Summer Bucket List: Should You Make One?

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Mommas, summer break is here. I have 3 kids ages 8, 6 and 3. They are busy and summer break has become a big deal. Last year we adopted making a summer bucket list to help make it through the summer.

Last year, my oldest woke up on the first day of summer break like it was Christmas morning. She was excited and had high expectations for all the fun activities to begin. I, on the other hand, had other plans. We had been at the pool the day before and expected a flurry of activities the rest of Memorial Day weekend. To her shock and dismay, her first day of break was spent doing chores and helping mom get necessary things done.

We quickly made a summer bucket list so that she could write down all the things she hoped to do over our summer break. The list was long, but it helped us establish expectations for the summer. This past week has been a whirlwind of end of the year parties, summer swim team starting and lots of chatter about all fun things coming up this summer. I had the kids make a new bucket list.  Here are some tips and reasons to make your own summer bucket list.

Set Expectations

When making the list, explain to your kids that just because it is written down does not mean it will happen. The things on the list are all the things that they hope to do, but some will not make the cut. For my kids, I pre-printed about a dozen activities that we could do. My list helped them understand activities that could make the list. My list included some big items such as camping and a National League baseball game.  It also included simple activities like biking by the river, a visit to the zoo and pizza at the pool.

In addition, the bucket list can help set a child’s expectations. Explain that the summer is long and the activities are to be spread out with some non-activity days mixed in.

Put Pre-Planned Items On The List

Because I manage my kid’s schedules, I know what is on our agenda in the next several weeks. Some activities they know, and some they do not. The activities I added to the kid’s list are all activities that we have planned in our summer. Creating a bucket list for the summer is not to add work for me, but to help our kids put in perspective all the fun activities we do accomplish and have planned on the days that there are none.

Keep It Simple

After I printed out a dozen activities for my kids I gave them the list to add their own ideas. I was amazed at how simple some of the activities were that made the list. Yes, a visit to a nearby theme park made the list, but their annual trip to grandparent’s homes, a visit with a dog that they have come to love and making homemade Nutella also made the cut.  Yesterday, they were thrilled to mark “get milkshakes” after visiting Chick-fil-a on their last day of school.

Want to make your own summer bucket list with your kids? If you are going to the beach, add items such as build a sandcastle, take a night walk on the beach, and pick up sea shells. Visiting the mountains? Activities to consider are tubing, hiking, horseback riding, making smores and more. General activities can include going to a movie, getting ice cream, making fun food together, and playing in a sprinkler.

Want more ideas on how to survive the summer with kids? Read this post here.


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