Summer of Fun {2016 Edition}

Woohoo friends!  It’s the day after Memorial Day which means…it’s almost summer!!
Insert me doing a happy dance here!
And here.
And some more here.
After today, my kiddos only have two more days of school left and then…we hit summer HARD.
  Lazy days, pool days, fun days, happy days, summer days.  
I’m just so excited.  I know I’ve said this before…but I’ll say it again.  I used to dislike summer.
Insert my shame and embarrassment here.  
Before, I worked in an office all summer long and the days just dragged on.  And then I had babies and unless I was in the pool with my two babies, it just wasn’t fun being outside (because we live in Texas and it gets HOT here).  But then my babies turned into big kids and all of a sudden, summer was a BLAST.  It was a sweet relief from the rest of the year.  A time for relaxing and putting our normal routine on hold.  It became something so much more special when my kids got a little older.  Now, instead of dreading summer (which I spent a large part of my life doing), I look forward to it.
  I. love. summer.
For the last three years in a row, I’ve sat down with my kids and together we’ve created our summer fun list.  Most days are spent by the pool, but some days, we need a little change up…so we make a list and tape it up.  It’s always so much fun to check ideas off of this list!
  This year, Smith really took charge of our list.  The girls threw out suggestions, but Smith wanted to be the one who actually wrote our little list.  So, here you go…the Shull Summer of Fun 2016 list (and psssst, click on the dates to see  2015 and 2014 lists).
We got down to business at our craft table.  Construction paper and markers are a must for any good list :).

The Shull men are known for being particular about details.  If you know any Shull men, then you know this to be true ;).

We would all suggest things, but for some reason, Smith was the authority of whether it went on our list or not.  The girls didn’t seem to mind, and since Smith lives in a girl world, I was happy he had something to take charge of,

So, here is our list written by Smith.  I didn’t want to help/correct him in any way…so let me translate just a little:
1. Lazy Day (where we basically do nothing all day)
2. Go to the library
3. Go to Hawaiian Falls (a local water park)
4. P-M stands for Perot Museum
5. Picnic at dad’s office
6. Go get ice cream
7. Dallas Aquarium
8. Camp (in our backyard)
9. Have game day at home
10. Pizza day
11. Make homemade popsicles
12. Swim all day (they were specific…from morning until bedtime)
13. PJ day
14. Go to the mall
15. Go to the movies
16. Bike to the park
17. Go on a hike
18. Go eat hibachi 
Ha!  A fun little list for the Shull family :).

Ashby made a list too.  She basically told me it says “play at Bowen’s house” over and over again.  #goals
I know that a lot of you make summer bucket lists too.  I would love some more suggestions!  It’s always nice to throw in some new ideas/old ideas/fun ideas/ free ideas/ special ideas and such.  Please, please, please feel free to comment and share your favorite summer bucket list suggestions.
And…make sure you’re back tomorrow because along with my May Book Review…I’m hosting a giveaway that YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS.  So all of you non-readers, still come back tomorrow or else you’ll be sad you didn’t.
And on my foodie blog

With the holiday yesterday, I moved MPM to today!
Click here to see four simple (and delicious!) recipes your family will LOVE!
Happy (almost) summer!
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  • Erika Slaughter May 31, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Smith's list looks good but Ashby's is my favorite! She can come to my house anytime. 🙂

  • Sharon G May 31, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Fruit picking (strawberry, raspberry, peaches etc), beach day, amusement park day, go see a baseball game, lemonade stand are some of the ones that make it on our list every year!

  • The Stantons May 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I added two ideas for my Plano kiddos. We are going to Reunion Tower (they now have a cafe during the day) perhaps taking DART down there and back. My son who is 7 is dying to take the "train" Also, a drive-in movie in Fort Worth. Both will be firsts for all of us!

  • Eileen May 31, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Some of our favorite summer fun list ideas are: go to a local kids play, dinner and a movie night (we pick a kid movie and then create a themed dinner around it and eat dinner in the living room while watching the movie), outdoor movie, outdoor concert, water balloons, mini golf, bowling, sidewalk paint, fly kites, family book club, and get ice cream from the ice cream man.

  • Katherine Darlington May 31, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Local carnivals & VBS

  • Michele Craparo May 31, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I am a Kindergarten teacher so the Summer for me is time for my own kids to get all my attention. I have found that even though the Summer is a great time to rest and be spontaneous, kids do still like a schedule of some kind. Especially kids who can't tell time, this is how they navigate their day. We also make a list of big things we want to do in the Summer, but we also make a list of little things we want to do in the house or outside in our yard. Every day we have a specific hour of the day where we pick one of those activities. They can't wait. Sometimes, it helps to have this time after chore time or nap time to give the littles a little extra incentive. We make forts, we play card games, we make funny videos, we hide an object around the house and give clues, timing each person as they search for it. Summer is such a special time. Bless you and your family. I hope you have a great Summer.

    • kelly June 1, 2016 at 2:25 am

      These are great suggestions!

