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Summer Schedule for Kids

When it comes to summer, one of the things many parents struggle with is coming up with a summer schedule for kids.  While we of course, want to give our kids a bit of a break during the summer, we don’t want them to sit and do nohting either.

Here is our helpful guide to come up with the best summer scedule for kids.  We’ll cover everything you need to create your prefect schedule, and even give you a sample scheudle and some ideas on fun summertime activities.

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How do I make a summer routine?  Creating a Summer Schedule 

Let’s start with the tablestakes, the basics of what our kids need to do during the summer.  In many cases, this may not differ from what they do during the school year.

The summer is also a great time to make changes to your kids’ routine, while they don’t have the added stress of going to school.

Having a summer schedule for kids can help maintain order and cleanliness, as well as making the transition to a more strict routine in the fall easier on everyone.  But if your kids are anything like mine, getting them to stick to a routine in the summer can be challenging. 

I’ve found that by providing a daily list of tasks for them to complete each day that they can easily check off gets the day off to a good start.

What Should You Include On Your Summer Schedule For Kids?

The summer schedule for kids you create will likely be longer or shorter depending on their ages and abilities.  The list of things that need to be done each day by your kids can include each of the following:

  • Make bed
  • Get dressed
  • Put away pajamas
  • Breakfast
  • Brush Teeth
  • Fix hair
  • Chores
  • 20 Minutes of summer reading
  • Writing
  • Games and puzzles
  • Workbook
  • Summer Work
  • Service
  • Family time
  • Help prepare meals
  • Wind down time before bed
  • Fun activities

I’ve found that if I have my kids do their basic daily tasks earlier in the day, they are much more willing to get them done.  The longer we go, the harder it is because they start playing with toys or games or wanting to go outside with friends and pulling them back from that is not easy or fun.

Fun Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Do Their Daily Summer Tasks

Make it a game

 For example, if the blocks need to be put away, toss them into the bin or box and have them keep score.  Pretend to be robots, pirates, cats, etc as you clean up.

Turn it into a treasure hunt

Draw a treasure map on a piece of paper with different tasks they have to complete along the way.  When they get to the end, they get a prize! (a popsicle, gum, extra screen time, etc)

Play their favorite music in the background

More than one kid?  Alternate who picks the songs.

Turn on a timer

See how much you can get done in a certain amount of time.

Use a stopwatch

See how fast they can get a specific task done.  You can even get everyone their own for the ultimate competition!

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If you want to use printed daily schedules (keep reading for our free printable and template!), you can simply put it in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker to mark it off and tweak it,

You can customize it based on your kid’s current interests (unicorns, Legos, pirates, etc) to make it more appealing.

If you want to take it a step further, you could do some type of reward system using stickers on a chart, pompoms in a jar or money.  Each day they complete all their tasks earns them a token they can ultimately redeem for a small prize. 

This type of reward system is best suited for younger children.  Older kids should really be doing these tasks without having to be reminded through a daily chart.

Creating a Summer Schedule, Time for Fun and Family! 

Beyond the basic tasks that need to be done daily in the summer, there are many other things oppurtunities to take advantage of!  The key is making sure everyone is on the same page.  Here are some helpful tips for continuing to creat your summer schedule.

Talk about your summer schedule

Open a dialogue for ideas on creative ways to create a summer daily schedule. Brainstorm as a family the things you want to accomplish during the summer as a whole. Do you have travel plans? Are there things you want to get done around the house and want the kids help with it? Once the big ideas are on the table, the smaller/daily tasks won’t be so hard to map out.

Decide what needs to get done during the summer

Top priority on the daily schedule should be items that have to get done – chores, summer reading, etc. Be sure to get your children’s input on this, especially on time of day they are going to be doing these things.

For example, certain chores like walking the dog are better done in the morning. But also, they may prefer to have time outside in the morning before the sun gets too hot as well. Finding a balance between work and play is going to be the key to success when scheduling out summer days.

Be Flexible with your summer schedule

I know schedules and routines are importnat, believe me, they are in our house, but if there is ever a time to throw that all away for a day, it is during the summer.

Another way to create your summer schedule going is to do it day by day. Use a dry erase board and sit down with each child the night before to decide what activities they will be doing the following day.

