With an amazing freebie to boost the summer fun, we walk you through the ways you can keep a routine and plan for an amazing summer with your kids even with all that summer uncertainty #planning #toddler #preschoolers #summerbucketlist #freedownload

Summer Days with Kids

Oh beautiful summer sounds, how I’ve missed you! Summer is almost officially here on the calendar and school is just about ready to end for another year. For my house this means visitors galore and lots of travel to see family and friends that the colder months of the year tend not to allow. It also means we are all over the map when it comes to our schedule. Well, not this year! This year I vow to maintain some consistency to my days, and you’ll soon hear why my friend Kristen Evans and I believe so strongly in routine and how to work around the challenges to keeping one in the summer.

Kristen and I will share:

  • What a flexible summer routine could look like with little ones at home
  • Dealing with the challenges of creating and maintaining a summer routine
  • Great ideas for activities to do with your children throughout the summer to help support and maintain your schedule while creating amazing memories (with a printable to download and check off as you do them!)
With an amazing freebie to boost the summer fun, we walk you through the ways you can keep a routine and plan for an amazing summer with your kids even with all that summer uncertainty #planning #toddler #preschoolers #summerbucketlist #freedownload
With an amazing freebie to boost the summer fun, we walk you through the ways you can keep a routine and plan for an amazing summer with your kids even with all that summer uncertainty #planning #toddler #preschoolers #summerbucketlist #freedownload

The Challenge of Maintaining a Routine in the Summer with Children

Kristen and I are both passionate about routine when it comes to our little ones, knowing full well the benefits that come from a flexible structure to those we love so much. This can be a bit more challenging in those summer months when you are flying by the inspiration of the day, maybe even sneaking an ice cream cone in before supper and often falling off a bedtime routine. Things always seem a little more in flux in the summer as you spend more time outside, getting grass stains on knees and soaking in the sunshine, all of which is so important to those memories made and learning opportunities to be had. Even among those moments of beauty, toes in water, warm breeze blowing your hair in every direction, there remains importance in consistency, and expectations set. Kristen was just the person to talk to when it came time to coming up with a routine to fit into our summer.

A Guide to Creating Routine with Children in Mind

Kristen speaks with such experience on her blog Data Mom, where she shares the importance of putting our children’s needs in the forefront using what we know about them and how it impacts their day. Her passion for supporting and empowering children by using the information they share with us to help us shape a plan for them is so clear in her writing. I knew she would be a wonderful guide in taking steps to create our summer routine, so I asked her a few questions:

https://datamomkristen.com/home/three-simple-tools-to-improve-daily-routines/

Why is it so important to have a routine, even during the summer when we often think of it as a time to run barefoot in the grass?

Having a routine or loose schedule gives our kiddos a framework of what to expect during the day or upcoming week. This can be even more important during summer when the week is not shaped by the school schedule. This can help transitions from one activity to the next go much more smoothly. For example, we will run barefoot in the grass as soon as we finish eating lunch.   Especially as families plan travel and other activities during the summer, it’s important that we let our kiddos know, on a level they can understand, what we will be doing (Read more in Kristen’s amazing post: Summer Sun, Fun, and Schedules: Why Kids Need Schedules and Routines for Summer).

What are the main areas we should focus on keeping structured and which areas could we be more flexible on?

Especially for our little ones, eating and sleeping routines should stay pretty structured. My kiddos tend to need their sleep. Even Lucy who’s almost 5 doesn’t do well if she is kept up past her bedtime. I also like to keep a loose morning routine of getting up and getting dressed even if we don’t have specific plans. This way if a play date or errand does come up, we are ready to go.   Chores and errands are another area I like to keep structured. While our kiddos should have more opportunities for fun during the summer, that doesn’t mean Mom and Dad get left with all the responsibility. With kiddos at home and playing outdoors or having playdates, there are likely more dirty dishes and more laundry. I describe lots of ways kids can help with daily chores in Summer Sun, Fun, and Schedules: How to Build a Summer Schedule.   Flexibility comes as we take advantage of all the activities summer gives us an opportunity to do as a family, whether you are going on vacation, visiting friends and family, having play dates, exploring museums, or of course enjoying the great outdoors. If you are traveling, be sure to pack some of those structured routines with you to give your kiddos comfort when in a new place.

