My kids are not in school yet, so just because its summer does not mean that our schedule is any different. However, its summer and there are so many things that I want to make sure that we take advantage of in this season.
I also know that as a SAHM if I don’t put things on a schedule I can allow myself to “just do it tomorrow”. I stay at home with my kids so I can spend time with them. So I can make memories with them. I hate the days when I lay down at night and realized we didn’t really do anything besides laundry and watch movies. That’s not the reason I stay at home.
I know I am not the only mom who struggles with this. Honestly, I feel like this is a pretty common issue. So what is the solution?
We rely on a social schedule.
Different seasons will have different activities so this schedule changes with the available activities in our area.
How to find activities?
Check online. Head to Facebook and you will most likely be able to find mom groups for your area. Ask other moms what type of things they do with their kids or places they may frequent.
Check local attractions for season passes. If the upfront costs are reasonable there may be places that you can frequent on a weekly basis. ** We are lucky that we live smack dab in the middle of Florida so we have tons of activities close to us. The town that I grew up in didn’t have a whole lot of places to hang out so depending on where you live you may have to do a little digging.
Check with local gyms. There may be kids classes offered that you can join. Most gyms also offer childcare for a certain amount of time while moms workout. ** While this isn’t really an activity for you to do with your children it might be a great way for you to get a bit of alone time and an opportunity for your kids to have some play without you.
Check out local farms. This seems like a strange place to check BUT there are lots of fun things that farms offer. We have a farm that we visit in the spring where we can pick our own strawberries. Little E LOVES it. She has gotten so selective about the ones that she chooses.
Check out your library. This one is pretty obvious as most libraries have weekly story times. However some will also offer arts and craft days or other fun activities during the summer months.
Check the government page in your county for a list of parks, pools and nature areas. We rotate through our parks so that the kids get to use different amenities at each one.
Check dance and gymnastics clubs. These clubs may have a day or two each week with open dance or open gym that you can attend. These clubs may also offer summer programs that you can sign up for.
Check out this post from The Moogie on Free or Cheap things to do with your kids this summer for some additional inspiration.
Make a plan
Once you come up with a list of activities that you want to put on your summer activity schedule you need to decide which ones are one offs and which are ones that you may want to attend each week. Make sure you have a good mix of both. Make sure you check times and restrictions of the activities you choose if you have not been there before. There is nothing worse than getting your kids all excited to go to the splash pad and you show up on maintenance day…. not that this has every happened to me.
Next just make yourself a summer activity schedule calendar and plan it out. If you travel a lot during the summer you may want to make yours on a monthly calendar. I just have mine listed out by days of the week since our schedule is pretty consistent.
Everyone’s schedule will be different due to your weekly obligations, your child’s nap schedule’s (if they still take naps) and the activities available in your area.
My schedule looks like this
Preserve and Dance – We pay for my daughter to take a kids combo tap/ballet class. Its 30 min a week and costs us $35 a month. She loves it and we feel like its worth the cost. Since dance is only for our Little E, I like to take the kids to a Preserve near our home so both kids have an activity for the day.
Splash Pad – or Pool day (One of our community parks is a splash pad …. which if you are wondering, is closed on Wednesdays for maintenance) We also thankfully have access to a pool in my parents community.
Children’s Museum. My parents purchased us a family membership to our local children’s museum which has been fantastic. There are tons of activities for kids of all ages, its indoor and air conditioned. They also offer various additional educational activities each day (cooking, dancing, science ect) I do call ahead to make sure there are no field trips before we head up there. Its hard to take little ones when there are middle schoolers running around.
Park Day- We have a LOT of parks in our town so we rotate through them. This is typically an early morning activity because it gets way too hot and way too crowded the later we go in the day.
Free day- This is the day that we choose one of our one off activities. These are typically things that are a longer distance from our home or cost money. These are things like the Zoo, the aquarium, the beach ect.
Have a back up plan
Rainy days are going to pop up too! Keep a list of activities that are inside that you can rotate into the schedule with the rain shows up. We have a huge indoor play area that only costs $3 per kids and they play SO HARD. You could just as easily take your kids to McDonalds to play in the play place though. We also might end up doing our children’s museum several days a week if we have a rainy few days.
If you are going to the splash pad or pool make sure that you take all the things you will need. I know this seems silly but lets get real moms, how often do you get somewhere outside of your normal routine and realize you left something behind?? I leave a few pair of swim diapers in my car just in case we run into a water activity that we just have to participate in!
If you are going to be out in the sun please do not forget your sunscreen! Use a safe one! They are not all created equal. Check out my recommendations here!
Don’t forget to take snacks and water. I am so bad at this. If you are going to someplace new you should never assume that they will have snacks or drinks to buy. Even if they do it may not be something your children will like.
If life happens and you cant stick to your schedule, give yourself a break. The schedule is a guide, not a contract. It is meant to help you not stress you out.
What plans do you and your kids have this summer??