Summer vacation is finally here! Are you ready? I don’t quite feel like I am but I’ve known it was coming for 9 months so there’s really no excuse.
For the last few years I’ve tried to come up with a simple Summer Bucket List for my family.I can’t stand the idea of us just mindlessly twiddling the days away in front of the TV. Of course, I’d be intermittently requiring the kids to go out and ride their bikes and shoot some hoops but still…I wanted there to be more. I wanted things to be memorable. I wanted it to be about us, memories, togetherness. Not just me shoo-ing them off to do their own mindless things for a couple hours at a time.
Last year, the kids helped write the Summer Bucket List. There were some big things on there and there were some seemingly small things as well. But they were all things that we all wanted to do. I was pretty impressed with how much we accomplished on our list. As we did something or went somewhere we’d check it off.
I loved having the list hanging up in the office because it was a gentle reminder to be proactive and deliberate about how we spent our time during our short 3 months of summer fun.
We will definitely be doing this again this year. We will be putting some of the same things on the list because they were so much fun and we will be adding new things this year as well.
Here are just a few ideas on things to try this summer:
1. Lemonade Stand. My kids love creating the stand and making the lemonade more than they love making money. Which is good. Because last year we researched a few ideas and this year we aren’t keeping our profits. They are going toward something bigger and better than us. Have you heard of Alex’s Lemondade Stand? Back in 2000, a little 4 year old girl got cancer and decided she wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money for ALL the little kids with cancer. I can’t think of a better reason to set up a box cut up some lemons and add a little bit of sugar. The kids love it and they learn math, social skills and altruism all at the same time! You could also go local and give your lemonade profits to your local food pantry, shelter, boys and girls club, or church.
2. Start a garden. This year for the first time my kids and I got out in the backyard, dug up some dirt and planted some seeds. We haven’t seen much in terms of edible growth yet but we are working at it. I grew up with a garden and remember helping my mom in it and then picking the fresh vegetables and tearing the ends off the green beans. I want my kids to know how to make things for themselves and to know what fresh food actually tastes like!
If this garden is a bust, and by the looks of it thus far it very well could be, then there is always the farmers markets. Our area has a ton of local ones and there is nothing better than shopping at those, buying locally and eating fresh! What a great valuable lesson for the kids and something fun to do together!
3. Cooking. I don’t know why, but the summer is the time when most of my kids ask me to teach them how to cook and bake. I think its because we’re so busy during the school year that there isn’t that concentrated time. So, during the summer I like to take the time to teach them a few baking tools. We’ve covered cookies and brownies, fruit salads, mac and cheese. You know, all the basics. This year, again, they asked for more “classes” so we will be learning some more in the kitchen in the coming weeks! This is a great idea for a child who is a picky eater as well. It gives them experience with ingredients and foods they might normally shy away from. They say that when kids have a hand in preparing the food there is a better chance of them actually trying it and enjoying it. Worth a shot!
4. Water. Water. Water. Can’t say it enough. As a former “pool rat” myself I LOVE summer and the feel of cooling off in the cold water while the hot rays beat down on you. There are so many different ways to make this fun. And it doesn’t have to break the wallet either. Believe it or not, family pool passes around us are $100…for the family. You can’t beat that. And we don’t just have a rinky-dink rectangle pool either. The kids can stay busy in there for hours. Beyond that, though, if you didn’t want to spend money on a pool there are other options. Local beaches and lakes. Canoeing. Sprinklers. Hoses. And a couple of my new favs:
Make a water blob! A what? A water blob! Fantastic idea! Here’s the link.
Anyone up for sponge bombs? Yes, please. These are so awesome, so easy to make and a way better idea than water balloons. What a great way to cool off! Check out the “how to” right here!
What does your family do for fun when summer vacation starts?
Come on, share! I need some new ideas for this years List!
I am linking up with some great sites!