Welcome Summer Celebration {Fireflies, Storms, and S’mores, Oh My!}

Summer is officially here! And to celebrate the start of the season and the end of the school year, we organized a night of activities for the children.

Of course, the evening didn’t go quite as planned. Nothing ever does when you’re throwing parties for a toddler and babies. But this time Mother Nature was the one that didn’t cooperate. Right after everyone arrived at our house, we had to go down to the basement to wait out a tornado warning. (Yes, we live in New Jersey and we RARELY have tornadoes. Just my luck, right?) So we spent about 40 minutes in our not-at-all-finished basement along with a bunch of camel spiders (yuck). Fun times.

Thankfully, we made it through a wicked storm with only a few branches down in our yard and a small leak in our basement. And miraculously we still had power, unlike everyone else within a 20 mile vicinity.

So despite some lingering sprinkles, lightning, and thunder, we decided to carry on with the festivities. We ate some yummy food – corn on the cob, hot dogs, pasta salad, blueberry crisp. Then we headed outside and each of the children planted a sunflower seed (or rather we planted it for them). We’ll watch their sunflowers grow through the summer (as long as I don’t kill them with my black thumb).

planting seeds at summer solstice party

summer kickoff party celebration

plant markers at summer solstice party

Then Owen searched our yard for the “magic” glowing butterfly. He still thinks this thing is real:

Summer Solstice Party

Summer Solstice Party

After finding the butterfly, some real magic did happen – the fireflies came out after the storm! We ran around the yard for a bit, catching them in jars. Don’t worry. We released them after a few minutes. I don’t want any firefly blood on my hands.

catching fireflies at summer kickoff party

A summer kickoff party would not be complete without some s’mores. Richard made a fire in a terra cotta pot with foil and charcoal. Then we toasted our marshmallows (a first for Owen!) and built our s’mores. Owen was in a heaven, blissed out on marshmallows and chocolate.

summer kickoff welcome party

Our last activity was completing a summer bucket list. I designed this cute printable, which you can download for free.

bucket list

Now we’re ready for summer, are you? What’s on your summer bucket lists this year? Do you do anything to kickoff summer? We plan to have a Welcome Summer party every year for our little ones, so please share your ideas – we can use them for our future summer parties!

ice cream sig
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