We want to make the most of the summer, instead of just watching the days fly by, so we created our toddler summer bucket list.
This summer is going to look a little different around here. Baby #3 is due in late July, which, according to my track record, really means mid-July. We’ll be spending about three weeks with family in Oregon as soon as school gets out, and we’ve got a handful of other trips and commitments squeezed in, too.
As the kids get older- G is five and B will turn four this summer- it becomes more important to me to make memories with them. I’m finding that especially true this year, as I know it would be easy to blink and have the entire summer be gone. To avoid that, and to make sure both kids have a great summer before the baby arrives, I’ve created a toddler summer bucket list.
The list isn’t too long, it contains a variety of easy, realistic activities, and we can knock the whole thing out without spending too much money. It’s the perfect road map to a fun summer.
Toddler Summer Bucket List
- Make sun tea | Goodness knows we should be putting this Mississippi heat to use somehow. The kids will get a kick out of setting the tea outside and coming back later to have a refreshing drink.
- Play in the sprinkler | This just seems like the quintessential childhood activity, but I don’t think G and B have ever done it. We had a kid sprinkler a few years ago, but they were too scared to go near it.
- Make dish soap silly putty | One of our favorite indoor activities is homemade playdough, so I know the kids will love making a different fun substance like this.
- Make coffee can ice cream | I made this once as a child at my aunt and uncle’s house and it’s stuck with me (I guess that shows how much I love ice cream). The kids get to burn off energy outside rolling the can, and we all get to enjoy homemade ice cream after. It’s a win-win.
- Get a water table | G and B love to stand at the sink and play with cups and bowls of water. I know they’d love a water table just as much. Plus, I can let them play on the back porch, in the shade, while I sit inside in the A/C with my swollen ankles propped on the coffee table.
- Eat sno-cones| This is a Southern thing. We have an adorable sno-cone stand here in town. In the heat of the summer, it’s the perfect cold, affordable, refreshing treat. I’m guessing this pregnant mom will make sure we fit in more than one trip.
- Make bath paints | Because summer is usually too hot for my fair-skinned little gingers to be outside for too long, I’m planning ahead to make fun happen inside instead. They’ll have a blast painting the tub, and themselves, and then washing off after.
- Have one-on-one outings | This is my personal goal for the kids, and it’s more to do with the coming baby than with it being summer. I want to do something individually with each child- even something as simple as going to the grocery store- before my time becomes consumed by a newborn.
- Bake cookies | The kids ask often to help me in the kitchen, but I don’t say yes as frequently as I’d like. We’re going to set aside time this summer to let them help with every messy step of cookie baking.
- Make s’mores | My kids love s’mores. Because duh. My dad has promised them a camp out while we’re in Oregon, so I’m hoping the s’mores making will happen then. If not, we’ll make sure to make them another night.
- Have an indoor camp out | Like I said, my dad has promised them camping, but I’m not about to brave a tent during the Mississippi summer while eight months pregnant. Instead, we’ll build a big fort inside, pop popcorn, and sleep in the critter-free comfort of the air conditioning.
- Visit the library | This one is a big stretch for my don’t-know-the-meaning-of-inside-voice toddlers, but since they’re both starting big school next year, and G’s been to the library with his preschool class, I think it’s time we made it a family thing. Both kids love to read, and I love that we can check out books for free, so hopefully it’ll be the first of lots of trips.
- Go to Wildlife Safari | One of the only concrete outings we know we want to do while in Oregon is take the kids to Wildlife Safari. J and I went pre-kids, and we took G when he was too young to realize what was going on, but they’re both at the age now that they’ll love it.
- Have a midnight Sonic run | This idea was pretty big on Pinterest several years ago. Here’s the gist: put your kids to bed, but wake them a little while later. Everyone piles in the car and goes to get ice cream. It could be that our kids are still a little young for this, but I want to give it a try anyway.
- Go fishing | G and B have asked a few times in the last couple months to go fishing. We don’t have any equipment and I don’t even know where we’d take them around here, but we’ll be Oregon just in time to fish for salmon. Not only will they get to experience something they’ve been excited to do, but, with any luck, we’ll all enjoy fresh salmon for supper.
What’s on your summer bucket list? Did I leave off anything you think we can’t live without?
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