How to Plan the Best Summer Ever

Plan the best summer ever with these easy tips and a printable summer activity planner!

Summer with kids. Open your newsfeed and you'll see advice on how to give your kids a 1970's kind of summer followed by warnings to prevent the summer learning slide. Ways to prevent boredom followed by a meme that says "let the kids get bored." What is a well intentioned mom to do?

I'm all about enjoying the summer - taking advantage of gorgeous weather, flip flops, and everything the season has to offer. And I'm a firm believer that like most things in life, the secret to making the best of summer is finding your own balance. Somewhere between locking your kids outside to play all day (the 1970s summer approach) and scheduling activities for everyone to enjoy, you can create your own version of the perfect summer.  And I've got a few tips and a really helpful tool to get you started.

How are you spending your summer with kids? Get the right balance between laid back and activity packed with these easy summer planning tips - includes a printable summer activity planner too!

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Make a Summer Bucket List

The first step to planning your version of the perfect summer is to make a summer bucket list. Get together with your kids and brainstorm everything that you'd like to do this summer. This will give you a good idea of where your priorities lie - is your list full of travel and adventures? Or simple pleasures at home? Or hopefully a good mix of both. Once your bucket list is complete, you'll be ready to start planning out these activities.

Need a little inspiration? I love this classic summer bucket list from my friend Julie at My Mundane & Miraculous Life.

Create a Routine

Kids thrive on routine, and summer throws their days all out of whack. I'm not suggesting that you have a totally structured day, but decide on a few simple ground rules that will help give your days some shape. Consider things like when you will allow screen time (this "No Screen Time Until..." printable from Your Modern Family is a great starting point), what chores need to be done each day, and your plan for summer reading time. Having a basic routine will help your days fall into place and let your kids know what's expected of them - but don't be afraid to blow off the routine now and then for special days.

Plan Some Surprises

Summer is a pretty magical time to be a kid. Make sure that you've planned in a few surprises along the way - an unexpected trip to the beach, a surprise stop for ice cream, or a special day alone with mom or dad - these little treats will make summer extra special for your kids and will become lifetime memories of a great summer.

Schedule Down Time

If your summer bucket list is packed full of activities and adventures, it is easy to get over scheduled trying to get everything in. Take a cue from the 1970s summer idea and make sure that you have at least one day every week with nothing planned. Relish the freedom of not having anywhere to go and just enjoy the day. We usually spend our free days in the backyard just having fun - check out our backyard rules printable for inspiration.

Get Organized with a Summer Activity Planner

Now that you've got a game plan for your perfect summer how do you actually make it happen? This year I'm using a summer activity planner to make sure I'm staying organized and not missing a thing! 

This printable organizer has everything that you need to help make sure you are planning your perfect summer. With 12 total pages, you'll find:

  • Summer Bucket List - the first step to planning your summer.
  • Summer Reading List - track your summer reading progress or keep a running list for the library!
  • Weekly Planning Pages - with spaces for daily chores, daily fun, and family fun night ideas, you'll be able to map our your routine for each day, one week at a time. Don't forget to schedule in that down time too!
  • Daily To Do List - let the kids help decide what they'd like to do each day, with spaces for their top 3 must dos, maybes, and ultimate ideas.
  • Monthly Calendar - keep track of the month at a glance so you don't miss important events like birthday parties, vacation days, sports games, and more!
  • Summer Fun Coupon Book - use these as rewards or for your special summer surprises.


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