First, I have to give lots of credit to Steph at Somewhat Simple for the original idea for the calendar. She offered a free printable calendar here that inspired me to make my own. Check hers out, it may work better for you. Steph gave me the idea to give each day of the week a special theme so that the kids have something to look forward to and I am more likely to follow through with fun stuff if it's written down! Steph's days of the week were: make something Monday, time to read Tuesday, what's cooking Wednesday, be thoughtful Thursday, somewhere fun Friday. I knew I wanted to tweak these a bit to fit my family's schedule.
So my schedule is:
Make Something Monday (crafts or art projects)
Examples: Simple craft kits from Michaels, basic sewing lessons for older kids, scout craft projects to pass of achievements, paper airplane kit from Christmas, homemade play dough or bubbles, finger painting with pudding, sidewalk chalk mural, coloring pages etc.
Time Out Tuesday (a fun outing)
Examples: Your outing doesn't have to cost a lot, there are lots of free days at museums, free summer bowling programs, free shows at the library, new parks to explore, cheap summer movie programs, free play dates and don't forget to look for coupons that make expensive activities affordable. Also, the activity doesn't have to last all day, after all this is supposed to make summer more enjoyable not more stressful.
What's Cooking Wednesday (cooking or baking)
Examples: We love to cook and bake but I think cooking is such an important life skill that all kids need to learn how to safely cook, especially healthy foods. Toddlers and preschoolers can stir and help prep food, older kids can choose a recipe and make a whole meal. This might mean you don't have to make dinner on Wednesdays! If you don't want a whole batch of cookies starring you in the face then give some away to friends and neighbors and you've also done a service together! Or make a batch of muffins or pancakes to freeze for easy breakfasts the kids can reheat themselves.
Thinking Thursday (educational time)
Examples: Practice in workbooks, do science experiments, review flashcards or play educational computer games. Also throw in a few educational outings such as the planetarium, aquarium or library.
Family Fun Friday (family activities either during the day or the evening)
Examples: Going to lunch with Daddy, picnic for dinner, family game night or movie night, visit Grandma and Grandpa or have some cousins over for a play date.
The whole purpose is to give the kids fun things to anticipate and not put off doing fun things just to find the summer is over and we spent it indoors playing video games. I feel like this is what happened to us last summer, but I had a new baby and you do what ya gotta do! Also, before you feel totally overwhelmed it only took me an hour or two with our calendar and the computer to research and plan the whole summer. Also, I found that we already had a church dinner, dance recital and a family reunion on Fridays this summer, so I automatically had plans for 3 Family Fun Fridays. I looked at my son's Scout book and have found that a lot of the cooking and crafts and even family game night can be used to pass of requirements for his next badge. So I am trying to make things as easy as I can by using things that we would have been doing anyway!
Here is an example of my calendar (including a daily schedule that my kids can initial when they've completed their morning and evening responsibilities. When they finished their responsibilities then they have free time for most of the day to spend doing "our activity", playing with friends, watching TV, playing games etc. I don't want to turn the lazy days of summer into a structured, stressful time but I do want my kids to realize that there are still things that must be done before we can play.
**I have laminated my calendar so that I can fill in the activity for each day with a dry erase marker. You can also print out a new calendar for each week if you prefer.
The first calendar that you can download has my daily themes included but the schedule is blank for you to use or not. Click here to download.
The second calendar you can download is completely blank so that you can fill in all of your own info. Click here to download.
Happy Summer! Thanks to Scrap Girls, LLC and Betsy Lombardi and Durin Eberhart the designers of the "Refresh" digital kit used to make this calendar.
Linking Up Here:
Organize With Sandy- Organizing Mission Monday
Sumo's Sweet Stuff- Market Yourself Monday
Keeping it Simple-Motivating Me Monday
Making the World Cuter Monday
Reasons to Skip the Housework
I Heart Nap Time-Sundae Scoop
Somewhat Simple-Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Yesterday on Tuesday-Crafy Soiree
Hookin Up with House of Hepworths Thursday
Tater Tots and Jello-Weekend Wrap Up Party