June has arrived! Does this thought fill you with excitement or dread? It can be intimidating to think about how to occupy your children during the long hot days of summer but with a little planning you can definitely thrive instead of just survive!
As we discussed previously, a little bit of planning can turn your summer days from chaos to calm. We made a bucket list that balances fun adventures and simple pleasures. Now its time to create a daily routine that will bring just the right amount of structure and simplicity.
When you begin thinking about how your summer days will look, first look at the ages of your kids. What works for your kindergartener isn’t necessarily going to leave your tween jumping for joy. It is totally possible to create a daily plan that meets the needs of your whole crew big and small.
Here are my 7 tips for creating a Daily Summer Routine for Multiple Ages…
*Divide your day into blocks instead of time slots. We don’t want to spend our summer ruled by the clock but we do want some predictability in our day. We divide our day into six blocks that make sense to us and we simply move on to the next block when we finish with the first.
*Split your blocks into age appropriate lists. For us, we have the “Bigs” and the “Littles”. Each group has their own list within each block. The Bigs are much more self sufficient to give them the opportunity to learn responsibility, accountability and how to manage the freedom they crave. The littles have a more mom-involved day.
*Make sure your blocks include time that is structured and time that is free. Kids need freedom in the summer. Our big boys need to ride their bikes around the neighborhood and play basketball in friends driveways. These are the moments that make some of the best tween summer memories.
*Include responsibilities and hold them accountable. Once kids hit a certain level of maturity they should be able to manage their own chores but that doesn’t mean we stop inspecting! Free time is earned.
*Plan for days at home and days with outings. When you venture out for activities try to keep the time consistent and have it factored into your routine so you things fall into replace when you come back home.
*Consider YOURSELF just as much as you consider your kids. This is so important. Do not plan a day that is so kid centered you are burnt out and resentful the first week. Plan a day that will allow you to enjoy your kids. If you know you need quiet time- plan for it. If you need a daily walk outside- schedule it in. You matter just as much.
*Stick to a bedtime. I know, I know… that’s one of the biggest perks of summer break. Maybe choose a bedtime that is a little later than the school year but remember you are with your kids ALL day. The quiet time after bedtime is crucial for you to decompress and spend some time with your spouse. Your bigger kids don’t necessarily have to go to sleep at bedtime- we use that as their video game time in their room.
Here is a little peek at our summer block schedule. I hope it gives you ideas or inspiration to create a plan for summer that works for your own family. Do you schedule your summer? Leave a comment if you have ideas to share!