Summertime as a kid means lazy days, running through sprinklers, riding bikes, staying up late, and melting ice cream cones. I am a firm believer that kids need to enjoy their time off from school and the hustle and bustle of school year activities, however I also believe that kids need a certain level of routine and structure – even during summer break.
Having some sort of routine, some level of what’s expected for the day, keeps kids feeling grounded and secure during the lazy, hazy days of summer. A summer routine helps parents to squash the 100 “I’m bored” comments before 9:00 AM, and helps you to have some level of control over how much time they spend on certain activities such as TV, or video games.
Last summer, when my oldest son had just finished 1st grade, and my youngest was 3, getting ready to start preschool that fall, we came up with a “Summer Binder”. This summer binder acted as a sort of daily guide – a handbook for our family and our nanny. The binder is filled with all sorts of things from a basic daily routine, to craft ideas, and summer writing prompts. The most important thing to creating a successful summer binder is to GET THE KIDS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS! Have your kids help you create your summer binder from start to finish. Allow them to make decisions about your schedule or daily routine, activities, and whatever else goes in your binder.
You can find hundreds of ideas and templates on the internet for summer schedules and routines. I did a lot of research before we created our binder, and here are some of my favorite sites to help you get your binder started:
Here is a link to a simple and fun summer break bucket list, full of fun ideas to try this summer.
I love this weekly summer schedule from somewhatsimple.com! I love the fun colors and graphics, and I love how it allows your family some freedom as to what each day will bring. It gives you a theme or a focus for each day of the week, and then you can decide from there what that means for your family.
My son loves to read, but in the summer it is sometimes difficult to slow down, come inside, and sit down to read a book. So to help keep him on track, we set a goal for how many books he thought he could read over summer break, and came up with a reward that he would get if he achieved his goal (in his case it was a new LEGO set). He kept track of the books he read with this simple reading log.
If you only use one of these ideas, this is the one to use: https://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/printable-summer-binder-activity-sheets/ It is a complete printable summer binder, with everything you and your family need to have a fun filled summer! I love the fill in the blank idea pages, allowing kiddos to jot down their own ideas.
We put all of our pages into plastic sheet protectors so that we could write on the pages with a dry erase marker, jotting down ideas, checking things off, and erasing things as needed. My boys had fun checking their binder each day, trying the new crafts and recipes we put in there, and having the satisfaction of checking things off. Our schedule was not set in stone, nor should it be! You still have to be flexible and go wherever the day may take you. But having this binder and a summer routine, helped us to stress less and enjoy more.
I hope you and your family have a fun filled summer! Does your family have a summer bucket list? Do you have a summer routine or schedule? We would love to hear your ideas too! Let us know in the comments below.