100+ Fun Things To Do This Summer {Our Summer Bucket List}

summer fun

Summer is my favorite season. I love the sunny, warm weather and all the time spent cooling off with water related activities. If one were to have been with my family last summer though, you would have thought I despised summer since we spent too much of it indoors and I spent a lot of it working. I have vowed that this summer will be different and that my kids will enjoy this summer to the fullest, despite the fact that I work from home. To help ensure that I’d give them all the great memories of summertime that I had as a child, I created a Summer bucket list for our family with over 100 ideas for summer fun. The list is geared towards preschoolers. Keep track of our progress on our Summer Bucket List page.

Outdoor Fun:

*Have a picnic lunch

*Plant flowers

*Host a backyard playdate

*Make smores

*Get ice cream from the ice cream truck

*Make a mud pie

*Paint with colored ice cubes

*Play in the sprinkler

*Make a nature collage

*Blow bubbles

*Host a family party

*Build a sandcastle

*Play in the rain

*Go on a nature scavenger hunt

*Go fishing

*Paint with water

*Wash the family car together

*Draw with chalk on the sidewalk

*Paint rocks

*Play soccer in the backyard

*Eat juicy watermelon

*Create a car racetrack on the sidewalk

*Make {and eat!} ice cream sundaes

*Read books outside in the shade of a tree

*Fly a kite

*Have a water balloon fight

*Freeze toys in a block of ice and then try to get them out

*Teach the boys how to ride their tricycles

*Catch fireflies

*Slide on a slip n’ slide

*Decorate t-shirts

*Go for a wagon ride

*Roll down a hill

*Pick flowers and make a bouquet

*Play catch in the backyard

Indoor Fun:

*Make homemade pizza

*Have a pajama day

*Make a musical instrument

*Compete to see who can build the tallest block tower

*Have a sleepover

*Board game day

*Bake cookies together

*Play playdough

*Make {and eat} “dirt cups”

*Read through a children’s Bible together

*Make a fort

*Cook dinner together

*Dance to songs from a children’s CD

*Dress up in costumes

*Have a family movie night with popcorn

*Pretend to be in a marching band

*Make homemade popsicles

*Play “I Spy”

*Make a fruit salad

*Fingerpaint in the bathtub

*Make {and play} a memory game

*Serve lunch in an ice cube tray

*Make a craft for every letter of the alphabet

*Make a suncatcher

On The Go:

*Go somewhere fun for Jake’s birthday

*Go somewhere fun for Luke’s birthday

*Go to an amusement park

*Visit a children’s museum

*Walk around a children’s garden

*Play in a splash pad

*Go to a carnival

*Attend an outdoor concert

*Go to the aquarium

*Eat at a train themed restaurant

*Go to the Indiana Dunes

*Walk along the lakefront

*Go to Starved Rock

*Visit a waterpark

*Go to a farmer’s market

*Go see a movie at the theater

*Visit daddy at work

*Go to the Museum of Science and Industry

*Take GiGi to lunch

*Go to Navy Pier

*Visit a pet store and buy a fish

*Go to a children’s concert

*Eat at a restaurant and sit on the patio

*Take a train ride

*Go garage-saling

*Feed ducks

*Go berry picking

*Watch a fireworks show

*Go on a picnic

*Go for a family walk

*Go swimming

*Go to Chuck-E-Cheese

*Attend a workshop at Home Depot or Lowe’s

*Go on a nature walk

*Try out 5 different playgrounds in town (went to 1)

*Listen to stories at library storytime

*Go to a parade

*Go bowling

*Go to a children’s farm

*Go downtown Chicago

*Attend a Vacation Bible School

*Play mini-golf

*Do the summer reading challenge at the library (signed up)

*Take a 2 day vacation somewhere within driving distance

*Jump in a bounce house

*Go out for ice cream

*Swim lessons

*Go to Day Out With Thomas

****

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts {Review and Giveaway}

Columbus Day craft

Ever have those weeks where you plan to do a bunch of fun crafts with your child but by the time you know it, it’s the weekend and you haven’t sat down for “art” time with your child even once? I know that feeling all too well. I pin lots of fun crafts on Pinterest, I find a lot of cute ideas on other blogs, but when it comes time to preparing the craft it just doesn’t always happen. This is why, when I heard about Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts, I knew I had to check it out!

I was sent October’s box. I opened it to find 14 different craft projects for the month. At first it just looked like a bunch of coloring pages but on further investigation I saw that it was a lot more than that. Each project consisted of multiple pages where the child colored, cut, glued, or taped things. Along with each activity is a bonus to help the project be more than just a “craft”. Some had conversation starters, some a website to check out for more information, or questions to ask your child. Shirley focuses on a color and a shape for the month and you see that throughout the activities planned.

Since today was Columbus Day, Jacob put together the Columbus Day project. In the box there was a piece of paper with the ship on it, a piece with the sails, and a half sheet of blue water with a wavy line for cutting practice which was the water. There were also craft sticks in the box. I provided the glue, markers, and scissors. I believe in letting children do as much of the projects by themselves as they can. The only thing I helped Jacob with for this one was holding the piece of paper he was cutting because he is still learning to cut. If your child is still too young for scissors you could cut the pieces out for them.

Here is Jacob’s Columbus Day project that took me only one minute to prepare (had to get items out of the box and grab my supplies:

Columbus Day craft

Shirley also includes a parent pack with a letter to parents, craft instructions, a suggested reading list, and snack ideas for the month. A monthly calendar is included as well which is a great visual learning tool for children. To encourage parents to support their children’s self-esteem she also includes a certificate of achievement. This month’s says “Way To Go” and has spaces for the parent to fill in something great their child did. Children also work on a book throughout the year and each month has a couple pages sent to complete so by the end of the year they have a book on whatever the topic is.

I also really like that there are Faith based aspects to some of these projects. {It’s easy to skip these additional projects if you do not want to do them with your child}.

Overall, I really like the concept behind these boxes. When I first saw the price I thought it was a little steep but in the end I think they are a good value considering all the time a parent will save searching for the projects and preparing a month’s worth of projects. If you would like to try Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts out you can use coupon code MTFM to save $2 on your first order!

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win the December Monthly craft box

HOW TO ENTER

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each)

1. Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email

2. Tell me what part about these boxes you like best

3. Follow me on Twitter

4. Follow Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts on Twitter

5. Write a blog post about this giveaway and include a link to this post

6. Share this giveaway on Facebook

7. Comment on a non-giveaway post of mine

8. Enter another one of my giveaways and let me know which you entered

 9. Stumble, digg, or social bookmark this giveaway

10. Tweet “Enter to win a monthly prepackaged craft box at www.makingtimeformommy.com

Giveaway ends on November 10, 2011 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received a craft box to review but all thoughts are my own.)