Outdoors and ice cream and sun tans and all the stuff we remember about childhood. The stuff that makes us feel nostalgic and childlike inside. With 5 kids, summer is our favorite season and we make the best of it.
But also, with 5 kids, you better believe we have a summer routine we like to follow to keep things from slipping into chaos too early in the summer.
Later? yes, sure, but we at least want to hold it together for 6 weeks, right?
Create summer rhythms that help you balance fun AND real life responsibilities, so you can make make memories with your kids.Learn More
What are your goals for your kids’ summer?
- Do you want to laze around the house and have slow days?
- Do you want to learn some new skills, fill it with activities and trips?
- Will you be working or at home?
These are things to consider when crafting a summer routine. You don’t want to start out too regimented then give up after a week or two.
Much better to think strategically and wisely about how you order your days from the get go and avoid stress later.
Start with big rocks, fill in with pebbles
When crafting your perfect summer routine, start with the big things.
- Meal times
- Chore times (and chore assignments)
- Extra work (that’s paid, if your child is old enough)
- Lessons, activities, sports, etc.
- Family vacations or fun
Then fill in the rest. That is likely enough to give you a pretty good structure around your days, as is. You may find adding more just feels too busy.
As my aunt said after retirement… I am so busy I don’t know how I ever had a job!
You may feel like that. So busy that you don’t know how you managed school all day AND the other stuff.
Keep consistent with repetition (and visual reminders!)
If you aren’t used to having a routine then it can be tricky to get one started. But once you find one that works, you will NOT want to let it go.
You just won’t.
Write the routine up on the command center, on a sheet of paper you put on the fridge, anywhere. Visual reminders or cues will help it going. Kids can also take more ownership of their days when they can follow along.
Not too much fun at once
I want to caution you not to overfill the days with fun stuff. You’ll soon tire out, the kids’ expectations will get too high, and you’ll spend more money than necessary.
Every other day having a fun activity (I’m thinking outside the home, for example) works well.
You don’t need to do a water park, the zoo, and a park picnic all in the same week. You can spread them out!