My husband and kids & I sat around the table for lunch on a rainy June day and talked about what we wanted to do this summer when the skies finally turned blue and the days were long. Before that, during a quick mommy getaway, I had had an aha! moment realizing it was time for our little family to start having more simple, local adventures and natural world discoveries this summer, not scheduled skills camps.
When I was growing up, we didn’t go to daycamp or bike camp or even swimming lessons. Summer was free-play with a capital “F” –hot days spent running through sprinklers, or building forts in the backyard, and playing massive games of hide-and-seek with the neighbourhood kids for hours after dinner.
My kids needed some of THAT! So it was time to make a summer bucket list to identify and write down some things we had often forgotten to UN-schedule in the summer, like laying on the grass to watch clouds or stopping to pick berries at the side of the road. But also some local fun around town while we had time to explore our city’s forests and beaches with the rest of the world.
Here’s our family’s list we starting compiling that rainy day, and we are still adding items now that summer has started –that’s the spontaneous part! Today we made this big blanket & pillow nest in the backyard as the sun was high in the sky and enjoyed it until the bugs came out this evening.
Every list has to start somewhere…
Wake up and watch a sunrise
Watch a movie in the backyard (on blankets!)
Make a meal only from ingredients gathered at the farmer’s market
Look up at the stars laying on blankets
Write our names with sparklers
Paint rocks & leave them in an unexpected place for someone to find
Fly a kite
Bake some treats & have an (iced) tea party
Go to an outdoor movie
Have a sleepover with friends Pick berries, eat berries, pick more berries! Wade barefoot in a cold creek
Visit some local tourist attractions we never usually have time for
Try a new sport
Jump in a lake
Ride different local transit -the Seabus, skytrain, Aquabus etc
Hike in Lynn Canyon
Join the public library’s summer reading club
Bike around the seawall Make homemade popsicles
Make a summer photo slide show Paint our faces, and arms, and legs
Play showercap shaving cream cheesies tossing game and other silly games
Make creative s’mores over a campfire
Make homemade backyard relay games
Paint each other’s toenails Have friends over for a summer sleepover
Play the cloud game on the grass
Blow bubbles in the bathtub
Explore 3 new playgrounds or parks, make obstacle courses
Have a waterfight in the back yard -sponges, shooters, & a bin of water
Roll down a grassy hill
Plan a beach party with our friends
Watch a sunset together
I’ll keep posting more items as we add and tick them off the list.