Thursday, May 16, 2019

Our List of Summer Hopefuls

Last summer our family was finally settling into our newly rebuilt home after Hurricane Harvey. Our adrenaline had carried us through the previous fall and spring. With summer came the exhaustion that had built up over the previous 9 months. Last summer was a lazy hammock season for us. We just wanted "to be" for a while. Get used to our home and just be. We threw together a last minute get away to Galveston, but that was it. Otherwise it was swimming lessons and picking up all the things that had been left undone since Harvey.

This summer is the last one before we have a kid in full time school (kindergarten!) and will be tied to a serious five days a week school schedule. I want to soak it up! Now, my idea of soaking up a summer would be to read a million books by the pool. Note, I don't want to get in the pool. I just want to read by it. That's all I ask.

But with the carefree ability to read by the pool comes the passing of all the sweet pre-k kisses and innocent wonder and awe at the world, so I'm going to put aside the books and soak up this time instead. This summer I want to be intentional with our kids. It's not necessarily going to be about big vacations, but more about small and meaningful experiences. Some new to our kids and some just plain 'ol fun things that kids need to do as much as possible. And if I'm honest, there are a lot of things on this bucket list that will be good for mom and dad too. I don't know how many of these we will actually check off the list, but we're going to try our best! And don't worry, there will be plenty of space for summer reading!
  • Eat a really cold watermelon (Keats' request)
  • Make popsicles
  • Make ice cream
  • Hit all the Cinco pools
  • Participate in the Summer Reading Program
  • Chalk the driveway
  • Puddle jump in the rain wearing our rain boots
  • Go to the beach
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the museum (Keats' request to see the dino's)
  • Go to the movies
  • Family bike ride on the bayou (see below)
  • Learn how to ride bikes
  • Watch fireworks
  • Fly kites
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Go on individual kid dates
  • Run a lemonade stand (Claire has been begging to do this)
  • Family hike
  • Family game night
  • Craft Day (aka, Mommy Takes One for the Team Day)
  • Feed ducks
  • Go on a picnic
  • Make your own pizza night
  • Go fishing
  • Blow dandelion seeds and make a wish
  • Write a thank you note
  • Have a tea party
  • Visit the pet store (do not come home with pet)
  • Skip rocks
  • Learn a new helping skill
  • Popcorn and movie night
  • Do a science experiment
  • Try a new fruit
  • Try a new veggie
  • Puzzlemania (put together all the puzzles we own)
  • See how many new libraries we can visit
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Give away a toy
  • Family car wash
  • Bake cookies
  • Play in the sprinkler
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Build a blanket fort
  • Eat corn on the cob
  • Memorize a Bible verse
  • Find a sunflower
  • Blow bubbles
  • Visit a water park
  • Climb a tree
  • Have a pillow fight
  • Go on a road trip
  • Make pickles
  • Watch the sunset
  • Jump over a wave
  • Press wildflowers and make leaf rubbings
  • Picture scavenger hunt (take pictures with their Kindles)
  • Spot a rainbow
  • Do something nice for someone else
  • Make a fairy garden
  • Visit grandparents
  • Go on a family walk
  • Collect seashells
  • Catch a bug (a lizard will do as well)
  • Dance party
  • Visit the rock shop
  • Make something for a friend
  • Visit a splash pad
  • Lots of playdates (My "I Live For the Social Life" Kid's specific request)
  • Two family read-aloud chapter books
My daughter loves a good fuss and drama. She also appreciates beauty, so practical me is trying to make more of an effort to reach that part of her. As such, the Summer Bucket List was revealed after the last day of school and rolled out with pomp and circumstance. I tend to be the practical type that would write a list on a piece of notebook paper, fold it a couple of times and put it in my bag. However, I've learned that delivery is everything with kids. I took a look online and like most things on Pinterest, the bucket lists were above my skill level. I put in a valiant effort anyway and even included drawings which I really regretted committing to halfway through the list. Also, halfway through the list I wished I had made a shorter list.

It was worth it! The kids were beyond excited. Claire especially appreciated the bright and varied Sharpie usage. They didn't care that my drawings are laughable or that the letter spacing poor. They didn't notice that I got the wrong kind of paper that is dry-erasable on the reverse side and will most likely roll up like a scroll in a day or two. They're not on Pinterest so they don't know that they could have had customized bucket list posters in their full-sized silhouettes with puff paint and jewels. Or that "Disney" was an option. They're just thrilled to make popsicles and puddle jump.

I'm also allowing space for "write-in's". Claire has already asked that hopscotch be put on the list. This sounds reasonable. I don't know how to play hopscotch so it's probably a good idea to add this skill to my repertoire as well.

Is this "50 Things to Do This Summer with your Preschoolers" or "100 Items for Your Kids' Summer Bucket List"? Wouldn't know, didn't count them. It's just a bunch of fun stuff that we can do together intentionally. Watermelon is on tap for the day one!