Popsicles with Less Mess
Reduce the sticky hands and stained shirts that come from eating melty popsicles. Push the popsicle stick into a small paper cup or cupcake liner. It will help catch dribbles and drips before they go everywhere.
Sand and Dirt Busters
Toss a box of gallon-size zipper bags or a large plastic bin in the car and head off summer sludge before it hits the house: dirty cleats, playground gravel, sandy swimsuits, and soiled clothes. For shoe grunge, have kids remove dirty sports cleats, and shoes and socks filled with playground gravel, before they get in the car. Toss the shoes in gallon-size zipper bags or the bin and have kids change into slides or flip flops. Seal the bag or snap on the bin’s lid and clean the shoes in the backyard.
Running through the sprinklers still ranks at the top of kids’ favorite free summer activities. If you don’t have a sprinkler, use an empty plastic soda bottle to make your own. Poke or drill holes in the bottle; you can make tidy rows of holes, random patterns of holes, holes just on the top or all around—whatever you like. Then connect the bottle to the hose with waterproof tape or duct tape, turn on the hose, and let the water fly.
Keep Your Cool
According to the International Ice Cream Association, when ice cream’s ice crystals melt and re-freeze, they can turn into unpalatable lumps. Preserve that creamy goodness by making the freezer aisle your last stop before checking out. Bring a cooler with ice packs in the car to store the ice cream for the drive home. It’s also helpful for keeping popsicles, dairy, and meat cool.
Heading to the pool? Rinse out an empty sunscreen or lotion bottle (or use a stainless steel water bottle) and hide your keys, cash, and credit card inside. Your valuables will be disguised so you can play in the pool with the kids without worrying about a wallet.
Reduced Car Seat Heat
Vinyl and leather car seats get fire hot while you and the kids are at the pool or the museum for the afternoon. Putting down towels works, but they slip, slide, and fall. Hang a dog car-seat cover from the headrests while the car sits and the seats stay shaded from the sun. Just pull it back when you are ready to get in and head home.