Kick Your Summer Bucket List
Who has a summer bucket list? A.K.A. a list like this of things to do with your kids over the summer:
- Go to the beach;
- Watch Toy Story 4 at the drive-in;
- Check the Local app via Facebook EVERY DAY;
- Play a summer long Monopoly game;
- Follow WEEKLY THEMES: farm week, beach week, trail week, splash pad week, bubble week, friends week, craft week, science week;
- Berry picking;
- Make popsicles;
- Feed ducks;
- Watch fireworks;
- Drink smoothies in a pineapple!
*Apprehensive hand raise.*
Summers are so short. We want the time at home with our little ones to be extra special and memorable, and what better way than a SUMMER BUCKET LIST!
Here are a few favorites:
Take a road trip to ‘nowhere’! On different days, allow each of your children (or your spouse, partner, grandparent, etc.) to choose a direction and drive 30-45 minutes. Just. Drive. Leave the screens at home (try listening to a children's podcast). Sing road trip songs. Pack a picnic and make memories. You might find the next best spot!
Perform random acts of kindness. In 2017 a beautiful 3 year old girl from Syracuse, NY left her family and this world all too soon. Her loving family created Regan's Act of Kindness in her honor. "A Regan’s Act of Kindness is any selfless act that makes someone happier. The only limit is your imagination! Some people pay for the order of the person behind them at a drive thru; others leave gift cards in shopping carts. Children have handed out bubbles at playgrounds, surprised their teachers and bus drivers with little thank you gifts, and given other children small stuffed animals." Have your children write a kind note and leave it in a library book, do a chore for a neighbor or simply hold the door for someone. The act may be small but the impact on others, and your children, is enormous.
Read. Check with your local libraries and parks and recreation departments for fun summer reading programs. Reading with your child has numerous benefits including: improved concentration; broader vocabulary; developed imagination; increased closeness and snuggle time with YOU; and an expanded appreciation for other people, cultures and places. Launching in 1995, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library provides free books to children from birth until they begin school (my Bernadette received her final book this summer on her 5th birthday). Dolly Parton created this incredible program with the mission of fostering a love of reading in young children by "...providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month." To enroll, simply visit the website to find out if your area has a local affiliate.
Playspiration. We're all struggling with ideas to entertain and interact with our kids these days - especially when the weather is bad. Play2Learn in Baldwinsville, NY, founded by a childhood/special/literacy education professional (and Mama to 3), created a 31 day calendar of simple play ideas for the month of August. (We tried 2 already and both were a HUGE hit with my little ones). These simple, skill building exercises entertain, develop and focus your little ones when you've run out of ideas! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Using a paintbrush and can, ask your little one to pretend to paint items that are blue around the house. Then, orange. Then, green, etc.;
- Set-up a dishwashing station. Allow your little ones to transfer dishes from one bin to another;
- Cut a hole on the top of a container. Find an assortment of objects and see what can fit inside.
MOMLETA CLASSES! Fitness for you and fun for your child. For those of you who have school-aged kids school vacations and summers are the perfect time for mommy and me workouts. There's no better image for your child to have of you than that of you being healthy and moving your body. Plus your kiddos get playtime with others and can even join in on some of the exercises. Win. Win. Win.
How will you BE this summer?