This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hobby Lobby. All opinions are 100% mine.
Make a Summer Fun Basket to keep kids busy, happy and on-task this summer break.
I have mixed feelings about summer break. I love having more time with my kids. It’s so fun to travel and have pool days and picnics and bike rides. The hard part comes when we have too many days in a row at home where I need to actually work and get things done.
That’s when I start to hear the dreaded “B” word. “Mom, we’re BORED!”
Can you relate? I want to give my kids all the magical summer memories, but I also sometimes just have to be a grown up and they need to be able to entertain themselves while I get stuff done.
A few summers ago, I implemented a Summer Schedule. I printed out a list of tasks that each child needed to complete each day and if they completed the list, they earned screen time. The idea I’m sharing with you today is taking that concept one step further with a basket full of tangible rewards.
If my kids finish each task on their list, they can choose something out of the basket.
This system has worked really well for us for a few reasons:
- The tasks are different for each child based on age and ability.
- It takes little hands-on time for me to keep it up. If they don’t do their list, they don’t get screen time or a reward from the basket. I don’t have to spend a lot of time managing the system for it to work.
- If my kids do everything they are supposed to, it takes until 2 or 3pm. Then they can play with their pick from the basket or watch a movie or play a computer game for an hour before dinner. The timing of it works well with our daily schedule.
- Having a list of wholesome tasks to complete helps me ensure their days are full of balanced activities that help their minds and bodies be strong without me having to nag or remember who read or who practiced.
- It places an automatic limit on screen time so I know my kids aren’t getting too much.
Anyway, it works for our family and I thought I’d share the idea with all you mamas out there in case it can help.
Now let’s get to the cute crafty stuff!
Here’s how I put the basket together.
- Two Wood Dowels
- Colored Cardstock
- Letter Stickers
- Baker’s Twine
- Hole Punch
- Printable Summer Fun List
- Summer Toys and Crafts
I wanted this basket to feel special so the kids would be even more excited to do their daily jobs and earn fun rewards, so I decided to add a cute banner across the top. It turned out so cute that I’m planning to do this same method the next time I put together a gift basket.
I cut wood dowels to length, then painted them white (but you could leave them raw wood or paint them any color you like). Then I centered a dowel on one side of the basket and secured it in place with duct tape and repeated that on the other side.
I cut out a simple banner from colored cardstock and used oversized letter stickers (aren’t they so darling?!) to spell the word “summer.” I punched small holes in the top two corners of each piece, then strung them together with cute string and tied them to the dowels.
I normally print out our summer job lists and laminate them, but if you only have one child, you could attach the list to the basket. I’ve included the printable template for the Summer Fun list at the bottom of this post. Just click the link to download, print it out on cardstock, then fill in the list. Laminating is awesome, but optional. There are also two options… one is formatted with just one list per page, the other has two lists per page and can be cut down the middle.
I had SO MUCH FUN picking out fun goodies to put in the basket. Hobby Lobby had so many great summer toys, games and equipment and I got some really cute craft kits and creative projects that I think my kids are going to love. I also feel like it’s a Genius Mom move to reward them with items that also keep them busy, active, learning and being creative. Boom. Genius Mom.
So what do you think? Is this something that would work for your family? Be sure to stop by Hobby Lobby soon to add some more fun to your summer.
I also think this basket would make a great gift for a child or grandchildren. I recently attended a fundraiser auction and a basket like this would have sold really well. I have a whole post full of gift basket ideas if you’re interested.
If you’re looking for more ideas, I have a huge Pinterest board full of fun activities for kids.