The primarily feature of the list is "All Day". The things they want to do they want to do All Day Long.
Ha. Fools. Nothing is fun all day long.
So our list is just as much fun for me as it is for them because I enjoy moderate torture and lesson learning.
Here are our adventures:
Screens All Day.
Unlimited screen time is the holy grail around here, so I scheduled Screen Day for the first day of summer. If they took their eyes off a screen for more than a minute they would be grounded. They also did not have to get dressed all day. To me that sounded hellish but they were in pig heaven.
Little did they know that at the end of Screen Day they would be handing over all of their iPads and remotes for doling out at my convenience for the rest of the summer.
The next day they needed a screen detox so it was a good day for Outside All Day.
Outside All Day meant that they were ushered out in their bathing suits as soon as they woke up. They ate all their meals out there and drank from the hose. They were not allowed to scream into the house. If they needed something inside they had to hold their breath and run while inside or they would be grounded. (I don't know why grounding is a punishment, but the sound of it is awful for them. To me it sounds like paradise).
Since it was a 24 hour outside plan they also needed to sleep outside, which was also on the list. For Backyard Camping the kids recruited our dear neighbors to join them in camping in the backyard. It was a success and nobody woke us up nor snuck inside during the night.
This activity was made possible by trading one baby for three neighbor kids who could swim. Jude always bursts into tears when he has to leave parks before they're kicking us out. He doesn't like the fun to end. This activity was mildly successful -- we stayed until it was getting cold and nobody wanted to do slides anymore. But it was tons of fun! At least I think it was. I took a two hour nap while they played.
We had to take a few weeks break while we went to CA and had a few day camps. But when they got back we were back on the list.
The first activity was Stay Up All Night.
Ugh, this one sounded brutal. But I was surprised at how much fun we had! Not having to think about bed time was freeing for me. Anybody who has been around my house knows that bedtime is the finish line for me and when they're down I'm off duty. So there was no off duty for me this night BUT I found that there was also less pressure and we could play games and do puzzles until they were done. The highlight was playing ghost in the graveyard at midnight downstairs. I schooled them. Always hide in the bathtub. Hush and I left them to their own devices after midnight and when we went down to check on them they were out by 1am. They slept and slept the next morning and two of them took a nap in the afternoon.
We still have a few things left on our list but we have all of August to accomplish them. That is assuming I have it in me to Wrestle All Day as is waiting on the list.
The Summer List assessment and review:
This has been an amusing and accidentally educational project. It gives us something to focus on during monotonous summer days with nothing planned. The kids have thoroughly exhausted the activity that they had been vying to do and don't look back when the All Day whatever is over. They enjoy being grounded for things that are normally good behavior: eating healthy, peeing inside, falling asleep early. It's made summer topsy turvy and fun. I highly recommend letting the kids have what their hearts desire IN EXCESS so that when they are expected to live like rational human beings they understand why good things are good. They know what they feel like when they eat junk all day and they're no longer interested. They appreciate being locked outside occasionally. They know that screens can get very boring and sunlight is desirable.
I think I'll make this project a summer standard.