Looking for a mid-summer refresh? So much more than just these 11 tips can come out of this mid-summer survival tips list. Let it lead to you more summer activities for kids. 

The first day of school will soon come knocking. It’s a great reason to reboot the summer and make the most of play days and the remaining summer sun. The sum of this list is greater than its parts: let it lead you to more play, more downtime, or as an avenue for teaching a little more responsibility. 

A Mid-Summer Survival List: 11 Tips for Parents (and Kids)


Yes, summer 2020 included. Perhaps 2020 especially.

1. Keep stuff you would need in the car for an impromptu trail hike or other such outing: sunblock, bug spray, extra water bottles in a cooler. Maybe bicycles or scooters. 

2. If you’re kicking your children outdoors for a bit, make sure they have a full bottle of water or a water jug to fill and maintain themselves.

3. To help keep perfectly content siblings playing outdoors in good spirits for longer, step out and offer a special snack and touch base with them a bit. I can almost guarantee it will buy you another 30 minutes inside and them another 30 minutes out there. 

4. Keep a couple of old towels or swim towels in the car for sweat, unexpected dips in a local creek. That kind of thing.

young boy on playground equipment

5. Add rest (and structure) to your day with a post-lunch quiet time.

6. When the garden needs watering, set your sprinkler to rotate and declare the yard a splash park. Two birds, one stone. Or perhaps something less violent.


Safety, Skills, Savings, and Sanity.

7. When going on hikes or bike paths: outings where it’s possible they would a good distance from you, make sure children know your mobile phone number. If they get separated, teach them to stay put and look for a woman with children coming by and ask her to call your mobile number. (Thanks to my friend, MW for this tip.) Stick close, kids. Also, make sure children know your first name (real name, not “Mom” or “Dad”).

8. If you have multiple children, ask the older ones to teach/work on a skill that a younger one needs to learn. This worked earlier in the summer for us (without any direction from me), and I’d been working with my littlest man for a while on this. A persistent ten minutes from his brothers, and he was pumping a swing on his own. Next assignment for his brothers: teaching him how to clean his room. Update for our 2020 summer: The two older brothers definitely contributed their knowledge and skills to helping the youngest brother to ride his bike.

9. When kids have gotten down and dirty outdoors and it’s nearly dinnertime, pile food on paper plates and eat outside. Hose ’em off after, 80’s style. 

three brothers eating outside on paper plates

10. Brick-and-mortar stores and online companies push school supplies early. Add a few erasers to your stash or get to your free shipping minimum by adding a spiral notebook or composition book to your cart. Make sure you are stocked up on school and office supplies at home. Of course, if you’re children are needing more expensive electronic supplies, you can always wait for your state’s tax-free holiday

11. Help children get back into the swing of writing by having them jot down their favorite summer adventures they’ve had so far. Plan a time for everyone to sit and write out their summer experiences into stories or draw into pictures. They’ll be journaling in no time.