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Episode 17: Creating Summer Routines for Kids (Simplified Parenting #2)
Summer is the best—long sunny days at the pool, backyard barbecues and ice cream cones, relaxing by the campfire under the stars. Everything feels a bit lighter and freer, until you have to decide: should we keep the kids on a schedule, or should we let them loose? (And either way, how can parents stay sane?) This week, Emily’s popping in with five easy, flexible activities that parents can put into their kids’ summer routines, a nice mix of practical to-do’s (because chores still need to be done) along with the unforgettable fun that makes summer magical.
8 Easy Ways to Create a Summertime Routine:
Map out the week. Sit down with your Simplified Planner on Sunday night, and map out what you and your kids are doing each day of the week.
- Figure out how to handle wake-up times. Will you let the kids sleep in, or will you wake them up in the morning?
- Eat lunch at the same time every day. You know how to help keep hangriness at bay? Taking the guesswork out of eating times.
- Try to do naps, or quiet time, at the same time every day. Again, predictability is your friend here (plus, this gives everyone a needed break!). If your kids are a little old for naptime, try implementing a daily quiet time in the afternoons.
- Keep doing chores. Work doesn’t stop just because school does—plus, you need help keeping your home tidy, mama.
- Agree on a bedtime, but add in a little flexibility. Because sometime family movie night runs a little late. And that’s okay!
- Plan some time for fun. This is the stuff that summer is made of. Every week, plan some time for your kids to cut loose and do something fun, whether that’s going to the zoo, having a water gun fight in the front yard, or making s’mores together one night.
- If you’re on a vacation, figure out how to switch up your routine. What parts of your routine help kids thrive? Keeping the same naptime every day? Keep up with lunchtime? Figure out what’s nonnegotiable and hold the rest a little more loosely.
“Humans like rhythms. We just do. Whether we are a tiny human who's new to the planet or we've been here for a very long time, we all have moments where we like a little spontaneity and surprise, of course. But at our core, I think we all thrive when we have an idea of what we're doing with our days or weeks and our seasons.” – Emily Ley
“I know you love your kids, but by the afternoon, it's become very clear that you guys all need a break from each other.Aand it's okay to admit it, I promise.” – Emily Ley , on the magic of having a naptime or quiet time each day
“Summer may be the time when kids don't have homework, but one thing they might need to learn is that all the work doesn't go away in the summer season as much as we wish it did. If your family has a chore chart, keep using it during the summer season and maybe add some incentive in there to like getting an ice cream cone after they're done.” – Emily Ley
“You know those summertime memories that happened thirty years ago that still make you smile? Those come from those moments that broke from the schedule and inserted a bit of spontaneity into your days.” – Emily Ley
“Summer isn't supposed to be all about structure. The magic comes in when we make time to do new things with the people we love.” – Emily Ley
“Experiencing a happy, healthy summer is like anything we talk about here: make space for what matters and just forget the rest.” – Emily Ley
A Blessing for Your Week
May you bask in the warmth of a beautiful summer day spent with the people you love.
May you find patience in abundance as you shepherd little ones to make memories, along with healthy choices that may not have been their preference.
And may you find wonder and magic every step of the way.
Simplicity Tip of the Week
Is there a family nearby who has kids the same age as yours? Maybe you could join forces with their mom and plan some fun things for your kids to do together. You could all get a membership to the neighborhood pool, or get a season pass to the zoo, or even sign up for the same summer camp. Maybe you could organize a backyard soccer tournament, or just get some unstructured outside time with each other. Your kids will love having friends to play with closeby, and you'll love having a partner in crime to organize the chaos with. Everybody wins.
New Book Alert: Build a Life You Love!
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Resources, Links, Mentions from This Episode
- [app] Rooster Money App
- [article] The Sleep Foundation | "Napping: Health Benefits & Tips for Your Best Nap"
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