Summer Life Hacks from Fun Cheap or Free

If you break out into a cold sweat when you think about your kids being home ALL SUMMER LONG, this post is for you. If you enjoy them being home, but are always looking for good ways to keep them busy, this is also for you. Worry no more, mamas, I've got your backs! These summer life hacks are about to change the way you do things around your house…in a good way!

Are you ready to learn how you can stop hearing “Mooommmm, I'm bored, and I'm hungry!” all day long? Then you'll definitely want to check out these summer life hacks! Click below to watch or just keep on scrolling for a quick recap!

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See, that wasn't too bad, now was it? Give these summer life hacks a try and I have no doubt that you'll be happy that you did. Now pretend that you're at the beach, relax, and read on for a recap!


You've heard of the summer slide, right? The learning loss that takes place over the summer if you don't keep your kiddos' minds engaged?? Well, we want to prevent that – but we don't want to feel overwhelmed or micromanage our youngsters all summer long, so we created a clipboard system to hand the responsibility over to them.


Summer can be so hard keeping the kids happy, occupied, and off of each other's backs. It seems like they're constantly asking to watch tv or play on the iPad, or play on the game system, and it just goes on and on and on! If it were up to them, they would waste the summer days away… The best way to combat that is to create a clipboard system for your family.

Summer Clipboard System - A hack to keep the kids organized and busy this summer from Fun Cheap or Free

You basically write some chores, tasks, and educational items to keep your kids busy. This ends up helping you out during the summer, too! The kids set the pace and can decide if they want to get it all done first thing in the morning or stretch it throughout the day. The key to this is that there are no screens and no friends until the clipboard is DONE.

We get command hooks and hang them up on the wall where they're all visible for everyone to see. Then, when your kid asks to watch a show, you can easily look over their clipboard to see if everything has been completed or not. It's so easy and so worth it! This is definitely one of my favorite summer life hacks that helps us to keep a somewhat normal schedule.


No matter their age, each of my kids has to make their bed as a part of their clipboard system. This helps the rooms have a much cleaner and tidier feel, which helps save my sanity!

My kids sleep in bunk beds and making them is the WORST, right? We use Beddy's bedding on all of our beds and it has made such a difference! All you have to do is zip your bed shut. Seriously, that's it! It's super easy and it takes like 30 seconds to have a nicely made bed. Just go to THIS link and use the code FUNCHEAPORFREE20 for 20% off.


All of my kids have to do some reading as a part of their clipboard system during the summer. We love using ABCmouse for our younger kids who can't read. It's a monthly subscription site that you can use on a tablet, phone or computer. We've subscribed to it for years and we love it for our kids! It helps to teach them their letters and numbers and you can enter their grade and reading level into the program to customize it towards each kid.

ABCmouse has recently launched Adventure Academy for older kids, so now my kids who are second grade and above play it during the day. It's a great way to keep their brains active and they feel like they're getting to do something special since it's on a screen!


If your kids are CONSTANTLY asking you for snacks, then this one's for you! This is probably one of my biggest summer life hacks. Heck, it may be my biggest kid life hack! Create yourself a really good snack system. This takes snack time out of your hands and puts it into your kids' hands, giving you one less thing to handle during your already hectic day!

Summer Snack Hack - Give your kids a little independence this summer with this hack from Fun Cheap or Free

Basically, we save anything that's in a wrapper for lunch on the go (or school lunches during the school year). But they have free rein to anything that's out of a wrapper for snacks. I have a refrigerated drawer that is full of things that are allowed for my kids to snack on during the day. I'll keep things like cheese, fruit, veggies, and hard boiled eggs in there. Any time the kids get hungry, they can help themselves to the snack drawer as long as it's not within an hour of mealtime.

This is a really nice way to keep your kids fed. It lets them decide what they want to eat, with you being in charge of the options that they have to choose from. This also is a good way to save money. It keeps them from blowing through the more expensive pre-packaged snacks and lets you save those for when you're out and about.


I've got two summer life hacks comin' atcha that use popsicle sticks. These will really change your summer and can be used all year long!


One of my most hated phrases to hear during the summer is “Mom, I'm bored.” It seriously makes me want to throw something! My summer life hack for this is to make bored sticks. Grab some popsicle sticks, sit down with your kids, and think of some fun ideas that they can do completely by themselves.

Some of our ideas include: play with sidewalk chalk, play with bubbles, build a Lego city, and do a scavenger hunt. The sky is really the limit here! Whenever they come to you and tell you that they're bored, tell them to pull out a stick and do the activity on it. It's exciting for them not knowing what it'll be and it really boosts their creativity in the moment.

