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Printable Summer Checklist for Kids

It’s summer break! That magical time of year when the days stretch longer, the sun shines brighter, and kids are free from the routine of school. But let’s be honest, as delightful as the idea of endless playtime sounds, the reality often includes the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored!” Summer also often means juggling work responsibilities, driving kids around to different activities, all with the pressure of trying to make magical summer memories!

As we head into summer, I’m feeling a mix of “yay!” and “ah!!” and whenever that happens, you know I have to create something to help keep us on track and organized. Enter the summer task list: a simple checklist that includes chores, daily responsibilities, and some fun and learning mixed in.  Keep scrolling for a free printable summer checklist, including a task chart, a weekly rhythm, and ideas fore age appropriate chores, so you can try this at home!

Why Use a Summer Checklist?

While I am so excited for the long days of summer, the stretch of all that unscheduled time makes me a little nervous. Our days are no longer dictated by naptime like they have been in the past, and while my kids will be in a few summer activities, most of our days are open.  We all thrive when our days have a rhythm to them: they keep things predictable and flowing nicely. Also as my kids get older, I want them to take more responsibility in their days beyond choosing what to play next or what they want for snack. I’m hoping the Summer Task List helps with the following things: 

1. Structure and Routine: While summer is a break from school, maintaining some structure is essential. A checklist helps create a daily routine, giving kids a sense of stability and purpose. Plus, it keeps them on track without the constant need for parental reminders.

2. Learning Responsibility: Including chores on the checklist teaches kids valuable life skills and responsibility. It’s a gentle introduction to the idea that everyone contributes to the household, without requiring constant caregiver nagging!

3. Promoting Independence: Tasks and chores empower kids to take charge of their day. Completing their checklist fosters independence and boosts their confidence. They learn to manage their time and make decisions, skills that will benefit them long after summer ends.

4. Avoiding the Summer Slide: Summer is a great time to slow down, embrace play, and get outside as often as possible. It’s also important to keep those young minds engaged. Including educational tasks on the checklist helps prevent the “summer slide,” where kids can lose some of the progress they made during the school year. 

5. Keeping Things Consistent: This summer, we are enlisting the help of daytime babysitters a couple of days a week. The daily checklist 

What I’m including on my checklist: 

My kids are 4 and 8 years old, and my 8 year old has a developmental disability. I know I can’t fill a checklist with a bunch of boring tasks or unrealistic expectations and then get mad when they don’t complete any of it! Here’s what I’m going for instead: 

  1. Variety: I’m including a mix of chores, educational tasks, and fun activities. This keeps the checklist exciting and ensures a balance between productivity and play.

  1. Age/Developmentally Appropriate: I’ve tailored the tasks to my children’s age and abilities. Most of the tasks revolve around caring for themselves and their belongings, with a daily check in for one chore that helps our family. I know I’ll need to demonstrate and practice each task with my kids before they can complete the checklist independent!

  1. Include Fun and Creative Activities: Balance out the chores with fun and creative activities. We’ll be referring to our weekly summer rhythm to pick fun and creative activities to do! This will keep the checklist enjoyable and something kids look forward to each day.

a picture of laminated task lists on the side of a fridge, surrounded by alphabet magnets
Our summer task lists will live on the fridge along with our weekly rhythm inspiration!
kid's summer task list being laminated
Laminate or put the task list in a dry erase pouch so you can reuse!

What should go on a daily summer checklist? 

Need ideas for what to put on your kids’ Summer Task List? Try picking from these categories:

1. Morning Routine

  • Make bed

  • Brush teeth/hair

  • Get dressed

2. Chores

  •  Think about if you want to include the same chore each day or have them do a parent check in to get assigned a chore

  • Check out this list for developmentally appropriate chores:

summer contributions pdf - chores are divided between toddlers chores, preschool chores, grade school chores, and tween/teen chores
Download the Summer Task List Freebie to access this summer contributions chart!

3. Educational Tasks

  •  Read a book for 30 minutes

  •  Practice math skills with a fun app

  •   Write a short story or journal entry

4. Fun Activities

  • Try an activity from Nature Play Today Summer Camp

  • Create a DIY craft project

  •  Play a family board game

  •  Try a new recipe together

  •  Visit a new slash pad

  • Give each day a theme and brainstorm one fun thing for each theme so kids know what to expect!

A weekly rhythm can help kids know what to expect without trying to come up with tons of activities every day!

What about incentives?

Using incentives for a task list like this is a family decision. In our home, we spend lots of time talking about how our family is a team and how we all work together to help our home function. This summer, though, we have decided we WILL do incentives for our kids. Each time they complete 10 tasks (or 10 checks!), they will earn a dollar. The most they can earn each week is $5, an amount we are happy to use to help them learn a bit about money!

You could also try non-monetary incentives, such as earning extra screen time, earning a fun family outing, or getting a special privilege like staying up late!

Download the Summer Checklist here:

The FREE Summer Checklist Download contains:

  • summer task chart with tasks filled in

  • a blank summer task chart

  • a weekly rhythm chart featuring a different category of fun each day of the week

  • the summer contributions idea form - filled with chore ideas for all different ages!

Peaceful summer days start wtih a little organiziation!

Will you give a summer checklist a try? It might be your secret weapon to turning those “I’m bored” moments into opportunities for growth, learning, and fun. With a little planning and creativity, you can make this summer the most memorable one yet. 

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