Can you believe it’s summer? I can’t. This year has gone by so incredibly fast, and this summer is flying by even faster. It’s almost July and thus far our summer has looked nothing like it used to when I was a kid.
I used to live for summer! In Maine, we would hike in the woods near our home. It was filled with trails, creeks, and a waterfall. In New Jersey we ventured to the shore/the boardwalk, laid in the green grass (NJ grass is NOTHING like the itchy, scratchy grass in my FL yard), and caught fireflies. And Florida summers were spent at the beach surfing, snorkeling, and building sand castles.
Most importantly, no matter where we lived, summer was spent OUTSIDE and with family.
Do you remember summers like this from your childhood? Do you miss them too? I have been doing a lot of self-reflection and trying to determine when exactly I traded in games, camping, and adventures for boring, errands, and a vacuum.
Those of you who know me (or who have been reading for some time) understand that I’m
a bit OCD and a lot Type-A. I like an orderly home, chores done, etc. I clean when I wake up, I clean before I go to bed, I organize everything (literally to a fault), and I struggle to “relax” or have “down time” if the house is a mess or there’s still a to-do list to be checked. Unfortunately, those personality traits do not take summer vacation.
What I’ve realized through this summer-self-reflection is that my
obsession with focus on keeping a tidy home and a list checked leaves little time to really live my life.
This realization helped to jumpstart a shift into a new season of my life where rather than being task-focused (all of the time) I’m trying to nurture my relationships, spend intentional time, and let go of the things that shouldn’t be a priority.
A friend of mine recently said that if it isn’t going to matter in 5 years, let it go.
No truer words have ever been spoken.
Basically this was my wake up call. It was the voice of reason I needed to remind me that in 5 years I’m not going to remember if the playroom was organized or the dishes were stacked high in the sink! But that I will remember my daughter’s smile when she rode that carousel, her excitement when we were at the beach, and the memories we made taking that road trip.
If reading the above section just made you say, “Ugh, this is me”, clearly you’re not alone. I know that little ache of guilt residing in the pit of your stomach and can guess that you too have a desire to start making your family a priority right now!
So HAVE NO FEAR. The Ultimate Toddler-Friendly Summer Bucket List is here to help!
I (along with AG) have come up with a list of “must-do’s” for our 1.5 remaining summer months to make sure we’re enjoying everything that summer has to offer! It’s also a way to challenge myself to be more mindful and intentional of our days and time spent together.
So is my house a little messier? YUP. But is my heart (and my toddler) a heck-of-a-lot happier? Absolutely.
**** Disclaimer: I in NO WAY was able to change my personality overnight. I still obsess over the cleanliness and organization of my home. I/we DO however, spend 99% of the day outside of the house, and therefore there is way less mess to clean. You’re welcome 🙂
I would love for you to follow along and complete our Summer Bucket List with us. And if you do, make sure you post a picture, tag us, and hashtag #summerwithgrace so we can share in your adventures!
Also make sure to check back each week to hear our experience with/tricks for completing this list by summer’s end.
Without further ado, here it is:
50 Toddler-Friendly Summer Bucket List Activities (for a more intentional summer).
- Go to an indoor playground
- Go to a splash pad
- Go bowling
- Lay under the stars
- Play in the rain
- Have an outdoor picnic
- Go to a museum
- Blow Bubbles
- Go to a farmer’s market
- Popcorn + a movie
- Go fishing
- Visit a family member
- Paint a picture
- Play with water balloons
- Bake cookies
- Have a puppet show
- Catch (or create) fireflies
- See an outdoor movie
- Plant flowers
- Watch the sunset
- Go to a water park
- Play mini-golf
- Make seashell jewelry
- Have a BBQ
- Play outside until dark
- Create a glow-stick game
- Play baseball as a family
- Go for a walk
- Make popsicles
- Go to a baseball game
- Ride a carousel
- Build a sand castle
- Feed the ducks
- Visit another town
- Sidewalk chalk the driveway
- Paint rocks
- Paddle board
- Write a letter to a far-away relative
- Cook a meal together
- Go to the movies
- Watch the sunrise
- Go to the playground
- Create a bubble pool
- Watch fireworks
- Explore a nature trail
- Roll down a hill
- Go on a bike ride
- Go swimming
- Go on a road trip
- Create a summer keepsake
Want a FREE printable version of The ULTIMATE Toddler-Friendly Summer Bucket List? Just subscribe and you’ll receive a PDF version of this list! Print it out, pin it to your fridge, stick it in you diaper bag, leave it on the dash of your car – eliminate the “there’s nothing to do this summer” from your vocabulary, and start enjoying your family.
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