  • Shaybird May 31, 2016 at 11:03 am

    That looks fun. What about a few volunteering days? That would be a great reminder of how fortunate they are and give them an opportunity to give back to the community.

  • The Cold Coffee Blog May 31, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Love this! The Matthews are making a list today!

  • Narci May 31, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Smith's list is adorable!! Love it!! Sounds like a great summer to me!! Xoxo

  • Liz F. May 31, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Love your list! I plan to do water balloons– I have a 14 year old and a 20 month old so it is a activity I think they'd both like. And we all enjoy going out for fro-yo so much ( in it for the toppings) that I thought it would be fun to have a fro yo night at home complete with a toppings bar. Enjoy your summer! Liz @

  • Erin Villone May 31, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I love the summer bucket list! So fun!!

  • Erin Villone May 31, 2016 at 11:38 am

    So fun!! I love the bucket list idea!!

  • Tara G. May 31, 2016 at 11:40 am

    There are some fun reading incentives you could throw in – Barnes & Noble has one. When my kids were younger we'd print off Chuck E Cheese charts and redeem our free tokens when they opened @ 9 when it was empty/clean/they were testing games and leave extra tickets for grabs & then eat lunch elsewhere. Also, see if you have a participating location for Kids Bowl Free; they get 2 free games/week & you only pay for shoes.

  • Carrie May 31, 2016 at 11:45 am

    This is for a not so crazy hot day but we do a park exploring day. We try to go out of area and hit up one or two parks that we have never been to. Sounds lame but if you search online there are some super cool parks! We have swim team for 6 weeks in the morning and I work in the morning for 5 weeks so our summer is cramped a little by that! Since my girls are getting older I am hoping for some fun afternoon trips. My youngest just was in that downhill," I don't really need a long nap but something in the afternoon" last year. Some of our afternoon trips ended in a child literally melting to the floor last year…

  • Full Time Wife Life May 31, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Family camp out is on ours, too. I'm so…excited…ha! 🙁

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt May 31, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    This is such a fun tradition! Since my husband and I don't have any children yet, we make our own list for each season! Some of the fun things I added are little day trips around our area and my husband had to add working in our backyard–not fun to me but it was the one thing he requested haha!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  • Becky May 31, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Once I let my 3 daughters pick what we had for dinner. They closed their eyes and picked a slip of paper with main dish, side dish, or desert. They each helped me make their selection. They help in the kitchen all the time, but getting to choose and help made it extra fun!

    We do similar things in the summer, but this year we are doing our fun activities as "Mystery Day!" None of the activities are truly spectacular, just things like getting donuts and going to a new park, but everything is more fun if it's sealed in an envelope and called a mystery! It's like mommy marketing 😉

    • Patty May 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Even though my boys are grown, I love the idea of "mystery day"! I do have an 18 month old grandson and when he is older, it may turn out to be a Grammy and Grandson mystery day when he comes over. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • Lindy May 31, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Check out the Summer to Serve book from Courtney DeFeo/Lil Light of Mine. We had fun brainstorming ways to serve others this summer 🙂 Proceeds from the book go to Care for Aids.

  • Tara May 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I love kindergarten writing so much!! We have made a "Summer Fun List" for the past 6 or 7 years and now have many traditional days we repeat every year because my boys love them! Two of those days are "Unplugged Day" where we don't watch tv, play video games, use our phone(mom), etc – so we play games, do puzzles, read, etc – they love it! And one of their favs "YES day" based on a children's book by the same name! Have fun!!

  • Sassy Sarah May 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    On a rainy day – snowball fight with white tissue paper

  • AbigailCarter May 31, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    So fun! I can't wait until my little tot is old enough to help make a list! Some ideas I have are: drive-in movie, canoeing, open gym at a gymnastics place, and making homemade ice cream in a bag! I'm sure you have done this?? So easy and SO fun for kids!

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} May 31, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    COME! ON! SUMMER~!!!!!!! Add trading off kids after the pool, and our summer is set!!!!! Love that Smith took charge of the list!

  • KELLI KELLY May 31, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    A really easy, cheap one that is on our list… paint rocks. Seems so dull, but my 5 and 3 year old love doing this. Also– water balloon fight/water gun fight. (dollar store has both of these) Side walk chalk (again dollar store) Lemonade stand, Vacation Bible School at a local church….

  • Kristin Cook May 31, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Sounds like a great summer to be had! The Watermark Tree Fort and the Prestonwood indoor play area both would be fun and great for a hot or rainy summer day!

  • Corinne May 31, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I love that Smith was the list-maker! I just made a list for my daughter. I didn't get her input though, because she would have just said go to the mall every day. My list is very focused on my 4 year old. She's very attention-needy, and my 1 year old isnt big enough to care… yet.
    Here's what's on ours (just the highlights):
    Tie Dye something
    Pottery Painting
    Play mini golf
    Make Smores
    Make popsicles
    Movie theater movie (Finding Dory!)
    Go to the library
    Teach Elle to ride her bike
    And on my mommy list: Catch up on those baby books!

