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Summer is my favorite season. I love being able to run around in shorts and t-shirts or tank tops with my kiddo. I love the longer days. I love the warmth until the sun really goes down. I love everything about it. I swear I was born to live in the south, where I can be outside all day long … all year long. But alas, I live in New England. So when summer comes, I take hold and make the most of it.
It’s the middle of May, so summer is on the verge of starting. We’ve already had some pretty hot days … but I wouldn’t say we are in full blown summer yet. So, with my favorite season upon us I thought that I would make a summer bucket list. A list of things I would love to do with my daughter and my family.
Number 1 on my summer bucket list is … drum roll please … GO TO THE BEACH. I say this every year, but this year I really mean it. I want to go to the beach as much as possible with my family. Whether I’m going to a local lake or pond for the afternoon or taking the 1 hour(+) trek down to the beach, I am getting there. I love going to the beach and watching my daughter splash in the water and have a great time. I know that you need STUFF when you go to the beach with kids … beach towels, beach chairs, sunscreen, umbrellas, coolers, etc. But it’s all worth it. To be on the beach and cultivate the love for the water that I had as a child, it’s all worth it.
Number 2 … introducing Emily to sparklers. I know what people might be thinking … that’s dangerous! How could you let your preschooler play with sparklers? Well, I plan on introducing her to them. If she knows the rules and knows how to stay safe, then I MIGHT let her handle one. That being said, I LOVED sparklers when I was a kid. I always thought they were so cool and so much fun. I wanted to play with/light them as much as I could. It was a special treat we would do some times around the 4th of July. So this year, I plan on treating my daughter to a little something special in sparklers as well.
We’re lucky enough to have a fire pit in our backyard. Last year we didn’t use it too much. This year, we’ve already decided that we’re going to use it at least once a week. I introduced my daughter to the wonder of roasting marshmallows over the roaring … grill. It wasn’t as fun for her as I had hoped. She liked the final product though … s’mores! For those of you who don’t know what s’mores are … they are marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched in between graham crackers. All melty and gooey. [You want to make sure you have great sticks for roasting too.] Making s’mores by a roaring fire is an iconic summer event … whether you are camping or in your own backyard. When you think of summer, roasting marshmallows over a fire is something you think about. So number 3 on the summer bucket list … roasting marshmallows over the fire pit and making s’mores.
One of Emily’s favorite fruits is strawberries. She could eat them hand over fist. She’ll eat as many as I give her and then some. There is an orchard near us that has pick-your-own strawberries in June. Number 4 on my summer bucket list … picking strawberries from Tougas Family Farm. We pick apples there in the fall, and love going there. They have a great little store and play area for the kids. [Expect a post after we pick strawberries in June!] There will definitely be fresh picked strawberries displayed in our house this summer. (link to ceramic berry basket on Amazon)
Number 5 on the list is one Emily’s favorite things … BUBBLES! She loves playing with bubbles. Whether she is running around the yard with bubble wands or on the porch simply blowing them as I make dinner. If she has a bottle of bubble solution in one hand and a wand in the other, she is a happy girl. She does love bubble guns and wands (especially the ones we got from Disney World). I think this year I’m going to invest in a bubble machine so that way we can let Em run around the yard through the bubbles. I think she would really love that.
Speaking of running through the yard … number 6 on the list is running through sprinklers in the yard. When I was a little girl I loved running through sprinklers. The joy I felt running through and getting sprayed by the water. Or trying to jump out of the way of the water. It’s a simple joy that only children can have. [Even though I think as a mama, I would love doing this with my daughter.] Nowadays there are so many types of sprinkler water toys out there. There are “car washes” and inflatables. The good old stand-by bar and spinning sprinklers. I may have to invest in a few of them. Whichever ones we get, I hope that Emily has as much fun running through them as I did when I was a kid.
My father instilled a love into me for a certain sport. That sport is miniature golf. I love going mini-golfing. My husband and I still do that on warm date nights sometimes. [He beats me every time, but I hold my own.] Emily has been mini-golfing a couple of times and loves it. She gets the basics of it, but doesn’t grasp the whole idea. She loves hitting the ball and running after it. She’ll pick up the ball and bring it so close to the hole, hitting it in from a mere inch away. But when she gets it in, we cheer for her. She’s 3; there is plenty of time to get the REAL rules down. So number 7 on my list … go play miniature golf at least once a month. Maybe by the end of the summer she’ll have the real rules down.
I said I was going to introduce Emily to running through sprinklers this summer. Well I plan on introducing her to another water activity. Number 8 on my summer bucket list is Emily having her first water balloon fight! Let’s face it everyone loves water balloons. Sneaking up on your target and soaking them. I have a feeling Emily isn’t going to like getting wet as much as she is going to like throwing them at me and her father. But I am sure the joy on her face as she throws them and splashes someone will overpower the momentary sadness or anger of being splashed. I can’t wait to see what she thinks.
Number 9 on the list is taking Emily on her first picnic. Picnics have always been fun for me. Packing up lunch or snacks in a picnic basket, a blanket, some games/toys/books and just heading to a park or pond or the beach. Spending time outside. I want to do that with Emily. I want her to love them as much as I do. We could have tea party themed picnics. We could bring her dolls and set everything up underneath a shady tree. Just play and enjoy time together, bringing along some great food to feed our bellies while we feed our souls.
One of Emily’s favorite Disney movies is The Princess and the Frog. She loves Tiana. One of our favorite characters is Ray. The loving, sensitive, sweet little firefly who would do anything for his friends, and loves his Evangeline above all else. So in the warm months, when it gets dark, we like to point out “Ray’s cousins” in our backyard. Emily loves standing on the back deck and spotting them. She started saying that it was Ray, but we told her that these were his northern cousins. I think she loved that idea even more. So I want to try catching fireflies with Emily. I think she would get a kick out of running around catching fireflies in a jar. [Of course we would put small holes in the jar lid, and let them go after a little bit … we wouldn’t keep them.] If she decides that she doesn’t want to catch them, then we can lay out on a blanket and watch the fireflies around the yard. To end my summer bucket list, number 10 is watching/catching fireflies with Emily.
This is my summer bucket list with Emily. What is on your summer bucket list? Let me know and maybe I’ll add it to our list too. But whatever it is, I hope you have a great season. Enjoy the summer while it’s here!