Summertime Lists to Keep You Sane

summetime lists

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:

~eat breakfast

~brush your teeth

~get dressed

~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

Practice Drawing/Art

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

Make Jewelry

Make Popsicles

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!


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