Happy Thursday! It’s been a fun first week of summer break and we are working on getting into our summer schedule! As you may remember, I shared that we are planning on a less structured summer than in the past. I even mentioned that I am allowing my kids to experience a little bit of boredom! But while I am trying hard not to over schedule our days, I am still all about setting up some routines and rhythms to our days. I find that kids and I do a little better when we have a routine going to start our day! We are still fine tuning these ideas. However, I wanted to share what has worked for us in the past and what we plan to do this summer. So today, I’ll talk about creating summer routines for kids!
Create a Flexible Schedule
In most summers in the past, I have created a daily schedule which included morning routines, times for free play and planned activities. These schedules also help with establishing expectations for chores, snack times, etc.
I keep the schedule basic and realistic because the more complicated I make it the less likely it is that we will do it!
Our typical morning:
Make Bed + One Additional Chore
This might seem like a lot but honestly my kids do all of this in less than an hour! My kids are early risers, so by 9 o’clock they’ve got all of these things done.
As the kids have gotten older, our mornings are often filled with camps and summer swim team. So, this morning schedule has required adjustments here and there. I don’t stress out over the schedule and there are days we are out the door before we get to everything. But for the days we are home, this schedule is perfect. The kids get these things done and then they can ask me about screen time and snacks:)
Spend 30 Minutes on Reading or Math Skills
I am all for kids having a break from school over the summer. We could all use a rest from homework!! But it doesn’t hurt to stay sharp on our reading and math skills. Most years I’ve taken the kids to the book store to pick out a couple of grade appropriate workbooks.
The kids have fun picking out their workbooks and they are more likely to want to do the work if it’s something that they have picked out. We’ve used this fun Star Wars books in past years.
Star Wars Workbook (Currently on sale!)
Some days the kids prefer to do a craft or drawing activity instead of the school work. We get out some of our craft kits that have gone unused throughout the year!
Every year we also sign up for our local library’s reading program. Our library offers very fun incentives for reading and my kids are always eager to earn their prizes.
This is my daughter’s current nightstand reads! All of my kids are bookworms, so this is an easy summer activity.
Involve the Kids in Healthy Snack Planning
Is it just my kids or do yours want to eat every two minutes during the summer? This happens every summer and I try to plan accordingly by stocking a lot of healthy snacks. This summer, I want to work with the kids on creating a list of healthy snack options. I’d also like for the kids to gain some independence on deciding on and preparing their own snacks.
Since we are enjoying slower evenings, I’ve also been involving the kids (whoever is willing!) to help me in making dinner! The kids learn some new kitchen skills and we get some one on one time as a bonus.
Create a Summer Fun List
There are a million fun things to do in the summer and only so much time to do them all! We always create a summer fun list to keep track of all of the things that we want to do. Each week we try to check 1-2 items off of our list.
My plan this year is to talk with the kids at the beginning of the week about what they want to do during the week. Then, we will put together a rough schedule on WHEN we want to do everything during the week.
We try to do one activity a day even if it’s just a trip to the library or pool. So our week will be a mix of summer fun list items and more low key activities. Some days might even be an afternoon of snuggling on the couch and watching movies!
I vow every summer to get our family on a chore schedule! This year, I am keeping our chore routine super SIMPLE! My kids have been doing some basic daily chores for several years now including making their bed, cleaning their room and helping with one additional chore each day.
This summer, I am working with the kids on more “advanced” chores like washing the dishes, folding laundry and vacuuming. My goal is for the kids to get exposed to a variety of household tasks. My son was in charge of washing the bathroom mirrors the other day and I found that he didn’t know what cleaning supplies he needed to use. This made me realize I need to do a better job of teaching my kids different chores!
I came up with a very easy way to assign chores for the day. I used popsicle sticks and wrote down one household chore on each stick.
All the sticks are put in a mason jar and I have another empty mason jar nearby. Each of the kids picks a chore stick for the day. The chores vary in degrees of difficulty, so it is luck of the draw on which chore they get. There are a few “fun” chores like giving hugs and playing wit our pets! When their chore is done, they stick it in the empty mason jar. Each of the kids needs to do at least one chore a day.
Extra chores earn 15 minutes of video game/ipad time!
We’ve done chore charts in the past with mixed successes. This new process seems a lot easier to me.
Also, we are working on an allowance plan but these particular chores are independent from earning money. These chores are just things we need to do every day!
Allow Kids to Have Their Own Time
I love having my kids all together in the summer and we have a lot of time for family bonding! All of the time together can sometimes lead to sibling arguments, so I try to stay on top of the game and give each of the kids some opportunities for activities without their siblings.
Whether it’s alone time reading a book in their bedroom or taking a trip with dad to Home Depot.
I also crave some alone time after our days together! I still try to wake up before the kids like I do throughout the school year. I find that I am calmer and more organized if I have start the day with a few minutes to myself.
End the Day With a Family Activity
During the school year, most of our weekday evenings are go go go! But in the summer, with the exception of a few summer sports, our evenings are pretty low key. Lately we have established a bit of a pattern to our evenings which includes some time outside and then watching a show right before bedtime. Some days we take a family walk and sometimes it’s just playing in the yard.
We’ve also been trying out a little bit of yoga right before bed. My youngest has a HARD time settling down in the evening especially since it is still light out when he goes to bed. So I found some kids mediation and yoga videos on YouTube.
We have been loving this wind down activity.
Additional Resources for Creating Summer Routines
If you would like even more ideas and inspiration to have a purposeful and fulfilling summer, I have mentioned that my friend Keri has just written an e-workbook called “A Mom’s Guide to Thriving in the Summer”. This workbook is FULL of tips and worksheets to have thrive instead of just survive this summer!
When you purchase the workbook, you also get to be a part of Keri’s private group that includes even more helpful tips for summer! For more details you can go HERE!
Overall, we have a very relaxing and low key summer. Before you know it, summer will be over and we will be back at school. So for now, we are just trying to enjoy (almost) every minute.
What does your summer look like? Do you have any set routines or patterns?