Summer must-haves

Families Rafting

This was taken last week on a very fun rafting day with the Reynolds family. Even when hard things are going on, it feels GREAT to take time to enjoy the season.

So far, my summer has been emotionally harder than I imagined.

Several of my extended family members are struggling, my mom broke her hip again and is back in a rehabilitation center, my husband and I are navigating some pretty rough waters surrounding several projects we’ve undertaken, and nothing ever feels as easy as I wish it would.  (Sorry to be so vague, but the particulars are kind of personal. . . .)

I can’t wave a magic wand and make life into a series of “bubbles and rainbows” (as one friend of mine puts it), but I canconnect with other moms and streamline the logistics–because in the midst of the challenges of life, I want our family to have an amazing summer.

Below are a series of links and ideas I’ve started collecting for “Summer Must-Haves.”  Will you do me a favor and add anything else that you think deliberate mothers would appreciate?

I need our community.  Without you, it’s just a whole lot harder.

So thanks for all you do—and for who you are.

Now here we go with our Power of Moms “Summer Must-Haves”:

(1) Our Power of Moms Summer Camp Kit

summer fun

I had to start with this one.  I’m hoping you’ve already got it set up in your home, but if not, now is the perfect time.  (Do you know about our Payment Philosophy that enables every mother to access our programs?)

I love the Summer Camp Kit because my children have their own schedule all set up for each day.  I can get my computer work done while they do their work, and then we can enjoy the rest of the day together.  Saren did an amazing job with this.  My husband and I also recorded apodcast about how we’ve adapted the Summer Camp Kit to better fit our family.

Visit the Summer Camp Kit Information Page

(2) FUN Stuff

I’m good at writing and organizing and cleaning the house.  I am not particularly good at having fun (but I’m working on it).

Last week, I was able to visit with a few of the sisters from Six Sisters’ Stuff, and then Elyse, Kristen, and I recorded a podcast about our Power of Moms Summer Camp Kit and some great resources that the Six Sisters have on their site.

Click here to listen to the podcast with April Perry from Power of Moms and Elyse and Kristen from Six Sisters’ Stuff.

And here are some links to great resources on the Six Sisters’ Stuff site–plus some extras from our Power of Moms Facebook page:



50 summer activities for kids

  • Parachute: works great at the beach, the park, or the living room.


  • Family passes to a local children’s museum, YMCA, or swim park–plus a knowledge of where the best splash pads are.
  • Glow Sticks (those are just great any time of the year)
  • And yes, any water play involving inner tubes is now on my list of favorites

(3) Great Technology

Gretel Patch is one of our community members who has a Masters in Educational Technology.  She’s put together a whole post about her favorite online resources and iPad apps.  It’swonderful.

Click here to visit Gretel’s Technology Review.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 7.19.09 PM

(4) Additional “Musts”

Here are few extra ideas from our Facebook page:

  • Shaved Ice Machine (this was actually mine): We keep this right next to the sink and create tons of slushies–with juice, Crystal Light, or dark chocolate almond milk



  • Disposable/reusable plastic cups: Write friends’ names on them and keep them on the counter so everyone can get drinks without creating a lot of dishes to wash.

Plastic Cups

  • For the beach: Baby powder (for getting sand off at the end of the day), a mallet (to pound the umbrella into the sand), and a Sharpie marker (to label sand toys).
  • Neat Sheet (waterproof blanket with weighted corners): in the trunk of the car for impromptu picnics and sitting on the grass at the park.

NeatSheetObviously, this is just a start.  Now it’s your turn!

QUESTION: Do you have a favorite product, blog post about summertime, or a link to something you think our community would love?

CHALLENGE: Take a brief assessment of how your summer is going so far and think about what tools or resources could make the logistics go more smoothly.  (We wish you the best!)

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