Summer offers many organizational challenges: inconsistent schedules, summer trips, sunset at 9 p.m., camps, playdates, and more. It also gives us a chance to spend more time with the kids, which we hope can be fun instead of a struggle. When you organize your summer, summer fun is more likely.
It’s summer solstice, a few weeks into summer for many, when the joy of being out of school has worn off and everyone’s needing a little adventure. Create a summer fun board to give yourselves a wish list of things to do, people to see, and places to go. It’ll give you some things to check off, inspiration on the long days, and calendars to remember all that you want to do.
Easy Ways to Organize Your Summer
Make a Summer Calendar
Especially for kids who are still mastering an understanding of time and calendars, summer offers great challenges. The structure of a school week has let them know what they would be doing and where they would be most of the time. If you’ve got summer camps, vacations, house guests, and special summer activities, putting those on a calendar really helps. That way the kids (and you) have a way of keeping track of when and where you are. WinCalendar has a great free calendar template you can customize with your schedule.
Set Summer Intentions
This is a family activity that gives everyone a voice in what they want to do this summer. You can brainstorm these lists and check out these resources together, then make your Summer Fun Board.
- People to See: Consider who you want to see this summer: family, school friends, other friends or connections.
- Things to Do: This is where you get to think about what’s fun for you as a family. What is play for one of you can be miserable for another. Figuring out the places where play overlaps so that everyone’s having fun is key. I write more about how to Make a Play List here. I highly recommend 101 Things You Gotta Do Before You’re 12 by Joanne Sullivan and I’ve set up a Pinterest board of Summer Activities that can help you brainstorm too.
- Places to Go: This can include day trips and out of town stays, but check out places in your hometown too. The book 101 Places You Gotta See Before You’re 12 is a great resource for this, no matter where you live. It includes things like go to a junk museum, a really big thing, an unusual animal farm, and a ghost town. Using the book may help you discover things you didn’t even know were nearby.
To make it look fun, you can buy a foam board in a neat color. Use scrapbook paper for backgrounds, use different color ink for your lists, and format the board in a fun font. Dafont.com has great free fonts. Happy summer!
Summer Fun in Austin Resources
For those of you in Austin, check out Austin Monthly’s 101 Fun Things to Do This Summer in Austin, Austin Chronicle’s Summer Fun and Free Fun in Austin. Some of our favorites are Austin Symphony Concerts in the Park (free and one of our favorites), Sound & Cinema – a live band and movie series presented by Alamo Drafthouse and the Long Center, and Zilker Hillside Theatre summer musical. I’d love to hear about your family’s fun things to do and places to go.