School’s out for the summer! With three active kids, our schedule doesn’t really get any less crazy in the summer, it just gets different. Over the years I have found two essential tools that have helped keep the kids on task, retain a level of structure that is needed, and keeps me sane. Those tools are my summer chore chart and the summer house rules. Since my kids are now effectively 14, 12, and 8 – they really can be helpful and do understand that in order to do the social activities they want to do, they have to do their part at home first.
SUMMER CHORE CHART
Since I have been doing a summer chore chart with my kids since they were little, they were actually looking forward to see what their summer chore chart was going to look like. I love putting their photos on the chart each year so before I made the chart I snuck up on them and snapped some fun new pics with my phone’s camera.
- Download the Summer Chore Chart as a PDF – ready to print and hang on your fridge!
- Download the Summer Chore Chart as a MS Word document – ready to customize first, then print and hang on the fridge.
Just to keep things fresh, I usually reassign the chores every few weeks. When they were younger I had to customize the chores a lot more because there was no way my youngest could vacuum or sweep, but now they are all old enough to do just about any chore needed.
If you are looking for another creative method – check out this “anti-boredom device” crafted with a cookie sheet and tiles.
SUMMER HOUSE RULES
I am a true believer in setting expectations for kids. During the school year the expectations are pretty clear and are directed by schoolwork and sports. Summer time is a bit different – there is much more social time, home time and yes, opportunities to say “I’m bored.” I have printed these up on colorful paper and keep them posted on the refrigerator – feel free to do the same – adapting them as you need for your family. (Click on image to the right for the printable version).
- Pick up after yourself
- No name calling, mean words or foul language
- Be respectful of your sibling’s need for space
- Chores must be done before friends come over, TV goes on or you go play
- The kitchen is NOT open 24 hours a day
- Be positive and supportive of your siblings efforts
- Don’t forget your manners! Please & Thank You will take you a long way.
- Mom is not made of money & we are not going out to eat, stopping to pick up a snack or shopping everyday – so don’t even ask!
- If you tell me you are BORED – I will find a job for you to do.
I’d love to hear about your summer house rules or how you keep structure in tact while still having fun in the summer with your kids.