Summer Survival Hacks – Chore Charts, Snacks, Screen Time, & More!

Jun 13, 2020 | Baby and Kids, Lifestyle, Video

It's Olaf's favorite time of year… SUMMER! With that comes all the craziness. Use these summer life hacks and help those long summer days to run much smoother at home. Be more prepared for the fun times as well as keeping things productive around the house.

Use these great summer life hacks from Fun Cheap or Free!

If you break out into a cold sweat when you think about your kids being home ALL SUMMER LONG, this post is for you. If you enjoy them being home, but are always looking for good ways to keep them busy, this is also for you. Worry no more, I've got your back! These summer life hacks are about to change the way you do things around your house…in a good way!

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Are you ready to learn how you can stop hearing “Mooommmm, I'm bored, and I'm hungry!” all day long? Then you'll definitely want to check out these summer life hacks! Click below to watch or just keep on scrolling for a quick recap!

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See, that wasn't too bad, now was it? Give these summer life hacks a try and I have no doubt that you'll be happy that you did. Now pretend that you're at the beach, relax, and read on for a recap!


You've heard of the summer slide, right? The learning loss that takes place over the summer if you don't keep your kiddos' minds engaged?? Well, we want to prevent that – but we don't want to feel overwhelmed or micromanage our youngsters all summer long.


Summer can be so hard keeping the kids happy, occupied, and off of each other's backs. It seems like they're constantly asking to watch tv or play on the iPad, or play on the game system, and it just goes on and on and on! If it were up to them, they would waste the summer days away… The best way to combat that is to create a clipboard system for your family.

You basically write some chores, tasks, and educational items to keep your kids busy. This ends up helping you out during the summer, too! The kids set the pace and can decide if they want to get it all done first thing in the morning or stretch it throughout the day. The key to this is that there are no screens and no friends until the clipboard is DONE.

We get command hooks and hang them up on the wall where they're all visible for everyone to see. Then, when your kid asks to watch a show, you can easily look over their clipboard to see if everything has been completed or not. It's so easy and so worth it! This is definitely one of my favorite summer life hacks that helps us to keep a somewhat normal schedule.


No matter their age, each of my kids has to make their bed as a part of their clipboard system. This helps the rooms have a much cleaner and tidier feel, which helps save my sanity!

My kids sleep in bunk beds and making them is the WORST, right? We use Beddy's bedding on all of our beds and it has made such a difference! All you have to do is zip your bed shut. Seriously, that's it! It's super easy and it takes like 30 seconds to have a nicely made bed. Just go to THIS link and use the code JORDAN for 20% off.


All of my kids have to do some reading as a part of their clipboard system during the summer. A summer reading chart is the perfect way for the kids to stay on track and stay away from that summer slide.

We love using ABCmouse for our younger kids who can't read. It's a monthly subscription site that you can use on a tablet, phone or computer. We've subscribed to it for years and we love it for our kids! It helps to teach them their letters and numbers and you can enter their grade and reading level into the program to customize it towards each kid.

ABCmouse has recently launched Adventure Academy for older kids, so now my kids who are second grade and above play it during the day. It's a great way to keep their brains active and they feel like they're getting to do something special since it's on a screen!


Summer Snack Hack - Give your kids a little independence this summer with this hack from Fun Cheap or Free

If your kids are CONSTANTLY asking you for snacks, then this one's for you! This is probably one of my biggest summer life hacks. Heck, it may be my biggest kid life hack! Create yourself a really good snack system. This takes snack time out of your hands and puts it into your kids' hands, giving you one less thing to handle during your already hectic day!

Basically, we save anything that's in a wrapper for lunch on the go (or school lunches during the school year). But they have free rein to anything that's out of a wrapper for snacks. I have a refrigerated drawer that is full of things that are allowed for my kids to snack on during the day. I'll keep things like cheese, fruit, veggies, and hard boiled eggs in there. Any time the kids get hungry, they can help themselves to the snack drawer as long as it's not within an hour of mealtime.

This is a really nice way to keep your kids fed. It lets them decide what they want to eat, with you being in charge of the options that they have to choose from. This also is a good way to save money. It keeps them from blowing through the more expensive pre-packaged snacks and lets you save those for when you're out and about.


I've got two summer life hacks comin' atcha that use popsicle sticks. These will really change your summer and can be used all year long!


Bored sticks are the perfect summer life hack to keep that boredom at bay - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

One of my most hated phrases to hear during the summer is “Mom, I'm bored.” It seriously makes me want to throw something! My summer life hack for this is to make bored sticks. Grab some popsicle sticks, sit down with your kids, and think of some fun ideas that they can do completely by themselves.

Some of our ideas include: play with sidewalk chalk, play with bubbles, build a Lego city, and do a scavenger hunt. The sky is really the limit here! Whenever they come to you and tell you that they're bored, tell them to pull out a stick and do the activity on it. It's exciting for them not knowing what it'll be and it really boosts their creativity in the moment.


These chore sticks come in really handy when your kids are using their clipboard charts and are having a hard time coming up with a chore to do on the spot. Write up all of the chores that your kids can do totally by themselves on popsicle sticks. Some of ours include: sweeping, wiping off the counters, unloading the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher, and putting clothes away.

Then you can do one of two things. You can have two different jars – one for your older kids and one for your younger kids to choose from. Or you can use the same jar and have two different colored sticks. When it's time for them to do chores, they just pick a stick out of the jar and get to it!

Want a little side tip? When your kids come to you telling you that they're bored and don't want to do any of the bored stick activities, let them pick a chore that they have to complete instead. It'll teach them real quick not to come to mom when they're bored. YOU'RE WELCOME!


Make a Summer Bucket List to make as many memories as you can with your family - Ideas from Fun Cheap or Free

We have had summers where I look back and I know that we did some things but nothing really stood out and I didn't feel like it was a successful summer. And then we've had summers where I look back and feel so satisfied that we did so much as a family. The biggest difference between the two has come down to making a summer bucket list.

This list doesn't have to be complicated and you definitely don't have to overthink it! Just sit down as a family and write down a list of what fun things you would like to do together over the summer. It can be as simple as going swimming or watching fireworks. Or it can be a little more involved like going camping or planning a family reunion. Just don't make it too big to where you'll never be able to do it all!

You can keep your list on your piece of paper and put it where everybody can see it. We like to print out a bucket list printable and blow it up to poster size at Costco so that we can hang it on our refrigerator. This makes it fun because the kids get a black marker and mark through the list as we do something. It's so satisfying as a mom to be able to look back and realize that we actually did do a lot of fun things over the summer!


Having a summer car survival kit is just about that – summer survival. I can't stress enough the importance of this summer life hack! If you've read my car hacks post, then you know that I'm all about keeping the essentials in my car. This is just taking it a step further to include all of the summertime essentials!

So there you go! Those are some of my summer life hacks and tips. Let me know what yours are in the comments!

Summer life hacks to make your life run smoothly from Fun Cheap or Free

If you like productive tips like this, then you may love my Productivity Boot Camp! It's a super fun online video program where I show you how to create systems like these in your own home.

Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off because I love ya! 😉

Do you need more summer tips, tricks and ideas?

Have a GREAT summer, Freebs!

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free


  1. Melissa Nelson

    Where did you get your refrigerated drawers???

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      They were already in the house when we bought it, we just moved them a little bit when we renovated our kitchen. You can get more details HERE!


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