If you will not be the one caring for your kids because of work, encourage their care provider to do this with them. Or at least ask for their input! Anyone that will be spending a lengthy amount of time with your family during the summer should always be involved in the daily schedule creation process.

Ultimately though, the parent/caregiver should be the one steering the schedule based on the ideas of the crowd. 

One way to keep everyone involved is to use a dry erase board, or a fun chalk board to write out the daily schedule.

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If friend invites you all over for a spur of the moment pool party or the family decides to go get ice cream before dinner, allow some flexibility for such occasions.

Learning through the summer

Implementing and maintaining a daily routine during the summer will make the transition back to school easier. Setting goals throughout the summer that are achievable, will likely give your child a more fulfilling summer all around.

The hope with this project is that your child will carry over a daily schedule into the school year. Also, having a visual for what is coming up for the day allows children to mentally prepare for what lays ahead. This will make for a better day for not only your child, but you as well. 

Summer is coming and with it, the end of homework and projects and after-school programs.  Hooray!  But it also means that you and your family will probably have less of a set routine. Your kids might be okay with this plan.

However, having a daily schedule for kids in place during the summer will make it easier to plan other activities and (hopefully) ease into the routine of school more easily when fall comes around.

Be clear about and set expectations

One of the best things you can do as the school year comes to a close is sit down with your kids and talk about your plans for the summer.  This might include the obvious events, like vacations, summer camps, swimming lessons and holiday activities. 

But don’t forget to also talk about what the everyday expectations are in regards to chores, screen time and service, for example.  This may take a little bit of planning on your part, especially if you don’t already have a system in place, but by telling your kids what is expected of them, it will help each day go by a little more smoothly. 

What can I do with my kids all summer? Map out summer activities at the beginning of the summer

For the last few years, my family and I have made a bucket list of things we want to do during the summer.  Some of them are event specific, like parades or vacations, while others are at-home or local activities that can be done any day, like a lemonade stand or playing in the sprinklers. 

I’ve found that having a list of items I can pull from each day helps keep my kids busy and creates memories.

Looking for some ideas?  Don’t miss our favorite fun family summer activities!

Family Calendars

As our kids get older and get involved in more activities, keeping track of everyone and everything can get overwhelming.  But when we write it down, it takes a little of the stress away. We don’t have to try and remember specific dates and times and locations for each activity or event. 

A family calendar is a great way to manage all of this information.  Here’s an awesome dry erase wall calendar you can use over and over again.  You can even us a different color for each family member!

X Large Dry Erase Wall Calendar - 24

This makes it super easy to see at a glance what you’ve committed to and where you have time to add other activities.

A Sample Daily Summer Schedule for Kids {With Free Printable}

Now that we’ve talked about a daily summer schedule, and how to come up with one, we know that every family’s schedule during the summer will be different.

Here is an example of what a basic summer routine might look like:


Get Dressed

Brush Teeth

(Chores) *depending on if we have time-specific commitments in the AM

Morning Activity (go for a walk, swimming, bucket list item, etc)


(Chores) *complete chores if not done in the morning

Quiet time (reading, puzzles, summer work, etc)

Afternoon Activity (playdate, make a treat, etc)

Clean up for dinner


Family time

Wind down before bed

This is just a rough outline of what a day can look like, so feel free to tweak it to suit your needs.

Want our free printbale to help you get started?  We’ve created an outline based on what we just looked at, and left the times blank so you can create your perfect summer schedule!  There’s also a blank template included!

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If you have a teen that you think this just won’t work for, because, well, teenagers, don’t miss our favorite summer activities for teens to keep them busy

Summertime is an adjustment for everyone.  When you have a plan and set routine, you’ll be able to enjoy your summer more fully.  You’ll be able to fit in what you want to do more easily.

Let’s recap what we’ve talked about

  • Decide on what daily tasks need to be done each and every day
  • Map out some ideas for summer activities, excursions, and lessons at the beginning of the year.
  • Consider using our printable as a guide, a family calendar, or a dry erase board for each child to create the perfect summer schedule

Allowing children plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy their time away from school is vital, yet, so is keeping them productive and responsible. One way to allow kids to have free range to have fun, but also keep them on track is to create a summer daily schedule.

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