21 Things Every Southern-Child Should Do This Summer | Sarah Philpott

21 Things Every Southern-Child Should Do This Summer

21While sitting on my front-porch last night, watching the fireflies dance through the starry summer night, I remembered my childhood.

Running through the grass in my front-yard with a mason jar clutched in my hand. My eyes fixated on one thing: those glimmering and somewhat magical creatures that only visited for a brief time.

My brother and I teamed up and tried to catch as many as possible to put in our make-shift lanterns.


Summer in the south is majestic.

But sometimes we are inclined to feel it up with busyness. And activities that require bags of supplies.

Life is but a series of small moments; the ones I best recollect are the simplest.

Moments that don’t require 8 steps from Pinterest.

Just a bit of connecting with nature. And a bit of savoring life.

So here is my bucket-list for the summer. I do realize the effects of many of these will be me cleaning up dirt-stained bathtubs. But that is quite all right.

Cause after all, summer in the south is a gift to be cherished and sometimes that means letting kids play in the mud.

I might not get to all of them. But I am going to try my hardest to celebrate the season in the most simplest of ways.

21 Things Every Southern-Child Should Do This Summer

Star gazing

Firefly catching

Blackberry picking

Skipping rocks

Imagining images in clouds

Spitting watermelon seeds

Shucking sweet corn and eating it raw off the cob

Flying off a rope swing into the ice-cold river

Looking for worms in the dirt and then going fishing

Making mud-pies

Playing in a creek-bank

Running barefoot through the freshly-mowed grass

Rushing through a water-sprinkler on a hot summer day

Listening to the croaking of a bullfrog symphony on the banks of a pond

Tasting a honeysuckle vine

Digging in the dirt. For no reason other than just to dig



Sparklers on the 4th of July

Water guns


Crashing into bed way past bedtime from the sheer exhaustion of just plain playing outside.

I’m thankful my parents gave me that messy, magical summer childhood of just enjoying life.

What would you add to the list? 

Love & Blessings,




About Sarah

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D, author of Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, lives in the south on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her three mischievous children and is farm wife to her high-school sweetheart. She is an award-winning writer & TODAY SHOW parenting team blogger. You can find her books on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere. Sarah is founder of the Loved Baby support group and #HonorAllMoms Mother's Day movement. These days Sarah happily chooses to be a stay-at-home mom and spends her days cleaning up peanut butter & jelly off the counter, dreaming of traveling the world, and chasing her children around the farm. She doesn't believe in sharing desserts. Life is too short to share chocolate! Sarah is a lover of coffee (black), rocking chairs, the outdoors, and Hemingway.

9 thoughts on “21 Things Every Southern-Child Should Do This Summer

  1. Love! MY girls and I would add make shift picnics under an old tree and family walks after supper.

  2. Camping out under the stars in the backyard….. Having a tea party and dressing up in overgrown clothes and silly hats….. building tepee and playing Indian (mom did this one summer with us)….Laying in a hammock for an afternoon nap….Catching tadpoles, frogs and such (Perry is good at this! He caught bucket loads of tadpoles at the pond and would bring them and set them on the back porch. In a few days we would have hundreds of frogs in our back yard!)

  3. So MUCH of this we can’t do in France. 🙂 We don’t have fireflies. Or corn on the cob (at least not any that you can get easily). There are no icy cold rivers nearby. And no place to skip rocks. We’re too close to the city to see the stars …

    but all of this is bringing me back to my childhood. 🙂 *sigh*

    1. But there is so much you can DO in France that we cannot enjoy in Tennessee! To be honest, I did not realize that fireflys were not a world-wide phenomena until people started commenting on my post :))

  4. I’m from New York so definitely a country/ southern girl but I am at heart. Most of my family lives in Virginia. On the weekends we like to drive to upstate NY and do some of the things on the list and my daughter loves it.

  5. We loved to do all those things listed above. On a full moon night when there was plenty of light we loved to ride our bicycles at night. We also made make shift tents with a rope tied between two pine trees with one quilt under it and another one thrown over the rope and anchored at the sides with rocks or bricks. We spent many a night talking until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. Something Mama taught us was how to make a “frog house” by covering a foot with sand and rubbing it until it became stiff enough we could get our foot out with the house in tact. We used weeds for “trees” in the yards, and gravel to lay over the houses to represent brick. We were so disappointed to never find a frog in one of the houses. 😀

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