When my daughter was a little younger, we took her to see a fireworks show on the Fourth of July. It was an amazing show and my breath was taken away. I looked down to see if my daughter was enjoying it and she was literally playing with a firework app on the iPad, missing the beauty right in front of her. It was that moment that something clicked in me. I wanted my little ones to have a wonderful and fun summer, but I wanted to make sure that summer was full of diverse things.
We implemented a summer program from my kids and it has made a world of difference. Our house is cleaner, our kids our happier and they are able to experience more than just the screen of their iPad. In fact? Most days they get so caught up in the other things that they forget about the screen time all together. We don’t mind them playing their devices, as long as they are doing other things too. This is what we have them do every day in the summer.
I have put our program on a printable with three different styles, so you can print it out and use it with your kiddos this summer. Download all three below.
1. Have You Read for 20 Minutes. Did you know that making sure your kids read every day during the summer is one of the best ways to prevent the summer slide? The best part? They benefit no matter what they are reading, so let them pick up Goosebumps or even comic books. If you reader loves Harry Potter, check out the illustrated version. It is gorgeous!
2. Have you written in your summer journal? We started writing in journals because my daughter’s school requires it. We have found it is so much fun to read back later what happened during the summer. Bonus points for helping hand writing.
3. Is Your Room Clean? What mom doesn’t wish for a cleaner house instead of a messier house in the summer? This helps us keep a handle on the mess.
4. Have you done something for someone else? Sometimes this is a chore for mom. Sometimes it is reading a book to a little sister. I just love the compassion and sense of service this has instilled in my kids.
5. Have you done something creative? We count almost anything as creative time. Building with blocks, playing with Goldiblocks (a creative engineering toy), playing Legos, dress ups. Anything that gets them building or playing pretend.
6. Have you played outside? I still can’t figure out why you would want a screen if you could swim or jump on a trampoline and honestly? Once they go outside, this is often where they forget they wanted to play with a screen in the first place.
7. Have you made your bed? This goes along with cleaning your room, but often in our house, this step gets missed.
8. Is your Summer Bridge Done? One thing I didn’t included on the printable that we also require is pages out of Summer Bridge every day. It is a book that has simple worksheets to go over things your children learned in school to help them remember it by the time the next school year comes. The workbooks are really affordable and we have loved them.
These simple things have changed our summers completely. I feel like summers are more like the ones I had as a kid now and less filled with TV shows and video games. Get the free printables to post where your kids can see them below.
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Amanda Love says
I love this idea. I know my kids are going to be trying to play video games all day but it's not going to happen. I might use this list and substitute a few for something else. Thanks for the list.
This is a great idea. My kids love their gadgets and would play it all day everyday during summer if I let them. This is a very useful printable that will help them remember that there is more to having fun that watching Minecraft videos on YouTube!!
Heather Lawrence says
Cute printable!! My kids love their screen time and it's even harder during the summer to keep them unplugged. I can guarantee at least 2 weeks they won't have access to anything but the remainder of the summer can be a little tricky.
I absolutely love this idea!! I think I may need to borrow this from you. In the past I had the kids earn screen time minutes by doing chores, doing something nice, and being a helper, but I like that you added reading and creativity! My kids are all ravenous readers, so that one shouldn't be an issue for them.
Cheers to a fun and calm summer!
Rose Sahetapy says
Every ideas that bring the kids to do outdoor activities instead of playing their Ipad are great. The additional printable is even better, and very creative.
Rachel Langer says
Mine would play all day long if I let them. I have similar rules but I like yours even better! My kids say thank you.
Carolyn @ Fennell Seeds says
I love this! I did something similar last year and need to figure out my plan for this summer. Only 3 days of school left!
Rebecca Bryant says
what a great idea. My teenager would love this.
Vicky @ Mess For Less says
I am loving these! Thank you. This is such a great resource and makes sure kids do all the important things before they can get screen time.
Cheap Is The *New* Classy says
These are great printables. I need to print one out and highlight "Is your room clean?" and put it on my daughter's door, lol.
I don't think there was ever a time when my kids didn't have screen time rules. It was just part of life to them. Not the case with a lot of their friends.
I love the idea of a summer journal! We homeschool, and so we have some rules in place for screen time, but I haven't really been thinking about summer!
Hodge Podge Moments says
As a teacher, I'm in love with this printable! It's so important for kids to still have structure and reading in their life over the summer. This printable is perfect for that!
Vineta @ The Handyman's Daughter says
Love this idea! Our son would watch Minecraft videos all day long if he could. This way he knows what he needs to do before he starts pestering me for the iPad!