It's the lament of kids everywhere: summer is way too short. While we often start the season full of ideas for the great things we are going to do with the kids, we quickly realize there are just not enough summer weekends or lazy afternoons to accommodate everything. Some enjoyable things inevitably end up getting pushed to the back burner or forgotten altogether. It's pretty depressing to realize at the end of the season that you forgot to visit a favorite swimming spot, or that you only made it to the ice cream shop once.
My kids are always coming up with ideas for things to do together. They ask to camp in the backyard, try fishing, make a recipe they saw in a magazine, or create homemade t-shirts. But with everything else going on, it used to feel difficult to fit those fun things in. Enter the summer fun list.
Each year, usually in June, our family makes a list of things we'd like to do during the summer. We include crafts, projects, recipes, outings, and anything else we can think of. We have three rules: the activities must be something everyone in the family enjoys, they must be low-cost, and any outings must be within a two hour drive. We try to keep the list fairly short so that it feels fun, not overwhelming.
When our list is complete, it gets posted on the refrigerator so that we can easily pick an activity or two to do each week. We check off items as we go and add items as the kids request them.
If you want to make your own summer fun list but are stumped for ideas, here are a few to get you started.
Crafts: tie-dye shirts, make library tote bags, create flags for the 4th of July, try sand art or yarn painting, make stepping stones.
Outings: visit different swimming holes and hiking spots, ride a bike trail, explore a new museum, try a new restaurant.
Cooking projects: cook hot dogs over a campfire, make old-fashioned egg creams or homemade pudding pops, make símores over a backyard fire pit.
Other ideas: camp out in the backyard, stay up late to look at the stars, try a new yard game such as bocce or croquet, pick blueberries and strawberries at a local farm.
Undoubtedly you and your family will have lots of fun traditions of your own to add to your list. Be sure to include some new activities to try along with the old favorites, and have a great summer!