Summer’s here and school’s out! It’s time for some fun in the sun. Road trips, beach outings, amusement parks, barbecues, and more may be in store for you and your family. These activities can be overwhelming with kids, especially little ones. Luckily, many veteran parents have been in the same boat and have come up with a number of tips to make summer a little more bearable.

First of all, don’t forget the basics of staying safe in the hot sun—and this goes for everybody, not just children.

  • Lather on sunblock. Put extra on easily burned areas such as your nose, ears, and back of your neck. If you’re wearing sandals, apply sunblock on the tops of your feet as they’re often neglected. Don’t forget to reapply after every few hours, especially after swimming.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Wear a large-brimmed hat with UV protection. Baseball caps are a popular choice, but they don’t cover your vulnerable neck so find something with a full, wide brim.
  • If possible, avoid being out in direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day—between 10 am-4pm.

And now here are hacks that can make your summer outings easier. 

Beach Hacks:

1. Baby Powder Trick

Sand, especially when wet, is notoriously tough to get off skin. But sprinkle a little baby powder right on the skin, and watch the sand fall right off.

2. Aloe Vera Gel Ice Cubes

Just in case you or a family member gets sunburned, have these special ice cubes readily available. Not only will the frozen aloe vera soothe the skin, but it’ll cool it down as well.

3. Mesh Bag for Sand Toys

A cheap mesh laundry bag can also be used to lug your kids’ sand toys. That way when they’re finished, the sand filters through and your trunk stays clean.

4. Frozen Water Bottles as Ice Packs

Instead of buying a bag of ice, freeze a bunch of water bottles and place them in your cooler. Later as the water thaws you can drink it!

Road Trip Hacks:

1. Portable LEGO Kit

The key to any successful trip with children is to keep them busy. Tablets and movies are great, but after a few hours even those can get tiresome. Pack some travel games to keep young ones entertained. DIY versions like this one are particularly appealing because you can customize them to your child.

2. Candy to Alleviate Ear Popping

If you’re flying and your kids are old enough to eat candy, give them a few pieces during takeoff or descent. My husband and I always have a bag of Starburst chewy fruit candies for our kids and frankly, I use them too!

3. Shoe Organizer in the Car

A simple shoe organizer can work great as a back seat organizer and is extremely useful. The last time I mentioned them was in my camping hack article, and now here they are again. Stuff them with snacks, water bottles, crayons, diapers, sunblock—anything you need for a road trip.

4. Shower Caddy to Hold Food

It can be pretty awkward to balance a burger, fries, and drink on your lap while in the car. Buy some cheap shower caddies so that your kids—and you—can eat without fear of making a mess.

General Summer Hacks:

1. Slow-Melting Popsicles Made with Jello

My kids love popsicles in the summer heat but boy they are messy! But now I can make an easy, slow-melting version and I can deal with less sticky hands!

2. Condiments in a Muffin Tin

When you’re grilling burgers and hot dogs for a backyard barbecue, why take up valuable table space by putting a bunch of large condiment bottles and jars on it? Instead, use a large muffin tin and put your condiments and toppings in it. Refill as necessary.

3. Keep Drinks Bug-Free with Cupcake Liners

A fly landing in your iced drink is really gross. Protect it by simply sticking a cupcake liner through a straw to shield it from stray leaves, bugs, and other unwanted adornments on your drink.

With these tips, you’re ready to face the summer regardless of what’s on your schedule! Enjoy it and savor each day as much as you can, because before you know it, it’ll be fall!

Comment below to let us know if you liked these simple hacks that can make you summer less stressful!

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