Summer is here, and it’s time to create a great summer schedule for your kids!
Having routine and stability is extremely important for the whole family, so creating a summer routine for your kids can be really helpful!
I know there have been some years that we’ve waited way too long to start our summer schedule. The kids get cranky and the days can seem to drag.
And not having a schedule can make back-to-school time much more difficult for everyone too.
Here’s a quick look at a great sample summer schedule for kids:
7:30-8 am: kids wake up and complete morning checklists – make their beds, shower, get dressed, put away pajamas
8 am: breakfast
8:30 am: kids continue morning chores – music practice, reading time, language practice, household chores
9:30 am: family time – read aloud or do summer learning
10:30 am: summer fun activities – library trips, walks, bike rides, arts and crafts, summer bingo activities, swimming lessons, etc.
noon – lunchtime
1:00 pm: kids’ naptime or quiet time
2:00 pm – unstructured free time for screen time or video game time or classes, outings to the pool or with friends, or lessons, like gymnastics, piano, etc.
5:00 pm – pre-dinner clean-up
5:30 pm – dinner
6:30 pm – family time
8:00 pm – begin bedtime routine
8:30 pm – bedtime
Pin the image below to remember this great summer schedule for kids!
Why summer schedules for kids are important
While the unhurried and unscheduled days of summer are wonderful for a while, it is beneficial to 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:
- 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 for your kids.
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 from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library!
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 at no cost to you. For more information, click here.
Morning summer schedule for kids
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!
To find out 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 stick to a general wake-up time.
Have a set wake-up time
Having a set wake-up time doesn’t necessarily mean your kids have to set an alarm clock.
But keeping their wake-up time within an hour window is a good idea.
This will make the adjustment back to school so much easier when fall rolls around!
Kids’ summertime morning routine
Having a specific set of activities that are repeated every morning helps set the tone for the day.
Here are some things you may consider including in your kids’ morning routine:
- 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!
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, playtime, 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 your kids finish their individual morning routines on their handy little checklist (don’t forget to snag yours!), it’s a great idea to 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 and have family prayer and devotional.
After this, we usually read aloud for fifteen to twenty minutes. To see some of our favorite summer read-aloud books, check out this post here.
Summer Learning Time
A few days a week, it’s a great idea to have your kids do a few educational activities.
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 are a great review of things they’ve learned in the past year.
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! Every day after lunch, my kids are expected to stay in their rooms for one hour.
They are allowed to talk to each other, 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 business.
If you are considering adding quiet time to your summer routine, I highly recommend starting small!
Have your kids stay in their rooms for 20 minutes the first week, for 25 minutes 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 and 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 her kids were allowed to do video games for 90 minutes.
You may want to set a timer by the TV so your kids know how much time they have to play.
This simple video game schedule has really helped my kids to stay off of screens all day long.
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, a simple evening routine can help everything flow really nicely!
Pre-dinner time clean-up
A great tip for helping your evenings to go smoothly is to have everyone participate in a quick ten-minute clean-up BEFORE dinner!
You can divide your home 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, it can be fun to do some fun family summer activities in the evening altogether.
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
It is perfectly okay if your kids’ bedtimes in the summer are more relaxed than during the school year.
But it is important to keep it as regular as possible, especially as you prepare for back-to-school time in the late summer.
Blackout curtains like these are a great way to help your kids fall asleep, even when it is light outside later in the day!
Whatever you choose to do for a bedtime routine during the summer may be something you could continue during the school year too.
Taking a shower or bath, brushing teeth, reading a story, writing down some quick gratitudes, and saying a bedtime prayer are great ideas for a bedtime routine.
Final thoughts on how to create a summer schedule for your kids
Please remember that it is always okay to deviate from the schedule when needed.
You may be traveling or celebrating birthdays or holidays.
When this happens, enjoy the moments and then return to your kids’ summer schedule when you can.
At our house, we’ve found that 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 for kids!
Don’t forget to download your free family schedules printable pack from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library!