Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Experiences for our Toddler {Summer Bucket List}

I've been thinking a lot about the kind of summer I would like our family to have.  I would love to have a summer to remember, one to enjoy, one to that was unique.  For months you anticipate the summer.  You look forward to the warm nights, the clear blue pool water, and the extra time with family.  Then it goes by in the blink of an eye.  How do you make this summer count? How do you help this time with your loved ones stand out from all the rest, as a special memory that you can cherish down the road? 

I found my answer in a fellow blogger and friend, Danielle, at 52 Brand New.  Danielle is on a mission...a wonderful, inspiring mission that allows her children to experience 52 new things during this year.  How amazing is that?  These new adventures that they take are so important to the little ones, as Danielle explained in a recent post about how new experiences help your child become a better reader.  So, I've decided to join her.  I've decided to make this a summer that will shine!  A summer full of excitement and learning for the little guy. That's is why our bucket list is going to contain all new experiences for Grady - ones that we can share with him.  Ideas for play, for family time, for using his creativity...all activities that he has never tried out before.  We will do these as a family (some will even be new for the hubs and I!) and take the time savor the reactions we get from our little one as he experiences these events through the eyes of a toddler.  As I think of the things I would love Grady to experience and add them to our bucket list, I can't help but look forward to what this summer will bring!  What he will take away from the summer of new adventures! 

~ Oh, and the hubs and I will even be getting in on the fun when the little guy is asleep! See two bonus sections of this list that are {For Mama and Dada} and {For Mama Only}!  

{New Experiences for the Little + Family}

1. Fly kites

2. Catch fireflies

3. Make fizzing sidewalk paint

4. Blow giant bubbles

5. Buy face paint and paint each other's faces

6. Have an outdoor movie night

7. Get creative with Natural Herb Playdough

8. Go fishing

9. Create wind chimes for the back yard

10. Attend an outdoor concert

11. Make our own molded crayons

12. Fill a room with balloons and have some fun

13. Create a new family soundtrack each week

14. Play with a kitten or puppy

15. Cook a beach themed meal and eat by the pool

16. Get messy with cloud dough

17. Visit the Andy Warhol Museum

18. Make our own mini pizzas together

19. Chill and eat frozen smoothie pops

20. Invent stories using story stones

21. Roll down a hill

22. Have a Christmas in July party

23. Make felt or cardboard food for pretend play as a family

24. Visit a new park

25. Go to Idlewild

26. Freeze toys in ice or make colored ice for outside play

27. Run through the sprinkler

28. Introduce a few of my favorite books (as a child) to Grady

29. Create Daffodil Windmills

30. Make paper lanterns and let them float down the river

31. Cook Chapchae

32.  Paint with cookie cutters

33. Have a day with no chores, no schedules...just family fun 

34. Take a bike ride

35. Swim in the ocean

If you're looking for even more playful ideas, why not join Shawn at Awesomely Awake for her 4-week summer eCourse that encourages a whimsical spirit for the entire family for during: The Playful Family Adventure. Click here to learn about this amazing challenge! (affliliate link)

{For Mama & Dada} ~ date night once a week including:

1. Geocaching

2. An outdoor concert introducing a new genre of music

3. Kayaking under a full moon

4. Go on a restaurant hop (appetizer, dinner, and dessert each at a different restaurant)

5. Moonlight horseback riding

6. TV Show DVD night ~ new series

7. Turn our dining room into our own private bookstore ~ complete with flavored coffees and magazines to leaf through

8. Try out something new at the beach, like parasailing

{For Mama Only} 

(These may not be new, but taking them time for them are new too me!)

1. Find and read a new book series

2. Sip tea on the patio in the morning

3. Go screen free for a weekend (including phone screens!)

4. Try a new cookie recipe

5. Get lost in one of my favorite books

6. Find a MOPS group and check it out

7. Take the time to learn more about photography

8. Rent 3 of the movies on my ever-growing "to-see" list and enjoy them while eating popcorn

9. Learn to identify the Hangul alphabet

10. Make my own homemade pasta

11. Take advantage of any new experiences that come my way

I'm sure that I will think of a few more along the way and they will be added to the list as well!  Do you have any {Mama Only} items that you would add to the list?  I would love to hear them!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.


  1. What a great list!! I love the addition of your list for Mom & Dad and I love the restaurant hop idea. I think the hubs and I may have to steal that one ;) I also have 'read more' on my "mamas" bucket list :) You've got some fun stuff on there. Looks like you guys are going to have a great summer. Would love to visit the Warhol Museum too :) Good stuff!

    1. Thanks so much! I figured Mama and Dada needed some fun in the sun, too! I saw the idea for a restaurant hop on someone else's site and thought that sounded like fun. :)

  2. I love your summer list. I'm going to share it over on my google + page today.

    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate the share. :)

  3. I'm so glad I inspired to you create a bucket list! Looks like you are going to have a FABULOUS summer! Can't wait to hear all about it!

    1. I'm really looking forward to crossing things off of our list! :) I'll let you know how it goes! :)

  4. My MOPS group is amazing! I hope yours is wonderful too!

    1. I just found one close by, but they aren't meeting for the summer. They do have a couple of scheduled play dates that I can try to make, though! :)

  5. You are definitely going to be busy this summer, that's quite a list...a great list too!

    1. Oh, I know! It didn't seem like a lot until I read it aloud all at once! :)

  6. I love this! We had 2 new experiences this weekend: boat and train (well, new for the toddler and baby). Here's a potential cookie recipe for your list - Also, this book is not part of a series, but I just finished reading Tina Fey's Bossypants and recommend it.

    1. I bet the kids enjoyed their rides! Heading over to check out your recipe! Thanks for the book rec too! :)

  7. This is a great list. Children need these experience to become better readers. It helps build their prior knowledge. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! Oh, I agree with you! The more they know, they more they can understand!

  8. I love this! What a terrific idea :D Thanks so much for sharing this great list...we have to get started on these!

    1. Thanks so much! Let me know some things that are on your list, too! :)

  9. A really fun and useful list! Thank you for including our cloud dough post :)

    1. Thanks Debs! I can't wait to make it!!

  10. I spotted several things that I've got to do with my daughters on your great list. Fun stuff!

    1. I'm so glad, Veronica! I hope you have a wonderful summer with your girls!

  11. I just adore your list! What a super idea to try new things this summer. I'm sure it will be fun to watch your little one experiencing these fun new activities. I also love the bucket list for yourself and hubby. A restaurant hop sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing at the summer bucket list party.

    1. Thank you, Kelly! So far, we are having so much fun. It's so great to see his reactions. :)


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