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Challenge: Summer Fun

How our 'Summer Bucket Lists' turn every day into an adventure

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Inspired by a dear friend, we started our Summer Bucket List adventures a few years ago. Some view it as an overachiever-type activity. Others see our adventures as inspirational.

To me and my family, the lists keep us focused on the important — being together while experiencing new. The lists also keep us off our phones, away from the television and out of the house. You see, in the summer, we could end up watching the days and weeks fly by if we didn’t have our lined-out adventures.

Along with places to go and restaurants to try, we add in some learning activities. Those have ranged from folding clothes to setting the table. This summer, braids and ponytails top the list of need to learn.

This summer, we included daily concepts. Yes, I lifted the ideas from Pinterest and with a few days in, we are liking it.

My daughters, who are now 12-years-old and headed to seventh grade next school year, benefit the most from the list. Trying different bakeries, learning new skills and taking in sights give them opportunity to experience a summer. We don’t take big vacations in the summer because of their sports and camps. We can take an hour trip to a different part of town on a Tuesday or a day trip on a Saturday.

Last summer, we hoped and dreamed for more than we actually did. This summer, we are weekly setting our plans.

Make it Monday can be a meal or a craft. My Caroline wants to cook and my Camille wants to learn how to crochet. The first Monday of summer Camille made a cake from scratch and Caroline make pasta.

Take a Trip Tuesday can be a quick visit to a park or museum. We also combine new places to eat in these Tuesdays. First up, a visit to our botanical garden to see a new exhibit.

Water and Watch Wednesday is a swimming day. Our neighborhood pool is typically empty so we have it all to ourselves. The girls will pick either a show or movie to watch Wednesday evenings.

Thinking and Thoughtful Thursday will be a chance to go and volunteer or write thank you notes to people. Thursdays will also include talking through current events and issues.

Fun and Friend Fridays provide the time to hang out with neighbors or friends from school and gym. Fridays may even include sleepovers.

The girls take turns checking off and dating the list that is on the refrigerator. And at the end of the summer, we put together a photo book.

Pictures capture what we did, but our memories of each summer last even longer.

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