Backyard Updates To Brighten Summer Days

Thanks to Kmart for sponsoring this post!

The boy’s baseball season is over which means our family is spending a lot more time relaxing at home instead of sitting at the baseball field. I love spending time in the backyard but our space was less than ideal for family time so we stocked up on goodies at Kmart to make it a place we want to spend all of our lazy afternoons. From a new patio table to a hammock to bright floral tableware, our space looks totally transformed and we spent all day Saturday just enjoying it.

Even better? The Summer Blowout is going on right now in stores and online with 10-40% off in all departments (excluding grocery), with some items up to 50% off! All your favorites, including apparel, footwear, electronics, home decor and toys are on sale to make your summer – and your backyard- ridiculously awesome.

The first thing I wanted to get was a new patio table because our old one had a broken top from an umbrella that had gotten loose a few weeks ago. I knew I wanted a table that seated 4-6 and wasn’t tempered glass so I did some searching and found this tile top table. It is perfect! It looks classy and is very spacious which is great for entertaining.

To brighten up the brown table I went with floral tableware in cheerful colors. This is probably the first time I have a complete set of tableware since having kids! (Any other parents have a cabinet full of mismatched pieces due to plates and bowls getting broken by little hands that were not yet ready for big boy plates?)

I also got floral placemats and serving trays in a matching design which added even more color to the table.

One other thing I had been wanting to get was an indoor/outdoor serving cart. I found this affordable one and it folds up so it’s perfect for our small space. I chose to get the serving cart in brown but it comes in a number of colors like red, teal and green to match any decor. I hung little solar powered lanterns on it so it will light up at night time for the evenings we will spend on our patio.

Having a serving cart is helpful when you are entertaining because it gives guests more room at the table. (It’s also a great place to keep dessert away from little ones that want to taste test the icing :) lol)

Kmart has aisles full of outdoor decor so even if you can’t update your whole patio, you can still get a few pieces to brighten up your space. I found some beautiful ceramic lanterns, outdoor pillows (like this butterfly one below), colorful door mats and so much more.

I really love all of the updates that we made to our patio. My favorite addition to our backyard though? A hammock! This hammock is perfect for taking an afternoon nap, reading a book or relaxing as you watch your kids play. Best of all it folds upright for easy storage during the winter!

Speaking of kids playing… I used this party tub to store water balloons for my kids water balloon fight but it will also be great for holding drinks at summer parties!

Do you need to spruce up your outdoor living space or want to stock up on a few more essentials before the end of the season? Hurry to Kmart for great deals during their Summer Blowout, now through July 30th!

The Ultimate Summer Guide For Families

Summer is my favorite time of year and I’ve written a lot of posts about how to squeeze every last bit of enjoyment out of the season. I figured I’d gather them all up in one place, and then continue to add to the list all year long, for the ultimate Summer guide that will give you hundreds of ideas to keep busy this Summer. You’ll find Summer bucket lists, craft ideas, Summer activity ideas, learning activities to avoid the Summer slide, Summer camps and swim lesson schools I’ve written about and things to do in Chicago during the Summer months.

Summer Crafts and Activities

Summer Learning Activities

Summer Camps & Swim Lessons

Summer Fun In Chicago

List Of Free Things To Do In Chicago This Summer

Traveling to Chicago this summer? It’s possible to make the trip on a budget! Here is a list of FREE things to do in the city and the suburbs.

1) Walk around Navy Pier. Don’t miss the stained glass display!

2) Take a picture in front of “The Bean”

3) Enjoy the weekly fireworks display (every Wednesday and Saturday evening in summer)

4) Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see animals

5) Spend a day at one of the beaches and swim in the lake

6) Enjoy a free movie or concert in the park

7) Walk along the lakefront

8) Window shop on Michigan Avenue

9) Walk around the city and look at the amazing architecture

10) Take the kids to Bear Garden Park in Glenview to play on the playground, build sandcastles and splash around

11) Go to a museum on a free day.

