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Summer is my absolute favorite season, even as a sixth generation Texan who lives on the surface of the sun three months out of the year. I love the slower pace that summer brings along with the endless opportunities for memory making, but I also know how chaotic it can get this time of year when you’ve got littles at home. As a mom of four (8, 5, 3 and 8 months), let’s just say I get it. I want to be clear that I am no expert, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that I’m happy to share with you, my fellow parents in the summer trenches.

Use a makeup brush to apply sunscreen. I think we can all agree that applying sunscreen on young children ranks up there with other forms of cruel and unusual punishment. Several years ago, I saw another mom using a makeup brush to put sunscreen on her toddler’s face. I’m pretty sure I Amazoned one from the pool that day and never looked back. You get great coverage on your child’s face, your hands aren’t messy, and (in my experience) your kids will actually stand there long enough to let you put the sunscreen on.

Only buy neon bathing suits. Save the neutrals for your home, and buy your kids the most obnoxious neon suits you can find. We all know how fast a child can drown, and outfitting your child in the equivalent of a flashing neon sign could save you invaluable seconds searching the pool in the event of an emergency.

Swim suit colors and visibility in water

Charcuterie dinners. I typically enjoy meal planning and cooking, but not when it’s 108 degrees at dinnertime. Enter everyone’s favorite meal of the week, charcuterie! For me, this involves cleaning out the fridge and the pantry with all the things my kids eat (turkey pepperonis, fruit, cheese, crackers, gummies, etc.), arranging them on a tray and letting my kids choose what goes on their plate. If I’m feeling really extra, I might even add a little surprise like teddy grahams with gummy life preservers!

Snackleboxes. I snagged this genius tip from my dear friend and Lionheart Launch Leader, Alisa. Road trip coming up? Grab a dollar store tackle box or shower caddy and fill it with each child’s favorite snacks. No more doling out snacks from the front seat or empty goldfish snack boxes floating around the car.

Box of snacks

Cupcake wrappers. You may have seen this one before, but there are so many things that cupcake wrappers can be used for, especially in the summer! I use them to help with drips for popsicles, and I also have friends that turn them upside down (secured by a straw) to keep bugs out of drinks.

Popsicle in a cupcake wrapper

Lastly this is no hack, but more a word of encouragement for the moms. Get in the pool! We all know we only have so many summers with our babies, so make the most of that time in the pool with your kids. I guarantee they won’t remember what you were wearing or how you looked, but they will remember that you were there experiencing the fun with them. And get in front of the camera, too. Your kids will thank you later, I’m certain of it. Cheers to a summer full of fun memory-making, and perhaps a little less chaos, too.

Ashleigh J, VP of Marketing

The mother and daughter happily playing in pool