COVID19 life Parenting

Day 87: Kids’ Summer Days

June 10, 2020

Their current days (whether or not I am present):

7:00ish – kids up (varies from 6:30 to 8:00; Cameron is usually the last one to rise and occasionally sleeps until 9:00)

7:30 breakfast. Trying to work on getting them to be more self-sufficient with this. A can get her own cereal. If it’s something more involved (like . . . a freezer waffle) we help 🙂 I’m pretty sure at least A would be capable of doing this, too. Future goals . . .

Kids get dressed / play / etc.

9:00 G (our nanny) takes them outside. They either walk (“flower walk” or “nature walk”), bike (G in stroller), or hang out in our driveway/in front of our house playing with chalk or building fairy houses. NOTE TO SELF need to buy more chalk.

10:00ish. Inside. Really, it is better if the kids stay out as long as possible (closer to 11) b/c this is their main outdoor time for the day (afternoons here are often too hot and/or stormy). At the same time, it’s hard to stay out too long b/c it’s usually mid-80s and quite humid even in the mornings.

“School”-ish activities. I still need to order more workbooks but right now they still have access to the online learning programming from the school. They are supposed to read 2 picture books (or 2 chapters), write 2 pages of journaling/a letter (okay more like half a page for C), and do some sort of math activity. During this time, G usually starts out playing but ends up watching TV.

(I want to start G up with swim lessons at our house so this would be an alternative some days in the future.)

12:00 Kids eat lunch. Their absolute favvvvvve lunch: vanilla yogurt, granola, and fruit. They don’t eat that every day but it is frequently requested.

1:00 G goes to nap. Big kids literally count down minutes until 1:00 because they know that is when they can use iPad/computer. Minecraft-fest begins, often with a few YouTube videos related to Minecraft and then actual play. A has a close friend from school (plus her twin brother!) who often plays in their ‘world’. A also sometimes chats on Facebook Kids with her classmates. Mostly it’s emojis and silly pictures . . .

4:00ish G up. Sometimes she will wake up on her own by 3:30 but if not, our nanny will rouse her prior to 4 (so she doesn’t want to stay up all night. Crucial.) Then the big kids get pried off of their devices and they eat a snack and have whatever ‘non-screen play’ they would like. Sometimes they get baths.

5:30-6ish I come home! Dinner, clean up, Josh often joins. (His hours continue to be slightly more reasonable than they used to be! I hope this continues but am not entirely optimistic). Usually a rather loud and disorganized time. I honestly would love to figure out a way to make it less loud and crazy (it is NOT what my head needs after work) but . . . I am sort of at a loss.

7:30 All watch TV or movie together – we were watching the Kids Baking Challenge, but sometimes it’s a movie (last night: Arctic Dogs on Netflix).

8:45 Upstairs — teeth, read a story (in respective rooms; I usually take G and Josh usually takes big kids but sometimes we switch).

~9 or 9:15ish Kids asleep.

WHEW. We will see how the kids feel several weeks in. I’m actually rethinking whether camp throughout the whole summer is really necessary (maybe in future summers we will do a few weeks of different camps + a 2 week family vac).

(I’ve never done a 2 week family vacation but the idea of going somewhere quiet and NOT HOT for a while is quite tempting. Colorado or Vermont 2021?)

They seem to be holding up okay . . . so far anyway.

PS: I really liked this link shared by reader Alyce: C-span caller asks Black guest how to stop being prejudiced


  • Reply Grateful Kae June 10, 2020 at 7:05 am

    We did an almost 2 week road trip to Colorado and Utah last summer and my kids LOVED IT. We had the best time ever. The entire thing was perfect and I loved our itinerary so much. (Although the Utah part was definitely still hot, but amazing). I think that’s a great idea. We love taking longer trips when able. It’s so much work to get ready to go, etc. that doing all of that for “just” one week oftentimes feels rushed. By the time you get there and settle in for a couple days, it’s almost time to start packing up to leave already.

  • Reply Lindsey White June 10, 2020 at 7:10 am

    I really love my home state of Michigan in the summer. It’s lovely, cool at night. Check out Traverse City. You would love it.

