You know how when kids get bored, they are either whining all day long or demanding screen time... I love having my kids at home all day, but like you, I DON’T like the whining at all! I prefer my children have a Summer routine that is fun and still keeps me sane.
If you want to create a daily summer schedule for kids that will keep them entertained and you sane, here’s our Summer routine and the things that help me in keeping kids screen free as much as possible.
It took me a few crazy summer days to realize that if managed right, Summers can be the best time of the year for quality time and making memories!
No more school. No more getting up super early, getting dressed in record time and racing against the clock. No more tired afternoons and homework headache too! Summer means a relaxed schedule for us.
Related: Read about our School Time Schedule here.
But of course, we need some fun activities to keep busy. I have a general schedule for my kids to make sure that we aren’t just doing Legos all day long.
Why Kids need a schedule in Summer
I don’t know about you, but my kids, if given a chance to be on their own, they will either play the same toy all day or they will be after me for entertainment. It is Lego, or dolls, or sheet tents or splashing in bubbles … if I ask them to read… all the books will scattered all over the home.
Then there is the screen time monsters that keep coming out… enough said.
To counteract this, I set up schedules. The purpose is to give them ideas on what all they can really do without asking me or nagging me all day long!
Routines build children’s confidence so my aim for having schedule is to make sure that:
- Kids can have the maximum fun without much intervention from my part.
- They feel empowered, confident and creative.
- They spend adequate time studying, playing and exploring.
- I can peacefully work from home without them coming in my way or feeling like I am ignoring them.
- We share household responsibilities so that there is more involvement, contribution and load sharing. Everyone feels part of a team.
Apart from this I also like to include …
Why we include a little bit of learning the Summer…
I don’t want my kids to be studying in the Summer but we all know about the Summer slide. Also, Summer is a great time to teach my kids all about my culture and family traditions. We are multilingual family. I teach them two out of the four languages that they speak at home. Basically we just try to improve fluency and vocabulary.
How to work around Summer Travel
We usually travel all through summer. As we are expats, it means either back home home or if that has become boring then it is to explore the places we have friends and family – either in the country or outside. Having a flexible routine for kids means, even while we are in different places, we are still studying, learning and enjoying to the fullest.
5 Things to Keep Consistent in the Summer
A few things that I make sure I include in my Summer routine is to always ensure that kids go to be on time and wake up at the same time every day.
Also, their morning routines include simple chores that they can do by themselves before they have breakfast. This helps them learn responsibility and helping around the home.
We also make sure kids have a fixed Quiet Time everyday. Whether the child has outgrown their nap or want to sleep, it is up to them. They can play or even read a book. This habit of Quiet Time helps them refresh and have some ‘mind and thinking time.’
My Kids love to read but that didn’t happen overnight. I have found that it was these Summer reading habits that encouraged them to fall in love with books. We always get ourselves some new books right before Summer starts. Also, it is a great way to counteract Screen Time Issues. They must complete their daily reading before they get screen time.
Lastly, dinner and bedtime routine is always the same for us no matter what time of the year it is. This helps children fall asleep faster.
Sample Daily Summer Schedule for Kids
Here is what our daily routine looks like.
Morning Routine in Summer
- Wake up– I always prefer that kids get up before 8am. My personal experience is that that is their natural body clock. If I delay or let them sleep in, there will be wailing half the day.
- Get dressed and brush their hair– You know how summer is… kids will wear the same pajama the whole week or they will change 20 dresses in just one day! So our rule is that they change into clean clothes every morning, put their nightwear in the laundry and brush their hair every morning. This is also ensures they are wide awake for breakfast.
- Breakfast– after freshening up, we have breakfast right away. Any delay and I can be sure there will be a tantrum
- Free play– While I check my mail, I ask them to play by themselves. We have a range of educational toys, building toys and puzzles for them that they are crazy about.
- Clean up– We clean together as a family. Each child has his/her own set of chores to do. They make their own beds and pick their own stuff. It is faster this way and they know that nothing is getting done if mom is busy cleaning.
- Worksheets, books or organized learning– This is the time I pull out the printable folder which has worksheets, games and learning activities for them. I am always updating or removing papers from these folders to keep them interesting. The days I am working, I have to just hand these to my kids and they will keep at it. The days I am teaching them, we pull out the books.
- Snack break – Usually a fruit some biscuits or cakes with juice or water is enough.
- Kids in the Kitchen– I love having my children in the kitchen. I agree that it is chaotic when they are toddlers but with time, they do become responsible. I have a list of things that they know they can make. Simple dessert for the day, a salad or just grabbing stuff from the fridge and pantry for me is enough for them. They are usually in and out while I cook but generally, we have more talking than actually working.
Afternoon Routine for Kids in Summer
- Lunch– Noon is usually when we lunch together.
- Nap time or Quiet time (depends on age)- Sometimes the girls are tired and want to roll on their beds, some days they will quietly draw. My son will generally read or build LeGO.
- Craft time– We love paper crafts and origami. Occasionally, I pull out something more fancy like sewing, weaving or building.
- Free play– after we are done making, they need some time to play with their creations. 🙂 I usually catch on my blogging at this time so sometimes, we have screen time where they can ‘work’ too. This is 45minutes only.
- Snack – another round with juice or milk.
- Quran Time – around 4pm is when I like to bring them together for reading Quran. This is the time when we do just reading.
- Outdoor play. After about 45 minutes to an hour of studying they need some fresh air. I will let them out to cycle, skate or just run about. Generally, their father comes home so we go to the beach or just take them for a drive.
- Snack time – This will be outside or if we are at home, right after sunset at home.
- Relaxing hour– I leave them with their dad for sometime before dinner while I check my phone.
- Dinner– Dinner is always together complete with dinner time routine that involves chores.
- Bedtime Routine. Our bedtime routine is to clean up the toys, relax with a book, say the prayers and get in bed after good night kisses.
- Bedtime is 8-9pm depending on the child.
This routine works for us even on the days when my kids attend a summer camp in the morning. We just skip everything that we do in the morning. I make the lunch alone.
How to help kids follow the Summer Routine.
I am sure you re wondering how to get kids to follow their routine…
Kids need help with remembering what to do next. The best way to teach them that is with Checklists and Accountability Charts.
We use these charts in our home to help each child check off what they have done. It helps them see what the next steps are in their day. As they complete things, they tick it off.
Checklists like these also help me remind my children what they should do next, in case they have forgotten. Since they have all their daily rhythms in front of them, there is more cooperation too. They know not only what happens during the day but also what must happen before they can do their favorite things.
The day is same everyday so there is a time for everything and an allotted time. Mommy doesn’t change things. And whenever they come to me demanding that I give them screen time or snacks, I can point the chart and say, “Hey, this is next. You can have your snack after _______”.
The result: Children who are calm, confident and willing to cooperate.
Would you like some help setting stable routines for your children at home?
Children thrive on routines, rules and daily rhythms. Over the years, building routines for my kids and many other families, I have found that there is actually an ideal routine structure that helps all families.
When you have the correct routine, your children will be calm, confident, independent and your family will go about their day as if on auto pilot. To be very honest, a good routine makes a mom’s life easy!
If you’d like to learn more, here is what you can do next:
Step 1: Sign up to our Perfect Routines Challenge. I will send you three emails with three tweaks you can make to create the best routine for your family.
Step 2: Get the Calm Confident Children’s Bundle which has all our routines plus tips on how to create a home environment that nurtures confident children.
Step 3: Take the first day challenge that I will send you in the email.
Do you need a routine and good habits in your life?