How to Prepare for the Summer You Want to Have

Summer does not need to be elaborate, but if you have any goals for summer, it is wise to do some planning. Read these 6 simple steps for summer planning.

mother and daughter walking along a dirt road

Summer does not need to be fancy. It does not need to be lived up to the very last moment. You can make summer what you want it to be. The tricky thing is if we are not careful, we will find ourselves at the end of summer in a panic. 

You want to avoid that panic moment. You know, that time when summer is over and you realize it didn’t go as you pictured it. You feel that pang of regret. You procrastinated implementing goals and now you feel the need to cram it all into a two week period.

All of it.

Of course, you can’t cram it all in during a two week period. Cue the mom guilt.

Let’s avoid that this summer. Let’s start off the summer intentionally. This doesn’t mean you have to be all rigid during the summer. No, you can have a routine and have a life in the summer. But you can’t really accomplish goals you never even set.

Read: How To Have a Fun Summer Even with a Routine

Summer Prep Checklist

It doesn’t take much to prepare for the summer you really want to have. Let’s talk about some things to include on your summer prep checklist. 

1-Know how you want to spend summer

There is no right or wrong here. What activities do you want to do this summer? Make a list of the things you want to get done.

Do you want to hit the zoo? The water park? Go camping? You don’t want to reach the end of the summer and realize you didn’t do anything you wanted to get done. Just write down your goals and see how you can fit it in.

Do you want to have your kids do some summer camps? 

Also, if you want to go on a vacation, you might need to plan things with a fair amount of advance; things can really book up quickly and you might have a hard time finding lodging or booking flights. See also: 

How to prepare for the summer you really want with a picture of a mother and daughter walking down a road

2-Know your goals for summer

Know what you want to accomplish during the summer. Do you want it to be a lazy summer? Do you want teach your child new skills during summer? Do you want to keep up on reading skills during the summer?

Write those goals down.

Summer is sneaky. You will find yourself panicking two weeks before school starts as you realize you didn’t have your child read one book all summer. Before you know it summer is gone, so if you have goals you want to be accomplished, you need to recognize them and plan for them. 

3-Have a plan for adding kids back to your day

If you have children in school, you want to have an idea of how to incorporate those kids back into being home all day. We spend a lot of time thinking about how to add a newborn to the family, but often don’t plan out how to add our kids into being home all day every day again. It is quite different. A little planning can make it all smooth and exciting. You can see a sample of our summer routine here.

As you make your plan, do not be afraid to let your children be bored. Being bored is a great way to build imagination and innovation. I also often up the number of chores my kids do in summer since they are home all day contributing more to the messes around the house. See also: 

4-Buy the things you need

It is great to have the thing you need on hand when summer starts. You don’t want on day one of summer to realize, “Oops! We don’t have any food for lunch!” or “We don’t have sunscreen and you want to play outside all day long!” You can definitely set your first day of summer as shopping day where you all go out together to get what you need, so it doesn’t have to be ahead of time before kids are out, but have it on your radar and ready to do.

5-Start off with a celebration

Once you have made your plans, goals, and shopping lists, you might consider putting together a little “Welcome to Summer” gift basket for your kids. It is a fun way to celebrate school being out. It also is a way to make all those little things you have to buy for summer seem special and like a big deal, which is nice for love languages!

Read my post for ideas on what to put into a welcome to summer gift basket.


Your summer can be as structured or as loose as you want it to be. The important thing is that you take a moment to think about what you want, make those goals, and make a plan for executing those goals. 

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Summer planning checklist with a picture of a mother and daughter walking down a dirt road

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