The Summer Checklist


Do you remember when you were little and it seemed like the summer stretched on forever? The older I get, the faster time flies. Now it feels like school ends and two weeks later it begins again. At the same time, there are days when I’m not sure what to do with all of us and we end up watching movies and being bored. At the end of the summer I can’t even remember most of the fun stuff we did.

This year on the first day of summer vacation I’m giving my kids a checklist.

Some of the items are bigger projects, but most are smaller and easy to do.  You can download the free printable here: Summertime checklist. There is space to add your own ideas and a column to write in the date you did each activity.

Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

1. Free lemonade stand

Instead of charging for our lemonade we are going give it away, but ask our customers to do a good deed for someone else that day. We may also put together a mobile lemonade stand to take to the many construction workers in our neighborhood.

2. Breakfast in bed

You can serve breakfast to your little ones. Mine are older, so I’m hoping they’ll think it’s fun to make breakfast for me!

3. Bubble blowing contest

I’m hoping we can invite our neighborhood friends over for a bubble gum contest. First we will need to spend some time learning to blow bubbles, though.

4. Paint canvases

Summer is the perfect time to paint outside. Check out this adorable idea. It works for any age and also captures their darling little feet!

Photo credit: Christie’s Paint N Shop

Even if you are not an artist, have no fear! Grab some canvas from your local craft or big box store. While you’re there, grab some acrylic paint too. (Acrylic is water-based and will wash off skin fairly easily. If you’re really hesitant you can go for non-toxic tempera paint, but acrylic will look better.) For this project you’ll need a big tube of white, and also some blue, yellow and brown.

Let your kids try mixing the paint for the sand. A good tip is to start with a base of white, then mix in small amounts of yellow and maybe a touch of brown. Then repeat the process with white and blue for the water, adding a touch of yellow to get the more greenish tones.

Let your beach and water dry for at least 3 hours, then paint the bottoms of feet (Use a mix of white, brown and a little yellow) then stamp them down!

5. Kids Plan the Menu Day

How adventurous are you feeling? If you’re up for it, let your kids plan everything the family will eat for the day. They might surprise you with veggies for lunch, who knows? On the other hand, you might get potato chips for breakfast. It’s all part of the fun! Let your kids do as much of the food prep as they can themselves, but feel free to help. Cooking with your kids teaches math (measurements), science (mixing, baking and boiling) and good kitchen safety!

6. Make slime

My kids love messy, science type stuff and somehow we have never made slime! I found this recipe that looks amazing. We haven’t tried it yet, so no promises!

7. Photo books

As we complete each of our activities, I am hoping I remember to take photos. Toward the end of the summer I will print these and let my girls make a photo book (think markers, stickers, etc.) to remember our summer fun. Older kids can write a description of each activity and if we can still find our checklist, we can pop it in the front!

Need some other ideas? Check out our NWA Guide to Summer Activities!

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