Summer seems to throw everyone’s schedules for a loop. But whether you’re trying to create a better routine for mom or get the kids on a schedule, it’s time to make a summer routine!
While the slow and lazy days of summer are meant to be enjoyed, with all the summer barbecues, holidays, and activities that we schedule, it’s easy to get completely off routine.
But getting off routine, even during the summer months, might not be the best idea.
After all, remember those cranky times when your toddler didn’t get his nap? 😫
Kids thrive on routine and knowing what to expect.
Setting up a daily routine for summer might be just what you need to keep your kids happy (and well-behaved) during the summer months.
Here’s how to make a better summer routine!
Wake up before your kids
I know, I know. It’s summer! Late nights around a campfire, lazy days when your biggest task is dragging out the sprinkler, and nowhere to go so you actually have a chance to sleep in.
While you may have big plans for sleeping in, chances are that your kids have other plans.
With the longer days of summer, the sun rises even earlier, which means that your kids wake up earlier. Unless you want to wake up to little fingers poking your eyes (ask me how I know that happens), you need to wake up a few minutes before your kids to start the day off right.
Making time for a peaceful cup of coffee or packing your kids’ picnic lunches before they can argue that they no longer eat lunchmeat is key to having a day that runs smoothly.
It’s hard to hit the ground running as soon as you roll out of bed, so do yourself a favor and give yourself time to start your morning slowly.
If you’re not a morning person, you may need to evaluate your morning routine. Make Over Your Mornings is a great course. Learn exactly how to use your mornings to set yourself up for a great day.
Set an alarm for an appropriate summer wake time
If your kids know how to tell time, give them a certain time that they’re allowed to get up. If they wake before that time, have them do “quiet time” in their bedroom. Allow them to read quietly in bed, play with dolls, or make a HotWheels racetrack out of their blankets.
The key is that your kids stay in their rooms until an acceptable time.
If your kids don’t know how to tell time, you can still enforce this rule. Have an older sibling tell them when it’s time to get up or get this alarm clock that changes colors when it’s ok to get out of bed.
Even though your kids may stay up later on summer nights, chances are that they’re still waking up early. Having an age-appropriate wake-up time helps to ensure that they’re getting enough sleep.
If your kids aren’t getting enough sleep at night, try putting them down for a nap or at least “quiet time” so they can rest.
Use a chore chart to create a daily routine that works
Whether you pay your kids to do chores or expect them to do certain tasks before they’re allowed to have screen time, a chore chart is a great way to keep your kids focused.
You can also create a basic morning routine for your kids to follow as soon as they wake up. Include tasks like brush teeth, wash face, and eat breakfast before going outside or playing.
Add your morning routine items onto your chore chart to track them. Give your kids stickers or laminate the chart and let them mark each task once they’ve completed it.
You can also use the chart as a reward system. Once they’ve checked off their tasks for the morning, allow them to earn screen time or do a special activity, like a weekly field trip or a fun daily activity from your summer bucket list.
Get the chore chart here. It also includes a set of printable stickers so you can change your kids’ chores or reward them for a job well done!
Another great way to get on a schedule is tracking your kids’ activities. My kids have the Garmin VivoFit bands and they love getting “fireworks” when they reach their step goals, activity time, and even rewards.
You’ll be able to assign your kids chores from the app and then give them points when they complete each task.
You can choose from a list of rewards, like slumber party, staying up 5 minutes late, etc., or make your own fun rewards for activities and chores.
Use a summer bucket list to plan fun activities
Stop boredom in its tracks by making a summer bucket list with your kids. Download the free printable checklist in the Resource Library or make your own list of fun activities.
Make sure you add some simple activities that your kids can do around the house, like a backyard scavenger hunt, or rainy day activities, like making homemade slime, to keep them entertained even when the weather is bad or you just need a break from running.
Creating a summer routine to keep your kids busy (and still get them to do their chores) is key to having a great summer.
Even if you want to have a slow, restful summer that doesn’t involve running your kids all over the countryside, you can still create a basic routine so they’ll be happy without driving you crazy!