How to Create a Summer Schedule for Kids at Home

Creating a summer schedule for kids at home is easy when you use follow this step by step guide.

This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.

"Mom, you know why I like summer?" one of my 6 year old twins asked me the other day. His answer didn't really surprise me.

"It's like every day is Saturday!"

Of course, when you are a kid, the #1 highlight of summer break is that school is out. You can sleep a little later, have more free time, and the weather is perfect for playing outside, going to the pool, or heading out on a family vacation.

But here's the thing: kids thrive on having a routine. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent."

During the rest of the year, kid's routines generally revolve around their school schedule, along with any activities they participate in. But creating a summer schedule for kids can be a little trickier. You need to find the right balance to help your kids enjoy the freedom of summer with the comfort routines can provide.

So where do you even start creating a summer schedule that works for your family?

I've laid out a 5 step plan to help you create your perfect summer schedule, including a brand new toolbox that has everything you need to get it done.

Creating a Summer Schedule for Kids

One quick note before we get started: I'm not going to give you a schedule to follow. In fact, I don't believe that kids should have a set schedule by the hour or even the day. 

What I am going to give you is the tools you need to figure out how to create a routine that works for your family.

Consider this your blueprint for creating the summer schedule that gives your kids the structure they need and the free time they deserve.

Write out a routine, but keep it flexible

When you think about your routine, don't try to schedule out every day to the minute. Think about the important things that need to be done: morning routine, chores, evening routine, summer reading, etc.

Then let your kids brainstorm things that they would like to do each day.

And finally, work together to come up with special summer plans like vacations, day trips, or other fun, out-of-the-ordinary activities.

Using my Summer Activity Planner as a guide will help you work through this process with daily, weekly, and monthly planning pages as well as a summer bucket list!

Remember that you are not writing out a schedule for your kids, but flexible guidelines that will keep them occupied and allow you to accomplish the things you want as well.

Make a List of Essential Household Chores and Assign Them 

Everyone in your family should be responsible for taking care of things that need to be done around the house. If your kids don't already have chores, now is the time to get started. The first step is to create a list of the minimum that you need to do for your home to run smoothly, and assign age appropriate chores to your kids.

If you can’t think of what to put, stick to three main areas: laundry, dishes, cooking. These three things will need to happen each day, so you need to be ready to handle them each day.

Beyond the essentials, you can create a "work for hire" chart to encourage your kids to do bigger jobs around the house. You can use money or the printable coupons in my Summer Activity Planner as rewards.

Create a Flexible Meal Plan

Is it just me, or do your kids eat ALL THE TIME in summer? Unless you want to be serving snacks 24/7, you need to come up with a plan. I'm a big believer in creating an area in your kitchen for self serve, kid friendly snacks and drinks to encourage your kids to be more independent.

When it comes to meals, take advantage of using the crock pot or instant pot to make hands-off meals that won't heat up the whole house. Creating a flexible meal plan can allow people to come and go throughout the day during busy days, or allow yourself the grace to not have to think about what you need to start the next meal.

Get my favorite summer meal planning tips here.

Set Screen Time Limits

When we are spending the summer close to home, it's tempting to let the kids spend all day on screens. But we need to make sure that they are balancing screen time with other fun activities.

Work with your kids to develop a screen time plan for the summer. How that looks is up to you! You may want to set a time limit, or have a list of things kids need to do before they are allowed to use screens.

What matters is that you are clear with your kids on your expectations, whatever they are.

Make Room for Quiet Time

Days at home with kids can be chaotic. Believe me, I have super active twin boys and the noise level in my house can get off the charts! That's why I make sure that we have some quiet time every day.

My kids are far past nap time, but we can still have quiet time each day to help us all decompress and relax. Whether it's reading time, watching a movie together, or playing a board game, quiet time is key to keeping a balance in your summer routine at home.

One of our favorite ways to have quiet time is by journaling, which is why I created a summer journal just for kids! Check it out here.

Get the Tools You Need to Get Started

Creating your perfect summer routine is easy when you have everything you need at your fingertips. That's why I'm so excited about my brand new Summer at Home Bundle.

Love this? Pin it here!

I'd love to hear from you! To get in touch, message me on Facebook or Instagram, or send me an email.