Do you feel like the kids watch TV or play Xbox all day? Is you preschooler constantly being needy? All fun things for summer start with a routine.
Last week, I shared Easy Ways to Save On Summer Childcare. However, if you have tweens or teens who are old enough to stay at home or you are home part of the day with your kids, you probably need a routine to make meals, fun, and chores happen.
Plan Your Meals
I have shared why you need a menu plan even if you think you don’t and I have shared my review of a great planning resource: How to Meal Plan: A Step by Step Guide for Busy Moms.
Your meal plan should include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 snacks. When you make your grocery list, be sure to get enough to cover these or you will be running to the store every day. I offer the kids water in between meals and limit milk and juice to meal times, only. I buy large bags of snacks and divide them into snack size zipper bags to control portion sizes (and stretch my grocery budget).
Plan Your Fun
Make a bucket list, giving the kids a say, and be a yes mom as often as you can. Have a different outing each day, something like this:
Other activities to consider:
- Board games
- Playing outside
- Sleepovers & play dates
- Gaming systems
- Imaginative, crafts, art projects
Give Them Responsibility
Even though summer should feel different than the school year, I still require my oldest to spend time / play with his younger sister and keep his chores (making his bed and general upkeep of his room, vacuuming the common areas, emptying the trash bins in each room, and taking the trash can to the street each week).
Incorporate Some Learning
I have implemented suggestions from my son’s teacher at our end of school year meeting, including math activities and daily reading to keep up his skills. I have found some great resources: Setting Up a Summer Learning Schedule, 67 Ideas for Fun & Learning This Summer, and Tips To Plan For Summer Learning.
Decide The Routine
I would avoid schedules, as they can be too rigid and take the lazy, fun out of summer. I know that if I tried to follow an hour by hour schedule with my kids, I would set myself up for failure. Instead, we have a routine, that I post. I would suggest trying this out to see how it works for you and your family. Post it where the kids can see it. Make a picture schedule for young children who can’t read.
Sample Summer Routine
Wake, Make Bed, Tidy Room
Math (or Handwriting)
Lunch at Home
(to save money on fast food during outing
or having to buy food while you are at a venue)
Naps, Quiet Activities, or Reading
Snack & Reading
Our summers run a lot smoother when we have a routine. It means that I only have to plan once and the kids know what to expect.