This is Part 2 in my mini-series on Staying Sane This Summer. You can find Part 1 here.
I don’t know about you, but for me, the days all start to run together during the summer. It’s easy for that to happen when you don’t have any regularly recurring events to anchor your days. I think our children feel the same way. Just like us, our children rely on routines and repetition. They need to know what to expect each day. When preschool is in session, The Little Apple knows that he has school on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, and that Friday is his short day at school.
So I created a simple weekly routine to anchor our days. And I don’t have super-fancy graphic for you, but hopefully you’ll get the idea…
Weekly Summer Routines
Monday: Movie Day. Watch ONE movie (not a whole day of movies, so this is a bit of a misnomer). Some Mondays it will be The Little Apple’s pick, some weeks I will select a movie.
Tuesday: Grandparents Day-This is not just for summer time! The Little Apple spends the day with grandparents. Both sets of grandparents live nearby, so they trade off weeks. It’s a nice little break for me. I get to spend some quality time with Slingshot and attempt to get some extra stuff done around the house (depending on how fussy Slingshot is and whether or not he decides to take naps). And The Little Apple gets to spend some quality time with his grandparents. It’s a WIN for everyone!
Wednesday: Friends Day. We invite a friend or two over for a playdate. Since Slingshot was born, we haven’t had many playdates. (I miss our Art Playgroup!) This summer we’ll get back to seeing our friends on a regular basis.
Thursday: Field Trip Day. We’ll make an effort to get out of the house to do something fun! Mini-golf, bowling, Chuck E. Cheese, Moody Gardens, zoo, museum, paddleboats, the park, etc. I’m going to try to alternate between free activities and those that cost….this could get expensive otherwise! Sometimes we’ll invite a friend or the grandparents along!
Friday: Water Day. On Fridays we’ll head to one of our many neighborhood pools or splashpads. (This will probably happen more often than once a week, but on Fridays for sure!) We also have the option of playing in our backyard inflatable pool or breaking out the water balloons and water guns. This is another great one for friends!
I can already tell that this Weekly Routine is going to be a lifesaver for us this summer. I have our Routine written out on the chalkboard in our kitchen, and The Little Apple starts his day by asking “What do we do today?” ”What’s on the board for today?” and “What day is it?” He’s already got most of the Weekly Routine memorized after only one week and he was a little confused and disappointed when I didn’t have a “planned” activity for Saturday.
The Importance of Being Flexible
And now for a little dose of reality: Last week was our first week of summer, and The Little Apple had strep throat. He was out of commission Monday through Thursday. Playdates and field trips were cancelled. Basically our Weekly Routines went out the window the very first week!! Sometimes, things like this will happen. Kids (or mom) will get sick. You’ll go on vacation. Summer storms crop up when you planned to spend the day at the pool or have a playdate at the park. That’s why it’s crucial to be flexible! The Weekly Routine is not set in stone, but more of a loose framework for your week. Try not to get so caught up in The Routine that you forget what this is all about: having a FUN summer and staying sane. So what if your friends aren’t available for a playdate on Wednesday? See if they can join you at the pool on Friday or at the park on Thursday.
Stay tuned for more posts in this series on our Summer Bucket List and our Daily Summer Routines.