We are sharing 5 ways to plan your summer. Whether you are looking for a laid back, relaxing summer, or a highly structured vacation, we have a strategy that will work for you!
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10 minute Tuesday Challenge
For this challenge, choose one small space and spend 10 focused minutes organizing that area. Set your timer, dive in, and before you know it, you are done. It is always surprising what you can accomplish in such a short amount of time!
Here are Bethany’s office supplies that she tackled in 10 minutes.
You can find a list of spaces I have tackled in my own 10 Minute Organizing sessions here. Be forewarned, some of these projects are from 5 plus years ago, so they are not always the prettiest pictures. I hope it gets you motivated to join the 10 Minute Tuesday organizing challenge!
You can share your progress with us below in the comments or on social media. Use the hashtags #AtoBpodcast #10minuteorganizing. What are you going to conquer today?
Organizing your summer
It has taken me a few summers to realize that with my little ones home all summer, I have to approach my summers differently. No more planning big projects. Summers are my busiest time of the year and it’s when my job as a parent really kicks into high gear!
Instead of dreading this season, I am choosing to focus on the finite numbers of summers I have left with my kids before they are up and out. For my oldest, there are only 7 summers left!
Even though I might have a tiny bit of dread as my kid-filled summer approaches; Bethany, on the other hand, is on the countdown to summer!
When I saw this meme, I was thinking we could also change the caption to say “moms at the beginning of the summer” and “moms at the end.” But not after today! We are going to spend some time organizing our summer. Even if you want a laid back, relaxing summer, we have tips to help bring a tiny bit of order to your days.
We have 5 ways to plan your summer beginning with the most relaxed. You can choose one type of plan and be done or you can combine multiple strategies depending on how much structure you would like.
Also depending on your family dynamic, you can use different plans depending on your child’s needs. Let’s start with the easiest plan, which might be all the planning you need.
1. Summer Activity List
Brainstorm a list of activities you would like to do this summer. If your kids are older, it is fun to include them too. I like to categorize them by type so there are a wide range to choose from. Here are a some examples to get you started including some of our favorite activities.
- Outings – library day, swimming, $2 movies, bike ride, etc.
- Outside Activities– watercolor sidewalk painting, nature scavenger hunt, color scavenger hunt, water games
- Inside Activities– dance party, musical chair, pillow toss, paper airplane target practice
- Messy Crafts– painting, cooking, clay
- Simple crafts– simple art projects like this hand outline, this one using watercolors and white glue (instead of the embossing paper they use), overlapping circles, and drawing,
- Quiet Activities – board games, finger knitting project, reading, journal writing about a picture from the day in Powerpoint or Google Slide Deck
If you need even more ideas for fun activities, I love the following two roundups; especially the active indoor games since sometimes it can be too hot for us to head outside.
Don’t think only kids get to have all the fun. Here are a few lists for couples, for friends, and a list for “me” time.
And that’s it! You can keep it that simple and be finished with your summer planning if you’d like. Just break out your activities list when you are ready for the next adventure.
But…if you’d like a little more of a plan, grab your list and jump to the next step.
2. Daily Checklist
I love a good checklist! It can promote independence as you hand responsibility back to your kids. Also, it gives the feeling of an unstructured day since the kids are choosing their own activities, but in reality you have decided the activities ahead of time.
Here is my favorite checklist, and I also love these simple questions for kids to look at when they are bored.
3. Basic Routine
This basic routine actually came from a guest post here on Space for Living Organizing. Simply divide your day into blocks of time and have a general theme for each time period. For example:
- Breakfast – Lunch: Play outside
- Lunch – Afternoon snack: chores & games
- Snack – Dinner: TV or computer time (as a reward for doing the chores)
- After Dinner – Bedtime: outside or reading
There’s also a basic routine for meals and snack. For example:
- 7:30 am – Breakfast
- 10 am – Morning snack
- 12 pm – Lunch
- 2 pm – Afternoon snack
You can even go a step beyond that, and have a weekly rotation of menu items. “Every Monday we will have fruit for morning snack, tortilla wraps for lunch, and giant pickles for afternoon snack.”
This is such a simple way to organize your summer, yet remain flexible so spontaneity can still creep in. This post on The Happiest Home site, goes into even more detail of a basic routine if you are looking for another example. Also, here is a basic daily schedule that includes our next tip, theme days.
4. Theme days
If you want one step short of a highly structured summer, you can incorporate a theme for each day of the week. There are so many ways you can structure your theme days! This could also be a great place to plug in some of the activities you brainstormed in step 1. Here are just a few examples to get you started.
Our last tip is the dependable daily schedule. Your schedule can be anything you make it, ranging from a general guide to a strictly followed plan for the day.
Here is my daily schedule that I made when my 2 older girls transitioned out of their afternoon naps.
Here are a few more versions of a daily schedule. The 1st example also shows theme days across the top.
Don’t forget to plan for you
With long, kid-focused days, it is important to plan some downtime for yourself. We don’t want to end up being that frazzled owl by the end of summer! Here are a few “me-focused” activities I have planned for this summer.
- intellectual hour / reading / quiet play
- meet-up with a friend for a run / playground date / coffee
- mom’s group / Bible study (with childcare)
- an evening class (this summer I’m taking tennis lessons!)
I am sure there are plenty of other ways to give yourself a minute or two of peace but the important thing is to plan for it or we can easily be pushed aside.
How scheduled would you like to be when it comes to the summer? Do you keep it simple or use a combination of all 5 planning strategies? Let us know!
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