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Your littles are about to start camp or have just started. This means a whole new morning routine, not to mention a new pick-up and drop off routine and then there’s all the changes of clothes and lunches! Getting adjusted to summer vacation can be difficult whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom! Not to worry… I’ve got some great tips that I think will help you and I’d love for you to comment with more tips of your own below!
As the name of my site suggests, I’m super analytical so let’s break this problem down…
1. We’ve got to streamline our morning routine from wake-up to getting out the door.
2. We need to work out pick up and drop off
3. Then there’s ALL the clothes including swimming and activity related clothes that we need to work out.
4. Then there’s the lunches! Oh the lunches…
Not to worry! I’ve got some ideas for all of these!
Getting Ready for Camp
Mornings are tough enough as it is if you’re not a morning person – and I’m NOT a morning person! Getting up earlier is rarely an option for me and whenever I see someone recommend “getting up before your kids” I get so frustrated! That’s why I opt for preparing ahead of time as much as humanely possible!
This mean getting clothes, breakfast, lunches, backpacks and more ready before going to bed!
It also means finding ways that your kids can get themselves ready in the morning with limited help from you. I know… I know… This can seem impossible but with some prep it’s doable!
Here are a few tips:
#1: Help Your Kids Help Themselves
Children as young as 3 or 4 can get themselves ready in the morning (to a point). If they have older siblings, this is even more doable! Here are some tips to make it work:
- Pick out clothes for your kid the night before. Let them participate in picking the clothes out to minimize the outfit complaints the next day and so that you can slowly teach them to pick out clothes.
- Lay the chosen outfit on the floor like you’re dressing an invisible person. Unbutton buttons, unzip zippers, etc. Lay it all out so that kids can visualize what they are doing and make it a game! Show them how to grab the socks from the person first, then the skirt or shorts etc. (Leave shoes by the door because those are often the hardest and are easiest done just before leaving).
- Make sure the toothbrush and toothpaste are within reach in the bathroom and always put them in the same spot before bed. If your little one is too young to put the toothpaste on themselves, they can at least grab the brush and toothpaste and bring it to you for help!
- Prepare a breakfast that they can grab themselves and put it within reach. This can be as easy as a sippy cup or straw cup with milk, and a muffin or piece of fruit. We especially love hard boiled eggs! Put everything next to each other in the fridge so that they can grab it themselves! Want something even easier? Try making a “Yogurt Drink” (Danimals copycat) and put them in straw cups ready to grab on the go! Get the recipe here.
- Prepare lunch (as much as possible) the night before! More on lunch to come…
For more tips on making your mornings a bit easier, check out these posts:
#2: Create A New Pickup and Drop-off Routine
Summer always seems more hectic to me. During the school year, my husband and I share the pickup and drop-off responsibilities and the routine stays pretty consistant for the entire school year. We are always dropping the kids off at the same place and always picking them up from the same place. The only complication is usually the after-school activities which we don’t have a ton of.
During the summer camp season, though… the pickup and drop-off locations can change on a weekly basis! There are so many camp options, many are short term, and each has a different start and end time! It makes my head spin just reading this.
Aside from trying to minimize the change by not signing up for too many things, I think there’s a good way to keep it all under control.
Make. A. Plan.
It seems oh so simple, but sitting down for a few minutes with your partner (or whoever might be helping you out if you have someone) can go a long way! Pull out a calendar or a piece of paper to write on, and have your family and/or work calendars handy. Then follow these steps:
- Map out your camp plans. For each week, write down which camp your little ones are signed up for, where the camp is located, and what the start and end time is.
- Identify your constraints. What work or family related events are unmovable? What might impact your or your partner’s ability to pickup or drop-off on any given day? Write those down (and who is impacted).
- Look for a trend. Once you have the details on paper, do you see a trend? Are dropoffs easier for you most days whereas pick-ups would be nearly impossible? If so, then you’re lucky and can create a really simple plan! If not, work with your partner to determine who is going to do pickup and who is going to do drop-off for each day. Write it down in detail and then make a copy of this plan that you can have with you at all times!
#3: Learn To Manage The Clothes
While some people experience this all year round, most of us only have to worry about packing multiple outfits for our kids during camp season. If you’re stressed by the idea of sending (your kid in with clothes for even just swimming daily, then you’ll want a copy of my Laundry Routine Hack! Just sign up here and then select the Laundry Routine Hack once you get access to my Mom Efficiency Library! (You’ll also get access to all my other freebies in the process!)
In this freebiei you’ll learn my tips for not only keeping up with the increased laundry (as it it isn’t already crazy, right?) but also how to handle the many different outfits you’ll need to have ready each day!
#4: Label Your Kids Items and Clothes!
Losing stuff at camp can be a huge source of stress for your kid and for YOU! Being good about labeling all your kids stuff (reusable bottles, flipflops, googles etc.) is really important! There are SO many things you could label though, so that’s why I LOVE Label Land! I discovered them when I needed labels for my baby’s bottles but now I love them because they make quality labels for just about everything!
When getting ready for camp, you need to check out their Camp Value Pack! (Plus, you get FREE shipping!)
#5: Conquer The Lunchbox!
If you’ve read my post titled 11 Ways to Make Your Mornings Easier then you already know this trick. It’s simple but made such a huge impact on my life!
My kids (and I, shhh) love these! But at $7 or more for 10, they aren’t cheap. About 4 years ago I did some research and learned just how easy these are to make! What’s more, you can freeze sandwiches like PB&J, PB and honey, creem cheese, and even lunch meat!
Making these are super simple… Just make your sandwich (keeping the filling away from the edges) and then use a sandwich sealer and press like the one shown below.
You can then put all your homemade “uncrustables” in a freezer bag and freeze them!
It gets even better though! Your newly minted frozen sandwiches can now act like mini-ice packs in your little one’s lunch box! Add a frozen yogurt tube like these and you can be sure your kid’s lunch box will stay nice and cool until lunch time!
Just pull them from the freezer in the morning and by some magic, they will be defrosted by lunch time! I find this especially helpful when you want to make sure that your kid’s juice will be cold or you want to include certain fruits in the lunch box. If you want to include anything more susceptible to spoilage, though… like say cheese, I suggest including an ice pack.
Were these tips useful? Do you have any additional tips? Please comment below and let us know!