    • Reply Amanda June 10, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      I second Traverse City for a summer trip! We did an extended family trip one year with young kids + lots of breweries for the adults & beautiful views

      • Reply Heather June 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm

        Thirding Traverse City. We did a week last summer divided between TC/Sleeping Bear and Mackinaw/Mackinac Island with a lovely afternoon in between in Charlevoix to have lunch and watch the drawbridge. Kayaking, dune hiking, forts with colonial cannon demonstration – kept three kids (6-11) well entertained.

  • Reply Omdg June 10, 2020 at 8:10 am

    This looks kind of like our day, except our ap won’t take Dyl outside… ever, so I have to if I want her to go. Almost always a massive tantrum ensues when I force the issue. I am over it.

  • Reply gwinne June 10, 2020 at 8:21 am

    My schedule is almost the opposite of yours. Tiny Boy starts the day with 2 hrs of screens 7-9 (I should be working right now!!!!). Then schoolish work. Then camp LG 10:30-12:30, which is mostly outdoors. Lunch. Either other babysitter or outside/nonscreen play. Zoom with grandma for reading time (this varies). Screen while I do dinner prep ~5-6. Then dinner and family activity. Bedtime/reading Harry Potter together 8:15-9:15.

  • Reply Gillian June 10, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Might I suggest the Smokey mountains near Ashville for a NOT Hot summer vacation. We used to visit my in-laws in a little town called Waynesville in August. The highs up at that elevation were typically high 70s. It is beautiful. There is lots of fun hiking etc. I really miss those summers.

  • Reply Diane C. June 10, 2020 at 9:09 am

    The 4pm bath is a brilliant idea! My kids bathe once a week (sometimes less, I’m embarrassed to admit), mostly because we don’t have the energy to deal with it at the end of the day. Some weeks we count playing in the sprinkler as the bath. I might have to institute a 4pm bath into our summer routine!

  • Reply Rebecca June 10, 2020 at 10:40 am

    I live in Colorado, and it’s lovely in the summer. The mountain towns–Vail, Steamboat Springs, etc.–are particularly nice and have tons of kids activities.

  • Reply KLB June 10, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    I agree if you can manage a fortnight this is so much better than a week for a family holiday. There is so much to do preparing before you go however long it is for but this way at least you get a real break in return for all the effort. It also makes travelling further or not flying more doable. Actually 10 days away bookended with a couple of days at home either end to pack and unpack is the perfect holiday if you can achieve that.

  • Reply Irene June 10, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    I really like to get the kids outside as much as possible but it’s already too hot later in the day and we are much further north than you guys! We get out the hose and let the kids get wet watering the plants or filling up buckets. We’ve done a kiddy pool a couple times but the kids just aren’t that interested. We have access to a family members pool 30 minutes away (we go in with our them because of social distancing) but I am not comfortable having both kids on my own because most of the pool is quite deep. I really wanted this to be the summer my 5 year old swam independently but swim lessons are NOT happening in my area. Oh well. It’s funny the things I was looking forward to on a unconscious level.

    Thanks for sharing your schedule. I’m so interested how various people make this work. No nanny for us but I’m looking into a part time sitter because it seems better than camp from a risk perspective this has been going on a long time….

  • Reply Lucy June 10, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    We used to travel with my parents with an RV some summers. Either doing road trip or in a fixed spot camping next to the sea. These are my favorite memories ever. Each time we traveled for a month, just the 4 of us: sibling, parents and me. We were around A and Cs age, and had no screens at the time. It is a wonderful family experience, of course with crappy days, but in general, it was the best.

  • Reply Marissa June 10, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    My 3 daughters are slightly younger than your kids & I’m a SAHM but this is the basic routine we follow as well. This is the schedule I implemented as soon as quarantine began & it works fairly well. I also don’t think a summer full of very expensive camp is worthless unless absolutely necessary. In the future, we plan to do a few weeks of different camps, Grandparent camp one week, & a vacay week as well. Seems reasonable to me. For 3 kids in our area camp would run me about $600/week minimum. I can’t get behind that when I’m at home all day!

  • Reply Coco June 10, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    I’d be the first one to go out 4 weeks vacation when it’s allowed. hahahaha…..
    i like to see your kids schedule.

  • Reply A. June 14, 2020 at 8:20 am

    They are surely chaotic around 5 because only one hour outside/physical activity vs 3 hours of screen+tv at night… that is a lot for small kids.

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