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The Schedule that Saved our Summer

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We love summer vacation! The possibilities are endless, and our bucket lists are full. Unfortunately, operating without a summer schedule often leads to either overcommitting ourselves or spending so much time relaxing that we miss out on great opportunities and adventures.

Last summer, I was determined to make the most of my time with the kiddos without overwhelming myself in the process. We brainstormed a bucket list and used it to create a basic summer schedule. It gave us structure while still allowing plenty of freedom to enjoy ourselves. In short, it saved our summer!

If you feel like your summer fun could use a little structure, try using the calendar below. Need some ideas to fill in the blanks? Let me share a few of our favorites.



Make-It Monday

Kick off your week with a craft or science experiment. This doesn’t need to be an all-day project–even 15 minutes of quality time together on a project can have a great impact on your relationship. The idea is to simply provide a framework for the many fun things we want to fit into our time off.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Collect leaves, flowers, etc., then iron between two sheets of wax paper (Make sure to cover with a dish towel first.) Display in a window, cut into bookmarks, or use as placemats!
  • Make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar.
  • Go strawberry picking & make homemade jam.

Trip Tuesday

No PJs today! Let’s get out of the house! But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun. We love going on free or low-cost field trips.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Hike
  • Bike ride
  • Park
  • Library
  • Free park concerts
  • Bowling (Look into free summer bowling programs for kids)
  • Look for local factories that give tours (Our kids loved watching how cheese is made last summer)
  • Mini-golf
  • Movie theaters (Many theaters have free or low-cost movies once a week through the summer)

Working Wednesday

Summer is fun, but chores still need to be done. Today we can catch up on messy rooms, laundry, grocery shopping, and whatever other chores might fall behind during summer fun. This is a great time to break out the chore charts.

Thoughtful Thursday

Today we take the focus off of ourselves by doing something kind for someone else. Again, the summer schedule doesn’t have to take up your whole day. We intentionally make time for the things important to us while allowing plenty of freedom and play time.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Make dinner for a friend
  • Pick flowers and deliver them to a neighbor
  • Write a note of encouragement to someone you’re thankful for
  • Check out these ideas for helping others

Friend Friday

Kids miss their friends when school is out. Once a week, open your home and let them connect with their pals. If you’re feeling ambitious, put on a pot of coffee and invite the moms to stay and chat, too. This is a great opportunity to expand your own tribe while letting the kids play.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Get out the sprinkler
  • Have a water balloon toss
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Beat the heat (or the rain) with an indoor movie or board game

This year, create a summer schedule full of fun that also allows plenty of breathing room. Go enjoy your kids before you put them back on that school bus this fall!

What are your favorite tips for loving summer with your kids?


What is something you can’t wait to do this summer?

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