I don’t know about you, but I always approach the summer months with excitement mixed with some nervousness. I alternate between both loving and fearing the freedom and lack of routine in our home (since the kids are out of school!)
Honestly, there are moments where I’m not sure my patience will survive an unstructured summer of being with all four of my kiddos 24/7. That I’ll turn into grumpy mom again and forget how to be fun and loving and encouraging.
I’m a work-at-home mom too, so that adds another component to our summer days! How am I going to manage everything and do it well?
Do you have feelings like this, as the last day of the school year approaches?
A little planning can go a long way in helping us have a more purposeful summer with our kids!
It’s such a huge privilege to have extra time with our children during the summer, so I want us all to take advantage of that opportunity and enjoy it :)
Here are five practical ideas for planning for the best summer for your family, based on what I do each year.
I want you to be able to stress less so you can have an intentional, enjoyable time with your children while they’re with you during the day for these summer months!
How to Plan a Great Summer for Your Family
1. Choose a Summer Planner
There are tons of printed and bound planners you can buy online.
I actually prefer using printable planners because I like the grace to re-print and start over if I make plans and they need to shift and change.
I’ve created a printable summer planner called the Purposeful Family Summer Planner for that purpose. I’ll talk more about that later in the post.
Whatever you choose, make sure you have something to use that will allow you to write down and follow through on your goals, organize your family’s schedule and be able to personally keep your own routine as well. Having things written down in front of us is a great way to help us remember all of the things that are easy to forget when we have our children at home throughout the summer days.
2. Get your Whole Family on Board
I used to think I could just set goals and plans myself for our whole family and everyone would just fall in line. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that not only did my kids have opinions about what they wanted to do over the summer, but I’d get frustrated with my my husband for “derailing” certain plans, but I hadn’t made him aware of what those plans were.
So it’s important in this process to actually sit down with all of your family members (if your kids are old enough to make suggestions) and ask them what goals, ideas and fun activities they have in mind for the summer months.
Make a master list of all the great ideas and then you can break it down into what can actually happen with the time you have during summer vacation.
3. Make a Plan of Action
Using whatever planner you’ve chosen, write down the following on your summer calendar :
- Important dates that are for non-negotiable events (summer camps , road trips, etc)
- Goals for you and your family, breaking them down into increments so you can make progress toward these goals. Let’s say your goal is to read one chapter book each week. Write down which book you’ll read each week and then make sure you set aside an amount of time to read each day of the week.
- Daily activities that will be part of your normal routine when you’re home
- Activity ideas that you want to complete throughout the summer (you can use a monthly calendar to pick specific days or just them all on a summer bucket list)
- Personal growth goals for yourself, breaking them down into manageable steps.
- Personal growth goals for your kids – maybe it’s completing daily chores or learning a life skill.
4. Follow Through on Your Plans
This is really where I can get hung up. Part of it is just an organization problem on my part: not planning far enough ahead or getting distracted by feeling like I need to take care of “urgent” things and then getting sidetracked.
However, over the past three years, I have worked diligently to write down everything in our summer plans, down to the little details. This helps me to stay on track and has truly allowed me to actually accomplish many of the personal goals I’ve set. Using our planner has also helped me encourage my children to work toward developing better habits and achieving their own goals while still having plenty of time for summer fun!
Please remember: It’s perfectly fine to have lazy days where you don’t have any plans. Being spontaneous can keep those of us who are Type-A moms from feeling overwhelmed and like we have to make detailed plans for every moment of every day.
This is simply an encouragement for moms who are easily distracted or struggle with follow-through like I do. Using good tools, like a planner suited to your needs, makes it possible to complete many of your plans!
Remember to give yourself grace throughout the summer. Things don’t always go as planned and that is ok!
5. Make Time for Fun
You only have eighteen summers with your children at home: make the most of this time!
One of the best ways to make sure you’re not *too* focused on goals and lacking on fun is to actually make yourself a list of new or favorite activities you’d like to do on summer break with your kids.
You could do it in a fun way, like writing ideas on popsicle sticks and putting them in a jar. Or you can simply print a free summer bucket list, write down a list of activities, and just cross each activity off once completed.
Fun Summer Activities
- Visit a local park (and go to different parks each week!)
- Go and get ice cream from a restaurant you’ve never been to
- Do a summer scavenger hunt at a nature park
- Check out the outdoor concerts in your area
- Go to a fruit farm and pick strawberries
- Have a water balloon fight with some friends
- Visit a splash pad or new pool
- Make a summer reading list and read together
- Try a new recipe and make some special treats to share
Check out our full list of 101 Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids!
Purposeful Family Printable Summer Planner
I mentioned the printable summer planner for families that I use earlier in this post: the Purposeful Family Summer Planner.
I designed this printable resource specifically for moms who are at home with their kids during the summer. (That’s my experience as a work-at-home mom, so I can only speak to that).
Not only will it help you set and achieve goals, organize your time, plan road trips, and make a schedule that works, it also lays out a plan for a strong Bible study life for your family as well as a guide to making a “family strategy” for the summer, so you can all discuss your priorities and make plans together.
I really believe that creating a “whole family” plan and not just individual plans for each person will help your summer goals, strategies and ideas to actually be accomplished, because they are a cooperative effort!
Plus, I’ve created a video for you along with the planner explaining how to create a whole family plan for your summer!
This summer, I want you to be ready with a plan, feel calmer and more organized, and enjoy making lots of fun memories with your kids!
Want to see what’s inside the Purposeful Family Summer Planner?
Click the button below to get ALL the details and get your copy for a special price!
This planner is for personal use only. Thank you for respecting my work! This post may contain affiliate links.