12) Go to a playground (try Maggie Daley in Millennium Park)

13) Walk around a Farmer’s Market

14) Splash around in Crown Fountain

15) Check out the Skokie North Shore Sculpture Park

16) Watch the water display at Buckingham Fountain

17) Go to story time at a library in the city or suburbs

18) Enjoy the beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden

19) Check out the Children’s Garden at Garfield Park Conservatory

20) Attend a Vacation Bible School

21) Learn to dance at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park

22) Explore nature at Emily Oaks Nature Center

23) Visit a farm (like Wagner Farm in Glenview)

24) Phillip’s Park Zoo and Playground (Aurora)

25) Build with legos at the Lego Store in Water Tower Plaza

26) Visit Chinatown

27) Go to a parade

28) Enjoy the sights and sounds at Taste of Chicago

29) Go bowling (check out the Kid’s Bowl Free program)

30) Walk around Downtown Naperville

 

 

25 Fun Summer Writing Activities For Kids

In planning our summer, one thing that I’m making sure to do is building in time for math, reading and writing exercises for my kids amongst our travel, summer camp and family activities. Since summer is all about having fun I wanted to find things my kids could do that wouldn’t seem like schoolwork but would fit into their days and they’d enjoy doing

I’ve shared our summer bucket list and a list of free summer reading programs already so today I wanted to share a list of 25 activities that get kids to practice writing throughout the summer. There are no worksheets here, just fun!

1) Create a summer journal.

Buy a spiral notebook and have the kids write about their day every evening. You can add in pictures or glue in other flat items to create a special memory book. My boys got summer memory journals from day camp the past few years and they love looking back on the summer memories. Now that they are writing and at a different camp where the counselors aren’t going to do this for them, it’s up to them to make there own.

2) Write a pen-pal.

I remember having a pen-pal when I was little. I wasn’t sure who my kids could do this with so I put a call for pen-pals on my personal Facebook page and had a number of responses in just a few hours from people I felt comfortable giving our home address to. I paired Jacob up with other kids who can write and Lucas with a few younger children who don’t write as much and might rely on drawn pictures to communicate. My boys are going to be sending letters a few times a week to other kids. This is a great way for them to make new friends, learn how to communicate better (especially for my youngest with Autism who has a hard time realizing that his interests aren’t always what other people want to talk about), and learn about new places.

3) Write a letter to a family member who doesn’t live nearby.

This is a great way for kids to connect to family they might not see very often.

4) Create a summer bucket list.

To be sure to squeeze every second they can out of summer, kids can make their own summer bucket list of all the fun things they want to do over the summer. See how many your family can cross off the list!

5) Write out a script for a play or puppet show.

This may be the perfect way for older kids to keep busy. Have them create their own play! They pick the theme and create a story around characters they create. Younger children may have an easier time writing a short script for a puppet show. Invite family and friends over for the show and make sure to pop some popcorn to enjoy while you watch their creativity unfold before your eyes!

6) Plan a family fun day.

Have children write out the itinerary for a family fun day. They can include what your family will be eating and where you will go. My kids would probably include a trip to the library, an afternoon playing at the playground and end the day with ice cream sundaes!

7) Write invitations for a party or playdate.

If kids want to have a party or playdate this summer they can make their own invitations to pass out.

8) Make a packing list.

Make your (older) children responsible for packing their own suitcases for vacation or a short family trip to the beach or zoo. Have them create a list of items they need so they don’t forget anything important. Younger kids can help create packing lists as well but will probably need more help with them.

9) Create a shopping list and party plan for a bbq in the backyard.

Have children help plan a bbq and make the shopping list for all the groceries, decor and items you will need to host a fabulous barbecue for family and friends. Don’t forget to make a quick list of things that need to be done as well- kids are more likely to pitch in with cleaning or other chores if they are helping plan the party ;)

10) Write a book.

This is something I loved doing in school and I used to do with my pre-k classroom so it can be modified for kids as young as 4 who are just starting to learn to write. Blank books can be found at craft stores, teaching stores and occasionally I have seen them in Target’s dollar section. Here are my tips for this activity (which will span a few weeks): have children plan out the book first. They should think about the theme of their story and the characters that will be in it and then write it out on paper. A parent or adult can help edit or you may choose to let the child do it on their own and let the spelling/grammar be (I prefer to do it the second way). The next step is to figure out how to break the story up into pages so they might need an adult to help them do that. This is not such an issue for shorter stories but if they have a longer story this is important so they don’t run out of pages before the story is over. Make sure to leave space for pictures as well! The last step is creating the final book. Do the cover in pencil and then go over it with cover, make the title page and then the children can transfer the story from paper to the book. This is a long process but the final product is something the kids will want to hang on to for years to come!

11) Make a card for a loved one or friend.

Instead of buying a card for an upcoming birthday or holiday, like Father’s Day, have your child create their own. It’s always nice to receive handmade things and they are a lot cheaper, too.

12) Make a list of movies to see or books to read.

My kids always tell me what movies they want to see or books they want to read next. Have them create a list so next time you are going to the movies or library you pick one they have been wanting to see or read.