What can we do to support a routine when something unexpected comes along (visitors, illness, change in location)?

Especially if you have younger kiddos, it can be helpful to proactively ask family and friends to give you a heads up before stopping by. This way, you can give your child a head’s up, for example, “Grandma is going to stop by on the way to the store. It will be fun to see Grandma!”   When the unexpected does happen, you can let your child know how the event fits in with the routines they were expecting, for example, “Grandma surprised us with a visit! We’re going to visit with Grandma for a little while, then eat dinner and take a bath.”   A little explanation can go a long way in reassuring your kiddo that the activities they are expecting will still get done. When a kiddo is sick, that might sound like this: “You need to rest today since you don’t feel well. We’ll go to the park another day.”   If possible, bring your routines with you when you travel. Reading a favorite bedtime story and doing the expected bedtime activities in the same order can help your kiddo feel more comfortable going to sleep in an unfamiliar hotel room or relative’s home.

Do you have any resources to help us create and maintain routine with our little ones?

I talk about three of my favorite schedule and routine resources in my short guide, Three Simple Tools to Improve Daily Routines. In addition to those, I recommend explaining to our kiddos what the plans are and following through with what we said would happen. There are a number of other cues that can signal the time to change activities, such as a clock chiming or even the dryer turning off. I give examples of what this looks like for my kiddos in Summer Sun, Fun, and Schedules: How to Build a Summer Schedule.

What does your summer routine look like with your children?

Because my husband and I both continue to work over the summer, Liam continues to go to daycare and Lucy stays with a family friend while school is out. Their summer schedule changes from the school year schedule; this year, we are trying three longer days of care so we can have longer weekends for family time, play dates, and other summer activities. I will be taking weeks off here and there since the families I work with have summer plans of their own. During our long weekends and other days off, we typically get up, have breakfast (I joke that my kiddos are awake by 6 and starving by 6:01, so breakfast happens very shortly after eyes open at my house), get dressed and such in no particular hurry, run any errands we have to run, then have the rest of our day for play, play dates, and other activities.

What are some fun ways you and your children like to spend your summer days?

We love to visit a nearby zoo, go to the library, and spend lots of time with friends and family. We are very fortunate to have two wonderful families living next to and across the street from us. Between the three families there are seven kiddos so there is never a shortage of friends to play with! There will also be lots of visits with grandparents (my parents live just a few miles away and my husband’s parents are a few hours away).  Lucy has a few close friends at preschool she is looking forward to having playdates with, and we are also planning her 5th birthday party this summer. 

Is Your Child Heading to Kindergarten soon?!

Looking over at that amazing child of yours, thinking of slipping the straps of a backpack far too big for their still tiny shoulders as you send them off to kindergarten for the first time, armed with the perfectly packed lunch and all the love in your heart; what a milestone!

Well, Mama. I can help you prepare for this amazing adventure.

In a FREE email course, I walk you through

the 5 MOST IMPORTANT steps to preparing your child for kindergarten.

Kristen

Kristen

DataMomKristen.com

I am a former special education teacher and practicing behavior analyst. My favorite and also most challenging position is Mom of two young children. I find myself eating lots of humble pie after years of giving parents advice that I must now give myself! My professional and personal experiences have taught me that parenting is not a spectator sport: it is hard work. My goal is to provide resources and strategies to parents who are willing to put in that work and watch their kiddos experience success as a result.

