we would still need.

            As much as it can be a dread chore – start either getting out the summer stuff you have in storage, seeing what your older kiddo has from last year that may fit your younger one and what you’ll need for your older one. Do those swimsuits still fit? Are the sandals going to survive another summer? Where’s the shorts and the tank tops? The rainboots?

            Lots of moms like to buy clothes a year ahead of time so they aren’t scrambling when the season hits. If this is not your strong point – don’t stress! There are still plenty of good ways to snap up spring and summer clothes at good prices. Facebook groups/marketplace, Stuff Etc and my personal favorite – Puddle Jumpers – are great spots to start. Old Navy and The Children’s Place are a great spot to start for quality new children’s clothing.

Review your meals

            Even if you don’t meal plan, think about your repertoire of meals that you normally serve. Summer is HOT and no one likes to be using an oven when its already 115 degrees. What meals can you make that won’t require you to heat up your house? Salads, club sandwiches, BLTs, fresh fruits and veggies and more are all on the summer rotation at our house!

             Air fryers and crock pots both can be super helpful during the summer. Grilling is also a popular option. None of these require heating up your house. If you’re on the fence about an air fryer – summer is a great time to give one a shot. I love mine!

            Take advantage of the produce! The US Department of Agriculture tells us that berries, melons, lemons, limes, cherries, peaches, plums, bell peppers and tomatoes are all in season during the summer. Of course, any good Iowan knows that sweet corn is a staple of summer as well. Summer is also a great time to make smoothies or popsicle with fresh fruit!

Check into Summer camps and programs!

            Summer camps and programs often fill up quickly. Most of them start taking names in April or May – some as early as March. Camps can also be expensive if you need to start saving for them or start setting money aside. If you know you want your kiddos to attend some kind of camp or program this summer – the earlier the better to check into prices, dates, and locations.

           Camp Wapsie is a longtime family tradition that gets staked out on the calendar months in advance with funds allotted for as early as January. Cedar Rapids Parks & Rec also has various day camp programs. The YMCA has a 10-week program – as well as a weeklong program that partners with Camp Wapsie at Pinicon Ridge Park. Kirkwood has some offerings too. There are programs for all interests – sports, American Girl, Dungeons and Dragons, crafting, history, teatime, zombies, etc. You name it – they probably have a program for it.  All the information for these programs can be found on their websites.

Stock your medicine chest

            All moms know the importance of a well-stocked medicine chest. A well-seasoned mom of six once told me to do a stock up of your medicine chest before the beginning of summer and I couldn’t agree more. Get a few new boxes of Band-Aids and restock the Neosporin. Toss the old sunscreen and get new. Grab some more Aloe Vera (put it in the fridge for extra cooling!). Make sure you have enough ice packs and gauze pads. Grab a new bottle of Tylenol and/or ibuprofen.

           Even if you already have some – grab extra! I am a big believer in extras! Having extras on hand helps ensures you won’t be running out at 10pm or paying that abysmal price during 4th of July weekend when you need to run to Kwik Star to get a box of Band-Aids.

One last thing ! Check those pool and beach toys. Give them a rinse in the tub or with the house. Wouldn’t want any -ahem, deceased – creepy crawlies tagging along on your first trip to the beach this summer !

There you have some ways to get your household ready for summertime! Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

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