it’s summertime, and i have a plan.
although i can’t believe it, this is my FOURTH year and my fourth summer home with the kids. i have learned much about myself – and them – in these years. during the summer, one of the things i have learned is that i need a loose framework through which to manage the long days, especially for the times when no formal activities are scheduled.
i can’t help it, i like a plan. you can go ahead and call it a schedule.
and yes, there is a summer daily checklist. it’s a sickness, i tell you.
the checklist essentially is the framework for our daily life during the summer. i won’t bore you with the other four things on our summer daily checklist, but i will tell you about the most exciting part of the checklist for the kids: the summer fun activity.
our full list of summer fun activities shall from this point forward be known as our summer bucket of fun.
thanks to pinterest, i took the bucket idea from here and browsed this list of 100 things to do with your kids this summer. i then asked the kids what they wanted to do this summer. i looked at our calendar with their camps and classes and decided to pare the list down to approximately 40 activities so we would essentially have something fun (and new) to do every weekday this summer – mostly for the days when there was not another activity formally scheduled.
don’t freak out. some of these activities are as simple as doing hopscotch in the driveway – and as big as going to kings island.
here is a picture of our bucket.
and here are the 40+ items on those clips you see.
- tie dye t-shirts
- draw self portraits
- make oobleck (slime)
- have a lemonade stand – donate half money to food pantry
- have hopscotch fun
- do some sand play at a beach (alum creek, huntington, etc)
- go bowling
- make puppets
- camp out with tent in backyard
- make beaded necklaces
- donate time / volunteer
- make bird feeders
- go to a parade
- visit cosi – farm days
- visit cosi – big machines days
- visit youngs dairy
- pick strawberries
- pick peaches – utica
- visit ice cream factory – ye olde mill in utica
- pottery painting – clay cafe visit
- build boats from juice containers and find a place to test their floatability
- swim at friends’ outdoor pool
- visit jungle jacks
- visit anthony thomas for a factory tour
- bike ride to DQ
- go to a baseball game at huntington park
- go to movie at dollar theatre
- make chalk paint and paint up driveway
- collect crayon bits around house and melt into large crayons
- build an obstacle course
- go to kings island
- draw a play city on butcher paper, tape to floor – add directionals, cars, etc
- go to a fair – ross county, ohio state, etc
- visit inside trampoline place
- visit santa maria downtown pirate ship
- work on an art project with lids
- show a movie in the backyard projected onto house – invite friends to bring canned food for donation
- make homemade ice cream
- go to pb&j jazz
- visit olentangy caverns
- go to a columbus commons friday funday
- have a mini-olympics session
for the summer, in an attempt to fire up my writing again, i will share some of the things we get into. also, i will share what we choose to bag and why, mainly so you can get entertainment from my failures and hopefully avoid my mistakes. we also may add some new ideas in as we stumble on them… i am crazy like that.
in all honesty, i think my kids would read books and play legos every day this summer and not be bored for a minute. and for those days when they ask for this “schedule” and nothing else, i am happy to skip the bucket and let them run the show. but for those days when they are looking for adventure, i am glad i won’t have to think too hard to keep them engaged. the work around this bucket is done so i just can pull ideas whenever i need them.
i have to say, it’s good to be spontaneous – and i do it much better when i know about it ahead of time.