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Summer break is the perfect time to mix adventurous days with lazy days. 🌞 Now that our kids are getting older, I no longer have to schedule our summer days around things like naps or feedings. I can loosen the reigns a bit without it resulting in chaos, but I still need to stick to a summer routine.

With that being said, we still maintain a sense of routine because kids thrive on routine- knowing what’s next and what to expect. While we may not schedule our summer days down to the hour like we once did, we still have a summer routine that works for everyone in our family.

Six things to keep summer days running smoothly…

1. Everyone makes their bed as soon as they wake up.
Making the bed is a rule that we have because starting the day with this small accomplishment sets the tone for the day. Plus, making the bed also helps the bedroom look tidier, which is important because it helps people feel calm and happier.

While Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” researched information for her book, she found that one of the most simple changes that led to happiness was making the bed each morning.

Check out a list of chores by age here.

2. Get “ready for the day” before you come downstairs.
This is not going to work for every family, but it works for our family. When you wake up, you get “ready for the day,” as I put it. This means that they get dressed (& put their pajamas away), brush their teeth, and brush their hair after making their bed.
When they come downstairs looking like they rolled straight out of their bed and into the living room, they want to lounge around for hours. If they come downstairs, ready for the day, they are more alert, productive, and energetic.

3. Have a designated learning time.
I love to use the summer as a way to help our kids explore and learn new things. It’s a great time to dive deeper into history and geography. We learn about other places in the world (their history, customs, land features, location) by taking virtual field trips, cooking traditional food from their country, finding it on a map, reading books set in that country, etc.

We also have our planned summer-learning activities for reading and math. To make summer-learning-at-home as simple as possible, we set a specific time every day (ex: 10:00 am) to do our lessons.

summer learning -child is reading book

4. We DO have a set dinner time.
While most things are more flexible in the summer, I find that a consistent dinner time helps everyone. It works because no one has to wonder about what time to be inside for dinner – they already know.
Ex: If the kids are playing with neighbors, they know what time to come home because dinner will be at the same time each night.

PS- Grilled corn on the cob is the perfect summer food!

A close up of food, with Cook and Corn on the cob

5. We have an evening tradition of a family game.
​We started this with quarantine this year, and it’s been our favorite tradition! Every night, after dinner, we play a family game. It can be inside (one of these board games) or outside (one of these games).
Tonight, we played Memory – it’s always been a favorite of mine!

Kids playing jacks in a circle on the ground

6. Try to keep a consistent bedtime.
Bedtime is hard in the summer. While we all stay up a bit later, I’ve learned that I have to keep a consistent bedtime for the kids and myself, or everyone will be sleepy the next day. When we are tired from not sleeping well, it can impact our mental, physical and emotional health.

​Making sleep a priority is important because you will feel more rested, energetic, and better overall.

… and when everyone is well-rested, they’ll wake up with more energy to get more done the next day—like making the bed. 😄

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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Really a great addition. I have read this great article. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that.

  2. You’ve made so many great points here that I’ve read your post a few times. Much of your point of view is in line with mine.

    1. Great! I’m so glad that you were able to find this post. Good luck!