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With the last day of school just around the corner, many parents are wondering how to prepare for summer break. We want to set-up a perfectly imperfect summer for our kids and families, but we aren’t sure how. Here are three things to keep in mind while planning your break that will create a summer to remember!

A sign that says \"Welcome Summer.\"

Summer is going to be here before we know it and I don’t feel ready AT ALL. So I decided to write a post all about prepping for summer, in order to get myself prepped for summer 😂.

There are a lot of reasons I love summer, but if I don’t go into it with a plan, it can be a total disaster. My kids thrive on structure, and school is a natural way to provide that for them. Then comes June and, for some reason, I associate summer with sleeping in and lazy days by the pool 🤷. So creating structure for my family during those months can be hard. But if I don’t, after the first couple of weeks, we’re all a mess.

How to Prepare for Summer

So this year I want to go into summer with a clear plan. I created a whole series on different aspects of creating the Perfectly Imperfect Summer: how to prepare for summer (this post), making summer both productive and fun, and creating a flexible summer schedule for you and your family.

Let’s get to it! Before planning the summer ahead, I sat down and brainstormed three key things:

1. Summer’s Purpose

What’s the overall feel I want for our summer? Do I want adventure? Joy? Simplicity? Relaxation? Fun? Love? Kindness? Purpose? Growth? Bravery? Consistency?

What does my family need right now? I picked a word, and catered our summer plan around that thing.

It can be hard to narrow down on one thing, but for this exercise, try to choose just one. Yes, summer can and should incorporate more than one feeling, but this word is just a guide to help you focus in on what’s most important to your family right now.

For instance, if your word in relaxation, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go on hikes or visit an amusement park this summer. Of course you can! But if you feel your family needs rest, the word relaxation can help you structure your day-to-day with that in mind, then fill in a few fun adventures along the way!

2. Goals

Next, I set some simple goals for the summer. What do I want to accomplish? What do my kids want to accomplish? And what do we want to accomplish as a family? These are more of the “to-do” items (like house projects, work projects, organization, etc.) or goals.

Next, I focused on goals for my kids. Is there something they want to learn? Experience? Do?

I created this chart to help my kids set goals in four areas: skills, active, hobby, learn. You can grab your free printable here or by clicking on the image below.

A colorful goal tracking sheet for kids

I also created a printable without the goal categories, if you want to create your own. You can snag that one here or by clicking the image below.

A goal tracking sheet

Examples of skill goals:

  • How to crack an egg
  • A new chore
  • How to tie shoes
  • Typing
  • Potty training

Examples of active goals:

  • How to do a cartwheel
  • How to swim
  • Learning the correct form for push-ups
  • How to ride a bike without training wheels
  • How to shoot a basketball

Examples of hobby goals:

  • How to draw something
  • Making their own book
  • Learning a song on the piano
  • Making up their own dance or song
  • Filming a video
  • Writing and illustrating their own book or comic
  • Build a special lego creation

Examples of goals to learn:

  • Their phone number & address
  • A new language
  • Multiplication
  • How to read
  • Learning more about a subject they’re curious about or interested in, like dinosaurs, history, etc.

Have your kids set their own goals! You can give them suggestions, but try not to force a goal on them. They’re more likely to put forth effort and actually accomplish them if they choose them themselves and feel invested in them.

3. Summer Bucket List

Finally, I sat down with my family and brainstormed some things we wanted to do this summer. Everyone participated and added things!

Some were big things like go on a staycation, visit the waterpark, go to the beach, etc. And some were small and simple things like make popsicles, run through the sprinklers, and draw with sidewalk chalk. We included acts of service, learning new skills, places to visit, and things we’ve always wanted to do but were scared to try.

We view our bucket list as a fun chance to go out on a limb, push ourselves, and get creative!

I use Belle Bucket for our bucket lists. She creates the most ADORABLE printable bucket lists! I get mine printed as 36″x48″ engineering prints at Staples for about $7. Having the huge reminder up on our wall helps me remember to actually complete our list. Plus, the kids love seeing it and checking off the items as we complete them.

Each weekend when I plan the week ahead, I try to schedule a couple in. Or when we have some free time, we’ll look at the list and cross something off.

Ready to Create the Perfectly Imperfect Summer

After giving some thought to these three things, I felt ready to tackle my summer plans and create the perfectly imperfect summer for my family!

How do you prepare for summer?

If you liked this post, head to part two in the Perfectly Imperfect Summer Series all about helping our kids stay productive while still having loads of fun during the summer.


3 comments on “How to Prepare for Summer”

  1. Love this! This year my theme is something new! I just want to do the things my family loves in new places. NYC has so many hidden gems that my family has yet to discover so this year we will be all over!

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