It’s summer, but we were already all home long before summer came.  So now, what?  How do we keep our kids busy while we’re still trying to work and stay sane?  I’m a big fan of schedules, so that’s what I’ll promote here.  Scheduling might be hard to initiate, and sure there needs to be flexibility, but having an outline helps a family know what to do, and enables them to have time and allowance to do it.  So fun!

Daily Do’s – Hang a daily schedule on the fridge for kids to follow, with words for those that can read, and pictures for the littles.  It helps keep you from having to verbally bark orders all day! It might look as simple as this:

Morning: brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, eat breakfast, feed the dog, clean room

Afternoon: quiet time of reading, play a game with sibling, exercise

Evening:  Pick up any toys, shoes and clothes and take to rooms.  Shower, brush teeth, say prayers, give thanks.

Outings on Weekdays – It might be fun to hang a list on the fridge of possible daily outings with the kids so that they don’t go stir crazy.  Hopefully, we are getting out more and things are opening up…just a bit!  It might be fun to pick one for each day of the week, to look forward to! Here are some options for weekdays:

  • Sunset scavenger hunt walks (you can make your own or print out from computer)

  • Little libraries around town (these are in yards, and you can leave a book and take a book!)

  • Early morning sketches (take pads and pencils and draw trees and nature)

  • Fast Food lunch (a once a week treat!)

  • Water works (sprinklers in the yard, water parks if open, pools or streams or ponds)

Weekends with the Fam – This is time to carve out for family fun for sure, even if vacation isn’t possible or feasible right now.  There are family outings to make happen on the weekend, that are something all can look forward to starting on Monday!  Check these out:

  • Breakfast and Bicycle rides – Load them up, head for parks and trails, and ride (early before it’s too hot!)

  • Drive in movies – If your town has one, go.  If not, set up one in your own backyard! Add popcorn!

  • Another town – Check out what’s open in a nearby town (within an hour), pack snacks, and take the kids.  Visit that town’s park, stream, or fast food joint – just for something different.

  • Evening singalongs – Bring out the instruments, play the music, dance and sing…then sit down and snack!

  • Picnics – outside or inside, depending on what suits your fancy.  Spread a blanket, let the kids help with the menu, include a game, and make it happen.

Projects – These might include ways for the kids to give back and bless others, always a good thing:

  • Make cards and send them to the elderly you know.

  • Paint rocks and leave one on the doorstep of neighbors as a gift.

  • Draw pictures and sign them, deliver to other kids you haven’t seen in a while, with a treat attached.

  • Bake cookies and decorate them (why wait until Christmas?)

  • Collect boxes, tape them together with duct tape, and decorate them all with scrap fabric and wood and plastic bottle caps, etc.

  • Rearrange and organize one drawer in your bathroom, or an area in your closet, and be creative!

Writing down ideas, putting them in little squares on a calendar, hanging up schedules for kids to see, planning and dreaming and being creative – it all helps create order and fun and pleasure at home for YOU and THEM.


Summer Sanity
by Marcy Lytle

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