Like every mom, I find summer a particular challenge. I work from home, so trying to actually work while keeping the kids entertained, and – to be honest – out of my hair, is just plain hard. My office is right by the front door, so my girls are constantly in and out, for popsicles and to announce their latest squabble. And then there’s my favorite: “I’m bored.” Can you relate?

We’ve tried various antidotes: a summer fun jar and a bucket list. But, invariably, the girls pick an activity that I haven’t actually managed to prepare for.

So this year, I thought that if we could choose all the activities ahead of time, I could get all the supplies in advance. This is obviously not rocket science, but I am determined to get this summer under control.

To help me get organized, I created three sets of printables, and I’m happy to share them here with you:

The summer banner is a free printable from The Crafting Chicks that you can find here.

The idea is simple: if we pick several activities for each week, then I can be ready for the week, and decide which week is best for which activity.

I chose eight activities for each week: read, project, adventure, chore, play, craft and bake. My girls and I brainstormed most of the summer activities, and the rest we will revisit at the end of June. We put one of each card in a party favor bag and labeled each bag with Week 1 and so on.

I also made labels for a book library, crafting and baking supplies, and a phone basket – because I am also determined to get their faces out of their screens this summer.

I arranged everything on my pink bar cart so it’s right outside my office door. I should be able to point the girls to the cart for craft supplies or games when they announce their boredom. As a backdrop, I used a large frame from Hobby Lobby. I inserted foam core board in the opening. To the board, I pinned calendars for June and July with our camps and special days noted.

Here are our activities under each category, in case you can use any of these ideas.

Read

Keeping in mind that my girls are 12:

  1. Helen Keller biography
  2. A Dog’s Purpose
  3. Mockingjay
  4. Tenney
  5. Serafina and the Black Cloak
  6. I Had a Hammer
  7. Courage to Soar
  8. The One and Only Ivan
  9. The Incredible Journey
  10. Where the Red Fern Grows

Project

These are actually projects for my husband mainly; I’m pretty sure project #1 may take all summer.

  1. Set up bunk bed
  2. Hang wall art
  3. Purchase knobs for desks

Adventure

  1. Play at the park
  2. Visit the pool
  3. Go bowling
  4. Walk the downtown trail
  5. Take Penny to the dog park

Chore

The girls have regular chores; these are a few special chores they can help me with.

  1. Dust baseboards
  2. Dust blinds
  3. Clean fridge
  4. Declutter pantry
  5. Wash the dog

Play

These are for the mornings when the girls whine that it’s too hot to play outside.

  1. Hula hoop contest
  2. Water balloons
  3. Card games
  4. Mani-pedis
  5. Scrabble
  6. Boggle
  7. Twister
  8. Monopoly
  9. Make a music video

Craft

  1. Painting
  2. Calligraphy
  3. Pottery wheel
  4. Tie dye shirts
  5. String art

Bake

  1. Mini cakes
  2. Brownie bites
  3. Cakepops
  4. Unicorn cookies
  5. Practice cupcake frosting
  6. Try royal icing sugar cookies
  7. Make ice cream
  8. Experiment with fondant

A version of this post was originally published at Design Dazzle on June 13, 2017.

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