Summer Fun with Your Kids

Posted on Jun 18 2012 - 7:47pm by Jessica Johnson

My friend Anna does such a great job organizing her family for summer every year that  I asked her to write an article for this week’s organization post.  I know her thoughts will inspire you to organize your family for a productive and memorable summer!  Thanks Anna.  – Jessica Johnson

Anna Macfarlane is a mother of four, freelance writer, and has written on her personal blog,, since way back in January 2008.


Summer Fun with My Kids

School has been out for an entire week. If I’m being honest, it feels more like a month. The kids are underfoot and, on occasion, under my skin. Bless their little hearts. It is time to implement our summer system for fun. My system is mostly painless, I promise.

Summer Fun Poster

If I want my kids to get in on the chores and learning portions of summer, I’ve got to get them excited about the fun parts. The first thing we do is pull out a big colorful poster board and announce that this will be where we put our Summer Fun list. Everyone yells out (with inside voices, of course, but got to keep the excitement going) different activities and themes that they want to participate in during the summer months.

  • Dinosaur Museum
  • Camping
  • Backwards Day
  • Farmers’ Market
  • Movie Marathon
  • Snow Cones!

I write everything down. Everything. Then we pare it down to a manageable number. I always sneak in a few things that we would do anyway (family reunion, visiting Grandma, gelato, hike, library) which make more items to fill up and then check off.  We write down the 40 or 50 favorites on the poster, color it, and hang it where everyone can reach it.

All Play and No Work?  Mixing Summer Fun With Work

We all want to do the fun things, but work still needs to get done. I have friends and family members that give their kids ten chores to do every day in the summer. This is one of those moments I throw out the ol’ “Good for them!”

We keep it pretty simple around here: three checks by noon if you want to participate in the family fun activity for the day.

  1. Clean room. Includes bed made, clothes put away, etc.
  2. Read. Depending on the age, from 10 – 40 minutes.
  3. Chore. I usually write chores that need to be done on the chalkboard in the kitchen. First one done reading and cleaning their bedroom gets to choose from the chores on the chalkboard. They vary, but mostly consist of bathrooms to clean, garden to weed, areas to vacuum.

Checking Off the Fun is Fun

My kids all want to be the one to check off the activity when we get back home. Seeing the progress of our Summer Fun is part of the fun. The best part of summer is keeping it easy, cool, and having fun with the kids while they still want to have fun with you. Know what I’m saying?

You can make your own poster for summer fun or download this summer fun chart to create your own list of fun things to do to make the most of summer.

Do you have a system for activities and chores for your kids in the summer? What have you done in the past that has been successful? Would you try out a method similar to ours?

Anna Macfarlane


3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. CLO June 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm -

    This is fab. Thanks, Ahnna

  2. Anne June 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm -

    Summer is making me a little crazy already and I think this is the push I need to make our list. Love the chores, too- everyone needs extra reading time and a little work too!

  3. Sue Anderson June 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm -

    Great ideas, Anna! My mom has a similar system and it worked well for us.