SOS: School’s Out for Summer


Every June as the school year ends, we blast Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and my boys excitedly prep for their long-awaited summer break! It doesn’t take long for them to revert back to cavemen; all manners, structure & routine go out the window and they require five thousand more calories per day.

This summer presents a new dynamic for our household. My husband works full-time and I balance part-time work at Building PPL with managing two small businesses. Breastfeeding Balance, LLC, established in 2022, and The Herd, LLC, recently launched in April 2024 alongside my wonderful co-founder, Abbie Hasermann. Previously working just a few days a week, I now find myself working daily, including nights and weekends. As the school year draws to a close, I’m bracing myself for the transition into summer and trying to stay calm amidst the shift. 

I know what you’re thinking – send them to day camp every week. I can’t do that for two reasons. First, the financial load of paying for summer camps all summer makes my head spin. Second, I love being around them all the time and being the one to “make the summer magic.” Don’t worry, I did give myself a break for Hockey Camp and  Lacrosse Camp! Other than those two weeks, the boys will attend “Camp Mom”.

On days when I have to work a more structured 9-5, I know they will happily play street hockey in the driveway, soccer in the yard, or swim in the pool for hours, with zero complaints. I am lucky enough that I can do my job from my laptop on my deck, or by our pool, to still feel present with them. We are even luckier to have a village of family and friends we can call if both my husband and I need to be off-site for work.

So although this summer might be different, it will still contain its own sprinkles of “summer magic” that I strive to create! I’m going to mix some tried-and-true tactics from past summers with a few new ideas to keep the boys on their toes!

Here are four things that will help me survive this summer:

Car Survival Kit

I have a basket in my trunk that has a full first aid kit. Band-Aids, antibacterial ointments,  ice packs, sterile gauze, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, “after bite” stick…you catch the drift. If you are a parent of boys, you know why this is necessary. Many playground trips have been ruined because I don’t have the appropriate first aid essentials to help with scraped knees or bee stings.

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks. Here is when prepackaged snacks come in handy. I will keep another basket or small bin in my trunk with non-perishable snacks. Having snacks on hand helps minimize any of their hunger meltdowns! 

Extra Water. Why is it that when we are running errands or gone for a full day my kids are the thirstiest they have ever been in their entire lives? Making sure I always have backup water has been a lifesaver. Extra water will continue to help me survive long car rides! 

3 Fun Things (adventures or activities)

We are not a “bucket list” family. I find it puts too much pressure on me and my husband to check everything off their lists. And then if by August 31st there are still things on the list we feel guilty we didn’t get them done. So we’ll pick three fun things they want to do. I think we can easily accomplish that goal in 6-8 weeks! It can be as simple as having a bonfire and making smores or going out for ice cream. Maybe it’s something bigger like going to the Science Museum in Boston.

We may also pick a few weeks out of the summer to follow this schedule:

  • Make it Monday: Arts and Crafts
  • Tasty Tuesday: Cook/Bake a new recipe
  • Water Wednesday: Pool, Splash Pad, Sprinkler, Beach
  • Teaching Thursday: Learn something new (fun facts, new hobby, new sport)
  • Fun Friday: Adventure Days (finding a new park, going to the zoo, heading into the city for the day)

Summer Reading

Both boys enjoy reading and we will be making sure this is a BIG part of summer. Barnes and Noble has a summer reading program that we did last year and will do again this year! They have to read 8 books and fill out a form. Once it’s completed they can bring it to our local store and pick out the one free book they earned.

Goal Setting

Have your kids sit and write down 1 goal they want to accomplish by the end of summer. It can be something like swimming the length of the pool underwater both ways (which will definitely be on my older son’s list this year) OR learning how to play chess. I will make sure they are held accountable and are equipped with the tools necessary to hit whatever goal they choose! Having them accomplish their goal will set them up with confidence going into the next school year. 

Now that I’ve written this all down, I feel less stressed about keeping the boys entertained when school’s out for summer. Thank you for sticking with me and reading along while I worked all that out! I’ve realized they don’t need a crazy-wild adventure every day. In fact, a little boredom might just be the secret ingredient to a great summer! It’s all about embracing that laid-back summer vibe and encouraging them to sprinkle a bit of their own magic into each day.


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