Having fun organizing your kids' summer


I realized about two weeks ago that summer time is completely unstructured. Coming out of a school program that manages them in 40 minutes increments, this hasn’t been a good transition for my kids or their “support staff”.

Schedule the day with purpose

Just like the school, I schedule their day in 30-60 minute increments. I expect them to wake up about 30 minutes after their school year time. After that, for every day of the week, there is structure and predictability. I have incorporated things they enjoy and things they don’t (cleaning!). None of it open ended, all of it with a beginning and an end with a goal in mind. And my sitter is relieved to not have to think about it.

Get physical

The first thing on our schedule is outside play. They start off with 30 minutes of either walking or biking the hills around the house, playing lawn darts, or timed sprints up the hill outside our driveway. The kids are competing for most improved time by the end of summer. A physical burst at the beginning of their day wakes them up and helps them settle their minds.

Achieve goals for them and the family

There’s nothing wrong with a little responsibility mixed in to summertime fun. When I set up the schedule, I walked around the house and took an inventory of things that needed to be fixed, improved or simply cleaned up.

Develop interesting themes

For instance, “Man Week”. This includes car maintenance, card games, money management, etiquette and around the house fix ups. They may watch a Monster Trucks video on Netflix or take a field trip to Pep Boys. I scheduled the plumber for this week so they can shadow him. I asked the boys what types of things they wanted to do this summer and they provided many of themes. Get your kids involved and the summer will be more meaningful and they will have a blast.


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