Today was the last day of school for my kiddos. I will readily admit that I feel partly happy and partly stressed out. The school year brings a certain groove with it that summer just doesn’t have. On the other hand, summer is when all the fun happens. Either way, I figured out pretty quickly last year that without some semblance of a schedule things could get out of hand. So I started a tradition of making a summer calendar full of fun things for us to do over the break. This year I got smarter and added a daily schedule as well. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
To begin with, you need a plan. I searched Pinterest for summer schedules and found more results than I could use. After narrowing it down I settled on the idea of themed days. My days are as follows:
Monday: Arts and Crafts
Friday: Field Trip
Once I figured out my days, I was then able to do more searching for ideas that corresponded with those days. Some of my favorite ideas I came across were Pineapple Thumbprint Paintings, Birthday Boxes, and these super cute Underwater Jello Treats! This whole process of searching and planning probably took me about 2 hours, but I was really into it; I’m sure that time could be shortened significantly, especially if you already have activities planned. For us, we already had a beach trip, a birthday party, vacation bible school, and summer camp planned.
Now that you have a rough outline, you need to get supplies. You will need:
- Poster Board
- Mounting Putty
Last year I used the big poster boards kids use for school projects. This year, I came across a smaller size that had very light graphing lines on them. The graphing lines made making the calendars so much easier, and because of that I recommend you get those instead of the standard poster boards.
For Sharpies, I used both normal sized and the really big ones:
I found my mounting putty at Walmart, though I’m sure you can find it in many other places as well. Tape and tacks would work just as well but I personally love mounting putty when hanging posters, maps, and other paper items.
When making my calendars, the first thing I did was measure. I knew I wanted all of my calendars to be uniform so I decided a 5-week month would be the way to go. I allotted myself 2 grid rows for a title, 1 grid row for weekday names, and 5 grid rows per week. Breaking the week into days was slightly more difficult because the grid columns didn’t break up evenly. I ended up doing 5-7 grid columns for each day in the week. As mentioned above, the grid lines are very light so you don’t see them on the finished product, however, here is a close look at a finished calendar:
You can tell that the Monday and Friday slots are slightly wider than the others. After drawing your calendar, then the fun begins! Fill in the calendar just how you like it. Be creative and have fun with it! I added one drawing per week of activities and switched up my colors to make it fun. Orange was reserved for major activities like the beach trip and summer camps. I used a blue for holidays and purple for the daily activities. At the last minutes I decided to add in some fun for Saturdays because they were looking a little bare. I added those fun little nuggets in pink. When I was finished, I put some mounting putty on each corner of the posters and hung them up.
If you want to stop there, great! I decided to take it one step further. I created a daily schedule for us to stick to in order to fit everything in. You can be as loose as you like with this. Last year we had a flimsy schedule that had no times attached, just an order of activities. This year I decided to go ahead and add times to it as well because I know us, and things won’t get done. Pick whatever suits your family.
My kids are self sufficient so they will be able to follow the morning schedule by themselves. I lay out their breakfast the night before and they put it together in the morning. For example, when they want cereal I pour the cereal in a bowl and cover it with Glad Press n Seal. I pour the milk in a cup, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator. In the morning they uncover them both, pour the milk in the bowl, and breakfast is served. For the chores, they each have a chart I hang on the refrigerator and they know what is expected. At 10:00, I will join them as they do their summer math, reading, and cursive work. I put the IPAD right after that because a lot of the games they love are educational in nature. The daily activity time slot corresponds with the purple activity on the calendars. Obviously, some days it will take longer than an hour to complete the activity, but an hour is a good estimate for most activities. To keep my sanity I scheduled in an hour of quiet time. During that time, the kids must be in their rooms and they can play quietly, read, or write in a journal. Everything else is self explanatory… I will say one of our favorite things is reading together nightly. I pick a chapter book from the library and we read a couple of chapters together before bed. Last year we read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, and Robinhood.
If you made it this far, kudos! Here is a shot of all of the posters together on the wall:
I hang them so that they are eye level with the kids. They love the calendars and knowing what each day holds. I love knowing I won’t have to hear “can I have a snack?” twenty times per day. Do yourself a favor and schedule your summer so you can keep your sanity!