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Summer break is in full swing, and I feel completely thrown off by the change in schedule. I am not the most structured person in the world, but I start to get anxious when we completely fall away from a typical schedule. I didn’t want to spend the entire summer irritated with my kids saying they are bored and don’t know what to do with themselves. I created a basic summer morning checklist for my kids to start the day off right, and I hope it can do the same for you!

I love giving my kids general expectations for the day so they don’t attack me in the morning asking to watch a show or use the iPad before I’ve even had a chance to drink my coffee. My summer checklist tells them exactly what needs to be done before I’ll even consider letting them touch electronics for the day.

Your kids may whine when they first see this checklist, but it will quickly become part of their morning routine. It will help solve a lot of the fights over expectations for the day.

How to Create a Summer Checklist

My kids will spend the entire day watching tv or playing video games if I let them, so I knew that I wanted to make a point to get them outside, teach them something, and build a little bit of responsibility.

I created a list of eight things I wanted them to get done first thing in the morning before doing anything else. It sets a good tone for the day and ensures we get outside away from television. My list included:

  • Make the Bed
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Get Dressed
  • Brush Teeth
  • 30-60 Minutes Outdoor Activity
  • 20 Minutes Reading
  • 20 Minutes Art
  • One Chore

There are a couple of ways to use this checklist. You can laminate it or put it into a page protector sleeve so that you can check items off with a dry erase marker and start fresh each day. I just keep it simple and put it on our refrigerator. My kids know to work through the list, and we generally do each item together since my kids are younger. I don’t actually check boxes as we go. It just serves as a template for our morning routine.

You can also print off a copy and add it to a clipboard with other items specific to each child. I have a clipboard for each child that includes:

  • A Daily Chore Chart
  • Chore Ideas (for the one chore they have to complete in the morning)
  • Clean Bedroom Expectations
  • Money Tracker
  • Saving Sheet

The clipboard is basically my one-stop shop for everything I track for that particular child. It makes it easier for me, but you can also put them into a binder specific to each child.

Find a system that works best for you, even if it’s not Pinterest perfect. I have seen some beautiful kid stations and bulletin boards out there, but that just doesn’t work for our family. I keep it as simple as possible so that I stay consistent with it.

Once they have completed everything on their checklist, they are free to use technology for a designated amount of time or until we have to leave for an activity or errands.

Let me know if you print this out and use it in your own home! You can also tag me on Instagram where so I can see it in action!

What are your expectations for your kids during summer break so you don’t go completely crazy?

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Sarah Nichols

Sarah Nichols, founder and CEO of Let's Talk Mom Business, has a background in business, research, advocacy, and family finances. LetsTalkMomBusiness.com combines her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and her love for budgeting and frugal living to help others take their family finances into their own hands by teaching budget basics, how to earn income from home as a mom, DIY tutorials, and frugal fun.

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