Summer is supposed to be a time to relax. And to spend some time with your kids while they are out of school. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still need to get stuff done! A mom’s to-do list is neverending. And if you’re like most moms, there are probably some projects you’ve been putting off in hopes of having time to do them during summer. But you may find your summer schedule is jam-packed. And while you want to be productive, you also want to have fun with your kids! Check out these tips for how to be productive and still have fun with your kids this summer.
5 Tips to be Productive and Still Have Fun this Summer
1. Decide on Your Priorities
The start of summer is a great time review your priorities for the coming season. Make a list of the things you need to get done. Then the things you want to get done. And plan accordingly. As a parent with your kids at home more, you may have to put some things off until school resumes or you’re in a less busy season.
If you’re a working parent, work is an obvious priority. And of course, you want to spend time with your kids. Re-organizing closets, cleaning out the garage or planting a garden like you were hoping to may have to wait until a different time if your summer schedule is already filling up.
2. Create a Schedule
One of the best ways to be productive during the summer and still have time for fun with your kids is to create a schedule. With the right schedule, your kids will know what to expect in terms of family time and when they need to play independently, do chores, or take a nap depending on their age.
To maximize your productivity consider getting up before your kids. This can be challenging if your kids are early risers but for some parents, it’s the only time to get anything done without a toddler hanging off your leg, a baby on your hip, or a child asking for a snack every five minutes. Take advantage of it.
Create blocks in your schedule for meals, rest times, chores, crafts, and independent play. Make sure you schedule time for the things you need to get done during the day. Whether it’s with your kids napping, helping you do chores, or watching an hour of cartoons so you can work.
3. Involve Your Kids in Projects
Having fun with your kids this summer doesn’t have to be all about epic trips or big outings. It can also be involving them in activities with you around the house. Make a game out of cleaning. Or teach your kids to cook while you make dinner. Let them dig in the dirt while you work in the yard. Allow them to participate in the things you need to get done.
Even folding laundry together can be a great chance to chat with a school age child.
And if you’re working from home on a computer, give your kids something to do next to you. Can they play office with paper and envelopes? Or draw pictures at a little desk beside yours? Be creative and you can find ways to accomplish what you need and still spend time with your kids.
4. Focus on One Thing at a Time
A great thing about creating a schedule is that you can focus on one thing at a time. At least as much as any parent with kids around can. Doing chores with your kids is wonderful, but probably not exactly what you or they had in mind for summer fun.
The key to being productive and having fun is to focus on one thing at a time. When you’re working, whether it’s with kids beside you or not, then focus on work. At least as much as you can. Let your kids know that you need to work with minimal interruptions so that you can all go have fun after the work is done.
Then when you’re with your kids playing and having fun, just do that. Ignore your phone, don’t answer email, or check Facebook. Give your kids your full attention when you can. They will have an easier time giving you the time you need for work or chores when they know they will have your full attention afterward.
5. Keep it Simple
Summer fun with your kids can be simple. Take your kids to the ice cream parlor or the park. Plan a hike on a nearby trail or have a water balloon fight in your backyard. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make every day of summer like a trip to Disney World.
You’ll be able to have a more productive summer and enjoy your time with kids more if you allow yourself to keep things simple. There is plenty of summer fun to be had in simple and inexpensive outings as a family. Build it into your schedule and enjoy the season!