A summer bucket list is a great way to meet expectations and stay organized with planning.

By Alisa Adams

I really enjoy the first week of summer break. Sleeping in, no morning rush, pajamas for half the day.

Then there comes a point where I need more routine; not a ton, but just enough.

It takes some effort to find the balance between structure and summer freedom. The challenge is allowing for downtime and relaxing from a stressful school year and still being productive.

I have learned that kids thrive on routine — a predictable routine for the family each day.

Here are a few ideas to provide just enough routine and create memories at the same time.

Create a Summer Bucket List

Everyone has summer expectations — things they look forward to doing, places they want to visit, people they want to spend time with. If they aren’t planned, and written down, when the end of summer comes, you’ll look back and say, “I didn’t do anything I really wanted to do.” A summer bucket list doesn’t mean we will do everything on the list, but it certainly gives us a visual, of a few things, that will help every member of the family feel like they had a good summer. The only way for this to work is to include everyone in your family in the creation of the list.

Chores for Everyone

Everyone is home. That means everyone has ample opportunity in helping to maintain the home. For us, chores during the summer happen at the same time every day, right after breakfast. Knowing the expectation gets them done early in the day and allows for plenty of time for summer fun.

Build in Daily Time for Academics, Creativity and Learning New Skills

Time for online classes, musical instruments, workbooks, arts and crafts. There should be quiet time for reading and time for learning new skills.

Even With a Routine, There is Plenty of Time for Spontaneity

Structure doesn’t have to ruin summer fun. When the house is in order and the important ‘have-to-do’ things are scheduled, there is less reluctance for the ‘fun’ of summer: friend time, a day trip, dinner out, time at the splash pad or/and afternoons at the beach.

Just enough routine in summer days will allow you to focus on the moments and create memories.

For more tips and specifics on creating a summer routine, follow my Facebook page @AlisaAdamsStyle.

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