~Kristen

Kristen beautifully explains how important it is to continue those processes that become our routines, especially with eating and sleeping as they set the stage for the rest of the day. She walks us through how easily we can continue to do this even with the unexpected and often interrupted days that summer brings and that with planning it can still allow us to enjoy our summer and make amazing memories along the way! Let Kristen and I know how you plan to spend your summer and what techniques you apply to keep up your routine with little ones while taking in some of that amazing sunshine!
With an amazing freebie to boost the summer fun, we walk you through the ways you can keep a routine and plan for an amazing summer with your kids even with all that summer uncertainty #planning #toddler #preschoolers #summerbucketlist #freedownload

A beautiful resource for homeschooling, and enriching learning through play at home with toddlers and preschoolers, which will take them into adulthood. Builds upon core concepts that are increasingly challenging so as your little ones grow and knowledge expands, you have the resources to support them all in one place.

Purposefully made with calming colors to prevent distraction and provide a focused space for learning through play with a parent or teacher,

The Love of Learning Binder can be used in a homeschool setting, preschool, or as a daily part of a momma life with little ones at home and makes a wonderful quiet time activity so you can get to business on your own goals.

Here for you, Momma!

How do you raise a successful and happy child?

Connecting with Kids at Home The pressure of raising successful children for parents As an educator, I know exactly what expectations wait for my daughter when she enters the classroom - still a few years away. I know the journey through school, the pressure to carry...

read more

The Best Gift Ideas for Kids that AREN’T Toys

Alternative gifts for children with more than enough toys Thinking of gift-giving season that is very fast approaching us, I dread the idea of more “stuff” entering my house. Although it is an ongoing battle with the memories I’ve attached to the simplest of things,...

read more

My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

Why I love Crayola Products I love Crayola products! Who doesn't?! Crayola makes reliable, dependable, arts and crafts products geared toward children while keeping parent needs in mind. And they cannot be compared to in regard to quality. Have you used a crayon at a...

read more

The Best Teaching Resources That You Can Use at Home

The Best Teaching Resources that Teachers Use at Home that You Will LOVE to Have Around the House! Teaching resources aren't just for the classroom As a teacher, I found ways to make my day run more smoothly in the classroom and to support the children getting the...

read more

What is a wonder-filled environment?

Why do we need to have this conversation? What is the importance of a wonder-filled environment?!  Watch this incredible video from Education Inspire Change - where they so creatively depict a problem that I believe we are facing.There are so many beautiful...

read more

What is a Beautiful Things Box?

WHAT IS A BEAUTIFUL THINGS BOX? I've had quite a few readers reach out - asking about something I mention quite often.  I walk you through a Beautiful Things Box that we are currently using and what we have inside - to learn more about why I love these and why they...

read more

A Mission for Change in Early Childhood Education

I cannot think of a better time of year to forge forward with change. As I look outside at my big beautiful oak tree that provides a canopy to the space where my daughter plays, I see TRANSFORMATION before my eyes and it inspires me.  ...

read more

Teaching Social-Emotional Skills to Children

Strategies for Teaching Social-Emotional Skills to Children Especially for those who have difficulty expressing themselves What is social-emotional learning in early childhood? Children are learning so much in their early years as the world opens up before their eyes....

read more

Less is More in the Classroom

Benefits of Minimalism in the Classroom and Playroom Walking into a typical early childhood education classroom, you are drawn to the colourful posters, toys, projects, and decor that tend to line the walls. We know that colours can be uplifting, energizing and...

read more

learning through play every day books bees and abcs toddler preschooler learning activities

Join the Community

Sign up here for access to resources, freebies and support right in your inbox. I reach out weekly to share recent posts, and the newly created printables for the week and you're welcome to reply with your questions and comments that I will happily support you with as best as I can!

I know the feeling of an already overwhelmed inbox so I won't be sending unnecessary content to you and you're welcome to unsubscribe at any time. 

Learn more about my privacy policy here.

You have successfully signed up for free educational content to your inbox! So happy to have you!