It happens every year. School lets out, the kids come home, and summer is upon us. Whatever summer has on tap for you, it is always good to get organized for the warmer months ahead. We all have visions for that fun and relaxing summer, but where do you even begin? Here are a few tips to kick off your most organized summer yet.
Create a Summer Calendar
A summer calendar is a great place to get started. You can get creative and decorate a great big paper calendar, post a white board where everyone can see it, or even use an electronic/online calendar. Whatever way you choose, setting up a calendar will keep surprises to a minimum. Start by putting in dates of camps, vacations, or other pre-scheduled summer events. Once you have added all your events you will have a picture of your summer free time.
Make a Summer Wish List
Making a list of fun things to do is a great way to have ideas at your fingertips when you have zero energy to think about something to do. This is also something I recommend to clients when they are feeling burnt out or overworked. The hardest time to gather a coherent thought is when you are knee deep in frustration…the hardest time to find something to do is when you are knee deep in trying to decide what to do. Start a list of activities. Include things that are free, things that cost money, things that can be done at home, and things that can be done at the last minute. The goal is to have a list that encompasses a magnitude of situations. Then when the time is right, pull out the list and check something off. You can find some inspiration by searching “summer bucket list” on Pinterest.
Have a Daily Schedule
Having some structure will not only benefit you, but your family will appreciate it as well. Setting up a daily schedule takes the guesswork out of what the day is going to look like. If you are working from home it will also help you to be more productive.
If you have to start work at a certain time, get everyone up and dressed before you start, this will prevent the early morning interruptions while you are trying to navigate your work day. Scheduling breaks and lunch are also effective tools if you are working and parenting at the same time! You can look forward to taking a break, and the kids know they will have your attention while having lunch together.
Create a Reading List
Put together a reading list of age appropriate books. This may even be something that your school or local library may offer. If you don’t have this option you can start a summer reading group with some school or neighborhood friends. If you are still laying low and sticking close to home, it’s a great option that can be done virtually. Another idea is to do a reading challenge and add some healthy competition. A post in a Facebook group or on a neighborhood app like Nextdoor may even give you an opportunity to meet some new friends.
Gather Craft/Activity Ideas
I am sure you can agree that the screen time battle will never be over. The only thing we can do is try to come up with ideas to keep them busy that don’t involve screens. Head on over to Pinterest, or do a quick online search for some craft ideas. Make a list, and gather materials if you don’t have them already. You may be surprised at what you can find already laying around the house.
Being active is great for the whole family, so have some fun with it. Set up a fitness challenge, make an obstacle course in your yard…or family room if you have little littles. If your kids are a little older you can have them come up with the challenge then you can take a few minutes away from your schedule (or work day) to go be active with them.
Oh, and if you are looking for a craft project, you can use your summer wish list as inspiration. There are tons of craft ideas for Summer Bucket Lists on Pinterest. Here is a link to one to get you started.
Don’t Forget the Chores
With all of us spending more time at home these days it is important that everyone understands their responsibilities to the home. Assigning chores is one way to do this. Make a list of chores that need to be done every day, and then add in chores that need to be done on certain days. Use a white board or make a craft project out of your chore list to make it more interactive. You can also go the old school route and leave a list on the counter each day so they can check off what they have gotten done. There is also the “new school” way that we use…send them a text with their chores for the day.
Most of all, summer is a great time to reconnect with your family…and chill out together. It’s always fun to visit a new park, or search up a new hiking trail, but if you just need a break, find a friend or neighbor that you can trade off with. This will give you and your friend a little free time. Regardless of what options you choose, a little planning right now can really offer a huge payout while you are counting the days until school starts again.
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