10 Awesome Summer Vacation Essentials...

It's 10 on the 10th so grab the graphic, share your 10 summer vacation must haves, and linkup.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with since summer is just around the corner.  #yippee

I don't know about you but my friend Sarah once referred to summer vacation in 3 parts and I couldn't agree more.  The go-go month of June as we wind down from school, the slow-go month of July where we are sinking into the lazy days of summer and the don't-go month of August where we try to soak up the dog days of summer.

I was thinking of the go-go month of June when I compiled my list.  I need a few things to do with my kids in the month of June as we settle into our new much less busy, much less structured routine.  So in no particular order, here's 10 summer vacation must-haves.  Let me know what you think.

{one -- fun games}

There are bound to be rainy days this summer or days we are home.  I am not great at imaginative play but I love to play games with my kids.  

Here are some of our favorites--

Catan Jr.
Ticket To Ride First Journey
Uno Attack
Candy Land
Hi Ho Cherry o
Sequence for Kids
Old Maid
Moose in the House

{two -- camps & activities}

My kids favorite camp every summer is "cousin camp" at their Nana and Papa's house.  My inlaws take the 4 oldest grandkids (my 2 oldest are included) for 4 days and they do so many fun things together.  My kids are already asking when "cousin camp" is this year, we booked a date last summer, right after the last camp ;).  

I also sign them each up for a camp.  This year Solon is doing a basketball camp with a friend and Vera is doing an art camp at her new elementary school with 2 friends.  We also do our VBS and go to one more.  My kids LOVE VBS!  It's fun to have a few special things on the calendar to look forward to!

Don't forget to check out your local library's summer reading program.  We love to sign-up, and have an incentive to read in the summer. We also love to attend story time in the park. 

{three -- pool passes & a mom suit}

We have two local pools in our city and they are both like a mini-waterpark.  We can get a season pass for our whole family for under $200 and we go several times a week either with friends of meet up with daddy for a picnic dinner and early evening swimming.  

If you are going to the pool, you need a mom suit.  #nowardrobemalfunctionsplease I have this one and this one (blueberry dot).  I have my eye on this one and these too.  Between my inlaw's pool, the lake and our city pools - I wear swimsuits a lot. 

{four --  a few, fun getaways}

Summer schedules can get crazy busy but lake season is limited SO we try to spend as much time as possible at the lake. We try to go at least once a month and kick the season off Memorial Day Weekend.  It's my parent's place!  We love to boat, play on the maui mat, tube, fish off the dock, swim in the hot tub and sit by the fire.  It's our happy place!

My father-in-law also turns 70 this summer so we have a big, fun trip to the Wisconsin Dells with my husband's whole family!  We are all staying in a cabin together.  We have been twice before with his family and it's a blast.  The kids will be in heaven - water park and cousins...what else do you need?

{five -- a pantry full of snacks}

My kids pretty much love snacks and they would skip meals entirely in favor of them, if I would let them!  I have a couple of baskets of pre-packaged snacks as well as other snack options in the pantry. Aldi is my go to for individually packaged snacks because they are much cheaper since they are off-brand.  We especially love teddy grahams, trail mix, applesauce pouches, protein bars, fruit leathers, granola bars, PB crackers and mini pb crackers.  

{six -- An iPad}

I am not super mom and there are times I need to get things done during Lucy's nap time and an iPad is a great option for us.  My kids like to watch netflix or play a variety of games (many of them not educational in nature ;).  

{seven -- outdoor water toys}

Somedays we just like to be outside and it can get hot here in the midwest.  We have this fun pool and we get a new slip n' slide every year.  We also love lots of little water toys.  This year I stocked up at our local Dollar Tree on our favorite water squirters.  They are the best and only $1.  I stock up, you should too.  

We also have a little pool bag full of pool toys like goggles, diving toys and a few sour cream cups (because things go missing and I don't care if I lose a washed sour cream cup ;).  Lucy also has a puddle jumper, she doesn't love it but I take it with to both the lake and pool.

{eight -- easy to access towels}

It never fails, my kids run outside and somehow end up wet!  I keep all our pool towels, rolled up in a  fun wire basket in our mud room.  They can independently grab them at home and I can quickly load up my pool bag (similar) with towels before we head out.  

{nine -- cheap sunglasses}

I have shared before but I am not responsible enough for Rayban sunglasses.  Wal-Mart has these $2.50 sunglasses I love to wear at the pool and lake.  If they fall in the lake, no big deal. If they get splashed at the pool, no big deal.  Another place I love to get cute, cheap sunglasses is at TJ Maxx! Summer calls for sunglasses!

{ten -- sunscreen}

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen - if you didn't notice most of us around here are blondes and with that comes FAIR skin.  I pretty much go from pale to pink in 2 seconds!  I love the aerosol kind because I have so many bodies to prep for the sun.  I just found a little can to keep in my purse along with a little face stick.  I am forever going to a park and not having sunscreen on me!  

If we are just going to be out for a bit, I don't worry as much but if we are out for the afternoon, at the lake or headed for an afternoon at the pool we apply at home before we go so its nice and soaked in upon arrival and no one has to wait ;).

So there you have it, 10 summer vacation must-haves for our family.  There are so many others I could/should list but now it's your turn.  Don't forget to blog, grab the graphic, and link up.  Then make sure you check out a few other's blogs and leave them a note!  

We can't wait for summer - this post has me all sorts excited and now in full on planning mode.  Off to buy my pool pass.  Remember mommas, it's not about creating the perfect summer experience, its about having fun, being present and keep on, keeping on!  #Tribekoko

xoxo ERIN

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