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June 24, 2010

summer sanity saver

So I've had my head in the sand for the past week working on a big project deadline. I'm coming up briefly...for air and to share this summer sanity saver—my kid's daily to-do list. This handy dandy form has helped give our days some much needed structure (and sanity!) Feel free to use it (if you have a dog and kids that play guitar) or use it as a spring-board to create a checklist of your own.

In addition to the to-dos listed, each day I assign a daily task such as vacuuming, emptying the trash and recycle bins, dusting, folding a load of laundry, watering the flowers, and so on. If the tasks are done by the time indicated, life is good. If not, the next day an extra task is added to their list.

We're in the middle of our second week with this new system, and we seem to be getting into a groove. This gives the kids something concrete to do each day—and lightens my housework load a bit. All of which means everyone is a notch happier (believe it or not) and there's more free time and family time in the evening when my work day is done. Ah yes, my love of checklists just keeps on growing. :)

What are you doing to keep your kids occupied this summer (and keep yourself sane?) I'd love to hear!


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I'm a retired empty-nester and seems like staying on track is an ongoing process for me these days. maybe I'll adapt your form for me! ha ha ha

thanks for all your little tips!

happy summer


I'm a retired empty-nester and seems like staying on track is an ongoing process for me these days. maybe I'll adapt your form for me! ha ha ha

thanks for all your little tips!

happy summer


My daughters are 12, 8 and 3 and they have quite a few responsibilities around the house. I like the idea of having things on a list, though, and I may have to use your list as a springboard and create one for our home.

My 8 year old has been pretty occupied with beadwork this week, putting in at least an hour every day. she hopes to get an inventory together and sell some of her work and give a portion of the profit to our Compassion International childre,


I was just going to do this!! Thanks for the jumping off point!!


You are one smart gal Aby!!! I never get bored of checklists either :D


Thanks for the to to list! We've been using a list, but a hard copy for each child is so, so smart!!


Oooh!! I love this!! Today was the last day of school for my fiance's son and we are going to have him all summer after he spends this weekend with his mom. I am totally going to put this checklist to good use, Aby. Thanks!! :D


I like the idea of having a little structure during the summer break, and I will work on my list of chores for my son this weekend. He can work on his chores, while I work on mine. Then we can both play, play, play! I also really liked your earlier post on gathering the summertime recipes. Thanks for the great ideas!

Jessica Balsley

As a teacher, I notice how structure in the summer can impact the transition back to school. Breaks can be very hard for kids, and most kids like structure because they can look forward to something and count on something, which gives them a sense of security.


Love this checklist, Aby! Totally going to borrow this.


Thank you for this great to-do-list! I knew it would cute as well as functional!!! :-)

Now I'm off to tweek it for a 5 year old.

Thanks again!


Thanks for this list Aby. We just finished school on Thursday and I am looking for ways to incorporate chores into the summer. I have to admit with school and sports during the school year, it gets too busy to concentrate on chores, but now we have to set some rules in motion. Thanks for sharing this chores list and your ideas.

julia maass

I LOVE chores it lightens my load and it gives my son sense of being part of keeping the family running smoothly. He also gets paid for chores so he looks forward to doing them so he can buy something eventually...


I love this idea! I had to go make my own. Check it out at my blog.

Lynn M

My husband just retired and this list is perfect for him; we have a dog and my husband plays the guitar!! He's raring to go starting on Monday. I think there will a few "honey do" items added so what a great start. Thanks for the idea.


This is a wonderful idea! Is there any way to save time and "edit" your list or can you give me some hints on how you created yours to look so cute. Thanks!

April P.

Oh my gosh, my biggest clutter hot spot is the kitchen counter - filled with just about everything as a drop zone . . . mail, kids school work, my purse . . . and I can't stand it. The problem is, we moved into this house a year ago, and back then, it was the only clear spot around (and out of the way in the kitchen so it wasn't being used to cook on, yet still right there out in the open where I want everything HIDDEN).

April P.

whoops, that was odd . . . scratch this since my google reader brought me to the wrong post . . . my bad . . .

erin @ letter soup

This is a great idea! I like that the timeline is a bit open, so they can choose when they want to do their jobs, as long as they finish before the deadline. Meeting deadlines is obviously a handy life skill, and kids love that element of choice!

Bedroom Closet Systems

Our kids have been cleaning out their rooms and closets, with the help of us of course. :0)

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