The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Summer Fun with Little Ones

I’m a SAHM to a four-year-old and a one-year-old, and because we just wrapped up my son’s first year of preschool, this is one of the first times we’ve felt much of a difference between spring and summer.  I know summer will mean much more to me when (gulp) they are both in school.

But for now, just like always, I’m interested in enjoying the season and creating some memories with my sweet kiddos. Here’s what I’m doing to tackle summertime.

Create a Simple Schedule

I’ve found that having a rough idea of what comes next is great not just for my kids, but for me as a mom too. Here’s our really simple summer schedule for days when we don’t have a big plan.

7 AM breakfast
7:30-9  clean up, play with toys
9-11:00 get out of the house (park, store, library, etc.)
11:00-11:45 craft or art at home, clean up
11:45-12:30 PM lunch
12:30 Sylvie naps
1:30-3:00 Kai’s quiet time
3:00-3:30 learning & snack
3:30-4:30 play outside
4:30-5:15 clean up, TV show

Create a Summer Bucket List

This year was the first time we sat down as a family and wrote out what we wanted to do this summer. It’s hanging up in our pantry as a reminder, and we’re going to love crossing things off. I think we’re going to do this not just every year but at the beginning of every new season.

On our list are things like

  • going to the fair
  • watching fireworks
  • going to the zoo
  • fishing
  • seeing friends
  • shopping trips
  • local events
  • swimming
  • eating ice cream

….and more. If you haven’t done this yet, I highly recommend it!

Create a Boredom Jar

It’s okay for kids to get bored. I don’t have something amazing planned or feel pressure to entertain them at all times. But there’s always a need to keep some momentum going each day, and this is actually a great way to get kids thinking about creating their own fun.

So grab a jar or bowl, cut out a few slips of paper or get some popsicle sticks, and write down easy entertainment ideas. I don’t recommend writing down any big bucket list items, because you may not be able to drop everything and go to the zoo, for example.

The next time your kids are bored, have them pick something from the jar. A lot of these can cross over into other seasons or will work for rainy or way-too-hot days. Here are a few ideas in our boredom bowl:

  • Read a book
  • Play tag outside
  • Make a dessert together
  • Color
  • Go for a walk around the block
  • Learn a new song on the xylophone
  • Tell a story as a group (one sentence per person)
  • Call grandma
  • Play charades
  • Have a picnic
  • Learn to draw something new
  • Make shadow puppets
  • Play with water in the backyard
  • Build a fort

Try Out These Awesome Ideas for Backyard Fun!

I started a summertime board on Pinterest about a month ago, so I thought I’d include some highlights for you. Here’s a roundup of my favorite ideas for making everyday memories in the backyard with your kids this summer.

  1. Potion Lab via Inner Child Fun
  2. Spray Bottle Art via My Sister’s Suitcase
  3. Giant Homemade Bubbles via Living Well Spending Less
  4. 2-Material Ocean Sensory Bin via Fun-a-Day
  5. Ice Cream In a Bag via Play Learn Grow
  6. Name Writing Scavenger Hunt via Adventure in a Box
  7. DIY PVC Backyard Water Park via Classy Clutter

Sometimes it feels a little daunting, looking at three months of wide-open space on the calendar. But usually, it’s the weeks of unplanned fun that bring out our creativity as a family. I hope you have a great summer with your kids, in both big moments and small ones!


Keeping things REAL with simple, genius ideas to combat boredom and establish routine at home with your kiddos this summer.

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