Summertime’s Coming! Plan to Have Fun

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Years ago a friend mentioned that she needed to sit down with the kids to make their “to-do” list for the summer. This wasn’t your ordinary “Honey Do” list. In fact, they sat and brainstormed all the FUN things they wanted to do during their summer vacation. What an amazing idea! She posted it on the refrigerator so that they could always see it and have fresh inspiration for a new activity. It gave direction to their days and weeks, so that the summer didn’t just disappear.

June starts Sunday so this is a great time to think about your plans for the season. They don’t need to be elaborate or expensive. Just little tickles to remind you to have a blast with your fam in the coming months. (Hint: these aren’t ideas for just the kids. Join them! You’ll be glad you did.)

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Check out these links for further inspiration:

Update: Reader Sheila suggested that we share our lists to help inspire one another. Great idea!

Please leave a comment listing what your summer plans include so that we can brainstorm together fun occupations and outings for our families this summer.

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  1. We just did this earlier this week! I was surprised by some things that my daughter wrote. I’m glad I did it, because some things I wouldn’t have thought to do. Have you thought of having people put their lists up? I think seeing other people’s lists might help trigger some thoughts for me.

  2. Okay, I’ll list ours. One thing that I do want to mention is that I am trying to encourage my kids to come up with things they want to learn as well as do. I’m not totally there yet, but I’m working on it. I’m also learning that summer activities for my kids need to be different now than they were when they were younger, and I’m trying to adjust my thinking to that. Cooking and sewing are ongoing activities for my two kids (girls 11 & 8). As you will be able to tell, we live in Colorado, about an hour from Denver. Several things my kids want to do are in Denver, so we will probably combine items in trips.

    Candy factory in Denver (free factory tour)

    Mount Rushmore (she knew we were discussing doing this as a family vacation)

    Camping (this surprised me!)

    Our city has an indoor swim park and that was listed. It is $4 for each kid – very reasonable!

    Denver Zoo (we have a family membership)

    Denver Museum of Natural History (another surprise, but one I’m glad to do)

    Denver Museum of Science and Nature (family membership)

    Denver Mint (free tour)

    Sea World (my daughter thought this was in Denver, but it’s not)

    Park w/ climbing wall (park we saw a few miles from our house that we haven’t ever been to)

    Tea party (just a note about this: since my kids are getting older this is a little different than it was when they were young. Now they like to plan and prepare it themselves. Works for me!)

    My ideas:

    Having my 11 year old who loves to cook plan and prepare one dinner a week. She loved this idea!

    Create a butterfly garden. I’m researching this.

    I am also making a folder of craft ideas as I see them on various blogs and web sites.

    For anyone not aware of this, check for free tours in your area.

    I hope this isn’t too long! I’m anxious to see what others are doing.

  3. One thing I’d like to accomplish this summer is a fun try at some good hot day recipies. Cold food that can also be loaded up and taken to the beach or the park. Our budget is very limited even on gas so, free places with our own food sounds like fun.
    Also, it’s always a fun idea to do a relaxed summer unit theme. IF you live near the beach you could do tide pools. In the city,you could do the zoo. Rivers would be fun too. Not a strucutre learning, just fun learning.
    We are taking a road trip and learning about the place we are going to.

  4. INDOOR CAMPING! It takes 2 hours to drive someplace cool enough to camp (I’m in Phoenix) so in the summer, we do “indoor camping” as a family. We pitch our 4 man tent in the family room or my son’s room, pull out our sleeping bags and “camp” at home. No bugs, indoor plumbing…it’s the best. 🙂 Plus, my kids are still little, so it’s much easier than packing diaper bags and 100 snacks and stuff to keep them occupied outside.

  5. My girls (ages 9, 6 and 4) have been bitten by the American Girl bug! I have been collecting the first book of each girls’ series (“Meet …”) from thrift and resale shops. We will read each book aloud, and then take advantage of local attractions so they can learn more about each era (Native American museum, pioneer village, an Underground Railroad stop, Paul Revere’s home and Old North Church when we visit family in New England). Our library and the internet will provide us with ideas for period foods, crafts and games. The girls are excited about our summer-long plan (and, being a bit of a history buff, so am I)!