Here we are, another summer has ushered in and I’m being forced against my will to squeeze myself into a swimsuit again, all for the sake of the children, which may just so happen to be why I also forced myself to buy a gym membership too. It’s like if the kids demand I show myself poolside for an entire summer they also are gonna let momma have an hour alone at the gym. Win Win.
Last summer I submitted myself to the Smart Barre, thinking that would be the magic workout that would reverse the affects of aging on my bod, so I went to the 6am class far too many times in hopes for results. It was good for a time, but honey, nobody should be driving themselves across town that early before the rest of the world wakes up just to firm up your buns.
I decided for this summer, if I’m gonna wake up at 5:30 am it’s going to be accompanied by a cup of coffee, my Bible, a comfortable couch, and my computer, and the only things getting an exercise before sunrise will be my fingers.
So, everyone is coming up with these lists to have their kids accomplish before screen time, with hopes that our kids won’t waste away their precious brains and bodies by sitting in front of a glowing screen all summer, at least not without having done something fruitful before hand.
We are joining the crowds in this endeavor, much to our children’s delight. Dinnertime last night was presentation of list time and the whole plan for summer. I must say, it went way better than expected. Initially in my mind’s eye I had myself running from the room after the whole presentation crying. But in actuality everyone was pretty cheerful by the end of it, and there were only a few initial tears and frantic “my life is ruined” feelings before everyone seemed to get a grip and realize it wasn’t so bad and life indeed would be fine.
So if you want to be (un)popular with your kids, here’s the lists I came up with–feel free to use them verbatim or just use them as inspiration for your own lists for your own family.
To simply print out my lists, click here and print away…
First, I created “The LIST” that they have to work from, inspired by this lady’s blog–they have to do the list before screen time. The one exception is that we allow them three times a week to wake up and watch cartoons and whatever else they want until 9 or so, because we are cool like that and understand that’s part of the summer dream. But then they have to do “the list” before any additional screen time on that day.
(the printable copy is much cuter than this)
Before you enjoy screen time, please complete
~with a cheerful attitude~
Do your work heartily as unto the Lord
Read Your Bible for at least 10 minutes
Get ready for the day:
~brush your teeth
~brush your hair
~Make your bed & tidy your room (toys & clothes)
Play outside ~30 minutes
Read an enjoyable book ~20 minutes
Do something creative/productive~30 minutes
Complete one “help my family” chore
Ask if there’s anything else you can do to help?
Then I created a “help my family” list (i.e. chore list but that sounds so much nicer) and I put clothes pins with their names on them that they can move down after they’ve completed one of the items. It’s just one per day, it’s totally doable.
Help My Family List
(one per day)
take out trash/replace liners
scoop the poop/ pick up litter in yard
wipe bathroom counters w/clorox wipe
clean toilet and toilet bowl
sweep & mop both bathrooms
dust your bedroom & one family room
vacuum your bedroom & one family room
dust master bedroom & kitchen
vacuum master bedroom & kitchen
clean off island & table top
put away all items on the stairs
clean out car & vacuum
help mom with dinner
feed the sourdough
*Saturdays: Sort & Fold laundry*
*every day & night every person:*
empty & load dishwasher ~ breakfast
clear & wipe table/sweep/load dishwasher~dinner
work as a team and take turns
*screen time morning schedule*
tues+thurs+sat=yes (until 9:00am)
Ideas for Creative & Productive Activities
Make a Cutting
Cook or Bake Something
Adult Coloring Books
Build with Legos or City Blocks
Grocery Shop with Mom
Help Plan a Menu/Meal
Organize a closet or cabinet
Sort through personal items & give away 5 things
Help Mom on a House Project (paint/hanging things/handyman)
Walk the Dog
Brush the Dog
Teach the Dog a New Trick
Learn how to Hand Letter (watch a you tube video & practice)
Practice your instrument
Write a friend a letter
Work on a Puzzle
Play Games with a Sibling
Make an iMovie
I hope this helps you make sense of a whole summer with kids! If you have any additional thoughts and tips please share, cause we’re all in this together and we moms have to support each other!