We look forward to summer break at our house.  It is a time when we cut down on activities and well… just, “be.” It never seems to fail though, a week after school lets out, the kids are complaining about being bored.  My co-author and her kids came up with a list of ideas to do at their house. This isn’t a list of intricate crafts, projects or extravagant destinations—it’s a simple list. In fact, it’s a list of things that quite often, I forget are an option.

Checking off a couple of her list items, I realized that it’s easy to do fun things with kids, because all they want is our time. If we are there, present, in the moment and playing with them, they’re happy. So I decided to make a second simple list of some of the greatest things that you might consider doing with your kids this summer.

summer to do list

Some of the activities can be combined. For example, my kids wanted to go to a new park, fish and have a picnic. We were able to find a lake we hadn’t been to that had a new park and brought the fishing poles. We also have some great local bloggers that post about summer activities that make it easy to find local activities for kids and family. Sometimes the items are repeats but the reality is, those repeats might be tried and true favorites, like going to the zoo.

Summer To Do List: Make Ice Cream in a Jar

One of my favourite things on this list and something that I remember doing at camp was making ice cream in a coffee can, so here’s my recipe:

  1. Add all of the above ingredients to the large Mason jar; mix well.  I do not use the egg.  I have also seen recipes that state you can use a 1 pound coffee can instead of a jar. Put the lid on the Mason jar.
  2. Place the Mason jar into the 3 pound coffee can.
  3. Drop in crushed ice and rock salt alternately and place the lid onto the 3 pound coffee can. You may need to duct tape this lid.
  4. Let the kids sit on the ground and roll back and forth sitting several feet apart. They can even kick it. Roll about fifteen minutes.
  5. Check to see if the ice cream is hard; if not, put the lid back on and add more ice and rock salt. Roll for another 5 minutes or so.
  6. You may need to check a few more times as it can depend upon how well the kids roll the coffee can back and forth.  It should look like this…

Serves four people and melts quickly…so eat it fast!

A few days ago I took the kids to the library to sign up for the Summer Reading Club. While we were there we did a scavenger hunt for bugs. Toy bugs. I don’t do live bugs. Then we bought a city pool pass and made it our goal to visit each of the public pools in our city. Remember, summertime’s fun and the kids are easy. Just keep a good list and enjoy spending real time with the ones you love.

This story was first published on It’s Really 10 Months, by Kim Schenkelberg who lost her marbles and married a man who is the youngest of ten. She became a stepmom to his boys who are growing up way too fast. They added two girls and another boy to their clan. She works as an adoption search and reunion specialist by day, a mental health therapist by night and a writer/publisher during her non-existent free time. She laments daily that she is not a trust-fund baby.She is co-author for It’s Really 10 Months: Delivering the Truth About the Glow of Pregnancy and Other Blatant Lies.  She also edited and published It’s Really 10 Months Special Delivery: From Girth to Birth with her co-authors, Natalie Guenther and Celeste Snodgrass. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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