summer morning routine printable!

Viewing on a MOBILE device? Click HERE to get the direct download! And HERE for the blank version!

This one has come highly requested and I think, thanks to Kinzie (@kinzco), we really delivered for you guys today! On this, the last day of school (for my kids) I give you the Summer Morning Routine! Kinzie of – amazing graphic designer, branding genius, all around babe created today’s printable to accompany this system and I’ll give all the details for those who want to know or you can just download that sucker and get started at the bottom of this post!Summer Morning Routine Printable

There is a blank version or a filled out version that I use — I kept it super vague so you can decide time limits, define what each thing really means for your family, and your family culture. Just know: this system took some time to really show it’s value. You have planting years where you’re implementing a system and really having to repeat yourself, teach them, enforce and stick to it. It does take time to feel like it’s worth it, but it will be worth it, I promise! And luckily most kids really thrive on a routine so they’ll probably be the ones enforcing it on you! The day my kids woke up, got dressed, did all their chores and then came and found me was one of the prouder days of my life! Get this hard laminated, dry erase marker or a clipboard for each kid and keep your Summer morning sanity!!Summer Chore Chart

For those who want to know how we do it at my house, keep on reading!


Very basic ground rules at my house are that we all pick up after ourselves — always. So throughout the day messes are getting cleaned up as we go along instead of having to do big blitzes which I’ve found my kids are too tired at the end of the day to really give me any energy in that arena. So we have to do it as we go! Saturdays they deep clean their bedroom and bathroom, so it’s just maintaining during the week.

Second, my kids aren’t always motivated by screen time. Some days they don’t even use their screen time, so I needed a way to incentivize on days they don’t care to. Hence the fill in the blank “Before We _____”. It might be “have screen time” or it might be “go to the pool”, “play with friends” or whatever fun activity we have planned for that day. If your kids like knowing the agenda for the day, that’s an easy place to keep it for them!

Blank Summer Chart | Small Fry

So no screens of any kind (TV too!) are coming on until this list is done at our house, and then they get 1 hour for their video games, or any YouTube videos about said video games. 😉 I’m more flexible on TV time, but I am stiff as board about devices.

LDS / Religious Ideas: My kids know that making their bed is also the time for them to say a prayer. I didn’t want to include prayer on this as I know it’s not everyone’s bag, but an idea if you want it incorporated or you could always write it next to that! We do a more hefty spiritual thought/reading at night before bed, and that’s on me so not included here. Where’s mama’s chart?


Most of these on the chart are obvious – the ones where you can interpret with your kids and also how involved YOU are with it are:

Summer School Work – we do 30 minutes of Workbooks (I buy these) or you can also print off all kinds of worksheets for free! Then they also read for 30 minutes. We have ABC Mouse and also our school uses an online reading program called Lexia! To encourage actual book/story reading I pay them $5 for every chapter book they read. We live across the street from a library so we do that every week or so, so they have lots of options!

Chore of the Day – It might be the same every day, it might rotate, they can draw from a jar, it could be a big chore (clean the kitchen) or smaller (wipe the mirror) depending on age and ability. At our house, we look around the house and make a list of what needs to be done and they choose the one they want to do. I like that they can see the different needs of the house, but still pick what appeals to them. I hope it helps them understand all that’s involved in housekeeping, and to spot what might need to be done instead of always having to be told. “Seeing the need” is a life skill I hope I send them into the world having mastered! They could do the same chore every single day, and there is great value in really knowing how to do it well, but there are so many other skills to learn!

Make Something – another way you could implement a jar of ideas! This could be art, cooking, writing a story, it is creativity in whatever realm appeals to them!

Outside Exercise – Again you can choose the time limits, and getting outside to be active could WITH you – a bike ride, a walk, yoga, push ups, etc. Or you can send them out more independently, too. I’ll let them give me a workout to do with them and they love that.

One Good Thing. This term came from a book we have by my friend Jill about a girl who wants to make a difference, but feels overwhelmed. So her dad tells her to just pick one good thing to do each day. My kids love the book so we talk about One Good Thing a lot. Again, I don’t give them any parameters because I want them to See the Need. And then tell me about what they did after. We discuss how it could be for a specific person, for the family, for a neighbor or friend, for the environment, the community, for themselves. I love seeing how their brains work for this one, so there’s no wrong answers for me!

I hope this helps and huge thanks for Kinzie for the darling design!





LitJoy Crate

Fun guest post from the all new LitJoy Crate!  Catch a giveaway on our Instagram @smallfryblog and get 10% off your first box with “SMALLFRY10”! Welcome, ladies!!

