summer planning

Let the countdown begin!
4 more weeks of school and the kids are all mine for 2 whole months!  

From the schoolyard talk I have discovered that this countdown evokes different reactions from different parents! ;o)
For me, it means that right now I am busy busy researching all the possibilities for fun times during the summer holiday!

Here's how I make our general plan...

 ~ research
I start by researching the events that are going to be offered during July and August in our town.  I search free programs offered at our public library and local parks, municipal events and "by donation" days at our art gallery and nature sanctuary.  I check to see if we have any free passes to tourist attractions or the local pool and see if we can visit on a day that they have an event planned.  After I have exhausted all of my free options I look into day camps, live performances, out of town events and other activities that charge admission fees.

~ plan for summer harvesting
We try and preserve as much fresh summer food as possible.  This takes a fair amount of time so I estimate when the crops will be ready and block tentative dates for picking and preserving

~ write everything on a "planning calendar"
I include any summer lessons, birthdays and other celebrations, family events, appointments and playdates as well.  Now I can see which events overlap and how busy my family will be during each week.

~ schedule "down time"
This one is very important for our family.  We all need to take time to "unwind" so I try and book days in between big events with days that we have nothing to do.  The book Simplicity Parenting describes in detail how important this is for children of all ages, I highly recommend adding it to your summer reads if you are unfamiliar with Kim John Payne's book.

~ assess the calendar
Is the calendar already full?  Do I want to take on more or leave some "wiggle room" for spontaneous outings?

~ look for "themes"
Now I have an idea about what activities we'll be doing I can plan some additional fun at home (aka: Camp Mom) that ties in with our "themes" throughout the summer.  I like to encourage playful learning and for me that means having (loosely) planned "theme weeks".  For example: if the library is having an afternoon program on pirates, that week we may do other activities that are related to the ocean or boats.  We may go swimming (our local pool has a giant pirate ship), or picnic at a park with a pirate ship play structure to play on.  I will fill our bookshelf with books about pirates and ships from the library, source some related music CD's or DVD's and plan some new ocean crafts.  At night I often search the internet for ideas and add them to my Pinterest boards sorted by theme.  I also like to tie food, decorations, games and toys into our themes.  So we may have seaweed with our meal served on our nautical placemats or pull out the pirate dress up clothes and play pirate lego.  The possibilities are literally endless and the more creative you get with tying everyday things into your theme (pirate pj's with a parrot stuffy at bedtime?) the more fun the kids have.

~ keep a record
In addition to Pinterest, I have binders that I keep notes and ideas about each theme.  I include information about what we did, where we went, where I got materials for projects, book, music and movie lists, notes on how I used everyday items in our theme, printed educational materials, computer links and photos of how I put it all together.
fyi:  I like to sort things by season so I have 4 binders that include themes that take place during each season along with a corresponding storage tote where I keep any supplies.

I hope this inspires you to create some simple creative summer plans
for your children this summer. 

~ joey~


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your summer planning ideas with the All Year Round Summer Carnival. You've provided lots of inspiration in this post! :) I've featured it here:

  2. Hey Joey,
    I love your blog. Your overflowing creativity is really inspiring. Thank you for the aida cloth advice. I have some larger-spaced one on order. I am sure that is going to be much easier for me and my son.

    Glad you linked these posts. They are great.


I really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas about the posts that I write here. It's nice to just say hi too!
~ joey ~