How to balance structure and fun this summer

Not only do schools provide a safe environment to learn and play, but they also play a big part in creating a daily routine for students. And without that structure and consistency, navigating summer break can become challenging for both children and parents. 

While you don’t want kids to feel overwhelmed from learning all day, you also don’t want them to spend their entire summer staring at screens. How can you find that balance between structure and fun? 

Here are three tips for creating a rewarding and balanced summer routine for your child. 

Stick to a schedule 

Before creating a schedule, talk to your child about your expectations for the summer. How many books should they read throughout the vacation? Do you want to set a daily limit for screen time? What chores do you want them to complete? These are all good questions to think and talk through before planning. 

Then, create daily and weekly plans for your child that realistically outline what they should be doing throughout their day including both fun and everyday activities. While it may be obvious to you to brush your teeth after waking up, kids might need it written down as a reminder. 

Additionally, try to keep times as consistent as possible to help kids get in the habit of following a schedule. For example, plan to have mealtimes and naptimes at the same time every day.

Dive into your child’s interests 

What does your child like to do outside of school? Maybe they’ve recently shown interest in learning a new instrument or sport. Tapping into extracurricular activities that they enjoy can be a fun way to keep kids engaged and learning through the summer

Plus, having a weekly piano lesson or daily swim classes to look forward to can bring an extra sense of consistency to your child’s summer routine.

Plan family time 

We know that between balancing work, chores, doctor appointments, and whatever else life throws at you, it can be difficult to spend quality time with kids. But family time is essential for your child’s development and mental health

Actively scheduling family time, whether that’s an evening at the pool or a weekend camping trip, can be helpful for working around your busy schedules. Having activities planned beforehand also provides predictability for children.

And no, quality family time doesn’t only happen outside the home—though there are plenty of benefits of getting outdoors. You can bond with your children anywhere by playing board games, cooking dinner together, or getting crafty!

For more fun summer learning resources, check out’s Summer Boost! We have weekly fun activities and games to keep kids of all ages engaged.