Sample Summer Schedules for Kids

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Find great summer schedules for kids to get ideas on how to structure your summer for your family. Get ideas for balancing structure and fun!

Child playing in the sand.

A big question people have when summer comes around is “what should our summer schedule look like?” People want to have fun in summer and perhaps relax things a bit, but they still want to maintain some structure and routine.

You can see how I plan my summer schedule here

Before my children were in school, our summer schedule really was no different than our spring, winter, or fall schedules. I am sure this was in large part due to the fact that Brayden was not a terribly flexible baby or toddler.

We had our disruptions during summer, but our main schedule was the same most days. I didn’t really start creating a summer schedule until Brayden started school and our summers became something that could be distinguished from other times of the year.

Creating a Summer Schedule

When creating a summer schedule for a baby, I do not change the daily schedule for the baby in summer significantly. This is truen even if I have older kids who are in school and out for the summer.

I worked my older children’s summer schedule around the baby’s schedule. I had them do nap and rest time while the baby did nap. I had them eat meals when the baby was used to eating meals (or around the baby’s meals if needed).

So as you plan your summer schedule, note when naps are and when meals are. Plan meals and rest/nap time for everyone else around those times. Also plan Independent Play around those times if needed. Then you can plan out the schedule for the family and work the rest of baby’s things in around what the family is doing.

How to Prepare for the Summer You Want to Have

Schedules Can Be Flexible

There are some things I want to point out. I view summer as a more flexible time of year. I always remember that my schedule is to serve me and my family. If we are on a walk and I planned our walk to last 30 minutes and we take longer than 30 minutes, I don’t stress about it.

If we are having a lot of fun with the learning activity and it takes over our time slot for free play, I don’t mind (that is one reason I put free play there–so we could borrow from it if needed).

If I don’t have anything ready for learning time, free play becomes an hour instead of just 30 minutes. On the other hand, if the children don’t get their chores done in time to go on a walk that day, the walk doesn’t happen. It is a logical consequence.

Schedules Are Still Valuable

With that said, schedules are still valuable. Don’t throw them out the window. Don’t stress about only having “18 summers with your kids“. Summer is just a season. It is not a time slot you are required to fill up with constant entertainment. You are not required to give your child every life experience there is before turning 18. 

It is okay to have a daily schedule even in the summer months. You can have a fun family summer even if you have a routine. I kind of look at summer as a great opportunity to teach my children skills they need to develop, like how to cook new foods.

I even add in extra chores for my kids during the summer. True story! 

Do you know that I even am perfectly happy to just let my kids be bored in the summer months? I think it is good for them.


Read: Why You Should Let Your Child Be Bored This Summer


You can still have fun and have structure. The fun you plan can be very simple. I have 12 ideas for simple summer fun here. 

And that isn’t to say you can’t have some great, elaborate days of fun. You absolutely can. It just doesn’t have to be every day (or really many days…maybe even any days).

Elements of a Summer Routine

Here are some key elements to consider including in your summer schedule. This isn’t everything you ever could have, just things I strongly encourage you to include.

Independent Playtime

This is such a valuable item to have each day that I will always recommend you have it. It is even valuable with my teenagers. They of course don’t go play with toys, but they get some time in their rooms alone each day when siblings can’t pester them.

Yes, they all love each other, but being together all day every day for several months gets old no matter how much you like each other. This is especially true when some are introverts and others are extroverts.

Sustained Silent Reading

Sustained Silent Reading (or SSR) is one of my favorite things about summer. We often like this to be after lunch. It is during the heat of the day and gives kids a chance to sit still and cool down. It will also remind them how thirsty they are. 

Chores

Children being home all day means they are contributing to the messes of the house more regularly. DO NOT feel bad about enlisting their help to clean up after themselves and the other family members. 

Learning Time

My kids always love having some learning time each day. This is a fun thing to add in.

Free Play

Free play is a perfect summer activity. Do not be afraid to have a lot of free play time in the summer. Remember, children learn through play. 

Eating and Sleeping

You of course need your meal times in there. You might need some rest time or nap time worked in there, also. Do not feel bad about providing your child with the time her body needs for some rest. Older children might get sufficient rest just from SSR time each day.

Summer schedules for kids pinnable image with a picture a child in the sand

Sample Summer Schedules for Kids

Below are some samples of our summer schedules we have had over the years.

Don’t live and die by the schedule. Have a game plan, but be flexible as needed. Do remember, respect sleep times and meal times as much as possible. Doing so goes a long way for helping your child be flexible.

A way to make a schedule more flexible is to work more in time blocks than specific times. So you would say, “we will do activities A, B, and C between 8-9 AM” and not care the exact timing of each of those three items so long as you got them all done in that hour. Then you can play it by ear more. 

School-Aged Children Schedule

This was Brayden’s schedule one summer:

7:00 AM–Wake up. Get ready for day.

7:30 AM–Sibling Playtime

8:00 AM–Breakfast

8:30 AM–Music/learning time

9:00 AM–Practice Piano

9:30 AM–Chores

10:00 AM–Walk/bike ride

10:30 AM–Play outside

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Learning Activity

1:00 PM–Free Play

1:30 PM–Sustained Silent Reading

2:00 PM–Rest Time

2:30 PM–Independent Playtime

3:30 PM–Free Playtime (at times, TV time or video game time would happen in this block)

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:30 PM–Bedtime


Wanting to avoid summer setback? Read my tips on avoiding summer setback here.


