Tomorrow is August 1st. We are half way through summer. Half way through having no alarms, staying up too late and drinking way too many slurpees. We’ve been busy, we’ve been having fun and we’ve also been just kicking back and spending lazy days building lego. We usually we write a summer bucket list on the last day of school. Writing bucket lists is much like goal setting for young minds. Getting them involved in the planning and organizing of our list is a fantastic way to encourage your children to have a growth mindeset and dream big. But this year we literally picked the kids up on the last day of classes and we were off to Kananaskis. The list got never got started. But that’s okay because I just read about the “Reverse Bucket List” and it’s a great way to teach gratitude. I would love my girls to be mindful and grateful of everything they have and everything they’re able to experience. So how do you write a Reverse Bucket list? Just ask your kids to list things that brought them joy and happiness so far this summer and all things that they’ve done that they want to say thank-you for. Taking the time to sit down and help them remember everything awesome that summer has brought will do more then you think. Because being grateful = being happy.
So yesterday the girls and I wrote out everything we were SO very grateful to have experience so far this summer.
- Swimming in Hotsprings in Fairmont, BC.
- Making cookies and delivering them to new neighbours.
- Going to the spray park and getting free popsicles from the Truckiscle
- Weekly visits to our local Southwest Farmers Market and the kids getting to choose something new with their “free money” from Sprouts.
- Camping in Kananaksis and hiking up Ptarmigan Cirque.
- Spending a rainy day watching vintage 80’s movies (think Annie, Land Before Time, Adventures in Babysitting) and playing card games.
- Going to an outdoor city pool (we like Fred Breadstock- and bonus they’re all free this year!)
- Making homemade popsicles with fresh Saskatoon berries picked in our local park (this City of Edmonton fruit map says where you can go for free fresh fruit!)
- Going for extra long bike rides in the warm evenings to find new parks.
- Playing at Kinsmen Beach in Invermere– the slides out on the lake are so fun to swim out to and so fun to go down ( the entire Columbia Valley was awesome- I’ll have to write a blog post about all the great things there are to do for families, we had a wonderful weekend away).Swimming in the Legislature fountains and packing a picnic lunch
- Joining the summer reading program at the Library and falling in love with Harry Potter.
- Eating three s’mores in one night around a backyard fire (and making ALL sorts of flavours with help from this epic post) .
- Staying in pyjamas all day and not having to wake up to go to school (this may the thing we are MOST grateful for).
- Spending a day with friends at Lake Wabamun. The beach area was surprisingly nice and it was a perfect hot afternoon for a picnic.
It’s so easy to get caught up in planning a million weekends away from the city or epic camping trips in the mountains- until you sit down with a couple of kids and are humbled by their list of what they’re most grateful for. It’s so nice to remember that their favourite memories aren’t those that take a ton of money, or excessive planning, or even leaving our own backyard. We still have our “big” family vacation left this summer and a few more little road trips planned, but I’m mostly looking forward to the last few days of no routine, warm weather and days spent by the water.
- Take our annual trip out to pick berries and making simple Freezer Jam (this recipe is fool proof and you’ll feel so domesticated!)
- Enjoy one of the free nature nights put on by The City of Edmonton
- Go on a dinosaur dig at Dinosaur Provincial Park (okay, that one is just for me, but the girls will get to hike the hoodoos and play in the visitors centre).
- Spend time camping with cousins at our annual family reunion at the awesome Lake Newell, just east of Calgary.
- Go to our big road trip to Kelowna and swim in the lake, pick fresh fruit from the tree, eat dinner at a vineyard and play in a epic spray park.
- Ride the Mountain Coaster in Revelstoke and reminisce about childhood at The Enchanted Forest.
- Spend a day at Calaway Park in Calgary.
- Float down the river at Red Lodge Park
- Check out the new waterslide park in Lethbridge (a zero entry gigantic pool will make you feel like you’re at a Mexican resort).
- Have a BBQ potluck dinner with friends. Everyone will bring a ice cream topping and we’ll have the most epic sundae bar ever.
- Spend September long weekend camping (and playing in the river) at Pembina Provincial Park
- Have a lemonade stand for the Stollery with Simply Supper on August 27.
- Stay up till 10pm and watch the sunset from the top of a hill
- Have a one-on-one date with each girl before heading back to school. We’ll go out for a special lunch, choose new “inside shoes” together and do something together without any distractions. The school year is so hectic, I cherish every last little minute before sending them off nearly every day.
What are you grateful for this summer? What are you still looking forward too?