It’s summer, and your kids are excited for long, lazy days with friends and fun — but as a mom, it’s easy to dread summertime. Instead of the structure you’ve worked so hard for during the school year, your kids now have oodles of unstructured time when they can
bug… spend time with you. Which means you may be feeling the pressure to drop your regular daily tasks and entertain bored children.
Your summer might even go great for the first week. But after the lack of routine sets in, you and your kids will likely be ready for a regular schedule. The great thing about summer is that it can be anything you want it to be. The best way to set your family up for success this summer is to create a regular routine. Here are some ideas that could help.
Plan to Prioritize
What do you really want your summer to look like for you and your kids? For you, maybe you’ve dreamed of decluttering, sleeping in, and eating watermelon at the end of a productive summer day. Your kids, on the other hand, may be dreaming of time with friends, swimming at the local pool, and a fun family vacation.
Recognize that your version of a great summer and your kids’ version of a great summer are probably a little different. Find a time to hold a meeting with your whole family to talk about what summer priorities are most important to every member of the family.
Make a bucket list
During a meeting or family discussion, make a bucket list of all you’d like to do and accomplish during summer break. Give everyone an opportunity to voice their opinion. Specific bucket list items might include things like:
- Swimming lessons
- Family vacation
- Camping trip
- Having a barbeque with friends or family
- Eating popsicles or snow cones
- Making homemade ice cream
- Playdates with friends
- Go to the beach
- Tackle an organizing project
- Complete a yard project
- Go to a drive-in movie
One way to set a predictable routine for your kids is by creating themed weekdays during the summer. For example,
- Make-it Mondays
- Take-a-trip Tuesdays
- Wet Wednesdays
- Thoughtful Thursdays
- Somewhere Fun Fridays
During each day of the week, set aside a few hours to work on your themed activity for the day. This lets you set a loose schedule of things to do, while still being flexible in what you do and when you do it.
Set a routine
Want to feel comfortable all summer long? Give yourself and your kids the gift of knowing what to expect. You don’t need to schedule every minute of the day, but a loose schedule will help everyone feel more comfortable with the long summer days. A sample schedule might look like this:
- 7:00 a.m. – Mom is awake.
- 7:30-8:30 a.m. – Kids are awake. Get dressed
- 8:30-9:00 a.m. – Breakfast
- 9:30 a.m.-noon – Themed day activity. During this time, you can make a craft, go to the pool, work on a project, etc.
- Noon – Lunch
- 12:30 p.m. – Quiet time. Read books, play games, take a nap
- 2:00 p.m. – Play outside
- 3:30 p.m. – Free time or time with friends
- 6 p.m. – Dinner
Remember, every family has different daily summertime needs. Work with your family and your children to set up a loose routine that will keep your family busy and productive, while still squeezing the most out of your summer. With a little extra effort, you can have a fun summer your whole family will remember and enjoy!