Photo by: iStock

8 Summer Hacks for Parents

Photo by: iStock

We are all about having a simple and slow summer. So that means that I am looking for simple and easy ways to make our summer amazingly relaxing and fun. Are you in the same inflatable raft as me? Then check out these 8 Summer Hacks for Parents:

Keep the sand off your blanket by bringing a fitted sheet to the beach (don’t worry, you won’t have to fold it). Use coolers, heavy/strong beach bags, and other large items in each corner of the sheet (position the sheet the opposite way you would compared to when making your bed) and pull up. That way, you have a fenced off area to keep the sand and bugs out and the fun in.

Have a stash of plastic bags in your car, beach bag, etc. Why? Because they come in handy for absolutely EVERYTHING. Have wet swim stuff? Sandy beach toys? Clothes covered in sticky ice cream? It’s no problem as long as you have some plastic bags to contain the chaos.

Freeze juice boxes and water bottles when packing refreshments for camp, summer school, park visits, etc. Not only will your drink stay cool, but it will also keep other things in your snack bag stay at a safe temperature when out and about in the blazing sun.

Speaking of chilling drinks, do you know that you can quickly chill a bottle of wine in 10 minutes? All you need to do is place the wine bottle in an ice bucket, and then start filling the bucket with layers of ice and table salt (no need for sea salt, we aren’t trying to be Ina Garten or anything). Keep alternating layers until you get to the top. After ten minutes, your bottle will be perfectly chilled and ready to be enjoyed so that you can chill out.

Keep your phone in a sealed plastic baggie to keep it safe from water, sunscreen, and sand. Even if you have a hardcore phone case like me, you will still benefit from the power of the baggie.

Hide valuables in an inconspicuous place. For example, an old chip bag, empty (and clean!) sunscreen bottle…get as creative as you can.

Carry a bottle of baby powder in your beach bag…I promise it isn’t for diaper changes. Simply sprinkle some baby powder on your sandy skin and wipe it right off. Ta da!

Speaking of babies, remember those adorable muslin blankets that you stocked your nursery with? Keep them in your car to drape over your kids’ laps when the sun beats through the window. Because as we all know, those darn sun shades fall off the window ALL THE DAMN TIME.

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram,

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