Here is a Kids Summer version to my 9 Daily Disciplines list I shared a few weeks ago! We all know how summer days at home can be, especially for older kids...kids wake up at 11am, in pjs until 3pm, and bedtime at some point that evening or early the next morning. Although that is fine occasionally, I think it is important to teach our kids a healthy and successful routine no matter the time of year. A few summers ago, as a working mom, I came up with this to-do list for those days that I was at work and our girls were home. I have heard that the first few months of each school year is spent re-teaching concepts and getting kids back up to speed for all of the learning that they had forgotten over the summer. I wanted to help make sure that when they weren't on vacation, at a friends house, or swimming during the summer, they were still learning and growing while at home.
1. Room & Ready: Everyday wake up, make your bed, pick up your room, and get dressed and ready for the day. This simple daily discipline can lead you to feeling productive and being productive.
2. God Time: It's important for kids to start getting in the habit of having time with God. That may be a quiet time reflecting, journaling, worshipping with music, Bible reading, or watching a podcast or youtube video of their favorite Pastor or Christian speaker.
3. Be Creative: This is one of my favorites! I love to see what kids come up with for being creative. It can be cooking something new, coloring, making up a dance, writing a poem, drawing, playdoh/slime, or even a DIY craft or project.
4. Read 30 minutes/ Summer Studies: Most often kids will have a summer reading list or websites that they were given to keep up reading and math skills. This is the time to get those done. A little bit each day helps to keep the procrastination away instead of waiting until the week before school starts!
5. Clean/Organize Something: Since their room should already be picked up with #1, this is where their daily chores can come in. If there aren't any for that day, then they can choose a section of their room, closet, or toy areas to organize. It's also an ideal time for them to go through the clothes and shoes that no longer fit them in order to get ready for school shopping and the next school year. Under the bathroom sinks, kitchen cabinets, and pantries are also great little organization projects that will keep them busy and help out the family as well!
6. Play: Remember when we were younger and we went outside and played, rode bikes, had a lemonade stand, ran through a sprinkler, created card board box villages, and played monopoly...this is their opportunity to be a kid and to play without it being on an electronic device.
***If you notice I have the first 6 things to be finished by 3:30 pm. This is because I would return home from work between 3:45 and 4:00pm and I wanted them to be done with their list at this point and the house to be in order. If your kids are anything like mine, they have the amazing super-power of being able to take a task that should take 30 minutes and stretch it to lasting ALL DAY LONG. I want them to practice time management with this list as well.***
7. 1 Hour of Electronics: This is when they get to watch TV, play a video game, or catch up on their favorite YouTube stars.
8. Your Choice of #2-#6: If they still have time left in the day after completing #1-7, then they can choose to do anything they want from #2-#6.
*Check out the little note at the bottom of the list..."Please clean up after yourselves along the way"... can I get an "Amen!"
This list can be tweaked based on the age, stages, and priorities of your children and family. It's something that you can even use as a stay at home mom to do with your younger children each day. The point is not to check off each number, but to be productive and prioritize. Sometimes my girls would get to #3, #5, or #6 and stay there for the rest of the day...and that was ok! Enjoy your summer!
Tiffany Jo Baker is a 3x surrogate, writer, speaker and Couples Life & Fertility support coach.
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