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I wrestled with this post title. Do I call it a bucket list? No, that felt like I was creating a challenge, which is pretty much the opposite of my intent. I was not looking for a list of activities waiting to be checked off, but rather a list of fun stuff to do this summer when boredom strikes. Honestly, my main summer goal is to not have any “must-do” activities at all.
I look forward to lake days, yard play, and rainy movie afternoons. I feel we’ve been run ragged over the past month so the word for our summer of 2017 (is that a thing?) is play. I look forward to snuggling and reading books and running through the sprinkler. I’m also hoping we get so much of that chill time in that we all end up staring at each other and wondering what we should do. For this scenario, I decided to sit down with the girls one afternoon to talk all things SUMMER.
I wanted to keep the decision making largely in their hands, so I ask them the question: What would you like to do this summer? And then I shut my mouth.
Not only did this activity fill up a solid 45 minute breakfast, it really enlightened me to what my kids’ think is play. So often I takeover and dictate our plans, but sitting back and having them take the lead was pretty interesting.
I got to hear what activities put a sparkle in their eyes and in the process came up with a pretty comprehensive and lengthy list. I really recommend trying it with your kids, but if you need a jumping off point, I’ll share ours. Here is our grand list of fun stuff to do this summer!
- Go to the beach
- Have a picnic on an island
- Play on a new playground
- Go fishing
- Swim in the pool
- Have a lemonade stand
- Visit a farm
- Go to the zoo
- Pick blueberries (anyone know when the season is on that one?!)
- Visit a splash pad
- Catch a lightning bug
- Go on a kayak
- Go on a boat ride
- Watch a movie
- Eat ice cream and popsicles
- Paint pottery
- Go bowling
- Go to the roller rink
- Visit a trampoline park
- Learn to climb trees
- Write our names with chalk
- Learn to do gymnastics (?!)
- Pick a bouquet of flowers
- Visit an aquarium
- Play in the rain
- Make root beer floats
- Go on a roller coaster
- Raft on a river
There they are- 28 tasks that I have zero intention of checking all off the list, but what a great place to look on the days we’re up for an adventure! I love how they range from the extreme (go on a roller coaster?!) to the sweet and simple (write our names with chalk). I know we’ll be able to bring some of these to life, and we wasted no time getting started.
We picked a recent warm afternoon when the girls were getting quite rambunctious inside the house. I’ve heard that if the kids are tearing down the walls, then just remove the walls. It’s so true, as getting outside always works for us- even more so if a sweet treat is involved.
I’m partnering with Mayfield Creamery this summer, which my family is pretty thrilled about. Mayfield has been making delicious ice cream since 1923 using cream from their own dairy with no artificial growth hormones. After 94 years they are refreshing their look but still sticking with the same great taste that families have come to know and love.
I snagged Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from the freezer, but then also had to grab a new to me flavor that caught my eye, Lemon Ice Box Pie. Doesn’t it just sound summery? I fully anticipated it to be a mom-only carton, but it turned out to be David’s favorite and Hailey called it a solid tie.
Kaitlyn, however, remained firmly on team Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
Mayfield Creamery is fanning out and expanding to new markets across the South and Southwest, offering a whole new generation of consumers the opportunity to savor the genuine southern homemade taste that has made them a beloved family tradition. Grab yourself a carton (using their store locator) and join me in getting summer off to a sweet start.
Summer is officially off to a sweet start and I look forward to all of it that is still to come!
What are a few fun activities you hope to do with your family this summer?
Love Mayfield! My husband grew up near the original creamery in Athens, TN. One of my plans this summer is to go and tour the creamery with my kids who are enormous ice cream fans! I hear there are free samples…
Brittany Dixon says
Oh how fun!! I’d love to do a tour! I love seeing behind the scenes of ice cream… or breweries 😉 If you go, let me know how it is!
Stephanie Prause says
What a cute list they came up with! I fully endorse a summer focused on play 🙂
I am off to my HT this weekend to find some Lemon Ice Box Pie! (And some Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy for my poor lactose intolerant hubby.) Great list, I love your girls’ creativity!
