Parenting,  Rhythm

Our Summer Bucket List (And a few tips to get you started with yours!)

We created our summer bucket list this week so we could have something to look forward to during the summer. Both W and O provided input on what they wanted to do and we tried to incorporate as many of their ideas as we could. My secret hope is that this list will not only provide intention to our summer, but will help prevent boredom (for both the kids and for us!). If you’re interested in creating a bucket list, here are some tips to get you going:

Shorter, not longer! Like any goal, you want to be sure that what you’re setting out to do is actually attainable. For us, this means reigning in allllll of our ideas to a few that we’re pretty sure we can knock out within a single summer. At the end of this, we want to feel excited about doing everything on our list, not regretful that we had lots of items that we didn’t get to.

Mix BIG things with small things. We have a number of “bigger” (more expensive) things on our list and to make our list still reasonable, we incorporated a lot of smaller/no-cost items, too. For example, going to NASA to meet an astronaut is more expensive, but making playdough at home costs nearly nothing. We didn’t want our list to include lots of crazy things that would leave us feeling financially drained at the end of summer. It also allows us some wiggle room to surprise the kids throughout the summer without feeling stretched.

Use what you’ve got! Related to the point above, but use things that you have already! While planning craft activities, use supplies you readily keep around the house or don’t need a lot of supplies you’d have to purchase. Making volcanoes, playdough, painting rocks, making pizza – super easy to do with things we already have. Easy on the wallet and less stress for you!

Ask for your kids’ ideas (and it’s okay to say no). We loved asking for input from the boys about what they wanted to do. Most of their ideas were pretty reasonable though there were a few that we had to gently let them know we couldn’t include. Keep your family values and budget in mind when listening to their thoughts – and try to include as many of them as you can! The only one we said no to was a trip to a video arcade. For us, a loud, bright and garishly lit room with obnoxious video games that are often violent isn’t aligned with what we value as a family, so we let them know that wasn’t something we could do. (However, we did let them add ‘go swimming’ and ‘make erupting volcanoes’ to the list.)

Plan activities that you can combine. Try to plan activities where you can do more than one at a time. Go to the zoo, get sno-cones afterwards. Stargaze and see how late you can stay up! Kids get a kick out of being able to cross items off the list – how fun would it be to be able to cross two (or more!) off at the same time?

Keep a few surprises up your sleeve. If you keep your list reasonable and within your means, you’ll have space and room to surprise your kids a few times during the summer. We’ve got a few things (not on the list) that we plan to do for them that they aren’t aware of and I can’t wait to see their faces!

Do you have any tips you’d like to add? Has your family made a summer bucket list before? Let me know!

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