My Kids’ Summer Plans

If my kids spend every day this summer in the kiddie pool, I think I will call it a good summer.

$5 plastic pool used 4 summers in a row = $5 well spent

She will start kindergarten in a couple of months, and we’ll have plenty of time for plans and activities then.

I write a little about parenting at AlphaMom, and I recently wrote about:

Sail into Summer with Ice Cube Boats – a summertime craft you won’t have to keep.

Claiming Small Victories – “When your child is tired and hungry on the way home, it’s a small victory to find the bag of dry cereal you left in the car three weeks earlier. Win.”

Affirm Your Child’s Heart Through Play Time – Like one friend told me, when you talk to your son, “He’s not your little boy, he’s your big boy.”

Are your summer plans big and exciting or relaxed and low key (or maybe both)?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I definitely have some big plans for the future. I hope to travel to the States and Canada and to see a lot of new and exciting places. I am from the Netherlands, so for me that’s pretty big :D. Have a great summer everybody!
    Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady´s last post…The Top 10 Most Beautiful Laundry Rooms Ever

  2. our plans are a bit of both. we’re doing a lot of traveling and camping this summer, but when we’re home, our plans are low-key and easy. when home, i’m trying not to over-schedule and over-commit so we can just be and do what comes naturally. so far so good!
    stacey´s last post…Simple Pleasures – Reading

  3. love the ice boats! what a fun idea :) we’ve got some big plans this summer you could say: less than one month till our due date! woo hoo!
    Jenna´s last post…Utensil Creatures

  4. Hi Rachael,

    Thankfully we do have plans this summer…the lake and a visit to upstate NY to visit my family. My kids are older, and next year I suspect they will have jobs. (Well, one can only hope!) I was able to find some fun and FREE things to do this summer as well, so it should be a good one. I LOVE those ice cube sail boats!
    Sharon´s last post…June Challenge: My Spend Less Year…..8 mos. later….

  5. We’ve also had that same pool for several years! Since my oldest is also starting kindergarten this year, I bet we bought ours the same time you did, when we realized that backyard fun was the easiest kind :) This year I added a $5 sprinkler for some different water fun on some days (bonus: the garden gets watered).

    The kids are going to take swimming lessons for 2 weeks this summer and that is it. The rest of the time will be random hanging out with family and friends, a few trips to the beach, and maybe (if I have enough vision and energy) a camping trip.
    Margo´s last post…Why Do We Go to Family Reunions?

  6. There’s nothing like having a newborn in the house to scale down summer plans. I’m with you on low key! We plan on getting good use out of our sprinkler, the local pool, and our ice cream maker. Those ice boats are too cute!
    Adele´s last post…June 27

  7. Would you look at how big your kids have got!!! Just lovely!!! Enjoy the summer… we are freezing over here!!!
    se7en´s last post…Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun #75

  8. Ooh.. Our summer plans were really simple. We’re towards the end of DD’s summer hols now and are gearing up for back-to-school here in India. We had time with grandparents, lots of splash fests, some crafting and plenty of reading and just hanging out together, toddler-style!
    Prerna´s last post…Life with Credit Cards: Simple Tips to Avoid Card Debt

  9. We are just coming into summer, British schools don’t finish till mid July, but the weather is with us already. My hubby is away for a month but then on leave from work for a month, so the first month is going to be about quietly getting on with things at home and close by, and the second month will be more fun, with trips out, a belated 1st birthday party and an extended-family group holiday to the seaside in Wales!

  10. Our plans are to be spontaneous this summer! Big and small! So far we’ve skipped all of the library events and kids $1 movie matinees. Instead, we’ve played more with friends and substituted an ice cream stand for dinner a few times. We’ve all been happier!

  11. LaPriel says:

    My kids are teenagers now. My 16 yr old son is working at scout camp almost the whole summer. He stays there Sun afternoon-Sat afternoon. The camp is at the base of the Tetons on the west side. Beautiful!

    My 13 daughter is going to girls camp, taking sewing lessons, and kayak lessons. Other wise she is hanging out in our neighborhood jumping on the trampoline (often with the sprinkler under it), building in the sand box, participating in the library reading program and anything else they can think of to do.

    I think summer is made for just hanging out and doing fun warm weather activities. I don’t like things to be too scheduled. I also don’t like to see my kids watching a lot of TV (I would prefer no TV), electronic games and such. Those are winter activities. Go outside and enjoy!

    By the way, the sand box at our house has been the biggest bang for our buck with all three of my kids. (my oldest is 19 and in Korea) We purchased a way expensive super fun swing set/club house. They love it, but the sand box, some tools, and some water has been just as exciting for A TON less money.

    Happy summer!

  12. We love our tub-pool too. We have made some water toys out of pvc-pipe and punched holes in some yogurt containers for the kids to play with while they swim. Our library has a great summer reading program that we are doing as well.
    Tamsyn Sapckman´s last post…Supporting the Role of Fathers

  13. Oh, I’m with you! Sometimes I feel guilty for not taking on more (or bigger) adventures, but it’s so much easier to head out back to our plastic kiddie pool, and when the kids seem so darn happy with it, it’s awfully hard to justify all the extra hassle (and expense) it would take us to have gone somewhere else, even the city pools nearby. Every Sunday we walk to the neighborhood farmer’s market, which is no big deal but feels like an occasion to me. I’ll save the tons of activities for when they’re older I guess, but even then, only if they’re actually asking to do them, and only in moderation so that we don’t become over-planned (I hope — the best laid plans, right?).