Brittany Dixon says
Would love to hear what you think! I was surprised it was such a hit 🙂
My local HT did stock Mayfield, but no Lemon Ice Box Pie! I was pretty sad. I’ll have to check Publix as I love all things lemon.
Heather Warner says
My blueberries are coming in full right now in MD so you probably should find some place ASAP in NC! Raspberries and peaches will be soon if you need a backup 🙂
Brittany Dixon says
That’s what I hear- ah! I’m on it- next week for sure! But peaches sounds pretty amazing too 🙂
How do you balance household chores with playing with the girls? I feel like our kids are at transitional ages (almost 6 and almost 4) and play so well either together or solo that it sometimes leaves me wondering what I should be doing? For almost 6 years I have played with them most of the time I was with them, but now it feels like I have time to be getting more things done around the house and I sometimes feel guilty about it. But if they are playing together and there aren’t any screams or tears, it frees me up to clean, do laundry, cook, etc. But where is the balance? I don’t want them to NEED to be entertained or going on adventures constantly, as I want them to be able to train their brains to figure out how to deal with boredom. Sorry this is rambling, but it’s something I have become hyper-aware of recently. Would love your thoughts.
Tarrn, I can really relate to what you are saying. My boys are 1 and 3 and already play a lot together or separately without my direct involvement. They will easily play in the backyard for hours in a day just exploring, creating, imagining, and getting dirty. I personally don’t feel this is anything to feel guilty over. In my opinion it gives me the time and energy I need, to take care of the house and cook, so that I have the energy to do the bigger stuff with them like hikes and swimming, and a lot of the other things on the list, where they have my undivided attention. If someone were to look at my instagram pics they would probably say I do a lot with my kids, but what might be less obvious is all of the downtime, when my kids play without my guidance and I manage house. I am always available when they need me, but for the most part they are dictating their play.
Brittany Dixon says
Not rambling at all; something I think about quite often actually! In fact, as I type this right now both girls are upstairs listening to a book on cd we picked up from the library this morning. We are just getting into this stage, but I think it’s COOL. Like, really cool. I love being with my girls, but do not feel the need to be their cruise director around the house. I think each day brings a different balance, as I do like to play with them, but also feel it’s good for me not too sometimes. Now I’m rambling 😉 Basically, I try and do a little of both each day. Usually I spend the mornings playing with them/doing something with them, then after lunch we have “quiet time” which means something different everyday (some days it means reading, or naps, or quiet play). This is my solo hour and after that I’m usually around but not playing directly (prepping dinner, doing a chore, etc). Then I usually get back involved late afternoon (walks, outdoor play) and evening (books and bed). It’s a pretty sweet spot right now (minus the moments when they aren’t visions of sisterly love ;)).
We love being outside, my 2.5 year old is always asking to be outside! We like to blow bubbles, draw with chalk, enjoy snack time, pull out the water table and sprinkler. We also enjoy kicking the soccer ball, playing tball and going on the swing. And this year is our first year with a vegetable garden so we enjoy checking it out, seeing if there is anything we can harvest or eat on the spot 😉
Brittany Dixon says
Are you like us where no vegetables harvested actually make it into the house?! Haha, every cherry tomato goes right into a mouth 😉
Thanks for the water table reminder; we need to pull that out soon!
haha, yes! Even the lettuce gets nibbled on before it makes it into the house! I have to say having a garden is so much fun, I’m so glad we finally put one in this year!
Grandma Honey says
I don’t know about there, but blueberry season ended here when the heat came in about 2 weeks ago. Thanks for the list! My grandchildren are visiting from Washington and I was looking for some ideas.
Brittany Dixon says
I’ve heard we have a few local farms that still have some, so I need to get on it! On next week’s agenda for sure 🙂
Great list. And great idea to not try to cross them off. I always feel summers are for chilling out and going with the flow. Since I’m a working mom, my kids normally have a jam packed school year so I like to counter that with a free flowing, less structured summer. So your approach is so up my alley!