Summer vacation is upon us. How are your kids going to make it count this year? If they complete this list of 10 things, they will be well on their way to great summer memories of 2012.

Must-dos for summer break

What's on your kids' to-do list for this summer vacation? Fill up their summertime dance card with these fun must-do activities to give them some exhilarating opportunities and fabulous sneaky learning chances.

Fly a kite

When the wind lifts a kite high in the air, sending it soaring, it's a special thing. There's just no sensation like it. You can pick up cheap kites at the dollar store, but you get what you pay for. For a really good flight, spend a little more.

Swim natural

Pools are awesome. There is much to be said for the controlled environment that is a pool. But swimming in natural settings — like ponds, lakes and sounds — is an amazing experience. Shouldn't kids experience nature?

Camp out

Break out the tent and sleeping bags! No, it might not be your brand of fun. But for kids, camping out is a blast for kids. There's something magical about telling ghost stories by the fire and curling up in a tent under the stars.

Grow and eat

Have you planted a vegetable garden? It's not too late. Teach children about food by having them grow a favorite vegetable or fruit. Gardening is a fantastic pursuit. This summer, help your kids grow something — and let them eat it freshly picked.

Berry picking

Almost as exciting as eating something you've grown is to go pick your own berries (and other fruits too!). Take your children to the nearest pick-your-own farm and gather up strawberries, blueberries or whatever you fancy.

Play in the rain

Rain, rain don't go away! Pull on those rainboots and head outside! We're so used to telling our kids to head indoors when it rains. But this summer, let them experience the rain in a whole new way by letting them play outside during a rainstorm.

Catch fireflies

Those bright little fireflies sure are pretty... Arm your kids with a few jars and lids and send them out at dusk for a classic firefly hunting session. It's one of those things every child should have memories of doing, isn't it?

Watch fireworks

Seeing fireworks light up the sky is a beautiful, exciting sight. With Independence Day fast approaching, it's almost time for those glorious fireworks displays. Find a well-done one in your area and make a point to take the kids to see it.

Shop at a farmer's market

Do you shop the local farmer's market? If not, this year is the time to start. Buying fresh fruits and veggies direct from farmers at a farmer's market offers a unique chance for learning. Have your children ask a few questions while you're there.

Go hiking

There are so many positives to hiking — from the getting-back-to-nature aspect to the fantastic exercise it offers. Find great trails to hike this summer. And if you want to make it extra special, combine your hiking with geocaching.

More on summer fun

Summertime fun for the WAHM
Summer weekends: Water fun
Swimming pool safety tips for summer fun

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Comments on "10 Things every kid should do this summer"

Teri June 18, 2012 | 8:04 PM

It's so important to keep kids active during the summer. I love taking my kids to the lake to cool off, wakeboard, and fish. It's nice for them to be outdoors. The last thing I want my kids doing is being cooped up inside on the computer and watching TV. Thanks for the ideas!

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