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Summer Routines: Tips and Tricks

Check out these tips and tricks to help keep you and your child organized and productive this summer, while still having fun!

summer routine

Does this sound familiar? Summer starts off great, but by mid-June, the house always seems to be a mess; the kids are forgetting what they learned in school; and boredom is beginning to set in. Summer break is often full of vacation, adventures, and weekend barbecues, but day to day can be a bit challenging. This summer why not beat the boredom by following a summer routine?

We know that every family spends their summer a bit differently, but almost everyone can use some of these tips and tricks to create a routine that works.


Leave a List

Have your children start each morning off with a to-do list customized for them. This allows you to assign appropriate chores for each child, such as “take out the trash” or “clean up the living room.” You can also rotate tasks between children so that no one has to do the same chore every day. Don’t forget to add fun to-do tasks like, “read for 20 minutes,” “complete a Summer Solutions lesson,” or “play outside for one hour” to keep kids from dreading their daily lists. You may also involve your children in choosing which tasks to add to their lists. You may find your child would rather help weed the garden than take out the trash. These lists may be particularly useful if your children are cared for in your home by a sitter during the summer.


Chores for Hire Chart

Looking for a way to encourage your kids to keep their room clean or help around the house? Try creating a chore for hire chart. Assign a value to each chore or task that needs to be completed, and have your children pick their tasks each morning. These tasks may be worth minutes of screen time, allowance money, or points that add up to other rewards, like a trip to the movies or to the community pool. This method also allows you to impose consequences when your children do not follow directions or rules by taking away some of the rewards.


Plan the Week, Not the Day

Assign a task or activity to each weekday. For example: “Make it Monday” could be the day you and your children complete crafts while “Bookworm Wednesday” could be the day you visit your local library. “Swimming Saturday” could be the day of your children’s swim lesson. This structure lets them know what the task for the day is and will help you plan your family’s week.


Morning Routines, but Free Afternoons

One method of allowing children some freedom during the summer while maintaining structure is to follow a morning routine, but leave your afternoons free. For example: you could set a schedule of when to wake up, when to eat breakfast, when to complete their Summer Solutions lessons, and when to do their daily chores. After lunch, they would be free to go for a walk to the park or spend a rainy day at the movies and still feel that necessary daily tasks have been taken care of.


Cool Car Rides

If your children spend their summer involved in day camps, sport practices, dance classes, or any activity that requires you to spend a great deal of time in the car, you may already be locked into a routine. Why not develop a plan to make your travel time engaging and fun? You could pack a book bag full of quick reads or short stories to keep them engaged and learning on-the-go. You can even listen to audio-books or kid-friendly podcasts if your children can not yet read without help, or feel car sick when reading on the move. You can also have them play bingo with road signs, restaurants, makes of cars, or license plates. This way, you feel that time spent in the car is just as productive as time spent out of the car.

About the author

Staff Writer

Simple Solutions staff writers are teachers, former teachers, parents, and others who have experienced the power of the Simple Solutions Approach and are passionate about applying retrieval practice, spaced learning, and interleaving to a wide range of topics for elementary school students.

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