Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Building a Sensational Summer


Summer Camp. Hot days at the lake. Dripping ice cream cones. Bike rides. S'mores. When you live in the Midwest, you may have a slight issue with idolizing summer. And who really can blame us? It's cold and nasty for so long that the 12 weeks of summer are that much more important. I tend to approach them anxiously, not wanting to be over-scheduled but also not wanting to miss out on what makes summer so special.

With this in mind, I came up with a list of summertime goals. Things I'd like to see happen on at least a weekly or biweekly basis. Something that gives the summer intention without being overly structured, giving ample time to the lazy boredom that is so necessary to spark some imaginative growth. Our bigger kids have camp and VBS, service project weeks and some other trips scheduled, so that fills things out nicely for them and also gives me a chance to focus on the little ones.

We have one car and my husband's job has a long-ish commute, making dropping him off and picking him up quite a commitment. This is the first summer I've had to work within those parameters and, to be honest, I haven't been very happy about it. When friends text to see if I can meet them at the park this afternoon, the answer is always going to be no. And that can be incredibly frustrating. While my natural inclination is to be as open and available to whatever whim comes our way, I can't operate that way this year. But with my hopes for the summer listed out, I can begin brainstorming ways to make them happen.

 This is what I came up with. What would you add?


Visit Water. This can be a pool or one of the millions of lakes we have or maybe even just a park with a good play stream or splash pad.

Visit a Park. I like parks especially with trails, usually nothing more than 2 miles. Hoping to do this after dinner during the week.

Go to the Library. I'm trying to get my kids to read for an hour a day. New material is a must.

Be creative. Tie dye. Finger paints. Messy things that can be done outside.

Play with friends. Inviting people over to play with us or meeting them out somewhere.


Have a Backyard Bonfire. I love this as much as the kids.

Go on a date. Self explanatory.

Group Kid Activity. I'd like to take small groups of my kids out. Maybe just the big girls, or the oldest two/middles on some adventures. Thinking of canoeing/paddle boating or other things that are tough with little ones around.

Visit a Museum. For us this is usually the big outdoor museum nearby, but could also work with indoor options when it is extra hot or rainy.

Invite friends over for dinner. I'm not great at this, but I want to be better and summer is as good a time as any to work on hospitality.

With a little big of intention, building a sensational summer. Living this little life to the absolute fullest and being so grateful for every moment.

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