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What to do with all this summerTIME?!

School is out and mamas everywhere are super excited for more time with their kids and simultaneously overwhelmed at the thought of filling the long dog days of summer.  As I’ve written before, my husband and I intentionally weave fun into the fabric of our family culture.  In fact, we take fun quite seriously as we have strong theological underpinnings about the nature of joy and the heart of God.  Plus, we believe that establishing deep relationships with our kids as teenagers begins now.  We’re aiming for our house to be the gathering place for their friends and our arms to be their safe landing place.  So, if you are looking for a few ideas to facilitate connection with your kids and provide for loads of summer fun, here is our 2016 summer bucket list:

  • Meet friends at a free splash pad in our area
  • Make homemade popsicles
  • Enjoy a morning kids’ movie at the theatre
  • Craft with sea shells we brought home from the beach
  • Slip ‘n slide in our backyard
  • Go for a hike
  • Read books on the back porch
  • Make lemonade from scratch
  • Feed the ducks at a local lake
  • Set up a PVC pipe bike wash
  • Make banana splits
  • Paint with popsicles
  • Camp out in the backyard
  • Go to our local children’s museum
  • Participate in a neighborhood 4th of July parade
  • Catch fireflies
  • Learn to ride a bike without training wheels
  • Have a picnic at the park
  • Go to a pool with friends
  • Work through age appropriate educational activities
  • Draw a sidewalk chalk city on the driveway
  • Jump in the ocean’s waves
  • Plant new flowers
  • Take a long early morning walk before it heats up
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Play at park to which we’ve never gone
  • Check out books from the library
  • Have soap boat races
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Host a play date
  • Cook an entire dinner over a campfire
  • Visit a local water park
  • Give away vases full of flowers from our yard
  • Build a boat to float down Grandmama’s creek
  • Make a spray tempera paint craft
  • Build a sand castle
  • Visit the zoo
  • Eat ice cream for dinner
  • Attend Vacation Bible School
  • Write a letter to our Compassion International friend, Mario.

My son will begin kindergarten in the fall, which makes me more aware than ever that time is passing quickly. I wholeheartedly believe that kids don’t need to be entertained for every moment of the summer; space to be creative and simply play outside is extremely beneficial.  But I also want to make the most of these precious summer days I have with my little ones…who won’t be little or at home with me for long.

Ashlee Johnson

Ashlee is the wife of a pastor, mom of two busy little ones, and a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Seminary. She is passionate about communicating the truths of Scripture to women and magnifying Jesus as the All-Satisfying Treasure and Almighty Redeemer. She has lived in North Carolina for most of her life and loves making the most of the sidewalks and parks in her 1940s neighborhood. Ashlee enjoys healthy eating and exercising, but finds it nearly impossible to resist homemade cookies!

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