Summer Bucket List Part II

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About a month ago, we came up with a bucket list of activities to enjoy before summer ended. Turns out it didn’t take us long to tick through the whole list – we already have ideas for next summer! But before I get ahead of myself, here’s a run-down of the fun we had.

June 4 – Catch a Minor League Sports Game

Thanks to discount tickets through our local library, we were quickly motivated to check this one off the list, taking in a minor league baseball game. The game didn’t start until 7 p.m., meaning this was a treat to stay up late, drink lemonade, and watch some ball while the sun set!

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June 6 – Dye Your Hair with Kool-Aid

The final week of nursery school featured “crazy hair day”, so how could we not try out the kool-aid method? We followed the instructions from Down Home Inspiration, which unfortunately didn’t work quite as well on short boy hair as on long hair.

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But we got a hint of dark color that lasted just long enough for the school day, and Travis got a kick out of it!

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June 9 – Go Berry Picking

Travis was officially out of school for the summer, and we celebrated with berry picking at a local organic farm.

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Since we picked blueberries last year, this year was all about strawberries!

June 9 – Eat Dinner al Fresco

We capped off a busy summer day (see berry picking above) with food and drinks on the patio. Eating al fresco for kids always feels slightly taboo, slightly invigorating, and definitely full of summer.

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June 16 – Spot Shapes in the Clouds

One of our favorite words from the recently-published Big Words for Little Geniuses is nephelococcygia¬†or “finding familiar shapes in clouds,” so we were psyched to spot shapes over a weekend vacation with big cousins. Some of the kids thought this was a man o’ war or a fish.

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We even spotted a T for Travis!

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June 16 – Temporary Tattoos

Having the whole family together meant everyone got a temporary tattoo – moms, uncles, aunts, and kids included!

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June 19 – Play Hopscotch

When I first pulled out the chalk, Travis wanted to do his own thing, drawing buildings and then spritzing them with water.

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Meanwhile I drew us a hopscotch board. I finally coaxed him into tossing little tokens and jumping his way to them, at which point he declared, “I didn’t think I’d like this game, but now I do.”

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He got a kick out of watching mom jump, too!

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June 30 – Visit a Local Farm

For us, a farm has to mean a sanctuary, the perfect way to show vegan kids (or any kids!) that animals can live out their natural lives under human care. We’re lucky enough to have one just 15 minutes up the road. He loved the turkeys best.

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June 30 – Catch Fireflies

The suggestion to go backyard camping from Ranger Rick Jr. was a perfect excuse to cross another item off our list – fireflies! We didn’t catch any that night, but we loved watching them from the tent, and I even managed to catch a spark on film.

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Wouldn’t you know, a few weeks later we had a firefly in the house, and got a chance to observe it before sending it back outside.

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July 3 – Enjoy an Outdoor Concert

Check your town’s local listings; there is almost certain to be music or kids’ entertainment somewhere in a park near you before the summer is over. We had a magical evening at a local park, including a fun performance from a Grammy-winning kids’ song writer, Italian ice, and warm summer breezes.

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July 8 – Paddle a Canoe

Alas, this one was not a hit. We canoed across a beautiful lake in New Hampshire, and here’s Travis excited before we began!

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Soon, though, he was terrified, so it turned into paddling across as fast as we possibly could.

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July 8 – Skip Rocks

Better than that darn canoe was skipping rocks once we reached the pebbly beach at the lake’s other side! A moment of peace with Daddy and one of life’s simpler pleasures.

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July 13 – Plant Something and Watch It Grow

The final notch in our summer belt was to do some planting. We love ladybugs (and are firm believers that they bring good luck) so thought these ladybug seed bombs would be perfect on our patio.

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We also planted a few flower bulbs into recently decorated pots, and Travis sported his new kid-sized gardening gloves. Our patio has never looked prettier!

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Clay Animals

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After a recent snacktime story in High Five magazine about clay animals, Travis couldn’t wait to make our own. “Let’s do it right now!” he begged – good thing I had colored clay on hand!

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We started out copying the animals from the story – a yellow chick, red crab, and green frog.

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But soon Travis was off and running with his own ideas, proudly holding them up for me. A snail!

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A starfish!

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We used clay that won’t dry out since we weren’t concerned about keeping our creatures, but do use air-dry clay if your kids will want things a bit more permanent.

To add some fun, you can snip pieces of pipe cleaner to attach heads to bodies, as well as arms and legs. We tried out this method on a little bunny.

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Mushing colors together made… a robot!

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Toothpicks are great for adding details like mouths and eyes, or even chick feathers.

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Travis soon decided the toothpick was a mosquito biting the animals, so then we needed clay band-aids.

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Great fun on a rainy day!