How to Have A Summer of Firsts

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Today is the beginning of summer vacation for my kids, and no way did I want to hear “I’m bored” on the very first day!  So, we are starting the summer off at a new vacation destination just a few hours from home.  We are sliding, floating, and swimming through the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells for the next few days.  Welcome to the beginning of our summer of firsts.

I’m fortunate enough to work part-time in the summer, and want to make the most of my time with my kids.  Starting in the spring, I’ll start planning some fun activities that we can do during the summer months with plenty of first experiences included.  Follow along with our summer adventures on Twitter using the hashtag #summeroffirsts.

Here are some ideas of how to have your own summer of firsts, and I’ll guarantee your kid will have plenty to write about next fall when writing “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”.  (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Read my full disclosure policy here.)

What do Your Kids Really Want to do This Summer?

What are their plans?  What do they want to do?  They probably already have sports leagues, day camps, and maybe even a part-time job set up, but they still need some fun!

Have your kids list out the answers to some of these questions:

What foods do I want to try or make this summer?

What game do I really want to learn how to play?

What movies do I want to see?

What books do I want to read?

Where do I want to spend an afternoon?

Which museum or park do I want to visit?

What do I want to learn how to make this summer?

You may be surprised at some of their answers but you’ll be getting some good ideas!  I learned that my kids want to bake a pie.  Unfortunately pie baking is something I haven’t mastered, so I’ll be adding that to my #summeroffirsts.

cherry pie

This is in our very near future!

Take a Challenge

You can do any kind of challenge.  Try a weekly or monthly challenge and pick your topic.  You can do fitness, new food, reading, and more!

Join my family in our weekly food challenge “A Food First By Friday“.  Trying a new food on a weekly basis is fun and you will discover some delicious food that you’ve been missing out on.

Weird soda flavors

Food can be fun!

Of course, some challenges require a reward!  Plan a fun family night to celebrate everyone’s success!

Have a “Night”

I think theme nights are pretty popular and can add some fun to a regular day!  Again the choices for what kind of “night” to have are endless.

You can have the usual movie night or game night, or expand on that and have a “local theatre night” or “new game night”.  Date night is an option too (it’s not all about the kids)!

You can read about what we do when we have a “Taste it, Play it, or Watch it” night.

I also have a “clean the house” night on occasion…you can guess how fun that is!

Keep Learning

My kids have 3 months off for summer vacation, and that is a LONG time to be away from the classroom.  Kids really need to keep learning all summer long.  Fortunately, they can learn from more than just a text book.

Museums and historical sites are great places to visit during the summer.  The kids will be learning something without even knowing it.

They can do science experiments and make a mess in your kitchen.  “But were learning” they’ll say.  They can practice their math by reading a recipe and measuring the ingredients.  They can even have a mini art class while painting the house (ha!)

Science in action

Just a little science project on viscosity. On what?

Need ideas?  The kids have just about bookmarked every page in our Kitchen Science Lab for Kids book.  The rest of our bookmarks are stuck in The Young Chef cookbook which is by the Culinary Institute of America.

Explore

I can’t say this enough! Just go places!  Whether you are going across the country or just across your town, just get out there!  The whole world is waiting!

One summer, we took a road map for Wisconsin and planned where we wanted to go.  Then the kids would highlight the roads we drove and the cities we visited.  That map was full by the first day of school.

map of us

So many places to go and things to see!

I have a map on the wall in my office where I mark where we’ve been and look at for inspiration for our next adventure.  My map is by National Geographic, easy to read, and looks nice.  Here’s the link to it. My kids have their own dry erase maps on their walls that also have a lot of cities marked as “been to”.  Geography class in action!

We now have 86 days until the first day of school.  I plan to make the most of them with some awesome first experiences for my family.

What did you do on your summer vacation?

Five fun ideas for your family to have a summer full of first experiences!  This is your answer to "what are we going to do today?"
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