Making Summer Awesome – For Everyone! Episode 53

summer funThose long, lovely days of summer can become some of our family’s best memories. But how do we create a little more structure so that summer break is enjoyable for EVERYONE?

April and Saren share detailed, tried-and-true ideas for summer learning and fun.





Show Notes

Do-it-Yourself Summer Camp (the program Saren talks through quite extensively in this episode)

Creating a Summer Schedule

My Summer Bucket List

Click here for a PDF version of the podcast summary.

Click here to see an example of the summer templates that April and her husband have used with an accompanying podcast.

Music from Creations by Michael R. Hicks.

Audio Editing by Christy Elder




  1. ncbutterfly says

    What happened to the link to the podcast you did with your husband? I wanted to share it with my husband and take a look at the chart that he created for your kids! Looking forward to implementing a lot of this real soon!

    • Power of Moms says

      The podcast you are referencing is “Ideas for Working Together- Episode 56.” You can find it by visiting It has some templates that April and her husband have used in the past. We also just posted the link in the show notes above. Good luck!

  2. Michelle says

    I really love this idea for my 9 year old. The trouble I am having is that I also have a 3 year old. Some of the older child’s goals may need my help, but I am having a hard time figuring out what to do with him while I try to help her. Our schedule also kind of revolves around his mid-day nap. I’d love to hear some ideas from others who have a wide age range between kids.

  3. Keri says

    Saren’s “DIY Summer Camp” article is nowhere to be found on your site! I found the page where I can buy the program, but I wanted to read through her blog post again, before purchasing it. My kids are all at great ages, and I’m excited to get the most out of our very short summer. I’ve tried lots of different links on your site and searching google for the article and it’s just not there.

  4. says

    I was listening to this on my laptop today and my kids (11, 9, 5, and 2) were catching bits and pieces of it. I turned it off and we talked about what we’d heard and we all decided that last summer was perfect for us, probably because we did a lot of these things. (even though I hadn’t heard this yet! LOL!)

    Last summer most mornings the kids got up and watched TV (summer perk) and I’d get up and go for a quick run (laps around the cul-de-sac so that if the kids needed me they just had to stick their head out the door and holler). Then I’d come in and do arm exercises with my son, whose goal was to do a pull-up. My daughter and I would do stretching, because her goal was to be able to do the splits by the time she started gymnastics in the fall.

    Then we’d have breakfast, do our morning meeting- we’d have prayer, a mini devotional, and talk about our plans for our day. Then everyone would do morning chores (I got ready) and then usually by about 10 or so we’d be on our way for the day.

    We decided on a summer budget of $20 a week- that way the kids could learn how much activities and craft materials cost (we made a bucket list with prices at the beginning of the summer) and decide if there was something we wanted to save up for, or something less expensive we could do instead. They got really good at finding free and cheap things to do! And it helped their math skills- when we got done with the activity the “accountant” for the week had to figure out what was left in the account.

    We also did a weekly library trip with some requirements- each kid could get 3 books of their choice, at least 1 “challenge book” (at their reading level or slightly above) and at least 1 nonfiction book. Everybody loves to read!

    We also did journals, but they got paid in candy (Skittles or M&Ms)- 1 piece for every correct capitalization and punctuation, with subtractions for misspellings (except the 4-year-old- she got 1 for every letter she wrote). Boy did we have some lengthy journal entries- had to limit it to 1 entry per day.

    To mix things up last summer, we did an “international” theme- each week (that we we didn’t have other big things to do) we’d study a different country. I’d get books on it from the library and one night that week we’d cook food specific to that country. We would also learn to say “hello” in the native language. Sometimes we did crafts related to it, too. The ones I remember most were Spain and Japan- that paella and sukiyaki were yuuuuummy. We also exchanged teddy bears with some friends in England and kept a blog about our bears’ adventures ( which was great because it encouraged us to get out and about and show our little British visitor all the unique places near where we live. This year our bear will be traveling to Australia, so we’re very excited for that (though he’ll have to take a sweater since it’ll be winter there!

    Our morning outings last year included a botanical garden, playgrounds, parks, a museum, our backyard, splash park, $1 movies, bounce gyms, etc.

    In afternoons we had quiet/rest time, and the kids had “centers” to make it easier (less bickering that way) and they would switch every 30 minutes (littlest one was sleeping)- computer, reading, and crafting. Gave everyone a much needed break. While we waited for the youngest to wake up after that we’d play board games or watch a movie and eat popcorn.

    Wow, this was long- in case you can’t tell, I can’t wait for summer! :-)

    • says

      Thank you so much for all these fantastic ideas, Kasey! Love hearing what you’re doing with your family, and I so appreciate your positive energy. Glad to have you at Power of Moms!

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