13) Create a recipe.

Have a little one who loves to help you in the kitchen? Have them create a recipe of their own! They can make one for their favorite summer treat or create a brand new dish. Make sure they write the ingredients and directions and then you can make it together for the family to enjoy.

14) Make a treasure map.

Have your child hide something in your home or backyard and have them draw a treasure map for family members to find it. Instead of just pictures, they can label the items on their treasure map.

15) Write to get published.

There is nothing more exciting for a young writer than seeing their name in print. Here’s a list of places for kids (as young as Kindergarten) to submit stories and poems to.

16) Create your own board game.

Board games are perfect for rainy days so what would be more fun than creating a game of their own? Children can label things on the game board and also write out instructions so others can play their game.

17) Do a Mad Libs book or create a Mad Libs story.

Remember Mad Libs? If not, here is a reminder- http://www.madlibs.com/. These books were so fun! Someone asked you for random words and they read the story back to you with the words you chose in the spaces. They have lots of themed books nowadays but if you have an older child they may want to create one of their own mad libs stories.

18) Make a daily schedule.

I’ve found that things normally run smoother when we have a schedule. Develop a daily schedule with your children and have them write it down. Things to include: snack, outdoor time, reading time, pool time, quiet time, meals, story time and other bedtime routines.

19) Write thank you notes.

Kids can write thank you notes for gifts they have received, a thank you to a friend for helping with something or to a community worker.

20) Play a name game.

Have children write their full names on paper and then see how many words they can make out of it. They can do this for everyone’s name in their family, the titles of their favorite books, or really any set of words they want. To make it more fun they can play against someone to see who can create the most words.

21) Write a letter to save the lions.

Have a little environmentalist? Your child can write a letter about how important lions are. This writing prompt is from National Geographic Kids and some letters will be published and featured by them. More details can be found here.

22) Build a town for barbies or cars.

Children can use boxes, paper or chalk outside to build a town for their cars or barbies and then can have their toys “visit” the places. They can practice writing when making the road signs and labeling the places. This led to hours of fun when I was a little girl playing with barbies and my boys had fun doing this with their cars a few weeks ago. Their “town” included a car wash, bank, movie theater and jail.

23) Enter a writing contest.

Kids can write stories to enter into writing contests for a chance to win prizes or have their work featured. Here’s one for funny stories that ends at the end of June 2015 (though seems like this site updates with new contests regularly).

24) Make signs for a lemonade stand or garage sale.

If your family is having a garage sale this summer have your child make the signs to advertise it and help price items. Another option is that kid’s can host a lemonade stand and make signs for that.

25) Write a goodbye letter to friends.

The end of summer camp is a hard time for my kids. They miss all the friends they’ve made over the summer so what better way to keep those friendships going than to have kids write letters to their camp friends saying they’d love to keep in touch. They can include a phone number so their friends can contact them for a playdate. If your kids aren’t in camp they could do this for VBS, summer school or a sport that’s ending.

What other ideas do you have? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

 

Free Summer Reading Programs For Kids

This list has been updated for Summer 2016 :)

Jake learned to read this year and just recently has started reading for the fun of it, as opposed to reading because he has to. This has made my heart so happy. I want to do everything I can to encourage the boys to read over the summer so I will be signing them up for all the reading programs I can. I am sharing these free summer reading programs for kids because I thought you all would be interested in signing your children up as well. Most of them are available nationally and each one costs nothing to sign up. Some even give prizes to children who read a certain amount of books. If you know of any others please leave a comment on this post and I’ll add them to the list.

1) Your local library- Check your library’s website to learn about their summer reading program and when the sign up time is. We do the library’s reading program every year.

2) Scholastic- The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge™ is a free online reading program for children. There are no prizes for children however they are helping set a reading world record which is something fun they can say they helped do. Learn more here.

3) Barnes & Noble- Kids can earn a free book by reading 8 books and recording them in a reading journal. Learn more here.

4) Meatheads Restaurants (Illinois locations only)- Kids ages 13 and under can read 5 books to earn a free little meathead burger. Learn more here.

5) Pizza Hut- The Book It! reading program has been around for years. I remember participating in the reading program when I was a kid so it’s fun my kids can do it now. Details for 2015 will be live in June and details can be found here.

6) Chuck E Cheese- Children get 10 tokens for reading every day for two weeks in a row. Find the form here.

7) Chicago Botanic Garden- Sign up at the Lenhardt Library at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Every time they read a book they get a stamp. Every 5 stamps they get a prize (up to 20 stamps). Learn more here.

