We’re almost halfway into summer, but it isn’t too late to create a summer schedule for kids!
If you haven’t created a daily summer schedule for kids yet, you are in the right place, mama!
I know there have been some years that we’ve waited way too long to start getting back into a school schedule. And that has made back to school time much more difficult for the kids (and me!).
Now that we’re past the 4th of July and there aren’t any major holidays coming soon, it is the perfect time to start a summer routine for your whole family.
Why summer schedules are important
While I love the unhurried and unscheduled days of summer for a while, I know it is beneficial to my kids to have a daily schedule to follow. When we have a routine, we are generally more organized and happy overall.
In a recent article, Dr. Laura Markham writes about seven reasons why routines are helpful for kids. Here’s a quick peek at her main points. I hope they’ll help you feel motivated to create your own summer schedule or routine for your family:
- Routines can help eliminate parental power struggles
- Set routines reduce stress and anxiety for everyone in the family
- Kids learn to take charge of themselves
- Kids learn to anticipate upcoming events
- Schedules help kids fall asleep more easily at bedtime
- Routines help parents build regular moments for connection with their kids
- Schedules help parents maintain their healthy expectations
These all sound amazing, right?!
Keep reading to see what things you might want to include in your daily summer schedule. You’ll find suggestions for morning, afternoon and evening schedules and routines.
I’ve also created an awesome family schedules printable pack that you can download right here! You’ll find a recommended summer schedule for kids, a homeschool schedule, and a morning routine schedule for moms.
Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission if you click through or purchase. I only recommend products that I feel strongly you will love and will help you to live your mom life on purpose.
Morning summer schedule for kids
I am convinced that the magic of conquering a day begins with conquering the morning!
This means that if at all possible, you will want to wake up before your kids.
From a mom who used to be the world’s biggest night owl, let me tell you that you CAN become a morning person! If you’d like to learn more about how to make the shift to waking up before your kids consistently, read this article.
In addition to having a set morning schedule for mama, it is super helpful for kids to have a predetermined wake up time.
Have a set wake up time
Regardless of whether or not you’ll be homeschooling, supporting virtual school, or sending your kids to public school, NOW is the time to start slowly adjusting your kids’ wake up time in the morning!
With more than a month of summer left, you can adjust that alarm a little bit earlier in small increments every week to be ready to wake up on time when school starts.
Essential things to do in the morning
Having a specific set of activities that are repeated every morning helps set the tone for the day.
Some of the essential things my kids do in the morning include:
- take a shower
- make the bed
- put pajamas in the laundry
- say their morning prayer
For the longest time, my kids would lounge about all morning, not getting anything done. It wasn’t until we created a morning routine chart for each of them that needed to be completed BEFORE they could eat breakfast that we got our routines in place.
Call me a mean mom if you must, but making the rule that certain things must be done before breakfast made a big impact on how well our mornings run now!
I’ve created a morning routine checklist for you to download and print out for your kids too. You can either reprint it every week on regular paper or print it on card stock, laminate it, and use it over and over with a dry erase marker.
Other things to add to the morning routine
A few other things you may consider including in your kids’ summer schedule for the morning are:
- music practice if they play an instrument
- personal devotional time
- completing household chores, such as unloading the dishwasher or starting some laundry
- language practice
- doing some outdoor yard work, such as weeding, watering plants, or mowing the lawn, depending on their age
If your kids are younger, you could add other activities, such as dedicated reading time, play time or learning time.
These activities may not be necessary to complete before eating breakfast. That is entirely up to you and how you want to structure your mornings!
Family summer morning activities
After my kids finish their individual morning routines on their handy little checklist (don’t forget to snag yours!), we gather together for some structured family time every morning.
Our morning family meeting gives us some time to revisit the plans for the day so everyone has a good idea of what to expect.
We talk about the date, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a family prayer and devotional.
After this, we always read aloud for fifteen to twenty minutes. To see some of our favorite summer read alouds, check out this post here.
Summer Learning Time
After reading time, my kids pull out their Brain Quest summer workbooks and do a few pages. They have really enjoyed these books, and they rarely ever complain about doing them.
