What’s that, you say? Summer started several days ago? Pshhh. It’s like I always say: It’s never too late to make a list of stuff to do over the summer! (What’s that? You think I just made that up? Of COURSE not!)

Annalyn and I actually made our annual Summer Fun List a couple weeks ago, but thanks to some unforeseen developments in the Carver house, our list was derailed for a bit. (What’s that, you say? Tell you more about the developments? FINE. I’ll tell you about two. First of all, we’re putting our house on the market this summer, so HELLO, stress and to-do lists! And second of all, I’ve had a nasty stomach bug this week. [What’s that, you say? You’ve heard enough? Interesting…])

Despite all this hem-hawing and excuse-giving, though, I do have quite the list of summer plans. Here’s a peek into our next couple of months:

Trips and Outings:

  • Annalyn is taking a short road trip with my parents while Mark and I belatedly celebrate our anniversary.
  • My mom, Smitty, Annalyn and I are going to see Little Mermaid on stage – outdoors, in July. [Read: It will be a hot mess of sweat and stickiness, and we’ll only WISH we were under the sea.]
  • I’m hoping we make it to the Farmer’s Market downtown at least once this season.
  • We’re taking a short family vacation to Branson to visit friends, where we will avoid the sweaty crowd fest of Silver Dollar City and opt for a cave tour, go-karts and the resort pool instead.

Events and Camps:

  • Next week, Annalyn is attending a week-long, half-day theater camp. I’m really excited to see if she enjoys it as much as I think she will. This might be the extracurricular we add to our fall schedule if she does.
  • Later in the summer, she’s going to a three-day intro to dance camp. Because, I don’t know. She’s spoiled? I want her to have every single opportunity I never did? It costs the same as daycare and sounds a lot more fun? Regardless, she’s going and I might have to prep her by showing her my favorite performances from So You Think You Can Dance.
  • She’s also taking swim lessons again. Because she’s a fish, and she loves it – and I love anything that gets her moving and away from a screen.

Never Stop Learning:
So, I didn’t turn in our sign-up form for pre-K summer school in time. (Hence the need for camps and other distractions while I try to work and write!) But that doesn’t mean she’s off the hook for a few teachable moments.

  • This is the summer I teach her to tie her shoes. Really. Or, we track down a cute pair of sneakers with velcro. But no! I will teach her to tie them! I will!
  • I also want to start working on money with her – the value of coins and other fun (ha!) math stuff like that. I’m sure Pinterest will be my teacher’s assistant in this one, but if you have helpful tips, please share!
  • We’re reading some chapter books this summer and enough regular picture books to complete the library’s reading program. I’m also breaking out the LeapFrog Tag Reader again to help her progress with her own reading before school starts.

General Fun (the Good Stuff)

  • Playdates with various friends
  • Going to the pool
  • Watching fireworks
  • Going on a picnic
  • Fishing at Grandpa’s farm
  • Eating s’mores and grilling hot dogs
  • Making lemonade
  • Canning salsa and green beans
  • Seeing a movie or two

I’ve got a few more things on our list – a trip to Des Moines for a concert and to visit friends, making sidewalk chalk paint, family game night – but we’re definitely playing this summer by ear. Our family has lots going on, and if I learned one thing last summer it’s that being together–and enjoying each other–is a million times more important than Doing Something Fun or crossing off our to-do list.

What are YOUR plans for the summer?

If you’re making a list of your own or need ideas for making this summer fun, I highly recommend The Happy Family Movement. They’ve got TONS of great ideas and resources for you! And don’t forget KidVentures: 50 Outdoor Experiences of Wonder, Discovery & Childhood Memories by Jen Murray. This ebook by a mom of six-year-old quadruplet boys (ay-yi-yi!) has TERRIFIC ideas for getting outside and having fun this summer (and any season, really).

Also, in case you’re curious, here are our past summer lists:

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