Summer is officially upon us, and I’m learning quickly that my first summer as a mama of three is no joke. A five-year-old, two-year-old, and nine-month-old make soaking up summertime a wee bit challenging. An activity suitable for one kid is likely not appropriate for another, my two-year-old has the attention span of a house fly, and my nine-month-old just wants to put any and everything into his mouth and climb on top of the fireplace.
I’ve decided we need a good balance of both planned and unplanned days. But I can only take about one completely unplanned day before all four of us are CLAWING AT THE WALLS TO GET OUT OF HERE.
We all know my type-A-self loves a good plan…but as mamas, we also know our plans very rarely pan out the way we imagine. Which is why I’ve decided to keep a handy, dandy, summer bucket list in my pocket.
No literally – in my pocket – in the Notes app, on my iPhone.
I am like the classic, Pinterest-fail mom so you won’t see some summer-themed, decorated mantle over the fireplace with a framed, cute, colorful summer bucket list. (Though HIGH FIVE to you kick-butt mamas who do have that going on!) My list is literally ongoing on my phone, where I haphazardly add ideas while I’m sitting at a red light trying to figure out how my circus and I are going to survive the rest of the day.
So without further ado, here are some fun, easy, sanity-saving ideas I’ve gathered that at least give direction to those days when we need something, anything to do:
*Have milkshakes for lunch
*Catch fireflies (lightening bugs? What is the right terminology here??)
*Have a lemonade stand (Bonus points if you donate to charity! My kids choose to go to the Target dollar spot.)
*Fly a kite
*Have kids practice drawing shapes/writing letters and numbers and words in shaving cream
*Run through the sprinklers
*Have a lunch or dinner picnic at a local park
*Have a water balloon fight
*Make s’mores (we’re really fancy and make ours in the microwave)
*Go fishing in the bathtub (we have a magnetic toy fishing set and this keeps them busy for awhile)
*Play in the rain and jump in the puddles
*Go to the zoo
*Make an indoor fort
*Backwards day! Wear clothes backward, and have lunch for breakfast, dinner for lunch, and breakfast for dinner.
*Have a pajama-and-movie-marathon day
*Plant flowers/a garden
*Visit the local library (Ours has tons of free summer events!)
*Wash the cars (and let the kids wash their toy/ride-on cars)
*Go on a bug hunt (We love this! Each kid gets a Tupperware container and a plastic spoon to scoop up the bugs)
*Collect and paint rocks
*Let each kid plan out the entire day (within guidelines, of course…It’s so fun to see what the day would be like if THEY were in control!)
*Make homemade ice cream
*Go on a scavenger hunt (We love to do this, too!)
*Tie-dye shirts (Any tips? I’ve always wanted to do this, but am too scared of the mess. Ha!)
*Go to a professional baseball game (Go Braves!)
*Set up a slip ‘n slide in the backyard (PSA: they never work out as well as the picture on the box shows)
*Feed the ducks
*Go on a family bike ride
*Make cereal jewelry
*Visit a pet store (always fun and free!)
*Paint pottery (There is a great place in Peachtree City called Shenanigans…you can paint pottery and play on the indoor playgrounds!)
Usually, we start something, and it either lasts about ninety seconds or it falls apart or a kid has a meltdown or the baby tries to eat something inedible and my best-laid plans do fail. But every now and then we’re laughing and smiling and having the best time and making memories and I look at the clock and woohoo it’s already HAPPY HOUR!
If you have any other ideas, please comment below. And Happy Summer!!