Calgarys Child Magazine 2014-JulyAug : Page 35

Summer Bucket List Essentials

Lara Krupicka

As parents, we look to summer as an opportunity to capture memorable family times. But whether our kids' vacation days are spent lazing by a pool or learning new skills at a camp, the time speeds by. Soon we're scrambling to finish the many activities we promised ourselves we would do. To prevent summer fun from escaping, it helps to have a list of what you hope to do before the long break from school is over - what many moms like to call a 'summer bucket list.'

If you haven't created yours yet, here are 20 ideas to start with:

1. Go fishing or set out on a frog hunt.

2. Have a picnic lunch. Go more than once and try different menus: fried chicken, Italian hero sandwiches, hard sausage with cheese and crackers.

3. Take a boat ride (canoe, sailboat, motorboat, tall ship).

4. Make s'mores over a campfire. According to the Girl Scouts, the first recorded recipe for 'Some Mores' BY LARA KRUPICKA 2 (later shortened to s'mores) appeared in a 1927 Girl Scout publication, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. And if you want to make a celebration of it, eat your s'mores on August 10, National S'Mores Day.

5. Eat cotton candy, snow cones or elephant ears (preferably at a fair).

6. Skip stones on a pond or lake. The North American Stone Skipping Association cites the Guinness World Record number of skips as 51. See how many you can get.

7. Bake a homemade apple pie. Or cherry or blueberry or rhubarb - you choose.

8. Teach your kids how to whistle with a piece of grass. Don't know how? Check out The Double-Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Mirriam Peskowitz for instructions on that and more fun activities.

9. Do a cannonball into a swimming pool (jump with both legs held up to your chest). Then try a can opener (hold one leg straight and the other up at your chest). Have a contest to see who can make the biggest splash.

10. Run a lemonade stand.

11. Go to an outdoor concert. You can see a bigname artist at a large venue or music festival, or check out a local band in your area.

12. Make homemade ice cream. Crank it using an old-fashioned style machine, make a game of it using an ice cream maker ball or go the easy route with an automatic ice cream maker.

13. Visit a fair and check out the award-winning livestock and 4-H entries.

14. Learn new jump rope jingles and say them while jumping rope. Find rhymes online at fungameskidsplay. Com/jump-rope-rhymes.html. Or buy a rhyme book such as Anna Banana by Joanna Cole.

15. Draw with chalk on a driveway or sidewalk. Play hopscotch while you're at it.

16. Go fruit picking for strawberries, cherries, blueberries or other summer fruit available in your area. Find a farm open for fruit picking at

1 7. Fly a kite. Buy one cheap or make your own using dowel rods and plastic trash bags. You can find instructions for a variety of models at my-bestkite. Com. Or try your hand at a dual-line stunt kite (available at hobby or toy stores).

18. Sleep out under the stars. See how many constellations you can pick out. Use a smartphone stargazing app such as The Night Sky Lite or Star Map or Sky Map to guide your search.

19. Play croquet or Bocce ball in your yard, or teach your kids how to play kick the can.

20. Play the licence plate game. Each time you're in the car, watch for out-of-province licence plates. Print out a map of Canada and color in each province as you find that plate. Or track your progress on the License Plate Game app (for iOS). See if you can find them all before summer ends.

Add your own gotta-do-this activities to make the most of the summer months with your family. While you're at it, why not make 'create a bucket list for next year' one of your goals, to keep track of new ideas you come across in the midst of this year's fun.

Lara is mom to three girls, and author of the book Family Bucket Lists: Bring More Fun, Adventure, and Camaraderie Into Every Day.

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