The summer Brain Quest workbooks are especially fun (and incredibly inexpensive!). Each book has a cute pull-out poster with a map full of “quests” to complete. As your kids complete the assignments, they earn stickers to place along the path on the poster, getting them closer to completing their quest.
The summer workbooks are much shorter than their grade level counterparts. And if you start soon, your kids could most likely get one finished before back to school time next month!
Finally, going back to school with a quick and fun refresher will have your kids ready to impress their new teachers too!
Fun family morning summer activities for kids
While facilitating summer learning is really important, having fun is a very worthy summer goal to have too!
You may choose to do summer learning on a few mornings a week and summer family fun activities on the others.
Some of our favorite fun morning activities are: outside time, going for daily walks or bike rides, going to the library, doing arts and crafts, having a theme day, etc.
Afternoon summer schedule ideas
After lunch, we transition to our more fluid afternoon summer schedule.
One of the things I absolutely insist upon for our daily summer schedule for kids is quiet time! Everyday after lunch, my kids are expected to stay in their rooms for one hour.
They are allowed to talk to each another, but they are encouraged to read, play quietly on their own, or lay down to rest.
Of course they can leave their rooms to go to the bathroom or if there is an emergency. But other than that, they must stay in their rooms.
While I love my kids so much it hurts, I also need some individual time to
relax or read on my own work on my blog.
If you are considering starting quiet time, I highly recommend starting small! Have your kids stay in their rooms for 20 minutes the first week, for 25 minutest the next week, and gradually work your way up to 45 minutes to an hour.
The afternoons on our summer schedule for kids are left open for fun spontaneous activities, such as swimming or playing with friends.
Afternoons are also a great time for classes or lessons. My kids are passionate about gymnastics and piano, so we participate in these a few afternoons a week.
Set a screen time schedule
If your kids enjoy video games or screen time, you may consider limiting these activities to afternoons on your summer schedule.
Years ago we implemented a video game plan that I learned from a dear friend of mine.
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon my kids are allowed to do video games for one and half to two hours.
We set a little kitchen timer by the TV so they are aware of how much time they have and know when to switch games if they’d like to do so.
This simple schedule has really helped my kids to stay off of screens all day long. Because it’s something we’ve done for years, they haven’t questioned it.
Evening summer schedule for kids
Summer evenings are some of my favorite times of the year! I love the extra daylight and the chance to get outside when the heat of the day wears off.
To make the most of our evenings, we have – you guessed it – a simple schedule that makes everything typically flow really nicely! There are schedules with set times included and copies so you can fill in the best times that work for your family too.
A great tip for helping your evenings to go smoothly is to have everyone participate in a quick ten minute clean up BEFORE dinner!
We divide our living areas into zones and rotate which kid is responsible for each zone every week. Our current zones are:
- living and dining room
- kitchen and eating area
- school room
The child who picks up that room puts away any stray items or returns them to the bedroom where they belong.
After zones are clean, the kids go to their rooms for a quick pick up while we get dinner on the table.
After dinner time
A few times a week, we take the evening to do some fun family summer activities all together.
Some of our favorites have been:
- paper airplane contests outside
- night swimming
- star or cloud gazing
- roasting marshmallows around the fire pit
- catching fireflies
- going for walks
- making homemade ice cream
- arranging a family campout in the living room
Admittedly, my kids’ bedtimes in the summer are pretty relaxed.
But as they are now waking up to a set time, we will be setting a bedtime too.
Our bedtime routine doesn’t change much during the summer time, and it always includes family prayer, our thankful circle, reading scripture, and reading aloud for a few minutes.
Whatever you choose to do for a bedtime routine during the summer may be something you could continue during the school year too.
Final thoughts on how to create a summer schedule for your kids
Now, please don’t think for a minute that our days flow perfectly! Believe me, my kids do not always complete their checklists or go along with our daily summer schedule with a smile on their faces!
We are exceedingly normal at our house – and we experience our fair share of whining and resistance.
But when we stick to it, creating a summer schedule for kids has been incredibly helpful for us.
I hope you’re feeling motivated to create your own summer schedule – don’t forget to download your free family schedules printable pack!
I can’t wait for your summer days to feel like they are running much more smoothly.