I love living in the midwest because I love the four seasons, even if the seasons drag on for what seems like an eternity. But, by the time one season comes to a close, I am ready and waiting for what the next season will bring. I love the colors of autumn. Every winter I am hopeful for a blizzard and treasure snuggly sweaters. Spring for is me is all about the smells, but it was when I became a mom that triggered my love for summer. When Memorial Day finally rolls around, the pool opens, the neighborhood comes out of hibernation, and the kids are…in the name of all that is holy, OUT FREAKIN-SIDE! Holy cow, I love summer for that simple fact. I have decided that this year, since Will and Mia are 6 1/2 and life is real easy when it comes to just getting up and going, and since they NEVER get tired, we are going to do some stuff. There are far too many Cool Ass Things to do and I intend on making some memories with my family. I sat around with my kids, offered some suggestions and asked if there was anything they wanted to do this summer. This is what we came up with.
This is our summer list of Cool Ass Things to do.
1. Have a lemonade stand. We can already check this one off the list. In fact, we can just add this to our weekly routine. Who knew I had a couple of miniature entrepreneurs on my hands? Will always gathers the table and chairs, Mia prepares the sign, the neighbor kids come out in swarms to help and away they go. Next time, I am going to take them to the store to purchase supplies. Teach them a little bit about overhead and business costs.
2. Go to a carnival. Ride a ferris wheel. Eat some cotton candy. I mean, why not, right?! I remember how excited I got when my parents took me to the local carni event. I friggin loved it. Plus, there is something so nostalgic about the small town carnival.
3. Play night games. Ghost in the graveyard and kick the can, those are the two that really bring me back to my childhood. There is something so COOL about being 6, staying out after dark and playing with the neighborhood kids until mom and dad call you home.
4.Sleep in a tent in the back yard. Now, my parents weren’t the camping type. We enjoyed some fabulous vacations as a family, but as a kid, pitching a tent in the backyard trumped any stay at a fancy hotel. Fun and memories don’t have to be costly they can be freakin free!
5.Catch a fish. If you haven’t gathered by now, I lean more toward granola then Manola… Blanik that is. My bro and hubby enjoy dangling their worms and it inspired a bit of a fishing movement in my family. Will is addicted. He spent and entire winter two years ago practicing his cast in our kitchen. Mastered it, and has since moved up to a big boy pole and is quite the little angler. There is something very rewarding about pulling a little fishy in.
6.Have a picnic. I’m not talking about the cooler lunch you have at your pool. I am talking about the blanket, at a park, under a tree. Make it an experience. Make it special. Make a memory.
7.Take in a baseball game. Baseball is America’s favorite past time. It just wouldn’t be right to go through summer and not see a game. Don’t forget to eat a hot dog!
8. Go on a scavenger hunt. I am a lover of organized activities. I have found structureless play times to be a major buzz kill. A scavenger hunt is a fan favorite around here. Make a list, hand out a sack and send them on their way.
9. Dance in the rain. Kids + rain = dancing. They won’t believe their ears when the rain is a falling and momma says, get your rain boots on and get out there. #CoolestMomEver
10. Raise Butterflies. This is a summer long experiment and one that brings conversation, excitement and intrigue to my kids every single day as the transformation gets under way. Last summer we raised Blue Swallowtails. We had an abundance of dill and since that’s their food source, all we needed was a fish tank and some sticks. Watching these tiny little caterpillars grow into gorgeous butterflies was a trip. Follow me on Instagram. I will be sharing our summer butterfly experiment there.
11. Make an old fashion photo album. Raise your hand if you have 9,000 loose pics lying around. I’m raising my hand. Hit up the dollar store or the discount bins at your local Target. Grab some photo albums next time you are out and the next time it’s too hot to be outside bust out your new albums and some pictures, and let your kids have at it. My kids made albums with pictures from when they were born. It generated great conversation. Little kids love to hear about what they were like when they were small. Disclaimer: Fine motor skills required or else it becomes less fun for the littles and more work for momma.
12. Pick some berries. There are loads of places growing God’s candy. We will most definitely be going on a fresh fruit adventure of our own this summer. These are some of the local spots I will be choosing from.
13. Watch a movie outside. Everything is more fun outside. Don’t you agree? A movie under the stars, yes please! This seems to be a popular choice these days as cities and towns across the US are offering a weekly showing during the summer months. Here is what we have going on in our neck of the woods.
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