Summer Bucket List
For kids, summer is a time of exploration--exploring nature, exploring their interests, exploring new places. It's often easier to just get into the same routine, but so much can be discovered by just stepping out of what you always do. We've all heard the "I'm bored" sigh. Sometimes, all kids need is an idea, and they will go with it. I'm terrible at thinking of things to do off the cuff, which is why I've been compiling a Summer Bucket List over the past few weeks. Usually ideas come to me just as I'm falling asleep. I scratch a note of paper with the lights off, and try to decipher it in the morning. Usually I can, but if you can help me figure out what "go to dehioshs" means, I'd really appreciate it! I've also polled friends for ideas, and my kids have added a few already. My plan is to write these all down on a big list in our hallway, and we can check off things we've done. I'll be sure to add plenty of space for my kids to add more ideas as they think of them throughout the summer. It gets them excited and interested in trying new things. (FYI -- I do a similar list on Snow Days. Check out blog about it here. I love lists!)
Summer Bucket List
Find a four-leaf clover
Find 5 toys to donate
Do a lemonade stand
Create and do a photo scavenger hunt at a local park or on a bike ride. (You can do one any day July and August at Frelinghuysen Arboretum. It is $10 to do, and you get a prize at the end. Click here for details.)
Take photos of objects in nature in the shape of letters in your name
Plan and make a dinner
Plan and make a lunch
Plan and make breakfast
Plan and make a dessert
Learn to fold an origami frog
Climb a tree
Learn to whistle on a blade of grass
Catch a frog or toad
Walk through a creek, pick up rocks, and look for bug nymphs (bonus points if you find a crayfish) Here's my post on creeking, My Kind of Live Streaming.
Follow a YouTube beginner painting video. Recently, I came across The Art Sherpa. She has amazingly beautiful beginner (and advanced) step-by-step painting YouTube videos. Click here for her art tutorials for kids.
Make a public service video about a cause you are passionate about
Go to a carnival and try a ride you never tried before
Tie-dye a tshirt
Walk around Madison and see how many buildings have dates on them. See if you can spot the architectural features I show in my post Look Up!
Do a photo shoot of your pet or stuffed animals
Go to a 4H fair. Here's my blog about them from last year.
Start a book club with friends
Ask a friend for book recommendations
Post a review of your favorite books on Amazon (with parent permission, of course!)
Take pictures of nature and make them into a calendar
Pick vegetables or fruit at a local farm
Make a board game
Write to your favorite author
Join the library's summer reading program (kids, teens, and adults!). Here is my blog about last year's program. Check out the library for info on this year's events and reading incentives. Summer Reading Program kicks off Monday, June 18. This year's theme is Libraries Rock (music).
Learn to shuffle cards
Have family game night (charades!)
Plan a family movie night
Learn a card game
Learn a card or magic trick
Make different types of slime. Here are some recipes.
Do a simple science experiment. Here are some ideas.
Explore a new town (this could include getting online and finding a destination the kids like)
Have a picnic
Play in a sprinkler
Borrow a bird identification book from the library, grab some binoculars, and go bird watching
Visit a museum. Get free museum passes at the library. Here is more info on the passes the Madison Library has.
Try a new sport
Get a book form the library or check out YouTube to help you learn to draw something, like animals, cartoons, anime, people, etc.
Teach your pet how to do a trick
Learn to juggle
Learn to knit or crochet
Learn to braid or tie friendship bracelets
Go on a bike ride with friends
Write a letter to family or friend
Learn some new jokes and try them out
Fold and fly paper airplanes. Have a contest for accuracy and distance.
Spot a shooting star
Have a campout in the backyard
Fly a kite
Blow a bubble with gum
Pick up trash along a bike/scooter ride
Hold a garage sale
Plant an herb or vegetable garden
Rescue worms from the sideway after a rainstorm
Try geocaching--basically a scavenger hunt for tiny boxes that are everywhere--throughout Madison, along trails in the woods, and even in other countries! Get the app Geocaching by Groundspeak, Inc. There is a free version (great for beginners) or you can pay if you get really into it!
Find the best [you pick the food] in the area. Last year, a friend told me that her family created a mission to find the best pizza within 10 miles. The kids researched new places, and then every week they headed to a new spot. By the end of the summer, they had explored many new towns, ate a lot of pizza, and each found their favorite pizza place (of course, each family member had a different favorite!). This can work for ice cream, hamburgers, mac and cheese, sushi, etc.--whatever your family loves!
I hope this kicks off a summer of fun for you and your kids! I'd love to hear your ideas! Please add them in the comments!