a basketful of lavendar to symbolize how prepared a mom is when summer planning

A Mom’s Summer Planning

It’s a crazy time of year right now. Before this stage of motherhood, I never considered spring as a crazy time of year. Preparing to garden? Yes. Having more time to journal? Yes. Preparing for summer traveling? Yes. Scrambling to figure out what to do with kids during the summer while juggling end of school year activities? No, that was not on my agenda before, but now it is. Summer planning is quite different when you have school-aged kids.


Summertime as a Young Mom

Summer can be one of the most opportune times of the year. Searching Pinterest for “summer planning kids” you’ll get a boatload of fun ideas for summer! But how about mom?

When the kids are little the transition between the school year and summertime is almost zilch. It is easy for a mom to take the kids to the park during the summer, spring, fall, and sometimes even in the winter. And the act of figuring out things to do with kids comes all year long. There just isn’t a big transition and I guess that’s a good thing because a mom with little ones doesn’t need any extra chaos in the mix. 

When my kids were little we would go all the time, as much as possible, to the park and to the library. The only difference with summer was that we could spend a lot more time outdoors. Doing things like the splash park, hiking or going to the beach could not be included. 

What to do with Kids Home during the Day

So what do you do with kids at home during the day? Well, I do have some ideas because we used to homeschool. As a homeschooling family, even school-aged kids would be home all day, every day. There were times when I felt like this was an overwhelming situation. But for the most part, it was nice having my kids with me.

One thing that I could never understand is how moms could be so stressed out that summer was coming. And they would have to figure out what to do with their kids all day. I knew what to do with my kids all day because they were always with me for several, several years. 

And what I felt like was the best thing to do with kids during the summer is to take them out outside – to put them outside! Because when you have young kids you need some amount of space from their energy and questions and they need a place to expend their energy! 

  1. Outside in the Summertime

Kids need to be one with nature – I mean, they are wild! They need to explore, dig, and feel the earth. Outside they can observe the ants, like the Bible says, and learn their ways. Not that you send the kids outside and never engage with them. It is a great idea for moms to go outside regularly, too. 

Going out gives your kids a good example, plus you will get more oxygen for clearer thinking and a more relaxed demeanor towards your kids. 

So go outside and play with your kids. Have that child-like heart and free spirit sometimes. The everyday laundry and dishes will always be there. Or you can take the laundry outside, it can be very delightful actually. 

When my kids were very young I used to take my laundry outside and fold the clothes. If you are very daring, you can have a laundry line outside and hang your laundry. The wind blowing through the shirts and blankets while your kids are playing will give you such wonderful memories. 

2. Encourage Exploration & Imagination

A second idea for your summer planning with kids (this works all year round) is to give them space to explore. And by space I mean time. Time in their schedule, time in their day, where they can be away from each other and even from you (if old enough to be unmonitored, of course). They can use that time wisely to explore intellectual and creative activities. Many moms called this quiet time. 

During the afternoon is a great time for kids to take a break from each other. Perhaps in their own rooms or maybe all together in the living room, but just quietly reading a book, writing a letter, doing a craft, doing a science experiment or puzzle. For you, when the kids are quietly engaged, you can use this time to relax, read your own book, work on your side business, or on dinner. Yes, work on dinner at two or three o’clock in the afternoon. 

beautiful lavendar summer planning

So How Do You Plan for Summer?

Now the concern with Summer is that the kids who have for the last 9 months been away during the day, will be home with you for those extra six to eight hours every single day. The kids may not be so joyous for lots of free time (especially after the first week). They are used to constant engagement and noise, then it’s just you and a few siblings.  You definitely will need a plan for them but also for you, so you don’t go stir-crazy.

Planning for summer can be a little bit of a drudgery. But I will admit that I do love planning so much, you guys know that. The most fun part for me, with planning for summer, is thinking about the delightful activities that will cause wonderful memories for my children. 

Again, being a previous homeschool mom, also makes me think of ways my kids can grow and mature in their skills, their personalities, and their abilities. 

Summer learning activities.

Write down ways your kids can explore new skills that they can take into life. Include daily responsibilities in your plans, like chores and chore charts, and opportunities for kids to learn how to cook and clean better.  Basically, anything they will need to take care of themselves, their personal space, and communal spaces within the home. 

Summer bucket list.

There are so many fun summer activities!  And, especially if your kids are in school, you want to take advantage of it during the summer because you cannot do it during other times of the year. So let’s take advantage of that time and create a bucket list of things the kids can do and engage in. 

Summer calendar with daily themes

I also like to include other fun things like having a weekly movie (if you do this you will probably want to have a movie list). During covid, I also started having a park list, or I like to call them park adventures.  We could explore different parks, not just the usual ones where we meet up with friends. Visiting state parks, national parks, and historic parks or sites would be a fabulous way to spend your summer.  

In addition to all of this, I highly recommend that you have some type of routine or schedule for your days. 

What will you do in the mornings? 

What will you do during the afternoons? 

And how would you like to spend your evenings? 

These are all very important questions so that your days are not every single day the same and

so that your days are not wasted just puttering around the house and the kids arguing and getting bored.  Have at least some idea for how you will spend the week in general. For many years for my family, it has been helpful to have theme days during the summer so that we are doing a certain type of activity on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so forth.

Your Printable Summer Prep Kit 

Let me show you how I set up the summer activity planner or summer prep kit that I wanted to put together for you guys while I was doing my own summer plan. 

The 18-page summer prep kit includes 

  • Summer Weekly and Daily schedules
  • Lots of Summer Activity Lists:
    • summer crafts
    • theme day ideas
    • bucket list ideas (more than 30 ideas!)
    • and a (what if I’m) bored list (again over 30 ideas!)
  • Chores for Girls and Chores for Boys
  • Screentime Agreement
  • Work from Home Mom Schedule
  • and more!

I included everything you need so you don’t have to go searching Pinterest for ideas to fill your printables.

More Summer Planning Ideas!

  • Summer camps
  • Summer family rules
  • Crafts
  • Have family meetings
  • Family cookout
  • Neighborhood cookout
  • Farmer’s market
  • Garage Sale (have one or go to some)
  • Stargazing
  • Make homemade ice cream

My Plans This Summer

This summer I am really hoping that we will get an opportunity to go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as visit several parks from our park adventures booklet. I think I will also create a park adventures printable so that you can go on your own adventures during the summer with your kids.

Don’t forget to get your mega Summer Prep Kit so you can get started today in preparing your family for the next season coming up.

Down below tell me about your summer plans!

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  1. I’ve been lax in planning for our summer activities so this article has given me some ideas. I also hope to take the kids to a few outdoor sculpture gardens within an hours drive from us. Hoping this will give them a fun art experience in a park setting. I am sure we will do our usual weekly beach excursions also.

    1. wow! weekly? we love the beach but I’m not sure if I’d like to go there weekly. So glad you stopped by and got some motivation.

  2. Having plans mapped out for the summer is a fantastic idea! It takes the guesswork out of what to do each day and keeps the kiddos from getting bored. I love the idea of your summer prep kit too! Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy summer!

  3. We are preparing to start a new homeschooling journey/program. this summer we are diving into it early. We also love the beach, so lots of that.

  4. Great tips for having a great summer! Plan on hitting the beach soon. And catching up on some reading. Maybe a short road trip or two.