There are several ideas that I found after I had already posted the official list. Twice. And there are several ideas that I thought might be too local or specific for everyone to be able to do.
For example, item #102 on my list is to visit the Fondulac Farm Park, which is about 20 minutes from our house. We were able to go there earlier this week with some friends of ours. It was a blast!
Just to clarify, I wasn't standing in the goat pen. I was on the opposite side as the kids and just tried to zoom in with my camera.
The kids had so much fun. There were lots of giggles. The funniest moment was when they were petting the cow and it suddenly started pooping right in front of them.
Nolan really enjoyed petting and feeding the animals. Griffin surprised me at how well he interacted with all the animals. He even fed the horse despite the sign that said he might bite.
The thing Griffin wanted to do most was "milk" the wooden cow that squirts water when you squeeze the "milk things." (his term)
This was more than just checking an item off a list for us. It was spending fun time with friends. It was being outside and learning about animals. It was practice taking turns and using manners.
For the most part, the Summer List has been a helpful tool for us. I don't have the creativity to just think of activities to do with the kids, but I can easily follow directions from other people's ideas. I am free from having to come up with something fun and educational. I just have the responsibility of prepping, carrying out, and cleaning up each activity.
Some days I just don't feel like being a science teacher and craft instructor. I'm busy enough being maid, waitress, wardrobe director, chef, referee, and etiquette instructor. Yesterday morning Griffin asked, "What's going to be our project for today?" I secretly thought to myself, "Your project can be entertaining yourself for 10 minutes."
I don't love that most of the activities we've done take longer to set up and clean up than they do to actually do.
But those are my only negative comments. I think the pros far outweigh the cons with our Summer List. I finally feel more like the mom I thought I'd be. Up until now, I've been fairly boring. I tend to operate in survival mode.
Now, however, I feel like my perspective has changed a bit. My kids' imaginations, developing minds, and interests are at the forefront of my mind now. For example, I was at Deals the other day and I looked at everything as I thought my kids would. I even picked up this handsoap that has fish in the middle (so they look 3D):
It was an impulse buy, and we already have a functional soap dispenser in our bathroom, but I knew it would be fun to the kids. I didn't tell the kids I had made the switch, and I had so much fun watching each child discover the new soap dispenser with fish swimming in it. It was the most fun I could buy for $1.
I don't think I would have even looked at that soap dispenser before my perspective changed from "getting through the day" to "making the most of our day." Of course, there will still be days where the kids watch tv while I clean. Or days when I'm just too exhausted to be an activities director. But I know that it's important for the kids to also have time without me directing their every move so they can learn to play together.
So, how's your summer going?