1. Preach, sister! Ha, as a big family ourselves, I can definitely speak to the importance of planning ahead to keep your sanity intact. The essentials for the car is one of my favorite — we have a crate that definitely saves our lives from time to time!

    • Cece

      I couldn’t agree more! We stocked the crate based on the moments when we looked at each other and said, “Oh man, I wish we had….” All those wishes made the list!

  2. Food is a big motivator and problem solver at our house. I know it sounds weird but often when my kids are having a breakdown, it is because they are hungry. Swimming can be scary at first but it’s so important for the kids to understand respect for the water. My 2-year-old finally understands not to go running towards the edge of the pool.

    • Cece

      I totally agree! We’re really focusing in the coming months on switching our girls to more filling foods, as they seem to be relying on simple carbs for most of their snacks, and that leads to such an ugly crash. I would love to learn your tactics for getting through to toddlers about respecting the water– our 4 and 2 year old are still struggling.

    • Cece

      I hope it goes well! I’ve convinced my older girls to help care for the younger ones to earn more screen time– if anything, it allows me a moment of peace πŸ™‚

  3. Earning screen time is a fabulous idea. We are currently limiting to almost none. Some children like it more than others, and it definitely has to be supervised! I spend a lot of time in the car going to and from activities a couple times a week, and packing the car with essentials is a must!

    • Cece

      I totally agree! Our screen time during the school year is pretty limited, so I don’t mind making it an “end of the day” treat in the summer, if they earn it. Keeping TV a novelty gives me a great bargaining chip- it’s the first thing to go when they misbehave.

  4. Allison

    I love the dry erase board idea. I created a chore chart a few months ago that stays on our fridge with items the kids must complete before screens — but it’s a stagnant, laminated list. I need to dig out my old dorm room door dry erase board for the summer!

    • Cece

      I like the laminated list idea! It’s tiresome to write “feed the dogs” everyday πŸ˜‰ I think, for the summer at least, I’m going to create a chore wheel so they can try out new chores.

  5. Jenni Petrey

    Oh I definitely agree with all of your points. I’ve been quick lucky in the past in that my two children have been able to attend the vacation care program that was attached to my previous workplace! Childcare taken care of!

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