It’s already June, and by now you have to come to grips with one of those recurring facts of life: School doesn’t last forever, and your kids are going to be hanging out around the house a lot more in the coming weeks. That means more dirt, more noise, and a whole lot more activity as your kids enjoy the freedom of summer vacation.
If you haven’t yet gotten your house in order for the inevitable descent or your children and their playmates, it’s not too late. Check out these easy tips to make your home a little more kid-friendly this summer.
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Unless you want to play short-order cook all summer, consider reorganizing your kitchen a bit to make it easy for your children to prepare their own snacks over vacation. Here’s how you can make sure they know exactly where to find all the goodies:
- Designate a base cabinet or drawer as the snack drawer, and store healthy crackers, granola bars, and other dry goods here. Make sure it’s within easy reach of little hands so you don’t have to worry about your kids climbing up counters to find what they need.
- Likewise, designate an easy-to-reach crisper drawer of your fridge for kid-friendly snacks. Keep fresh fruits and veggies here, along with yogurt cups and other cold snacks.
- Teach your kids to make simple, healthy snacks for themselves so you don’t have to run to the kitchen every time someone gets hungry.
The Living Room
This is where a lot of the lounging around and family time happens in your home, so it’s best to be prepared for kids and their friends all summer long. Here’s how you can get your living room, family room, or den ready for the onslaught:
- Consider a slipcover for the couch. There’s just no way to keep active kids from tracking dirt into the house, and a good slipcover will protect your furniture from greasy sunscreen, smelly bug spray, and any other soil that your kids end up with on their bodies.
- Stock up on batteries. All those electronics and Wii remotes eat up batteries practically on a daily basis, so stock up on the battery sizes you need to keep everything running smoothly. Keep AAs and AAAs in a box near the TV so kids know just where to look for replacements on those rainy days.
- Start a book box and keep it visible. Whether your kids have assigned summer reading or you’re just hoping to encourage them to pick up a book now and then, keeping a box of books in a high-traffic area of your home will make it easy for them to grab something to read. You can also get creative and keep the book box near floor pillows and a cozy blanket to encourage them to settle in for the afternoon.
The Play Room
If you don’t have a designated playroom in your home, these tips will work just as well for your child’s bedroom or any area of the house where they store the bulk of their toys and games. You could also consider giving a guest room a makeover to turn it into your kids’ summer headquarters:
- Personalize the play space. If you want to encourage your children to actually play in their play room, make it irresistible with bright paint colors and thematic elements of their choosing. You can also get them to pitch in for a weekend painting project — learning to use rollers and brushes is a valuable skill!
- Invest in storage for toys and games. If you’re tired of seeing toys strewn about your house, it’s only going to get worse when your kids are home all day during vacation. Set up some shelves with boxes and bins to stash small parts in, and stack games carefully. Clear labels will help make sure things get put away in the right spot every day.
Even if you haven’t started any planning or preparation for summer vacation yet, there’s no need to panic. With just a good weekend’s worth of work, you’ll be able to turn your home into a place your kids love to hang out for the summer — without bothering you about being bored or hungry!