This was Brayden’s schedule one summer. This was designed to be done when the weather was cooler outside:

7:00 AM–Wake up. Get ready for day.

7:30 AM–Sibling Playtime

8:00 AM–Breakfast

8:30 AM–Music/learning time

9:00 AM–Practice Piano

9:30 AM–Chores

10:00 AM–Walk/bike ride

10:30 AM–Independent Playtime

11:30 AM–Learning Time

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Outside Time

1:30 PM–Sustained Silent Reading

2:00 PM–Rest Time

2:30 PM–Free Play/Outside time

4:30 PM–Free Playtime (at times, TV time or video game time would happen in this block)

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:30 PM–Bedtime


Thinking of doing a summer camp? Read my reasons why you should and why you shouldn’t here.


This was Brayden’s and Kaitlyn’s schedule one summer:

7:00 AM–Wake up. Get ready for day.

7:30 AM–Practice Piano/Sibling Playtime

8:00 AM–Breakfast

8:30 AM–Chores

9:00 AM–Walk/Bike ride

9:30 AM–Sports practice

10:00 AM–Outside Time

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Learning Activity

1:00 PM–Free Play

1:30 PM–Sustained Silent Reading

2:00 PM–Rest Time

2:30 PM–Independent Playtime

3:30 PM–Free Playtime (at times, TV time or video game time would happen in this block)

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:30 PM–Bedtime

 

Another Brayden summer schedule basic outline.

7 AM–Wake up and read

8 AM–Swim team practice

9 AM–Eat breakfast and get ready. Do any chores needed.

Noon–lunch

12:30 PM–Free time

5:00 PM–Dinner then family time

 

Brayden Teen Schedule

6 AM–Get up (YES! This is when he got up. He had swim team each weekday)
6:30 AM–Leave for swim team
9:00 AM–Get home. Get ready. Do chores.
NOON–Lunch

I really let him have a lot of control over when he did what during summer. He had a list of ideas and our summer schedule to consult, but I didn’t care when he did certain things for the most part.

Preschool-Aged Schedule

This was Kaitlyn’s schedule one summer:

7:30 AM–Wake up. Sibling Playtime

8:00 AM–Breakfast

8:30 AM–Music/learning time

9:00 AM–Get ready

9:30 AM–Chores

10:00 AM–Walk/bike ride

10:30 AM–Play outside

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Learning Activity

1:00 PM–Free Play

1:30 PM–Sustained Silent Reading

2:00 PM–Nap Time

4:00 PM–Get up/Independent Playtime

5:00 PM–Free Playtime (at times, TV time or video game time would happen in this block)

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:30 PM–Bedtime

 

This was McKenna’s schedule one summer:

7:00 AM–Wake up. Get ready for day.

7:30 AM–Sibling Playtime

8:00 AM–Breakfast

8:30 AM–Chores

9:00 AM–Walk/Bike ride

9:30 AM–Sports practice

10:00 AM–Outside Time

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Learning Activity

1:00 PM–Free Play

1:30 PM–Sustained Silent Reading

2:00 PM–Rest Time/Nap

3:30 PM–Independent Playtime

4:30 PM–Free Playtime (at times, TV time or video game time would happen in this block)

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:00 PM–Bedtime

 

Toddler-Aged Schedule

This was McKenna’s schedule one summer:

8:00 AM–Wake up/Breakfast

8:30 AM–Music/learning time

9:00 AM–Get ready

9:30 AM–Chores

10:00 AM–Walk/bike ride

10:30 AM–Play outside

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Learning Activity

1:00 PM–Free Play

1:30 PM–Nap

4:30 PM–Get up/Independent Playtime

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:00 PM–Bedtime

Sample Summer Schedules for Kids

This was Brinley’s schedule one summer:

8:00 AM–Wake up/Breakfast

8:30 AM–Get ready

9:00 AM–Walk/Bike ride

9:30 AM–Outside Time

11:00 AM–Independent Playtime

12:00 Noon–Lunch

12:30 PM–Learning Activity

1:00 PM–Free Play

1:30 PM–Nap

5:00 PM–Free Playtime

5:30 PM–Dinner

6:00 PM–Family Time

7:30 PM–Get Ready for Bed

8:00 PM–Bedtime

 

I would love to add your schedule! Share your summer schedule in the comments! I will add them to this post for people to reference in the future.

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valplowman
valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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4 Comments

  1. Mara Kreiling
    June 20, 2014 / 5:42 PM

    These schedules are very helpful! I'd love to see other also. I feel like on weekends it's just a free for all with our 16 month old twins (this is year round since I work full time). I've been thinking I need to add more structure to the day in addition to the regular meal time, nap time and bedtime!

  2. Jessie
    June 22, 2014 / 12:58 AM

    Toddler schedule (working around a newborn)7:15 Get up, get ready, breakfast8:00 Free play with Mommy8:45 IP9:45 Clean up10:00 Show10:30 Walk or Outside time11:30 Lunch12:30 Nap3:15 Snack3:30 Outside time/play with Daddy when he gets home5:00 Show5:30 Supper6:00 books, bath7:00 In bed

  3. May 24, 2019 / 3:25 PM

    Thanks for this! I love how you always emphasize that your schedule serves YOU. Not the other way around! And your sample schedules always so helpful!

    • May 24, 2019 / 4:44 PM

      You are so welcome! I am so glad that message is coming through.

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