Bored or Chore Sticks are a great Summer hack to avoid kid's complaints from Fun Cheap or Free


These chore sticks come in really handy when your kids are using their clipboard charts and are having a hard time coming up with a chore to do on the spot. Write up all of the chores that your kids can do totally by themselves on popsicle sticks. Some of ours include: sweeping, wiping off the counters, unloading the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher, and putting clothes away.

Then you can do one of two things. You can have two different jars – one for your older kids and one for your younger kids to choose from. Or you can use the same jar and have two different colored sticks. When it's time for them to do chores, they just pick a stick out of the jar and get to it!

Want a little side tip? When your kids come to you telling you that they're bored and don't want to do any of the bored stick activities, let them pick a chore that they have to complete instead. It'll teach them real quick not to come to mom when they're bored. YOU'RE WELCOME!


We have had summers where I look back and I know that we did some things but nothing really stood out and I didn't feel like it was a successful summer. And then we've had summers where I look back and feel so satisfied that we did so much as a family. The biggest difference between the two has come down to making a summer bucket list.

Make a Summer Bucket List to make as many memories as you can with your family from Fun Cheap or Free

This list doesn't have to be complicated and you definitely don't have to overthink it! Just sit down as a family and write down a list of what fun things you would like to do together over the summer. It can be as simple as going swimming or watching fireworks. Or it can be a little more involved like going camping or planning a family reunion. Just don't make it too big to where you'll never be able to do it all!

You can keep your list on your piece of paper and put it where everybody can see it. We like to print out a bucket list printable and blow it up to poster size at CostCo so that we can hang it on our refrigerator. This makes it fun because the kids get a black marker and mark through the list as we do something. It's so satisfying as a mom to be able to look back and realize that we actually did do a lot of fun things over the summer!


Having a summer car survival kit is just about that – summer survival. I can't stress enough the importance of this summer life hack! If you've read my car hacks post, then you know that I'm all about keeping the essentials in my car. This is just taking it a step further to include all of the summertime essentials!

First things first, you'll want to get something to keep all of your summer-related products in. My favorite thing is a pop up trunk organizer, but it could also be a bag, a bucket, really anything that will hold all of the things! Just make sure that everything that you put in it can stay in your car all summer so that you're always prepared.


I always keep water bottles on hand because you never know when you'll need one. There's nothing worse than being somewhere, like the park or pool with your kids, and you have to leave early because they're so thirsty they're gonna die and they just can't handle it.


I always try to keep one swimsuit per kid in the bag because hello, it's summer! You may be at a park or a friend's house where there's water that you weren't expecting and next thing you know, your kid is having to wear soggy clothes the rest of the day. Having a swimsuit ready to go helps to prevent that!

I also keep sun hats in the bag for my kids who are more likely to burn if they're in the sun for too long, even if they're slathered in sunscreen. Sunburn in the worst, so we try to avoid it at all costs!


As I was saying above, sunburn in the worst! I always make sure that I have a tube or two of sunscreen in my survival kit so that we don't have to worry about leaving the park or pool early if we don't have any.


I keep a hair bag in my car at all times! There's nothing too fancy to it, I just keep the main products that I would need to fix my kids' hair so that they're not looking too raggedy.


I mean, does this even need a reason as to why it's in my survival kit? Whether you have a baby or not, wet wipes are a must! They make cleaning up sticky hands and faces super easy.


A giant beach towel can be used for so many different things during the summer. You can have a picnic on it, or use it to sit on the hot ground while you're watching a parade. You can also use it to dry everybody off if you go swimming and forget to bring towels.


Because #kids… Need I say more?


I recommend keeping a grocery bag or a trash bag in your car at all times since you never know when you'll need one. It could be a throw up bag, a bag for wet swimsuits, or even a garbage bag. Whatever it is, you'll have one when you need it!


It's summertime and Mama J just needs a little pick me up, okay? Caffeine packets are great to keep on hand because they're easy to carry around and all you need is a bottle of water and you're good to go!


If you have a baby, then you never want to leave home unprepared! I always keep an extra bottle and a handy formula dispenser in my survival kit. You never know when you're going to get stuck somewhere or be out longer than you think, especially when everybody is actually behaving and having a good time. So just take my advice and keep some extra on hand!


Be sure to pack snacks for the kids AND for you! Summer isn't fun when you're hangry, so always make sure to keep your favorites on hand.

So there you go! Those are some of my summer life hacks and tips. Let me know what yours are in the comments!

If you like productive tips like this, then you may love my Productivity Boot Camp! It's a super fun online video program where I show you how to create systems like these in your own home. Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off because I love ya! ;)

Do you need more tips and tricks?

Have a GREAT summer, Freebs!

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free