Summer is in full swing! With the Summer Solstice/First Day of Summer this past week I think we can declare it official – as if we hadn’t already.
The kids and I have spent the past couple of weeks getting into our daily summer routine, which includes spending the mornings at the pool for swim team and a lot of lazy afternoons. It feels very easy to just drift along and let that be all we worry about and that’s been great so far but I’m afraid that too much down time leads to sibling arguments and mommy crankiness (and maybe a bit of jealousy when we see everyone else’s vacation photos). So it has become our tradition to sit down as a family at the beginning of summer and make a list of all the things we each want to include in our summer – a Summer Bucket List.
You know the tradition is a good one when the kids ask “Mom, when are we going to ____?” and that’s exactly what happened this year. A week or so before school let out my little guy was asking when we were going to make our summer list and that weekend we sat down to compile ideas. The husband even contributed a couple via chat (though mostly his big goal was to finish this deployment). We try to come up with a combination of ideas – some easy, some that require more planning, a few goals (last year we wanted to hike to the top of Timpanogos), some that are fun and some that might require a little work.
This year’s list includes:
-lots of playdates/friend time
-family game of Monopoly (Tyler is obsessed)
-Kaitlyn: babysitting, swim camp, get a state swim time, YW camp, be in the parade, build muscle
-Tyler: new tricks on skateboard/scooter/bike, 4H Arts and Crafts Camp, Scout badges, change bedtime to 9 PM (his biggest request)
-sleep under the stars
-make a list of things to do on rainy summer days
-parties: water fights, treasure/scavenger hunt, end of school party
-Do/see something new
-play baseball with Bambi (the dog)
-regular exercise for all, especially Bambi
-try out a new restaurant
-kids learn to cook a few things
Once our list is compiled I like to put it on display in a frame where we can easily refer to it and cross things off (dry erase markers work great on glass). True to form, it took me a while after our family pow-wow to type it and get it up on display. I suppose that works in my favor since this week I’ve felt like we needed to give ourselves a bit more direction and now all we have to do is pick something from the list and go do it.
My biggest take-away from my chat with the kids was that they wanted to spend a lot more time with friends. I get that. During the school year we have very little time between school, homework, and activities and they were feeling socially deprived. No one wants to be bored or lonely or to feel like our friends might be out having fun while we sit at home, especially during the summer. But it does take some effort to turn that Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) into Getting Out More Often (GOMO), doesn’t it? I’ve found, however, that the effort and planning is worth it. And once I get past some of the roadblocks like trying to coordinate with friends with busy schedules and that whole Jungle-Book-esque mind-set of “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” (don’t tell me I’m the only one that pictures those buzzards every time we have a hard time coming up with a plan?!), it’s really not that hard to get out and have fun.
Still need a bit more inspiration or ideas for things to do? Check out websites like Eventbrite – it’s like TicketMaster but for smaller events, and can be used to coordinate your own events like a local 5K. I hadn’t heard of this website until a few weeks ago, then coincidentally a few days later my son brought home a note from school about 4H opportunities this summer and wouldn’t you know it – online sign ups were available through Eventbrite. Tyler was excited about the Arts and Crafts workshop so I had my first experience personally using the website and it was pretty easy and user-friendly. I could see this being a great resource since you can search for events by area or even create your own events (oh how great would that have been when we were putting together our own version of Paint Night?! Oh wait – I haven’t blogged about that one yet. Remind me to do that soon – it was awesome! 😉 )
Other great resources include your local community events (4th of July plans, anyone?), summer workshops (Kaitlyn just had a blast at swim camp at a somewhat-nearby university), outdoor concerts and plays (we gave my mom tickets to Peter Pan for Mother’s Day and the play was on Tuesday. It was so much fun – one of my favorite plays to date and I’ve seen quite a few), and so on.
No excuses, right? I’m off to call a friend and make plans for a picnic at the park for next week. Or research a nearby hiking trail the kids and I haven’t had a chance to explore yet. So tell me, what’s on your Summer Bucket List?
Linking to: Home Matters Party, BFF Open House,