I guess I was imagining that summer vacation would bring me to a tropical beach somewhere with a hammock to lie in, a great book to read and an ice cold pina colada. Instead, crashing through this beautiful fantasy like waves on a beach were the voices of my children:
“What are we doing TODAY mama? Mom, Mom, Mom… Mom! What are we doing?”
Oh, yeah… I forgot. The end of one job, does not actually mean vacation. It means the beginning of another: Summer Activities Director!
Bye, bye tropical beach fantasy… you will probably have to wait a decade to be fully realized. That said, as a former high school teacher, I regularly bump into students from years past who themselves are fully grown with kids of their own. I know how fleeting this time is, and so I pack away my dream in order to fully embrace the precious time I have with my kids, who are big enough to finally do cool, adventurous things, yet still little enough to want to do them with me!
So, inspired by PBS.kids, I decided I wanted to create my own list of 100 Things to Do this Summer. I LOVE LISTS! Not only did writing this list become a fun family project… it inspired us all to think about new family activities we wanted to try. This turned out to be a great way to learn about my girls hidden interests.
Below is our list. Please check back regularly. Where I have found links, I have (and will) post them. We are on vacation, so it may not happen right away, but eventually, I hope to create a downloadable, editable checklist as well. (So, stay tuned!)
100+ Summer Family Activities (List #1)
- Go on a family bike ride. – Let this family inspire your adventures!
- Do a movie matinee with friends. – Our Summer Favorites?: How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the Lego Movie.
- Sleep in sleeping bags.
- Throw a frisbee in the park.
- Go on a nature hike. – I am going to try these Three Fun Ideas for Kids which include printing out the National Wildlife Federation’s wildlife observation hike worksheet.
- Ride in a taxi.
- Swim at the deep end of the pool.
- Do a sleepover. – Consider these simple tips, plan games, browse this movie list. And here’s a Survival Guide for YOU!
- Eat something new.
- Make sand castles at the beach. – Perfect your sand masterpeice using these tips from the pros. If you have a toddler, this video is fun!
- Practice a “perfect” cartwheel.
- Read in 100 ways.
- Go to an amusement park (or better yet, a country fair!)
- Plant a seed and watch it grow.
- See live music during a summer festival. – In SF, we like Stern Grove Music Festival, and Yerba Buena Music Festival.
- Try a new food.
- Catch fireflies (and set them free!) – Learn why lightening bugs light up here. Watch this amazing and beautiful time-lapse video by Vincent Brady of fireflies lighting up the night.
- Read 10 hours. – In SF, you can win BIG PRIZES with the SF Public Library by enrolling in the Summer Reading Program.
- Make a family movie. – If you haven’t used the iMovie app on an iPad, I highly recommend it. The girls learned very quickly to make their own films, dragging and dropping clips with their fingers. You can even add voice-overs and music from iTunes.
- Train your pet to do a new trick.