8) Sylvan- Sylvan’s Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them, take a short quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Learn more here.

9) Half Price Books- Earn HPB Bookworm Bucks for reading 300 minutes in June and July. There is a chance to win HPB gift cards as well. Learn more here.

10) TD Bank- Children, grades K-5, who read 10 books this summer get $10 deposited in their new or existing Young Saver account. Learn more here.

11) Showcase Cinemas- Children in NY (and other areas where there are Showcase Cinema locations) who read a book and then write a book report about it can get in free to see a movie on Bookworm Wednesdays. Learn more here. (2016 updated link: https://www.showcasecinemas.com/programs/kids-and-families/bookwormwed)

12) Books A Million- Children read any 6 books from the list they are provided for a Theodore Boone pencil case and pencil. Learn more here.

Not near any of these locations? How about having your own summer reading program? Check out this 10 week do-it-yourself themed summer reading program!

2015 Summer Bucket List (And Tips To Get The Most Out Of Summer)

I am so excited to share this year’s summer bucket list with you all! I have a general bucket list for kids and also am sharing some of my favorite Chicago area bucket list ideas as well. Before I share those though, I wanted to share some of my tips for getting the most out of summer!

First of all, extend your summer! Who says “summer” needs to start in June and end in August or whenever the kids go back to school? I declared May 1st as the start of our summer and we are going to enjoy fun times as long as the weather will let us (which will hopefully be into September!)

Make sure to plan it. We’ve had many Saturdays that were filled with errands and before we knew it, we’d wasted a gorgeous day off with things that can be done in little chunks of time elsewhere throughout the week. Schedule the fun in! I have our summer bucket list in a notebook that I carry around so that if bad weather cancels Jake’s baseball game I can come up with an indoor activity to do.

Lastly, don’t forget to record it! Take lots of pictures of the memory making. Another thing we are doing this summer is having the kids write in journals daily. They’ll practice their writing skills but also record all the fun times they had.

When planning my bucket list I thought of all the fun things I’ve enjoyed in the past, either as a child or with my own kids. I also looked into events going on in my community and found many free ones. I discovered many places have free activities and events including ToysRUs, Home Depot, Walmart, bowling alleys and more so make sure to look at stores in your town as well! Anything we definitely wanted to do I added to my calendar as an event. I then made a list of all the passes we had along with free or discount days at places, open gyms, story times, farmer’s markets and anything else that happened on a semi-regular basis or had certain hours.

Creating my bucket list took almost a whole day but if you don’t have much time I encourage you to start one and add to it as you think of things. I found splitting my list into categories helped me so I have it split by: places I want to travel to, day trips, Chicago city fun (since I live in the suburbs), neighboring towns, my town, home- outside, home- inside, and things to learn/practice. I also made a bucket list for myself since mom needs a bucket list, too!

Now to the fun! :)

Our Family Bucket List

 

Home- Outdoors:

  • Fly a kite
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Draw with chalk
  • Make smores over the fire pit
  • Play in a bounce house
  • Ride bikes and scootes
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play on the slip n’ slide
  • Get ice cream from the ice cream truck
  • Play in the rain
  • Host a BBQ
  • Play water balloon baseball
  • Race remote control cars
  • Paint with water
  • Catch lightning bugs
  • Wash the car by hand with soapy water
  • Treasure hunt in the sandbox
  • Play in the water table
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Have a water gun fight
  • Watch a sunset
  • Play catch

Home- Indoors:

  • Make homemade pizza
  • Have a cousin sleepover
  • PJ/Movie day
  • Make lemonade
  • Have a family game night
  • Bake cookies
  • Make rootbeer floats
  • Do science experiments
  • Make homemade popsicles
  • Build a fort in the TV room
  • Eat watermelon
  • Have an indoor scavenger hunt
  • Enjoy breakfast for dinner
  • Make ice cream sundaes
  • Cook dinner together

Things to do in our town or neighboring towns:

  • Go to garage sales
  • Visit at least 5 different playgrounds
  • Have a picnic in a local park
  • Visit the local Farmer’s Market
  • Go to ChuckECheese
  • Attend library storytime
  • Have a family walk around the neighborhood
  • Go to a kid’s workshop at Home Depot or Lowe’s
  • Spend a day at the local pool
  • Go paddleboating
  • Play mini-golf
  • Go fishing
  • Ride horses
  • Go to the local arcade
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Make your own pottery
  • Feed ducks at the lake
  • Star gaze
  • Eat a sno cone
  • Go geocatching
  • Attend a craft class at Michaels
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Enjoy a movie or concert in the park
  • Go for a train ride
  • Pick fruit
  • Go to a parade
  • Watch fireworks
  • Ride go karts
  • Play laser tag
  • Go to a drive in movie
  • Go to an amusement park
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to the movies
  • Volunteer together
  • Go to a waterpark
  • Attend an art class
  • Go bowling

