Summer sanity means summer fun

summer vacation plannerI was musing with a friend about the coming of summer vacation. It brings so much excitement and anticipation, yet when it arrives, within one day, moms invariably hear, “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” It happens. I know that very phrase left my own lips at that age– even with the many opportunities I had on our rural property. I missed the structure of the school year. I missed the contact with friends.

I decided this year I would do something a little different for my family. In  previous summers, I left my kids (now old enough to spend time home alone) a to-do list of sorts. I would scribble out chores to complete and activities to enjoy that were “non-screen.” It is extremely challenging in our world to avoid screen time. It permeates so many facets of their lives– including  being necessary for school work. It is an easy fallback.

First, I suggested we all dedicate one day a week as screenless. This was met with astonishment and horror. Then, I cranked out some planning worksheets. Intentional planning is key and letting them participate in the planning increased their buy-in factor. Instead of a completely blank slate, we planned out a variety of activities–some they can do on their own, some together, and some that will be family activities. Time with friends, trips to the beach and library. Specific chores for each child and projects were scheduled.

Suddenly, summer went from a boring blank slate of potentially wasted time to an array of  exciting adventures. We left plenty of down time, too, but there is now enough structure and planning that when September arrives and they are asked, “What did you do  over summer?” there won’t be a blank stare and a shrug.

Get your own copy of my summer vacation planning checklists and worksheets below! Five different sheets to help you organize summer!




  1. I love this idea!! We implemented a summer routine for earning Internet and phone time. They have a list of things they must accomplish in the day to earn their time. Some of the things are easy like make their bed, get dresses, brush their teeth and hair and 20 minutes of reading… Then some are a bit more task oriented like 15 minutes cleaning their room, 15 minute cleaning anywhere else inside (or outside) the house, make something creative and do something nice or helpful for someone in the family. There is a total of 17 things they need checked off. So far they’ve done a really good job, though this week they’ve kind of hit a road block. Today is the first day everyone has gotten their list completely done. AND all week both of my oldest kids have complained about having to do all this stuff to get their phone and computer time. But, I’ve stuck to my guns! I like the idea of having one day that is “screen free”. We may start implementing this as well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *