Creating a few simple routines for summer can lead to more summertime fun.
We’re knee-deep into summer break and already I’ve had a crash course in surviving the summer with a smile on my face. Summertime is definitely a relaxed affair around my house. We travel quite a bit, we chill-out on usual bedtime routines, we’re more free with screen time and desserts, we spend a lot of time reading, playing in the swimming pool, watching movies when it’s too hot to do anything else, and just recharging.
As much as I was looking forward to summer break, I momentarily forgot that I can’t take a break from daily life. It took two days of forgetting plans for me to realize I needed to get my head back in the game. I won’t neglect my beloved planner this summer as I need to keep track of plans, make to-do lists, and generally stay on top of life. In spite of all of that, I definitely want summertime to feel like a break for me too, so I took a step back and put a small routines into place to keep everyone happy. I want to be the fun mom, but also the mom who remembers to have clean clothes for the kids and a plan for dinner.
Plan Ahead for Summer Fun
As thrilled as I am to not have to pack school lunches right now, I still kind of need to pack some sort of lunch. My friend A’Dell had the genius idea to make lunches in the morning while making breakfast so it’s ready to go at noon. If we decided to head to the community pool or picnic at the park playground, there is no scrambling to get a lunch together for everyone (or worse, blow our summer savings by grabbing fast food). If we’re home at lunch time, the kids are free to grab lunch whenever they’re ready for it, within reason.
I am sticking to my routine of making a to-do list the night before for myself and now I make one for the kids. My kids love to know what the plan is for the day, so I make them a small schedule of our plans and a list of things they need to get done that day, including chores and summer reading. Turns out they love crossing items off a to-do list as much as I do.
Set a Cleaning and Laundry Schedule and Meal Plan
Of course we’d like to be free from all errands and chores during summer but that’s just not realistic or practical. Fridays have typically been used for family chores so that we can head into a carefree weekend. But laundry? During the summer, it’s imperative that I do one load of laundry every single weekday to keep on top of wet swimsuits and pool towels. I’m an early riser, so I make sure to get a load started as soon as I get up. There’s something about the sound of the washing machine running while I enjoy my morning coffee that makes me feel like I’ve got the day already handled.
Meal planning during the summer months is pretty easy around here. We often grill something easy and have fruit and call it dinner. I use EMeals for helping to find easy summertime dinners. It’s a recipe app that is integrated into a shopping list that can be used with most online grocery retailers. Finding more time for fun rather than grocery shopping is a summertime lifesaver.
Watch our EMeals review here. Totally unsponsored!
Make time for fun
With all these routines and schedules, I’m sure you think I am the least fun mom in the world. I assure you we do a lot of fun things during the summer. I am the mom who is always willing to host a playdate, who doesn’t really care if the kids take out every single toy or game in the playroom or spill bubbles all over the backyard if it means my kids are entertained and happy.
In the pursuit of summer fun, I sat down with my two kids last week and asked them to list the things they definitely want to do this summer and we came up with our own simple summer bucket list.
Free Summer Bucket List Printable
We’ve already managed to have a backyard movie night with all the neighbors, we’ve been to the pool nearly daily and we’re reacquainting ourselves with some of the parks we haven’t seen in a while. I’m certain we’ll check all of these off the list before summer is over. If you want to make your own list with your kids, we’re including a blank printable for you! Simply click on the image to print!
How do you keep yourself sane and your kids happy during the summer? Do schedules work for you and your family? Leave us a comment and let us know!