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9 easy ways to think ahead and prepare for summer at home with your kids. Check these 9 things off your list to prepare for more time at home and backyard play!

This post is sponsored, but all of the thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you live somewhere where there are four seasons, summer time with kids can be very different than the winter that preceded it. Summer means longer daylight hours, later bedtimes, new wardrobes including sandals and swimsuits, and more time spent outside just being kids.

Here are 9 easy ways that you can be prepared for warmer weather with kids:

1. Set a Schedule

As the days get longer, bedtime and morning wake time can become shifted and off schedule from normal. Late dinners on the patio, s’mores with friends, and firefly catching can mean that your toddlers and kids are staying up later than they did just a few months ago.

If your kids don’t like to sleep in, this later bedtime can affect their overall sleep and leave them getting too little sleep. Here are the reccomended sleep needs by age for young kids:

AgeHours of Sleep per DayNaps per Day
Sleep needs by Age Range

Although its okay to be more flexible during the summer time, be sure to watch your child’s behavior to be sure they are getting enough sleep and if necessary set an earlier bedtime or more strict nap schedule.

2. Get Rid of Old Toys

Summer can mean an influx of new toys geared towards independent play and outdoor play. This is also a good time to go through old toys and set out a box to sell or donate (we do this twice a year; also at Christmas time).

Charities, buy-and-sell groups, and friends with younger children are great places to get rid of old toys.

3. Rotate To Summer Clothes

If you haven’t already, put away those snowsuits, long pants, and winter boots. With kids i’ve learned that staying organized is a necessity for a tidy house and for my sanity. Depending on where you live, late April or May seems to be a good time to put away the jackets for good.

Invest in storage tubs or under bed storage (these are our favorite because they are cute and collapsable) so that the clothes are out of your child’s dresser or closet. Or better yet, sell or donate old clothes so they are out of your house for good!

4. Think Through Chores

If your toddlers or young kids will be home from school in the summer, summer can be a good time to start teaching them about responsibility and how to do chores.

Some age-appropriate chores for young children include:

  • Help empty the dishwasher
  • Help take out the trash
  • Feed the dog
  • Clean up their toys
  • Make their bed
  • Water the flowers

5. Check your Deck

Winter snow and spring rains can be especially hard on your deck. Be sure to inspect your deck yearly to be sure its ready to withstand the wear and tear of summer play and to avoid splinters and other injuries that come from damaged deck wood.

Ipe Hardwood Decking
Brazilian Wood Depo Ipe Decking

Decks are a big deal and its always a good idea to leave deck maintenance to the professionals! Brazilian Wood Depot comes highly recommended and can help with all of your deck repairs and maintenance. If you need a new deck or siding, they also specialize in beautiful natural woods like their Ipe Siding which is extremely durable and maintenance free.

6. Add Backyard Lights

Once your deck is in tip top shape, adding some lights can make it even more welcoming for the summer months. One of my favorite things we did last year was add backyard lights. This extends outdoor play even later in the day and can be especially beneficial if you live somewhere hot since it tends to cool down once the sun goes down.

We have these color changing string lights and my toddlers especially love picking the color each night!

7. Mow the Lawn & Trim Bushes

After spring thaw, mow your lawn and trim bushes regularly to keep bugs at minimum and create a safe play space for your toddlers and young kids.

Lawn mowers and power tools are no joke and should be kept away from small kids, but your toddler might enjoy their own toy lawn mower. We have this one that also blows bubbles and my boys were so obsessed we had to buy two!

8. Invest in Water Play

To help beat the heat in summer time, water play toys are a great investment that will keep your kids entertained for hours. Here are some of our favorites for water play:

Toddler Sink Toy: this toy is awesome for the spring months, when its warm enough to be outside but not quite warm enough to get into the water. This toy has brought us hours of entertainment and can be used before your baby can even stand or crawl.

Little Tikes Water Table: we have this water table and the boys love it, especially the toy balls that come with it. It’s fairly compact and great for apartment patios or small backyards. If you have more space we have also played with this one at a friend’s house: Step2 Splash Pond

Kiddie Pool w/ Umbrella: we have a blow up kiddie pool that I would not recommend, but this is on our list to get next year! I love that it has an umbrella so you don’t have to worry about setting it up in the shade.

Always be sure to supervise your young kids around water.

9. Talk Through Expectations

Finally, be sure to talk through the specific expectations you have for your toddlers and young kids. Summer time can bring many changes to your routine and daily life and it’s a good idea to openly communicate with your kids.

Discuss things like your summer time schedule, bedtimes, and nap times if your kids still nap. Let your kids know of any vacations, how you will travel, and what behavior expect on your trips. Also set rules about sharing all the new toys and water activities that come with summer.

What are some of your favorite things about summer and how do your lives change to accomodate the warmer weather? Let me know in the comments below.

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9 Ways to Prepare for Summer time with Kids