Hello there! I’m Alix and this is Kelly and we run the new business: LitJoy CrateLitJoy1LitJoy Crate is a monthly book box subscription, delivered to your front porch! Each month, you receive a Crate with a new release book, and book-themed items to enhance that reading experience (this really just means we want to make reading really fun instead of just fun). Subscribers can select from our three crates: the Board Book Crate (ages 0-2), the Picture Book Crate (ages 3-6), and the Young Adult Crate (ages 14+). It’s like a book party on your porch—monthly!Lit Joy CrateOur drive in creating LitJoy was two-fold. First, we care deeply about literacy (which is why, for every crate we sell, we donate a book to local pro-literacy campaigns); and second, we care (probably too deeply) about literature. In our texts to each other 60% is work related and the other 40% is us fan-girling over some fictional character that we care about as if they were a living and breathing human (or faerie depending on the book). Lit Joy CrateBetween the two of us we have four children, ages four and under—so our business meetings can get a little crazy. Many tantrums are halted with the promise of marshmallows and the threat of “ no reading tonight unless you are good” . It was reading to our children that really solidified our decision to start LitJoy  Begin a mom can be really hard and sometimes reading with out kids is the brightest moment of our day! We wanted to share 3 quick ways to keep your kids (and your whole family, really) reading through those chaotic summer months: Lit Joy Crate1. During reading time, involve activities based around the books you are reading with your kids. This is basically what we try and do with LitJoy Crate. If your book is about going on a scavenger hunt, stage your own scavenger hunt. Or send the kids out on a scavenger hunt while you catch up on your reading.

2. Go to the library! And then go again. I’m always surprised by how much fun my kids have at the library. Plus it’s a free activity, which is great for summer when we are trying to do fun things every day.

3. Listed to audiobooks when traveling on summer vacations. Maybe pass on the Iggy Azalea and instead start an audiobook . These beautiful orchard shots photographed by our friend Sam are a straight-up miracle. If I could transport you through time and space to this photo shoot in this quaint orchard you would be dropping in on pandemonium and at least three tantrums from different children (I’m not naming names). Sam, the miracle worker, managed to capture a few moments that were beautiful and these moments are a lot like what our life feels like as a business owner and a mom. It’s chaos laced with tears and boogers, but those few moments where what wedo brings joy, that’s why we do it! Lit Joy Crate

Sign up for LitJoy Crate here!

best of summer

Is it really almost Summertime again? It’s such a wonderful time of year for families and we are getting so excited! School is out in less than a week and family trips, late nights and days at the pool will reign supreme. We’ve been brainstorming what we want to bring to Small Fry this Summer and had to take a peek back in the archives for inspiration (and to jog our memory, too!) and here our some of our and your favorite posts for Summertime!

Favorite Summer PostsThis Backyard Tent DIY was the very first post we created for Small Fry, ever! The bright and happy photos instantly take us back to a new and exciting time! And how small do our boys look?!

This Firework in milk science project was so much fun to do. It was part of our Summertime School series to keep everyone’s minds learning and everyone should try it at least once!

Washing and reusing swim diapers blew a couple of minds.

A chores and cleaning printable to help start or keep a routine of responsibilities!

Our Road Rally with Freshly Picked was such a hit and the boys are still talking about it. Locals, mark your calendars for July 8th, we’re planning the 2nd Annual Road Rally and it’s gonna be better than ever!

Chalk provides hours and hours of entertainment. We showed a few games to use with chalk and there’s about a million more on our Pinterest!

Sometimes all it takes is a little hype. Simply saying “We’re going on adventure!” and then letting it all unfold. Kids are magicians and don’t need much, just a little push to get them going!

Another post in our Summertime School series, the handwriting wall! Keep those fingers practicing all Summer long!

So while we have you, anything you’d like to see Small Fry cover this Summer? Have a great weekend!


We heard from so many of your regarding our use of Essential Oils we partnered with the Oil Rn for a free webinar to teach the basics of it all. Join us! We have two – Saturday May 17th, 2014 – SIGN UP HERE – at 2pm EST and then again Monday May 19th at 9:30pm EST – SIGN UP HERE – we’re excited to see you there!

We were featured on POPSUGAR Moms with our favorite budget friendly Summer clothing for kids! Check it out here.

summertime school: (no)fire works

For today’s Summertime School we are doing a fun and easy science project just in time for the Fourth of July!


No Fire works is a safe and simple project for any age, we will never forget how excited our kids got when we showed them this one!


All you need is two cups of milk (2% or whole work best), hand soap, food coloring and cotton swabs!

1.  Pour the milk into a shallow dish, like this plate.

2. Put 2-3 drops of different food coloring drops in each corner of the plate, leaving space between each color.

3. Put a drop of soap in the middle between the colors.


4. Grab a cotton swab, dab it with soap, and then gently poke the middle of each of the colors.


Watch what happens! The “oohing”, “aahing” and faces of shock and surprise were so fun we did the project over a few times!


We are also loving Honest’s kid-friendly Sparklers DIY here.// Head here for more Summertime School. // And here for three DIYs for making your own patriotic tanks and sneakers! //

If you have a “Why?” kid, here’s a quick simplified explanation why this experiment works:

Milk is largely made of water, but it also contains fat proteins. Those proteins are really sensitive to changes in the water molecules around it. When you add the soap, the properties of the soap that do not dissolve in water race to attach to the fat proteins in the milk. While this transfer happens the drops of the food coloring (which the proteins can’t attach to) get bumped around creating the fireworks! Once the soap becomes attached and evenly distributed the mixture will settle, (until you add another drop of soap.)