A Daily Summer To-Do List for School-Age Kids

I love providing my kiddos with a healthy dose of relaxation during the summer months, but I also appreciate having a little structure to our day. The Daily Summer To-Do List gives my kiddos clear guidelines on what we expect from them each day and allows them the freedom to choose when and how they would like to complete their daily responsibilities. The thing I like most about the Daily Summer To-Do List is that I avoid having to nag and answer the question “Can I have screen time?” a couple dozen times a day. Instead, my children have a concrete list of responsibilities that they can refer to before sitting down in front of the TV, grabbing the iPad or playing XBOX.

Last summer I placed our Daily Summer To-Do Lists in a clear acrylic sign holder. This year, I laminated them and posted them on the refrigerator instead. Both display methods allow kids to check off each responsibility with a dry erase pen and wipe it clean at the end of the day.

One of my favorite aspects of the Daily Summer To-Do List is the ability to fill in the blank for daily chores. During the school year I emphasize to my children that their primary job is to be a student. That isn’t to say that they don’t have daily chores or aren’t expected to pitch in when we need something done around the house, but I don’t usually give them extra tasks to complete after school. The focus during the afternoon is on homework and having a little down time. The same reasoning does not apply during the summer. Instead of traditional spring cleaning, I like to save many of our organizational and less frequent cleaning projects for the summer months when everyone can pitch in. I create a Summer Cleaning List to help us keep track of what needs to be taken care of over the summer.

The amount of assigned chores varies from day to day. Some days all five blank spaces might be filled with smaller tasks and other days there might only be one large task for each child to tackle. Often, my kiddos are given the same list of tasks and they can decide if they would like to divide and conquer or work together as a team. Other days, I might give my daughter and son separate tasks that only pertain to them such as cleaning out a nail polish or lego collection.

One of the most effective methods we use when organizing is to take three paper grocery bags and label each bag toss, recycle or donate. Once the task is done I will deposit the items from each bag where they need to go. As I come across a cluttered drawer or household chore that has been neglected I add it to the Summer Cleaning List. I will either assign tasks from the Summer Cleaning List or let my kids choose which task(s) from the list they would like to tackle that day. Some of the items I have my kids clean out each summer are their backpacks, pencils, crayons, markers, socks, underwear, boardgames and books. Household chores can include dusting baseboards, wiping down cabinet fronts and rinsing out indoor trash/recycling containers.

Summer is a great opportunity to teach children how to effectively complete household tasks when you might have larger chunks of time together to offer them assistance. On days that my kiddos are on their own, I know that I can leave a list for them and find it completed when I return home.

Let me know if you find any of the printables in this post useful for your family this summer. Simply, click on the checklists above to download or print.

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