  • Ali Holmes May 31, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    My kids did their lists this weekend too! We also included picnic at park, local museums, water balloons, s'mores, pajama day, camping in backyard, sleepovers, local county fairs, splash pads, trampoline park, kid movie matinees, fro-yo, bowling…

  • Megan May 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I love Smith's handwriting. So sweet!!! Looks like a fun summer!!

  • Jennifer May 31, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I started making "Boredom Buckets" several years ago when my boys were probably 5 and 8. My youngest is an energizer bunny and can go nonstop all day and then ask "what are we doing next?" My oldest is more of a homebody so I have to find balance for both of them to be content. I have a list of rules that they must do each day (to encourage exercise, chores, etc….) Its been a huge lifesaver for us in the summer. Gone are the days of hearing "I'm bored!"

  • Simply A Rough Draft May 31, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Have you guys been to the Food Trucks & splash pad at Klyde Warren Park? We also love the Dallas Farmers Market. Have a great summer!

  • Sara Fehrenbacher May 31, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    One of our favorite things to do in the evenings in the summer is have an outdoor movie night! We have a small projector that we hook up to a basic dvd player and our old computer speakers… all very basic technology, but so fun! We set up our lawn chairs, make popcorn, and project movies onto our garage door. We have a beige colored garage door, so the movies show up really nicely, but if your garage door isn't a solid color, you can always hang a sheet on your garage door and that may help project it better!

  • Tracy May 31, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    We like to check out new places in our area – places we've never been (playgrounds, ice cream shops, etc…you get the idea!). Are there a lot of cupcake, ice cream or donut shops in your area? Visiting one per week until you've hit them all is fun. If there are places that allow young kids to volunteer that's always a great thing to do as well (if not, maybe something at your church like cleaning toys in the nursery). How about a drive-in movie or hosting a "dive-in" movie at your house (set up an outdoor screen and kids float in pool & watch the movie). Is there a trampoline park in your city? I bet they'd love that! Can you tell I used to live for summer as well when mine were little? I loved those fun summer days! Now mine are busy teens/young adults but we still find time for some fun days (but now they want to do things like "escape rooms"). Have fun! 🙂

  • Kristina @ Ms.Modify May 31, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    How fun! I'm newly married, so no kiddos yet. Last weekend I visited my cousin that has a 2 year old and 3 month old twins… it was crazy to say the least! I left thinking to myself "I don't know if I can do that!"…but then I see posts like this with older kids and I'm like "I can't wait"! Ha

  • Lisa Longoria May 31, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I love the idea of a picnic at dads office. How fun!

  • Alessandra May 31, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Shay! I know this is totally random but I am going to Boston for the first time in June and I was wondering if you could give me your top 5 must-see things there!!!! I am soooo excited but as a foreigner I have no clue what to prioritize as I don't have much time… (maybe 2 days to explore…). Thank you!

    • Mix and Match Mama May 31, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      JFK Library, Fenway Park Tour, Duck Boat Tour, Boston Commons, Harvard, Quincy Market :).

    • Alessandra June 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you!

  • Ashleigh Bielecki May 31, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    This is great! Hope you guys have an awesome summer!

    I love your taste in names — and would LOVE to see a "Baby Names I Love But Won't Be Using" (or something along those lines) post! 🙂

  • Melissa D. May 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    We do a make & play day…make homemade play dough and play with it, create an easy science experiment and play with it, paper airplanes, obstacle course, etc. As my kids grow, the activities have changed, but it's always fun!

  • Rebecca Carl May 31, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Visit a local nursing home and play bingo with them. Or put on some music and dance with them. Very rewarding for all!

  • happymomof4 June 1, 2016 at 1:02 am

    My kiddos made their summer bucket list this morning which included LOTS of fun in the water!!! Cannot wait for your May book review, I'm sure I will be adding some more books to my list.

  • Jenn Menniti June 1, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Do your kids go to camps for any part of the summer? If so what kind? We do not consistently put ours (9 and 11) in camp but have off and on. I feel like the school year is often so rushed and crazy. Some summers are just so fun to not HAVE to be anywhere!

  • Marlene June 1, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Love this, Shay!!! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Smith's list! As a second grade teacher, I could read everything he wrote! I especially love "howiine fols"! Right away I knew that was Hawaiian Falls! You definitely need to keep that list. Believe me…you will blink, and you'll be missing that adorable kindergarten way of sounding out words. Have a wonderful summer! 🙂

  • klmoore23 June 1, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Lemonade stand! I'm sure those stands do well in Dallas where you actually get a hot summer! That's my two cents! 🙂

  • Love on the Lake June 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Ice cream for dinner on the first night of summer!

  • Sharon Kruschen June 2, 2016 at 5:15 am

    We make a list too 🙂

  • Whitney Pegram June 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Love your family's ideas!! Me & my kiddos did the same thing. I just did a post about ours on Friday! 🙂