Keep your cool during the summer sizzle with organized, pre-planned activities

Are your kids talking about the summer yet? Are they getting excited?  Chances are they don’t know how much more work it is for parents during the summer than it is during the rest of the year. To keep the kids busy with little effort, consider putting advance planning in place so that the rest of the summer can be more spontaneously enjoyed. Here are some ideas you can use to improve the summer months:


Create an activity list or an “I’M BORED JAR” for the days when the chorus of “I’m bored” is heard.

Get a large jar for the whole family to add ideas when one strikes. Have all family members write their ideas on sticky notes and put them in the jar. Need some inspiration for summer activities? We suggest organizing a picnic dinner, swimming at a local pool, or camping in the backyard. If your kids are acting like wild animals, you might even plan a visit to the zoo.


Install a large wall calendar and put the activity ideas on it

Get a large wall calendar, some sticky notes and a marker. You can start by marking down important dates, such as the first day of school or camp, or time that will be spent away on a vacation. A great way to stay organized (while making the board look more kid-friendly) is to colour code the sticky notes by category. Potential categories can include theme days, playdates, planned outings, and activities done at home.


Stick to a normal routine as best as possible

To make life easier for yourself, make sure you write out sticky notes for your own well-being and apply them to the calendar. Write down your date nights, dinner menu plans and babysitter arrangements.


Pre-sort supplies for Grab and Go Bags

 Be prepared for any outing by pre-packing backpacks before an activity day. This will help you avoid the hour of preparation time before being able to leave the house. Some ideas for Grab and Go Bags are: theme park bags, walking/ hiking bags, playdate bags, picnic bags and library bags.


Prepare for pool days

 If you’re going to the pool, have water excursion supplies pre-packed in a tote bag. Pack swimsuits and towels, as well as sun safety essentials, including sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. Don’t forget to bring a plastic bag for wet bathing suits!


Remember your road trip essentials

 The summer is a great time to embark on a family road trip. If you’re planning a road trip, be sure to pack items that will keep you and your family comfortable and entertained while away from home. Begin by packing essentials such as diapers, water bottles, snacks, and sunscreen.  To avoid the inevitable cries of “Are we there yet?”, bring books, colouring books or clipboards with blank paper, and zippered pouches of crayons for each child.


There is nothing wrong with kids getting bored from time to time, as some ingenious and unique creativity can result from that.  Keep art supplies within reach in the craft cabinet, a few outdoor toys in the backyard, and fruit and sugar-free drinks in the fridge. If you need help organizing your summer activities, you can find a Professional Organizer near you at

Laura Kay is the Director of Chapters for Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). She oversees and coordinates the management and communication of 14 chapters across Canada and to assists with Chapter Development, Education and Leadership.