How to Create a Fun Summer Schedule for Kids (Sample Schedule Included)

With the school year winding down, most kids are ready for the chance to rest, relax and have more free time during the summer months.

But all that free time can often backfire!

That’s why setting up a summer schedule for kids is a must.

A summer routine is a simple way to help your kids structure their day, allowing them to have some fun while also sticking to a schedule.

Young girl sitting outside reading a book

How Do You Make a Summer Schedule for Kids?

Coming up with a summer schedule for your family is the perfect way to create a routine for your kids.

Not sure what a typical summer schedule should look like? Keep reading to find out how to create one.

Coming up with a schedule for your kids is pretty easy. With the help of these tips, you can create an awesome schedule for your kids and family during the summer months.

  • Figure out your summer routine. Before you can start structuring a schedule, decide on what you want a typical summer day to look like while your kids are home from school. After the school year ends, give your kids a week or two of free time to see how their routine changes during the summer months. Keep an eye on your family’s schedule to see what needs to be adjusted during the summer.
  • Consider extra activities. After you have a handle on the day-to-day schedule changes, it’s also a good idea to make a list of all the activities your family will take part in during the summer months. Will your kids take any lessons during the summer? Are they participating in sports? Make sure to include all the activities that will occupy their time while they’re home this summer on your list, as well as the dates and times of each activity so you’re sure to work it into your summer routine.
  • Adjust bedtimes. Since your kids will be out of school, they might want to start staying up later – especially since the sun goes down much later in the summer. Adjusting bedtimes to allow your kids to stay up later is a good way to encourage them to play outside and have some fun while they’re out of school. But if you do decide to give your kids a later bedtime, make sure they’re still getting plenty of sleep. Later bedtimes should result in later wake-up times, too.
  • Don’t forget about nap times. If your kids are still taking naps, remember to incorporate nap time into their summer routines. It’s also important to consider that nap times may change during the summer if your kids’ sleep and wake times are adjusted. Take into account the new schedule as you’re planning your daily routine. That also means you’ll need to make sure to plan activities and time outside the home around those new naptimes.
  • Plan fun activities. While being spontaneous is a great way to enjoy the freedom of summer, having some fun activities lined up each day is the easiest way to stave off boredom. Make sure to incorporate some “fun time” into your summer schedule. You can schedule activities for this time of the day or let your kids have some free time to enjoy activities on their own.
  • Keep the chores going. Just because your kids are out of school doesn’t mean they should be off the hook from doing their chores. Including time for chores into your summer schedule is the best way to ensure your kids stay on top of their to-do list. As you map out a routine for your family, include household chores in the daily schedule to ensure housework doesn’t fall through the cracks.
  • Keep the schedule flexible. Although setting up a schedule for your kids is a great way to help structure their summer days, there’s no reason the routine has to be a rigid one. Make sure to allow for some flexibility in your schedule to give your kids time to rest and relax during their break from school. A rough outline of the day’s activities is enough to give your kids a routine without scheduling out every minute of their summer break.

RELATED: THE BEST SUMMER CHORES FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

Summer Schedule Ideas for Kids

Figuring out the summer routine that will work for your kids will take some practice.

But there’s no reason you can’t put a framework in place to help you come up with a plan as you go.

This sample summer schedule for kids is a basic foundation on which you can build your own family routine:

  • 7 a.m. – Wake up time: Kids wake up, get dressed, brush their teeth, and prepare themselves for the day.
  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast: Everyone makes (if they’re able) and eats breakfast
  • 8 a.m. – Daily chores and free time: After the kids’ daily chores are complete, they can enjoy free time.
  • 10 a.m. – Snack time and free time: After eating a snack, the kids can play, you can run errands, or everyone can take part in an activity together
  • 12 p.m. – Lunch time
  • 1 p.m. – Nap or quiet time: Younger kids can take a nap while older kids can enjoy quiet time alone
  • 3 p.m. – Snack time and/or afternoon activity
  • 6 p.m. – Dinner time
  • 7 p.m. – Bath time and bedtime routine
  • 7:30 or 8 p.m. – Bedtime

How Do I Put My Child on a Summer Schedule?

Once you have a schedule mapped out, it’s time to start putting it in action!

But if your kids are looking forward to a lazy summer, you’re probably thinking that getting them on a set schedule will be easier said than done.

Girl sitting on the floor watching tv

Try these tips for getting your kids used to a summer routine:

Ease into it

Giving your kids a week or two of rest time after school gets out is a great way to help them relax and rest.

After that, you can start easing into a summer routine by loosely following your schedule. As summer goes on, you can stick to the schedule more closely.

Outline the schedule

Help your kids get acquainted with the new schedule by outlining what their day will look like.

Try printing out the schedule so older kids will know what to expect each day.

Or vocalize the next step in the schedule to help younger kids move from task to task.

Make it fun

There’s no reason a summer schedule has to be strict or boring.

Incorporating fun activities into the day is a simple way to keep your kids excited about their new routine.

Whether you create themed activities for each day or head outside at the same time every day, finding simple ways to make your summer routine a little more fun is an easy way to get your kids on board.

What Activities Do Kids Do in Summer?

Setting a daily schedule for your kids is a simple way to keep them from vegging out in front of the TV every day.

A child's hands and adult hands planting a flower in a garden

But in order for your summer schedule to be successful, you’ll need to have a few activities on hand when boredom sets in.

These activities are a great way to encourage your kids to get away from their screens and have some fun during their free time:

RELATED: TONS OF BOREDOM-BUSTING ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS WHEN IT’S RAINING OUTSIDE

  • Riding bikes
  • Swimming
  • Playing with friends and neighbors
  • Reading educational magazines
  • Reading a book
  • Writing a story or poem
  • Making a craft
  • Playing an instrument
  • Putting together a puzzle
  • Playing a board game
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Watching educational videos
  • Doing a science project
  • Designing or building something
  • Going for a walk
  • Drawing, painting, or coloring
  • Going on a scavenger hunt
  • Planting seeds or flowers
  • Baking cookies
  • Going to the park
Kids outside playing and kicking a ball

As you can see, creating a summer schedule for kids doesn’t have to be hard.

In fact, once you have a basic outline to go by (like the one provided above), you can adjust it to fit your family’s particular needs.

While having the freedom and flexibility to explore their interests, your kids can still have a schedule to provide them structure.

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