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Creating a Joy-filled Summer with your Family

by Emilie Gorman

The end of the school year in Northwest Arkansas can be both exciting and also overwhelming as your family is most likely starting a new routine, or lack of routine, with the extra free time that summer brings. At the start of every summer my husband and I take time to set expectations and plan a few intentional moments for our family, and even though it takes some effort, I'm always so grateful when we do it. We've noticed that a little bit of intentional planning makes everyone more happy, confident, and joy-filled during the summer months.

In order to provide your family with guidance into our process, we have created a Summer Kickoff Kit to give you specific ideas on how to start strong and have a joy-filled summer with your own family. We are including a list of top 10 family summer activities for Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas, a classical reading booklist, and FREE printable pdfs such as a Summer Bucket List, a Summer Daily Habit Chart, and a Summer Reading Tracker.

Here are a few tips for achieving success with our Summer Kickoff Kit:

  • Be intentional about setting aside time to talk through realistic expectations with the whole family.

  • Create a simple structure and routine for your kids by printing out the Summer Habit Chart to track small daily habits that can be completed regardless of what else is going on for the day. Print out 1 for each of your kids, then let them choose a small reward at the end of the week for accomplishing the daily habits.

  • Get your family excited about your summer plans (big or small) by printing and filling out the Summer Bucket List. Post it on the fridge so they know what to look forward to, and check off the activities you complete so at the end of the summer you can remember how much fun was had together. If you need ideas for Summer activities in Fayetteville or Northwest Arkansas, check out our Top 10 List of summer activities in NWA.

  • Try to limit screen time and encourage your kids to get outside and play every day. If they can't play outside, make sure you have a few backup activities ready to go for rainy or extra hot days.

  • Encourage your family to read for 20 min each day with our age appropriate Summer Classical Reading List. If your kids are still little, set aside time in the morning or before bed and choose a story to read aloud. Make it fun by printing out the blank reading tracker and record all of the books your family reads over the summer.

  • Remember IT'S SUMMER-- be intentional about making time to create memories as a family, but have fun and don't stress over it.

We hope your family finds this FREE Summer Kickoff Guide to be a helpful tool in creating a joy-filled summer!


The Anthem Family

Click here to download the FREE Summer Kickoff pdf for fun ideas and blank printables for your family to use this summer.

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