How to Survive Summer Home With Your Kids!

Ahh Summer, so awesome. The first week of lazy days is blissful and dreamlike. Somewhere in the second week, around the 432nd time you have been asked “what can I do? (insert long whine here)” you remember, oh yeah, this.

I have always had a combination of being home with kids and a nanny in the summer (as I attempt to balance work/home life) but that still means afternoons and Fridays where it’s just me and the kids. I’m not complaining. At. All. I love the opportunity to spend so much time with my kids but experience has taught me it’s a bit like running a race…fun, exhilarating, something you choose to do, hard, sweaty, what was I thinking, you better have prepared and have a plan in place kind of thing. So here are my can’t live without tips for surviving and basically rocking your summer…

Number 1: Rock’n Playlist. In our house we joke that “music calms the beast” because whenever the kids are particularly cranky, sassy or obstinate we put on some tunes and pretty soon they’re smiling and grooving. I like to put together a summer playlist on my phone so I can play it at home, in the car or any adventure we find ourselves on. The longer the playlist the better. Here are some of the songs on ours this year:

  • School’s Out, Alice Cooper
  • Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles
  • Magic In The Air, Magic System featuring Chawki
  • Can’t Stop The Feeling, Justin Timberlake
  • Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  • Walking on Sunshine, Katrina & The Waves
  • Happy, Pharell Williams
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
  • Summertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince



Number 2: Summer Bucket List. We like to make a list of all this things we want to do each summer, this is our go-to list when the kids get a case of “I’m bored”. We add big things like camps and triathlons but also little things like catching fireflies and making smoothies.  Check out the Madison Moms Blog Ultimate Summer Bucket List for more inspiration!


Number 3: Easy Art Projects. I’m talking real easy. Like, “they don’t need any help but will be completely enthralled” kind of easy. Here is my go to list of supplies to create a mega art bin that just might last the summer –

  • paper (lots of paper, I mean lots & lots of paper…like you better replant a few trees to balance the universe)
  • markers
  • color pencils
  • crayons
  • paint pens
  • glitter glue
  • stickers
  • washi tape
  • coloring sheets
  • stencils

Number 4: Easy Snacks. I’m not sure if it’s all the running and playing outside or that fact they are home but somehow kids want to eat mountains of food in the summer. They are hungry. All. The. Time. Be prepared to be asked for snacks about every 10 minutes.  Here are some great round-ups of easy, healthy snacks…

If all else fails, take them to Costco and let them fill up on samples!


Number 5: Wine. Playdates. This can be tricky but try to contact some friends from school or activities to set up some times they can get together. If you don’t have their numbers try looking for them on social media. I’m often bad about connecting with other parents to get the kids together but when I do I’m always so glad we did. It’s amazing how spending a little time with a friend can improve kid’s moods, bonus you may just finish that email you have been trying to send for 4 days!

Tara is mom to two energetic daughters Bianca and Iyla. Passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy, delicious and allergy-friendly food, she owns Yummy Sprout, which provides healthy culinary adventures through classes and more. Check out Tara has been featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and on Channel 3 WISC-TV on topics including “making your own baby food”, “cooking with kids” and “packing healthy school lunches”. She adores living in Madison and all it has to offer family life. Her favorite ways to spend time include messing up her kitchen while recipe testing, running, yoga, writing, painting, traveling and reading books with her girls.


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