Summer Schedules And Activities | Kiwi Crate

Around here we are transitioning from school year schedule to summer schedule.

I like schedules. I liked schedules when we had a two-parent household and I probably like them even more now as a one-parent household. The schedules we have around here aren't super rigid but they do lend structure to our days which is necessary for me working from home and for their overall happiness as well (and as always with everything it's a work in progress and a constant navigation).

I like the kids to have a balance of activities - a bit of screen time, outside time, reading time, quiet play time, craft time (mainly for Anna), workbook time (academic workbooks like math for Simon and letters/numbers for Anna) so we organize our days into chunks of time. On the days when they aren't out of the house they are in and out of the office, sometimes doing projects in here, sometimes outside, sometimes hanging out in other areas of the house.

Next week Simon will be heading to summer school and Anna will start a day camp so that will mix things up again. They will both be out of the house until mid-afternoon. When they come home the plan is for snacks and then quiet time in their rooms. This is something my Mom did for us when we were growing up in the summers as well. Quiet time means you go to your room and you can nap, read, play quietly, etc. for a set amount of time - the key being it's on your own. We often did this on days we had swim meets in the early evening. Our afternoons were spent resting up (I usually read or took a nap) for the evening activities. Around here after they have some quiet time I like to head to the pool if it's nice - that's the plan anyways (like I mentioned above - there's also flexibility involved). This is something new for Anna and she's working on adjusting to not having someone with her to play with all the time.

I also like to have a list of fun things for the kids to do when they start asking (or whining) about what to do next. This was especially true last week when we had a couple of days with rain instead of sun.

One of the things that Anna really likes are the craft kits from Kiwi Crate. I've mentioned them here before (initial review here) and we are still enjoying them.

I save these crates for when we can work on them together because she does need some assistance and because they are an awesome opportunity for us to do something together. She loves opening them up and I love checking out the design and the thought that goes into each one.

One thing I really love is the conversation that comes up. The photos here are from the Making Music kit - we had so much fun talking about music, sharing the tasks/creating the instruments, and then making some music.

She's come back to this kit multiple times to create more music. I love that it's not just a one time thing.

The other recent box that we really enjoyed was the Farmer's Market crate - another one that's getting multiple use and encouraging imaginative and interactive play.

We are looking forward to opening up the next box.

You can order the Making Music kit here or sign up for their monthly kit here.

13 thoughts

  1. Ruth G

    2013-07-05 15:16:31 +0200

    Sounds like you've got the right idea! I know that a schedule is really great to help Simon know what to expect each day and that the quiet time really does help avoid the before dinner grumpies (I wonder if it's typical for the youngest to be more extroverted - my eldest needed quiet time to regroup but it was like torture for my extroverted and younger son.) Thanks for sharing! I hope that your summer is filled with fond memories and happiness!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  2. Marlee

    2013-07-05 16:37:15 +0200

    Hi Ali - Struggling here to get a summer schedule going. Our days really need structure. Such a timely post! Do you have an example or printable of your schedule that I could work off of? That would be so great.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  3. Christina Kimmell

    2013-07-05 17:03:50 +0200

    As a work at home mom, I can relate to the summer schedule madness. It seems that once we get the schedule finally down, It's back to school. I think you stated it perfectly that you have to adapt to the new season and love every crazy second of it! :)

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  4. TracyBzz

    2013-07-05 17:22:57 +0200

    I had a Bucket of Summer Fun for my kids. I cut squares of cardstock, found a cute bucket and wrote out all kinds of ideas for stuff to do in the summer. When they'd say "I'm bored" or I'd decide that was enough tv then we'd get the bucket out and find something to do. Everything from play with play-doh to bake cookies. Worked quite well.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  5. Queen Mary

    2013-07-05 18:49:49 +0200

    I think most teachers will second the recommendations for summer schedules and structure; most kids do crave structure -- I think they even say that about teenagers pushing the limits -- they still want those limits to be there! Did Simon have quiet time at Anna's age? Maybe Anna could spend some quiet time thinking up ideas for her own craft crates and stuff she'd like to make! Love the ankle bracelet -- she should check out some belly dancing books or videos to go with it!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  6. Jana Oliveira

    2013-07-05 19:34:02 +0200

    Does Ali or anyone have any suggestion for Autistic kids toddlers this box seems great but for my son non verbal and with some sensory issues craft is not really his best activity.
    The rain days are the worst

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  7. CJ

    2013-07-05 21:51:47 +0200

    What a lovely post Ali, it's inspirational to hear about all the things you have planned. Summer is such a wonderful time and so many memories are made then I think. I hope you all have a good weekend.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  8. Jane

    2013-07-05 22:47:40 +0200

    I love the idea of quiet alone time and wish I'd thought of this when my kids were growing up. Would it be too pushy to tell my daughter-in-law about this?

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  9. Tracey

    2013-07-06 11:05:45 +0200

    I'd love to hear more about how you structure your days, how much time you dedicate to each area.

    I'm rather miffed with the Kiwi Crate folks, how can they use our native bird for their company and yet not actually ship to New Zealand? So disappointed.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  10. Liz

    2013-07-06 18:06:32 +0200

    Finding the rhythm of summer takes time... but once I do I love having a blend of structure and freedom. We've been trying "family meetings" on Sundays around our firepit... relaxing, talking about what worked the last week and what's coming up the following week... I used to roll my eyes at family meetings, but it's surprisingly nice.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  11. J3SS1C4

    2013-07-08 01:01:50 +0200

    I used to love quiet time and would have quiet time pretty much every day. I still do! I love reading and relaxing on my own for an hour or 2 each day! Goodluck getting into the rhythm of summer! :)

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  12. Jennifer K

    2013-07-08 23:35:26 +0200

    Love the idea of Kiwi Crate, we need something like that for older kids (including stuff boys would like)! I'm great at guiding my kids in doing crafts, but I'm just not into thinking up the ideas.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
  13. Ricka

    2013-07-10 05:09:31 +0200

    Hi Ali, it sounds good having a summer schedule for the kids. I have summer schedule for my kiddos too. It seems doesn't work for me, and feel very frustrated. I am planning for them doing worksheet after breakfast. After that, they can be playing whatever they want. It seems it is very torture for us and unhappy. I don't want them spending too much time playing all day. What should I do?

    * edited 08/08/14 11:51PM
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