    I am trying to balance my homebody nature this summer with a feeling of wanting to take advantage of living in a big city with lots of great things to do and see. What’s the point of it if you never go out, right? So this weekend we hit the zoo and had a picnic at the beach, and that was our big outing for the weekend. Hope to do a few more in July.
    Kate´s last post…But it’s Soooooooo Much Better!

  14. We are way too scheduled this summer and I hate it. I feel like I’m running more now than I did during the school year. I don’t know how it happened. I tried to keep it low-key, but between swim lessons, and gym class, and the one 4-day trip out of town, somehow, we are just booked. But we are spending our time at home in the little plastic pool, or the sand box, and eating homemade popsicles. That part, I love.

  15. Haha, definitely big and exciting with a baby due in 4 weeks! And with 8 friends and family members flying up here to be with us for 1-2 weeks I’m going to work on doing definite low-key things! And until then I’ll try to keep things as low-key as possible (ALKAP for short :-)

  16. Our plans are a bit exciting yet laid back. We just purchased a used RV and cannot wait to try it out! We’ll do some shorter weekend trips, and then plan to do a 10 day trip to the Ozarks (never seen!)
    Want to be able to experience seeing the country in a more relaxed way.
    I love the pool idea. My daughter got one for her 2 young girls and they have loved it!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…8 ways to slow life down

  17. Moving and starting a family qualify as “big” plans, no?

    I do wish there was a little more time to spend relaxing “down the shore.” Thankfully there’s a pool nearby our new home….
    SC Ramsey´s last post…The War on … Silverfish?

  18. We’re relaxed and low key! I love the break from “formal” homeschooling and just having fun with my kids – being present in each summery moment!
    Natalie @ Maple Leaf Circle´s last post…Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

  19. We just moved to a small town in the British Isles from Canada. We’re taking most of the summer to slowly explore the island we now live on, taking the bus and train to beaches and villages and pacing ourselves. It’s so small we don’t want to rush through like tourists.

    At the end of the summer my sister is visiting for a week and then we’re all going to Dublin together for a few days.

    It’s nice to read about plans from people with young kids. Even if there is no “school’s out” excitement it’s good to shift routine and activities to a slower pace for the season.
    Rachel @ the minimalist mom´s last post…Still car-free, but for how long?

  20. My summer plan is to read a book. No, i mean really read a book, front to back! I also have a 15-month-old…. so now you get why this is such a lofty plan for my summer!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Meggie´s last post…Art From Being: GIVEAWAY

  21. Our plans are big and small: to take a few days off in Chesapeake Bay, to play in the sprinkler in the backyard, to enjoy the 3.5 hours during which two out of my three kids will be in camp at the same time (!), to create marble racetracks and set up a lemonade stand, and to read, read, and read. We have a summer
    “want to do” list, do you?

  22. Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    We are very easy going/low key this summer. The kids have been playing in the sprinker this week and enjoy crafts.

  23. Sadly, our summer is far more action-packed then I would like. We’re moving (twice) and after realizing that I’ve moved 6 times in the last 4 years, I’ve decided that moving next summer is NOT an option.

    Though, amidst all the packing, living with parents for 6 weeks, our anniversary, and a family reunion, we are still committed to having a relaxing summer. Yeah, wish us luck with that.

    Glad to know that stress-free summers are possible even after we throw kids into the mix.
    Jennie´s last post…Making the Right Decisions for Right Now

  24. Every July we have to decide which family reunion to attend. My side of the family or hubby’s side. We tried to attend both every year but it got to be too expensive. Usually in another state unless we are hosting it. So now we rotate. The rest of the summer we relax near home, attend local (and free) events.

    Your kids are so cute. They are really growing. And they play so well together.
    don_mae´s last post…$20.98 A Yard And She Ripped My Fabric!!

  25. This is year number two for our little plastic pool and it just wouldn’t be summer without it! I love the idea of summer being all about being outside and in water as much as possible, that’s about as complicated as my summer list gets!
    Carla´s last post…Taming Tomatoes – Take Two

  26. Little money means little plans for us, but frankly I’m happy to eat (and cook) as many meals outdoors as possible and have friends over on weekends (potluck parties make it budget friendly). I look forward to that all year long!

  27. It is amazing how often the things you spend the least amount of money on can be the most popular. Just like your $5 plastic pool, we spent just $10 on a second-hand tent and our kids love it. They sleep in it at weekends and and it will be used on our camping trip in July. The best $10 we ever spent!
    Ella Callahan´s last post…Teeter Hang Ups Inversion Therapy Tables for Back Pain

  28. Rebecca says:

    Love the sailboats. We will for sure be making those this summer. Our summer is pretty unscheduled as well; which is how I like it.

  29. A simple summer = the best kind! Love the little boats.
    Shawn @ Daffodil Lane´s last post…3 Things:

  30. The ice boats are such a fun idea; I love it! Our summer is mostly low key, with an exciting aspect of figuring out where we’re going to live next and what we’re going to do :-)
    Eliz. K´s last post…[right now]

  31. We have spent the last two days making crafty-items like trees, flags, and flowers with pipe-cleaners! The kids did a craft with them at family night at church and it has been non-stop pipe-cleaner fun! We found a bag of 25 pieces for only $.87. You cannot go wrong with spare-change craft ideas!
    Jaime´s last post…What Do Purses And Porta Potties Have in Common?

  32. Your pool picture is so sweet it makes me tear up a little. Our children look to be about the same ages. :) I also followed your link to the post about affirming your child’s heart through play time and it really spoke to me. Beautiful. I will have to remember that part about my “big boy” with the younger one!