To learn or practice:

  • Learn: how to ride a bike without training wheels
  • Learn: how to tie shoes with laces
  • Learn: a magic trick
  • Learn: how to dribble a basketball (Luke)
  • Learn: sight words (Luke)
  • Learn: how to swim
  • Learn: to skip rocks
  • Practice: reading
  • Practice: writing
  • Practice: sports

Mom’s to do list:

  • Have a spa day
  • Clean out and organize garage
  • Create travel display
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Have a date night in Chicago
  • Spend an afternoon reading in the hammock
  • Travel somewhere at least a few times a month
  • Enjoy a pina colada
  • Go to lunch with family
  • Go to Sunday brunch
  • Eat a meal by the water

Our Chicago Bucket List

 

City:

  • Navy Pier
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Taste of Chicago
  • China Town
  • Millenium Park
  • Michigan Avenue
  • Water Tower
  • Visit “the bean”
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Donut Vault
  • River tour via boat
  • Get a lobster roll
  • See Chicago from Montrose Point
  • Walk along the lake
  • Get popcorn from Garrett’s
  • Stay overnight in the city
  • Splash in Crown Fountain

Suburbs:

  • Great America
  • LegoLand in Schaumburg
  • Downtown Naperville and the riverwalk
  • Air show in Bolingbrook
  • Sky Zone
  • SciTech
  • Morton Arboretum
  • Blackberry Farms
  • Outlet mall
  • Phillips Park Zoo
  • Ravinia Fest
  • County Fair
  • Ribfest in Naperville
  • Wolfe Wildlife Refuge in Oak Lawn
  • Children’s Museum in Naperville
  • Red Oak Nature Center
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • All Aboard Diner

Day Trips:

  • Diecke Discover Zone- Huntley
  • Indiana Dunes
  • Starved Rock
  • Bourbonnais- Bears training camp, Strickler Planetarium, Perry Farm Park
  • Long Grove
  • Valporaiso- Valplayso park

Weekend Trips:

  • Camping
  • Wisconsin Dells
  • Michigan- Beach and Saugatuck
  • Mackinac Island
See our past bucket list here.

20 Fine Motor Activities For Preschoolers

It’s been shown that children lose skills over the summer so I wanted to share 20 activities you can have your preschooler do to help them practice their fine motor skills. Most of these work for other seasons as well so this list can be used year-round.

1) Have them blow bubbles and pop them with their pointer finger or clapping with two hands.

2) Have them use sidewalk chalk to draw pictures or practice writing their name

3) Let them help you pull weeds using their pincer grasp.

4) Play finger soccer with cotton balls

5) “Paint” with water on the sidewalk

6) Make a rain stick out of toothpicks, beads, and pebbles and a paper towel tube. Let them poke the holes in the tube with the toothpicks.

7) Have a toy wash. Have them squeeze the water out of the sponge while washing the toys and press the nozzle on the hose to rinse the toys off.

8) Make cookies together. Have your preschooler help stir the thick batter.

9) Have your child make a paper chain to count down to a vacation or fun summer event. Have them cut out strips of paper and then loop together and glue the ends to make a chain.

10) Squirt shaving cream onto a clean table and let your child draw pictures in it. (Watch that they don’t put it in their mouth)

11) Have a picnic in the backyard or at a local park and let your child open the containers and baggies.

12) Get the playdough out and have your child make faces with the playdough. Roll the playdough into a long piece for the mouth, roll into balls for the eyes, etc.

13) Make necklaces. Have your child paint pasta noodles and then, once dry, put them on a string.

14) Celebrate friendship. Color a picture for a friend.

15) Have a lemonade stand! Let your child stir the lemonade.

16) Sponge paint flower pots together and then plant something in them.

17) Head to the beach or a sandbox and have your child practice writing their name in the sand.

18) Make a marshmallow sculpture with your child. Poke toothpicks into marshmallows and build a sculpture.

19) Read books together. Let your child turn the pages themselves.

20) Have your child sort pom poms or other small items into ice cube trays. You can have your child do the sorting by shape or color.

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

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.

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?