Summer with Kids: A Parent's Guide to Thriving, Not Just Surviving

parenting routines summer May 22, 2024

With beautiful weather becoming the norm for most of the world, families are getting ready to embrace summer fully, mine included!  Lately, we have been staying outside most weekends, picking up the yard and getting everything ready to enjoy our summer together because it's only a few weeks away.

But let's be honest: prepping for summer takes a lot of work.

When you have kids, it means signing everyone up for camp, purchasing swimsuits, shorts, shirts, shoes, and sandals, and having a game plan for which parent is on duty when both parents have to work. After several years, our family finally feels like we have it down. But that wasn't always the case.

When my husband and I started working from home, I clearly remember us looking at each other at the start of summer and saying, "How are we going to do this?"

How were we going to watch four kids and work full time and support each other and make it through the summer?

Well, spoiler alert: we did it.

We did it without consistent help from extended family, too! Were they available when we needed a break? Sure! But we were able to figure it out on our own and now I want to share some tips with you! 

Say hello to the Summer Survival Bundle: all the tips for surviving the summer, and being awake to it.

The reason I'm so passionate about this bundle is because it's not just about getting to the end of summer and feeling like it flew by. Most of us don't want to head back to school without our intentions being met or being tuned out half the summer because our kids were on screens and it was all we could do to survive (no judgment here!). 

There's a better way!

So we put together a list of our favorite resources, activities, schedules, and PDF printables where you can create your routine. I also have some suggestions for how to make a routine work for your family based on what's worked for us. Every family is unique and you likely won't duplicate exactly what we do. But it'll give you some things to think about so you can figure out how to take some of our family rhythm ideas, implement them, and apply them to your family in a way that works best for you


What's included in the Summer Survival Bundle

You'll get resources on:

  • Travel tips
  • My favorite summer products
  • Printables for routines and schedules
  • Things to do when your kids get overwhelmed or get in conflict
  • How to regulate their emotions when it feels hard
  • Anything you can think of that you might struggle with in the summer!

Don't want to wait until June 1? I'm giving you a sneak peek of some tips right now!


1. Have a Routine

Our very first summer my husband worked from home, he would often take the afternoons and I would take the mornings and then we swapped. One day he came in and reported "It's chaos. Everyone's losing their minds. I have no idea what to do. I've lost all control!"

I asked him "Have you looked at the schedule?"  And he replied, "What do you mean?"

To be fair, this was the first time I had implemented the schedule that summer, and I had been doing it with the kids regularly, but I guess I forgot to tell him!

I showed him our magnetic board with the outlined schedule that was seamless when we followed it. All that to say: have a routine so your kids know the plan!

Kids love routines and they are used to having one thanks to school. It can be overwhelming to look ahead the entire summer without a plan so don't be afraid to set one and be flexible. You don't have to have every single hour planned out. In fact, keep spaces open for free time and rest. 

It's also helpful to have a plan because your kids earn fun activities later in the day by having good behavior. When kids know what's coming, it provides a sense of relief and stability, and it helps them to feel comfortable with what that day is going to look like. Overall, there's a lot less conflict and questions on what the day will look like.


2. Set Goals for the Summer

When it's time to set goals, I ask my kids what they want to learn, what they want to do, and what bucket list items they each have. Then I make sure I incorporate some of them into the summer schedule. I don't assume my ideas are great and everyone will love them (I am just Mom, after all). They have some amazing ideas!

For example, my youngest wants to learn how to do clay modeling this summer and my oldest wants to develop her music talent and a few school subjects. We are intentionally researching to make sure their goals are met through classes or other resources.

We all have different goals, but knowing them has helped me outline what our summer days will look like and gives them something to look forward to! It feels like their special time, and they will walk away from the summer feeling like they learned something.


3. Be Prepared to Pack Up & Go

Have you ever had plans to do something fun, but then the end of the day comes and you're so exhausted you're ready to forget it? It's as if the idea of packing a picnic or grabbing stuff to go to the pool is insurmountable.  

To avoid this happening in the summer, now we have everything ready to go! Our kids know the packing lists for weekend trips, picnics, and visits to the pool. We make sure to plan those outings on the schedule so they are responsible for gathering things like Tupperware, bug spray, snacks, and sunscreen.

We want to always be ready for an adventure, and that means pre-planning so that we can have that free-spirited, spontaneous adventure. 

Are you more excited than ever for the Summer Survival Bundle?

Head here to sign up and get the bundle in your inbox on June 1!




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