Summer break is here! I’ve been gearing up for going back to work full time for the summer with all 5 of my kiddos for the last few weeks, and I’m getting both excited and tired already. Ha! It’s always a really full, really fun but also really tiring few months work-wise. Today I thought I’d share what works for us during the summer months! I call it my summer action plan … aka – the only way to survive summer with 5 kiddos!
Nanny Life: Summer Action Plan
Make a Daily Schedule
I am the type of person that loves a plan and loves to know what’s coming so I can prepare ahead of time. So, every summer I map out the summer months’ activities so that we can adjust as needed from there.
Mondays: AM – Park & Library, PM – Pool
I am making a map of 10 -15 different parks in the area and we will choose a different one each week.
Tuesdays: AM – Science Experiment//Putnam Museum, PM – Pool
Ella (3) will be at day care on T/TH still, so we can do some big kid science and go to the museum on tuesdays without her missing out.
Wednesdays: AM – Alternating Big Outing, PM – Pool or chill at home
Wednesdays are for bigger outings like the zoo, bouncy houses, and water parks.
Thursdays: AM – Big Kid Choice, PM – Pool or chill at home
Logan (1) is with his Grandma and Ella (3) is at day care, so it’s just me and the 11, 15 and (almost) 6 year old. We’ll be able to do some things we wouldn’t be able to do with the littles, so I’m excited about this day! Sky Zone, the water park (without littles to keep track of!) and the movie theater have all been discussed. I made a list of acceptable things, so they can choose from the list. Otherwise, they might get a little crazy with their choices. 😉
Fridays: AM – Family Museum and Chic fil A, PM – Avyn (11) friend over OR Pool
Lena (15) is gone on Fridays and Ella, Logan and I already have a Friday routine, so it made sense to keep it. We’ll make it fun for mister big shot 11 year old by eating Chic fil A and possibly having a friend over (if he has a good attitude in the morning – ha!). He actually told me his mom challenged him to read an entire book series, so he was just going to read the whole time we were at the Family Museum. Can’t argue with that!
Don’t be too serious with your schedule, though! It is summer after all! Obviously, some days we will get rained out or other things will happen, but I love starting with a plan so that it’s simple to adjust as needed instead of come up with something from scratch.
The kids will be in a few camps and swimming lessons throughout the summer, so we will also be working around those things.
Be prepared for “stay home and chill” days
This summer, I’m planning a lot more outings for us because everyone is at an age where staying home is harder than going out alot of the time. However, there are days where we will just want to stay home and chill. Crafts, movies, cooking challenges (a favorite of my kids’), and fort building are definite summer staples.
Ella and I went to Hobby Lobby and stocked up on craft supplies so that we could do pretty much any last minute craft (or “project” as she calls them) that we want to! We’ll also go get ice cream, go to the splash pad and do other fun things last minute. I wanted to keep things simple, though, because they are moving into a new house right at the beginning of the summer so there will be a lot of new things!
Set clear expectations
Clear expectations make life easier for you and for your kids, no matter the season. But I feel like they are especially helpful in the easy breezy summer months. Everything feels (and is) more laid back, so it’s easy for kids to start to push some boundaries (whether purposefully or not). If you set clear expectations about naps, quiet time, wake time, bed time, snacks, chores, friends over, etc. you are setting your whole family up for success.
Seriously the snacks. I’m still working on how to limit them to two snacks and 3 meals a day because they have basically become grazing animals in the pantry! Any tips?? 😀
This will be the fourth summer that I’ve worked for this family, so they pretty much know what I expect at this point. That makes things a lot easier! Expectations, routine and consistency are the glue that holds our summer together and allows for fun spontaneous activities! When there’s already a plan in place, it’s a lot easier to be flexible when you need to be and to tighten up when they need some extra structure.
I write our activities for the month on the fridge calendar so that everyone knows what’s coming and so that if there is a day that the kids get to help decide what to do they can have some time to think about it. I also usually have checklists for the kids in the morning to make sure that teeth get brushed and chores get done. I am considering simply having a reading chart and math problem of the day for the big kids and a letter and number of the day for the littles. We’ve done binders and lots of focused school work in the past, but it doesn’t seem to fit with this summer.
We have always had mandatory quiet time from about 12 -3 pm. The littles nap, and the bigs usually read or get device time. Lincoln (6) will be the hard one this year because he doesn’t really take naps anymore (although he does some days!). I will probably be using quiet time bins with him and having him read/play legos quietly. The quiet time is a nice divider for our days activities and resets everyone – including me! It gives me a chance to regroup, eat, and get a little work done. It’s one thing that I don’t think I could manage without. We all count on our quiet time in a way! 😉
I’d love to see what you’re doing this summer! I am also really excited to start featuring other mamas (and nannies) on Instagram, so be sure to use the hashtag #gracefulsummer and tag @thegracefuljourney !
I am also thinking about writing some more about the logistics of “managing” multiple kiddos and things I’ve done that have been successful, so let me know in the comments or on social media if you’re interested in that!
If you want to read about how we’ve done summer in the past, check out the posts below. We’ve tried a variety of things and it’s shifted as needed and as the kids have gotten older.
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