Strong Girls Can: A Summer Series for Moms and Daughters

Recently, a friend told me I have six more summers with my daughter. Six. Six summers until we are outfitting my girl’s dorm room. Six summers until the world calls her an adult. Six summers until my daughter no longer bounces around our house chomping on sour cream and chive potato chips. Six.


How can this be? I just delivered the girl last week. Last week, I gave birth, and the doctors and nurses told my husband and I we could take our baby home from the hospital. We thought this was an insane idea. I mean, hello, we just met the kid, and we didn’t know anything about babies. We put our girl in a very uncomfortable (but extremely adorable) outfit. We fumbled with the dreaded, fifty pound bucket seat, and then we slowly drove forty-five miles an hour and headed home.

“What are we supposed to do now?” I wondered aloud. My husband shrugged, and we decided to go to Burger King (?). I ordered onion rings, and that is the last thing I remember, onion rings.

Now, I only have six more summers with my beauty, the one who is all legs and full of endless stories and high-pitched giggles. The one who forces me to open my eyes wide and sip each day slowly.

And it was this thought which prompted me to think about our summer series, Strong Girls Can.

Our family has loads of unscheduled summer lounging in our future (trust me, we dominate spending time together in a nonstructured way), but I also want to be intentional with my girl. Therefore, every Monday from now through mid-August, we are going to talk about our girls, and I’d love for you to join us.

Extreme goodness including an essay contest for tweens and teens, special guest interviews, free girly loot, product and book reviews, and photo challenges is all planned.

So what do you say? Are you in? Fingers crossed, fingers crossed.

My prayer is the conversations we start here trickle down into the conversations you have with your girl.

Participation is easy. Just show up here each Monday.

Ready? Let’s do this.

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To kick-off our series, my girl and I made this list for you. It is a list promoting independence and adventure. This list longs to hang on your refrigerator. Go ahead, and take down the school lunch menu, and you will have the perfect spot for it (scroll down, and you can print it off because it is also a snazzy printable). This list contains 88 acts of adventure and independence for girls. It lists perfect ways to spend time together, starting points for conversations, ideas for battling the beast of boredom, and reminders for our girls to play hard. Plus, if your girl is anything like mine, she loves a good checklist, and her little adventurous self can check off items as she goes.


  1. Understand how-to use a circuit breaker
  2. Learn to code
  3. Tread water
  4. Determine if someone has a fever
  5. Identify editable flowers
  6. Create a short film
  7. Read a book in one day
  8. Catch a baseball
  9. Make a slingshot
  10. Rock climb
  11. Design a website
  12. Identify local trees
  13. Iron
  14. Create an outdoor fort
  15. Check the oil in a car
  16. Throw a Frisbee
  17. Memorize Scripture
  18. Throw a baseball
  19. Sew a button
  20. Make an obstacle course
  21. Play jacks
  22. Paddleboard
  23. Understand how-to consume information online (in a healthy way!)
  24. Design a kite that really flies
  25. Make jam
  26. Mow the grass
  27. Learn to use a hammer
  28. Catch a frog
  29. Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  30. Climb a tree
  31. Run a 5K
  32. Drive a boat
  33. Make bread
  34. Volunteer
  35. Bake a cake from scratch
  36. Grow vegetables
  37. Learn two jump rope songs
  38. Build a zipline
  39. Play football
  40. Come up with a catchphrase
  41. Build a fire
  42. Learn how-to mind map
  43. Kayak
  44. Say no
  45. Learn a new languag
  46. Chop wood
  47. Sew curtains
  48. Make a candle
  49. Design and build a mini-waterpark
  50. Put a chain on a bicycle
  51. Pitch a tent
  52. Paint a room
  53. Create a budget
  54. Reupholster a chair
  55. Study bees
  56. Use a rope swing to jump into a lake
  57. Write a poem
  58. Read a map
  59. Handwrite a two-page letter
  60. Learn basic substitutions for cooking
  61. Learn how-to treat minor burns
  62. Start a rock collection
  63. Invent something new
  64. Take a class
  65. Do a handstand in the lake
  66. Learn to ride a horse
  67. Stand up for a friend
  68. Play a musical instrument
  69. Treat a minor cut
  70. Learn to skateboard
  71. Identify poison ivy
  72. Hang a swing in a tree
  73. Put a chain back on a bike
  74. Read a book over 100 years old
  75. Inflate a flat bike tire
  76. Cook over a campfire
  77. Speak in front of a group
  78. Ride a bike no-handed
  79. Write a book
  80. Jump a car
  81. Play hopscotch
  82. Design a video game
  83. Attend a rally
  84. Ride a skateboard
  85. Hike a mountain
  86. Read the Bible
  87. Try out for something
  88. Ask for help when you need it

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Should you want a copy of our list, ’tis yours (Strong Girls Can: 88 Acts of Independence and Adventure). Should you want to create your own Strong Girls Can list, do it!

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I will see you next Monday, friends.

Until then, keep me posted on strong girl happenings in your house.

Share photos of what your strong girl is up to (or have her share them) via social media or email me pics at Make sure to tag me and use the hashtags #StrongGirlsCan and #RaisingGirls. Here’s to summer, strong moms, and strong girls!

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Pssst. Let’s connect via FB and Instagram.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michelle Slomp

    Now I’m worried. Only 6 summers……that’s how many I have left too. Have I been intentional with my daughter and have I helped her in her walk. These are now things I am pondering………

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Six for you too? Glad you are here. I’m pondering the same things, lady.

  • Loving the inspiration to live life with our kids. 🙂 Awesomeness!!

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      You know what’s awesomeness? Y-O-U, Dawn.

  • Christy Largent

    Love this! As we travel this summer we’ll look for ways to do these fun things…my Amelia is a check-list kind of girl too so this will be great! Thanks for the ideas!

  • Oh my gosh I panicked at the thought I’ve never counted my summers left with Sophie. But according to my half-the-time-right Math calculations I have 11 summers left. Still…..I know it will fly by. She’s not a tween but I’m still wanting to do this series if you don’t kick me out. She’s 8 going on tween that’s for sure. Love the list. I’m not sure I can check off all of them myself. Like the check the oil thing…..yeah, I’m not sure if that’s front of car or back of car??? Just Kidding. I know it’s the front of the car but that’s about it. This is going to be good for me. Ha!!!

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Kick you out? Nev-ah! In addition, I will be driving to your house to teach you how to check the oil in a car!

  • Love this idea for a series!

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Thanks, Danielle!

  • Lisa Van Engen

    We will be here. I don’t know how mine grew up so quickly before my eyes either. All of sudden she changing so much. Excellent list. So excited for this, thank you.

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Yay, glad to have you!

  • Bonnie Lyn Smith

    Love this, Amy! LOVE! I have a daughter and two sons. Time is flying for sure! She took on track this year and wood design club. Was very proud she moved beyond just her standby of competitive dance. Gonna tweet and pin! Blessings from #EspressosofFaith!

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Thanks so much for the visit, and I LOVE that your daughter took wood design club. My girl hasn’t started track yet (next year!), but she loves to run 5Ks. Here’s to strong girls!

  • Sophyta Sengsuwan

    I’m back Amy. Remember me, your far far away friend? You’re luckier. You have six summers with your girl but I have only a couple left. My girl will surely fly the comfort of our nest once she finishes her Form Five (the final year of school over here). How I wish I could keep her longer…with me.

    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Hey Sophyta,
      So you know what I’m talking about!