Summer is here! Do you have a plan? Read on for my ideas for a summer survival guide with kids!
I’m actually not the best at making plans ahead of time. I’m more of a spur-of-the-moment kinda gal. I have friends that literally plan their vacations a year in advance and oh how I aspire to be more like them! Since I’m working from home now this is actually the first year I’ve booked a few camps in advance for the kids. But I’m only part-time, meaning its not really in the budget to splurge on expensive camps all summer for them. So that leaves a lot of weeks of free time. Free time where I will be multi-tasking, trying to work while at home with the kids. So I’ve started brainstorming some ideas for a summer survival guide with kids. Hopefully this will help, and if it helps me hopefully it will help you too! Because after all, a summer with all work and no play isn’t much of a summer at all.
Summer Survival Guide with Kids Means Finding a Routine and Rhythm
This has actually been something I’ve been thinking on and strategizing about for a while now. Of course now that summer is out our routine has completely changed. One particular challenge is that while we are doing some camps, since I have three kids all different ages that means that some of them are doing different things. They don’t all have the same camp schedule, and the camp schedule drop off and pick up times vary quite a bit week to week as well. One idea we are implementing in our home are THEME DAYS, TIME BLOCKS AND CHECK LIST ROUTINES.
Please keep in mind that in no way do I do all these things all the time, or WELL all the time. Most of the things I share with you are things that I have learned from other moms along the way. Jordan Page over at funcheaporfree has been a huge help with her tips on organization and productivity. If you haven’t checked her out yet, run over to her page too. You’ll love her!
Summer Survival Guide with kids Tip 1- Theme Days!
Your theme day could vary quite a bit. Because you are you and your life doesn’t look quite like anyone else’s. So use these ideas if they seem like they might work for you and customize them to fit your life!
Whether you are a working mom or not, a theme day can give you some sort of predictable routine and a little bit of sanity. Maybe Mondays are your outing day- where you plan some sort of new or less visited place to check out with the kids. You might even decide that’s a good day to travel to a nearby city, and visit a museum that’s normally considered to “far” to go to during the busier school week schedule. Tuesday and Thursday could be days you consider “work days” where most of the day is divided into chunks of time that you work, and then later in the day you leave more time to do an activity or outing with your kids. I’ll leave a list of ideas at the bottom of this post. If you’re working away from home full time you can still use these ideas either after work (hello long days of summer!) or on the weekends. One thing I love about summer is the excuse to break up the monotonous work week routine. Who says Tuesday Taco night can’t happen at the park instead of your kitchen?! Get out there and enjoy the nice weather and long days while you can gosh darn it!
Summer Survival Guide with Kids Tip 2- Time Blocking!
I can’t say enough about this little tip. Oh how I wish I had the same predictable schedule each day. Wake up, get ready, go to the same place to work, then leave at the same time to pick up kids etc. My days vary greatly day to day. So, in order to find some kind of guaranteed time I’ve found that time blocking has really helped.
For instance, If you’re working from home you could separate the amount of hours you need to work each week into a block system that works for you. For example, maybe you might find that mornings from 9-12 are your most productive. After the kids have had breakfast, and are still cozy in their pjs they could use that time to read or do their chores while you work. Or, you might find that putting your hours into two days per week and finding child care just on those two days works best for you too.
Make the Best Use of Summer Mornings or Afternoons
Make a list of all things you’d like to accomplish in a week. Then break those up by day. Find like items and group or “block” those together so you make the most of your time. For example, getting ready for the day, checking email, making breakfast, tidying up the kitchen, chores for the kids all might fall into your morning block. You may want to save errands and the gym etc when you’re already out and about for the day in your “outing block.” This would also be when you take your kids somewhere fun. Your outing block might be in the afternoon or morning, it’s up to you.
Summer Survival Guide with Kids tip 3- Make lists!
I don’t know about you, but my kids love them some screen time. Especially since now they’re not quite as busy as they were during the school year. After the first few days of summer break I quickly learned that I needed to put a leash on that puppy real quick. One way to do that is to yes, you guessed it- put screen time in a specific time block! This way they know when to expect it, and they aren’t bugging you all day about it. I also recommend making a chart for them that lists all the tasks they are expected to help with that day. Once those tasks are complete they can earn some screen time.
You might have a reward system in place for this type of thing. Whether its screen time or a play date they earn with a friend etc. I’m always looking for new ideas with my kids so please leave it in the comment field below!
Here Are Some Theme Day Ideas for your Summer Survival Guide with Kids!
If at Home:
DIY Spa Morning or Afternoon: look up a recipe for making a scrub or mask. Since its summery I loved this DIY lemon scrub I made in this post. Use cucumber slices, give massages, paint nails, make a fun flavored water.
Craft Day: Pinterest has tons of ideas. We made a birdhouse one summer and that was a super fun project! You could also make a fairy garden or even coordinate with an upcoming holiday. Homemade playdough is also super easy to do and kids love it! Or why not make a birthday gift for a friend?!
Baking Day: Pick a morning or afternoon each week to make something new. Most kids I know LOVE to bake!
Playdate Day: I don’t know about you but my kids are always asking for a play date. It helps to set that up at least a week before. You could have a set morning or afternoon each week- and better yet, rotate houses every other week! We moms need to stick together and help each other out!
Free Choice Day: This can be a list of activities that your kids would like to do and you can rotate who gets to pick from the list each week.
For out and about:
Museum Day: The summer is a great time to re-up your museum memberships. I find that if I go for the membership I’m more likely to well… go. 🙂 Plus memberships usually come with free parking.
Beach or Pool Day: Let’s face it as mom’s we all know that getting there is the hardest part. Well, and the clean up after too. 😉 Its a lot of work to do the beach, especially with kids. If you build it into your weekly routine though you can plan to have a designated area for all the gear and even plan your kids weekly hair shampoo around it. HA!
Library Day: I can’t stress enough how beneficial visiting the library is. Kids need to read so much over the summer else they lose a lot of what they learned over the school year. Your local library is also a hub for great childrens’ entertainment! Plus, you can dial into their wifi and even get a little work done if you need to while they explore a new book!
Park Day: Some moms I know do this every day and my hats off to you! Now that I have three kids I’m finding its easier to just stay at home sometimes because there’s always someone to play with. However, my kids love going to the park! Especially one with a cool creek or hiking trails to explore.
Summer Bucket List Ideas Free Download!
*click the image below to download a list of some of our favorite summer traditions!
I want to stress again that, I, like all of you am just trying to figure out this whole “mom” thing- or “LIFE” thing for that matter. I’m not doing it perfectly at all. I THRIVE off of learning from other people, and love finding out what tips and tricks have worked for them. So please feel free to comment below, and let me know what things inspire you and your family. If you don’t have kids yet (shout out to my college readers! Woot!)- you can still use these bucket list ideas! Life is only going to get busier so in order to live our absolute best lives it requires planning and being intentional. All work and no play is no fun at all. If you’re a full time working parent be encouraged! You are doing an AMAZING job providing for your family! Use these ideas whenever you can to embrace every minute of quality time you have with your family.
Now go comment below and tell me what tips/tricks or summer bucket list ideas are your fave!