Ah, summer time. Hot sun. Playing in the pool. Running through the sprinklers. Bare feet on the grass. Eating popsicles. It’s the best when you’re a kid.
I remember one summer we spent with a mom who these days be crowned a “Pinterest mom” – she had a different activity scheduled for every day of the week. It was awesome. We went to the beach, to the park, to museums and the library. We had a blast.
Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed or burdened to become this activity-planning, Pinterest-worthy mom. There’s a lot to live up to on the Interwebs.
However, I’ve made small, achievable decisions that have helped me to make my kids’ days fun, engaging and (sneakily) educational – that don’t make me feel overwhelmed. I hope this can help you too if you’re in the same boat!
Here’s some tips for having a fun yet simple summer schedule:
- Do ONE activity per day. Don’t overdo it. It’s easy to get excited and plan fifty million activities, then get burned out. Figure out what’s sustainable for you, and then stick to that.
- Plan in advance. This doesn’t take that much time – only forethought. So, pick a handful of activities that you want to do with your kids for the week and make sure you have the supplies/resources for them. I do this during my weekly meal planning time – because, if I need any supplies, I can easily order them from the grocery store.
- Pick things you know your kids will be engaged in. Let’s be real: even if YOU love the idea, if THEY hate it, you’ll hate it, too. So, know thine children and their temperaments/likes/dislikes and plan accordingly.
- Use nap times or down times to prepare your activities if they need extra prep. For example, if you’re doing a craft with your kids that needs some gluing, taping, cutting in advance – don’t do it in front of your kiddos. It’ll be a disaster if they try to “help” – trust me.
- Wear your kids out. This is the key to so much of my “success” (ha!). I start the day by feeding them, then doing my darnedest to get energy out of them. They’re so much more compliant when they’re not bouncing off the walls.
Here’s an example of our summer schedule:
This is a very rough schedule that we follow throughout the week, with different variations on what we do at 8:30am/3:30pm slots.
For reference, I have two boys: Justus, 10 months, and Finn, 3.5 years old. The 10 month old takes two naps per day (at 10am and about 2pm) and the 3.5 year old “naps” (AKA rests in his room) while little brother naps at 2pm.
They’ll wake up anytime between 6:30-7:30am and we’ll have breakfast, usually read one of our Bible verse cards, and clean up. Then we go out for a long walk and do some fun things outside: play in the sandbox, do an obstacle course with Finn’s tricycle, dig in the dirt, play with bubbles, splash in our kiddie pool/splash pad, etc.
Then, when little brother (Justus) goes down for his first nap at 10am, Finn and I will have snack time and a fun play time where Finn gets to decide what we do. After we play together for a while, he’ll usually have some individual playtime while I prepare lunch or have some quiet time (ha!). Justus usually wakes up before noon and we’ll have lunch then they’ll play while I clean up. Before we read books and have our nap time routine, I usually try to get them outside for a few more minutes.
After Finn’s rest time, we will do a special activity – this is something that I’ve planned in advance for us. We’ll bake muffins, do science experiments, do a craft or some other fun activity that I think he’d like.
When Justus wakes up, we’ll play together until Tyler gets home. Unless I know Tyler is getting home late from work, he’ll play with the kids while I cook dinner. Otherwise, I’ll (attempt) to cook dinner before he gets home. We try to eat dinner at 5:30 so we have time to clean up and play some more before bed.
Again, we try to get them outside before bedtime. We’ll play in the sandbox, go for a family walk, splash around in the kiddie pool or go to a local pool. If the weather isn’t cooperating, Finn typically wants to play “football” indoors (which just means that he wants to sprint around holding a football).
Our bedtime routine typically consists of reading books, singing songs and bedtime prayers. Finn gets to watch a half episode of Paw Patrol while we put Justus down.
Then, once the kids are down, mama & papa get to party!! Woohoo!
Ha. Ha. Ha.
If you’re looking for inspiration for special activities to do with your kids this summer, here’s a helpful guideline:
Well, mamas, I hope that’s helpful!
What are some of your favorite summer activities? What do you and your kiddos love to do? Share in the comments below!
Don’t forget to subscribe to download your free weekly planning schedule – this will help with planning your activities, scheduling out your “to-do” list, and even planning your meals for the week.
We LOVE having this resource – typically, we’ll have a planning meeting on Sundays where Tyler and I discuss the schedule for the week, meals, and expectations. It’s amazing how just a few minutes of communication at the start of the week can make a world of difference for the entire week. If this sounds like something you need in your life, subscribe to download this free printable weekly planner along with a daily scheduler and activity planner!