As I’ve mentioned, this is my daughters’ last summer before starting the dreaded “middle school years”.  Because she’s growing up so fast (as kids usually do), I want to make sure we make this summer extra special! So, how can I be creative, budget concious, and still have a summer packed with activities and fun?

Last summer I decided to have my daughter make a list of a few things she wanted to do before school started again.  Her list included drinking out of s coconut (not as cool as it sounds she said), having a pie eating contest, and a sleepover.  Pretty good I thought, but this year I wanted to make the list to last all summer so we sat down together and crafted a list of things we both wanted to do.


  1. Pie eating contest (this was more fun than I ever could’ve imagined!)- Last year we bought a cherry pie, split it and had a “no hands” pie eating contest that some family members filmed and judged for us
  2. Limbo- I mean it’s just a classic and so simple.  Can be done inside or out and always reminds me of summer.  Throw on your kids’ favorite tunes and get going!
  3. High heel race (can be done with friends and for boys as a “boot race”)- I’m not that good in high heels so my daughter and her friends might actually beat me on this one, but I think it’s a fun twist to your typical competitive racing.  I actually saw a Justin Bieber documentary where some dad’s were doing this to win tickets for their daughters.  It was wonderful to watch.  Just make sure you’re careful!
  4. Make-up war paint- Boys or girls can have fun with this one.  Using only items in the house (Moms make-up, shoe polish, chocolate syrup, etc) make a “war paint” mask then have another family member judge the best mask.
  5. Eskimo bucket- Stick your feet in a cold ice bath bucket and see who can stand it the longest.  Okay, this was my daughter’s idea.  Sounds less than appealing to me, but sometimes, as a Mom,  you just gotta take one for the team.  My daughter thinks this will be fun so….I’m doing it 🙂
  6. Watermelon seed spitting contest- Usually I would not condone spitting anything anywhere, but I just found an exception to that rule! A few peices of juicy watermelon, a few buckets or dishes to spit the seeds in, and a timer.  This just sings “summer” to me!!
  7. Bake sale fundraiser- I am no Betty Crocker, but I love doing things with my daughter and I have a heart for charity so for me, this is the perfect marriage of the two things. It also gives me the opportunity to teach my daughter a bit about giving all year round.  Our plan is to look into charities my daughter is interested in (she has a soft spot for animal shelters and rescues) and bake cookies to help raise money and awareness for that particular cause.  I plan on doing something simple, probably a chocolate chip cookie and a snickerdoodle.  We’ll bag 2 or 3 in a little treat bag and sell them one week at a friends garage sale, on our neighborhood corner with some lemonade, and at church.  Once money has been collected we will decide what is the best way to use that money (buy food, toys, or a giftcard to donate) and spend it accordingly.  The best part of this is that my daughter and I will not only do all of the baking and selling together, but we will do the GIVING together and that’s a memory that not everyone get’s to share.

These are just a few ideas we’ve come up with on how to spend our summer.  Each one makes for great pictures and even better memories!  Summer is so much more than fancy vacations and camps.  Just because I work during the week doesn’t mean that the only time I can enjoy summer with my kids is the weekend.  Alot of these things can be done any day of the week and last as long or as short as you want it to.  The main idea is to spend as much quality time with your little one as you can, creating memories and stories that will last you both a lifetime!