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Weighing In: Summer Bucket List

Okay, I have to admit it, it's September. Already the air is a bit chillier, the leaves are not quite the vibrant green they were a few weeks ago, and I had to put a sweater on last night. Whether it looks like summer is cooling down where you are, fall has arrived, and my family is getting ready to head back to school. So it’s time to look at the summer bucket list we made back in June and take stock.

Firstly, creating and using a family bucket list has been truly changing. It’s added some good, helpful structure to our days while avoiding over-planning, something I have been known to be guilty of in past summers. For instance, I could add up the days on one hand that we stayed local and did unstructured, unplanned things last summer. And I could also tell you it kind of sucked always driving to booked locations, back and forth-ing to summer camps, hauling equipment and packing backpacks. Then unpacking it all at night and doing it again in the morning. Really exhausting. I don’t remember having a ton of spontaneous fun, and more importantly, neither do my kids. So I'm really pleased that this summer I got inspired, changed things up, and refocused this summer's activities. Here’s an updated list of what we crossed off:

• Make s’mores over a campfire

• Watch a movie in the backyard (on blankets!)

• Paint rocks

• Jump in a lake

• Go on a day hike

• Roll down a grassy hill

• “Fish” off the back deck

• Make a lemonade stand

• Learn how to skip rocks

• Wade barefoot in a cold creek and build some dams & bridges

• Bury ourselves in sand

• Plan a beach party with friends

• Join the public library’s summer reading club

• Have friends over for a summer sleepover

• Have a water fight in the back yard -sponges, shooters, & a bin of water

• Make a meal only from ingredients gathered at the farmer’s market

• Make homemade backyard relay games (the kids are in the backyard doing wheel-barrow races through a homemade obstacle course with the neighbours' kids as I type this!)

Here’s what we haven’t done yet: • Wake up and watch a sunrise • Look up at the stars laying on blankets • Write our names with sparklers • Fly a kite • Bake some treats & have an (iced) tea party • Go to an outdoor movie • Visit some local tourist attractions we never usually have time for • Try a new sport • Ride different local transit -the Seabus, skytrain, Aquabus etc • 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 • Paint each others' toenails • Play the cloud game on the grass • Blow bubbles in the bathtub • Explore 3 new playgrounds or parks, make obstacle courses • Watch a sunset together Granted, I think the “Still To-Do” list may be longer than the “Done” list, but my initial goal of identifying simple, local, and often-forgotten things to do together has been met and it feels great. And I already have some awesome things to start our list off for next summer.

What simple, local, or spontaneous things have you enjoyed this summer?

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