The Summer Treasure Box

The Summer Treasure Box | Twin Cities Moms Blog

A few years ago in a thrift store aisle, a friend and I dreamed up the idea of a Summer Treasure Box to add some spontaneity and extra fun to our days with our kids.

The basic idea was to choose a special, out of the ordinary activity to do with your children once a week. It need not be expensive or time-consuming, just something simple to get you to spend quality time together.

Here’s how it works – once you’ve landed on an activity, put a clue for that activity in a “Treasure Box.” The Treasure Box can be a shoe box, a picnic basket, or any old box that you decorate together. Hide the Treasure Box somewhere to surprise your kids – either place it at the breakfast table the night before, or develop a tradition of hiding it somewhere around your house.

Here are a few ideas for your Summer Treasure Box:

  1. Make your own lemonade…from actual lemons
  2. Spread shaving cream on the kitchen table and make tracks through it with plastic animals, small toy cars, or even combs
  3. Make paper bag puppets and put on a puppet show
  4. Gather a variety of supplies and make kites, then see if they’ll fly
  5. Put a new twist on sidewalk chalk and provide a bowl of water and large paintbrushes to use with the chalk
    The Summer Treasure Box | Twin Cities Moms Blog
    The Summer Treasure Box | Twin Cities Moms Blog
  6. Ice blocking – you can often find these ice blocks at gas stations
  7. Hike together and fill a vase with wildflowers (or even anything in nature…beautiful arrangements can be made from sticks and branches)
  8. Grab a flashlight, turn off the lights, and make shadow puppets
  9. Find a special tray to hold meat, cheese, crackers, and fruit, and have a picnic beneath a tree
    The Summer Treasure Box | Twin Cities Moms Blog
  10. Go on a bug hunt around the yard and capture, photograph, or draw what you find
  11. Purchase a few new sand toys, or repurpose items in your home as sand toys, and go to the beach
  12. Go for a rock walk and bring along an ice cube tray to display the special rocks you find
  13. Make a massive blanket fort and read together inside it
  14. Choose a movie from the library and make popcorn to transform a rainy day into a movie day
  15. Purchase a new game from the thrift store (or find an old one in your closet) and play it together on a blanket outside
  16. Bubbles. More bubbles.
    The Summer Treasure Box | Twin Cities Moms Blog
  17. Explore a new park together, one that you’ve never visited before.
  18. Use toy cars and a few two-by-fours or cookie sheets to experiment with ramps and angles on your front steps
  19. Give your kids bowls of ice cream and instead of spoons, give them other utensils to use for eating such as spatulas, serving spatulas, wooden spoons, and tongs
  20. Make nature prints – grab a few items from around the yard, paint them, then press them onto a paper to see what shape or texture they make

I can’t wait for summer to arrive to begin my Summer Treasure Box. In fact, I’m so excited I may even start early! Will you join me? Comment with your ideas, photos of your Summer Treasure Box, or stories of activities you did with your kids.

Amber has lived in Minnesota her whole life, with a 4-year stint in Iowa for college (Go Norse!). She and her husband met while both trying to kayak for the first time. The kayaking didn’t go well, but their relationship did! They’ve been married for over 10 years and have four incredible children. Amber describes herself as a recovering perfectionist, unashamed introvert, and extremely empathetic. Her favorite moments are those rare ones during the day when time stands still and she can see with fresh eyes the amazing little people who call her mom.


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