Summer is fast approaching. There is something nostalgic about the warmer weather and long sunny days. The kids are signed up for a few camps and classes but what about the rest of the summer? I have to fill all that time that my kids are in school with SOMETHING! Oh how I never look forward to this part. What in the world are they/we going to do to fill in all those hours? Yep, this can be extremely overwhelming but having some sort of “plan” can help make summers a little easier in any home.
Here are 12 ways to create your own Summer Survival Guide:
Stay on a bedtime schedule
I know it is tempting to let your kids and yourself to stay up late and/or sleep in but do your best to maintain bed times and wake-up times. This has to be my teenager’s favorite (it’s not)! It is much easier to adjust when school is back in session if you at least give this your best effort.
Make a list of activities
Plan out days in a generic manner — Monday = Museums, Tuesdays = Splash Pads, Wednesday = Story time, Thursday = Arts & Crafts, Friday = Playground. If you get stumped on what to do, check your list. I make spreadsheets of daily schedules. I never follow it exactly but it was nice to have when I’m out of ideas.
Plan easy meals
Take time each week to plan out meals for each day. Let the kids have some input and let them help with meal prep. Keep it simple!
Take advantage of Austin
I know Austin gets hot in the summer but on days where the weather is less than optimal take advantage of museums, local historical sites, and libraries. Here in Austin there are many options of indoor and outdoor activities that are also learning opportunities. Check out events and activities on our Summer Bucket List or our list of indoor play areas in and around Austin.
Make a chore chart
Post it somewhere everyone can see it. Let the kids know that in order to do the fun things they also have to help keep the house clean. It shows the importance of helping out the family to make sure things run smoothly. You can also make it a rule to ask if there is anything they can help with, if they can’t think of anything helpful themselves. This is also great for parents that work all day.
Plan special events
You’ll have something to look forward to! Plan to go on vacation, to an amusement park, camping or something you will do once or twice during the summer.
Hire a neighborhood teen or ask family for help
When you need some “me time” or time to truly get things done sans the kids or help transporting them from place to place hire someone you trust to help or ask a family member.
Schedule play dates
Invite your mom friends and their kids over for a play date. Go to their houses for some adult time and let your kid(s) also get some time to interact with other kids.
Plan daily quiet time
Be sure to include some down time to chill out and relax by yourself. Even if your child is not taking naps anymore, have them have some quiet time themselves as well. They can read some books in their room or play with Legos on their own.
Take day trips
Pack up the car and head an hour away to visit another town or to the lake for the day. Here are nine ideas for day trips right outside of Austin.
Plan outside time
Plan time in the morning, when it’s not as hot, to be outdoors. Play in the yard, go for a swim, or on a nature hike. Here are 25 of Austin’s best splash pads. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Plan to volunteer at a local animal shelter, visit a nursing home or hospital, make art or write letters to send to our service men and women. It gives them a different perspective about the world.
The list above can easily be modified according to age. Just remember to have some sort of a plan. No worries if you don’t follow it exactly. Use it more of a guide to help minimize the stress of those long summer days.