Summer is here, and this year especially, your kids may already be bored of being at home. Remember, boredom isn’t inherently bad on it’s own. Boredom is usually a disguised opportunity to find something creative to do, an opportunity to think, create, and play. But as parents we want our kids to overcome boredom with something that is positive for their mental and emotional health. Not something that could be destructive.
One approach to overcome summertime boredom is to create a “Summer Bucket List”. Which is essentially a wish list of experiences you want to have together before the school year starts again.
Determine How Long Your Summer Bucket List Can Be
The first thing you want to do is decide how many items can be on your list. You don’t want your summer bucket list to be too long or overwhelming. Grab your calendar and see exactly how many weeks you have to complete your summer bucket list.
With a traditional summer break, kids are usually excused from school for 12 or 13 weeks. This could give you 12 weekends to do larger, more time consuming family adventures. You’ll also want to take into account any weddings, family reunions, or vacations. And remember you’ll probably need a few weekends devoted to back to school shopping.
In my opinion, a summer bucket list of 25 experiences is ideal, this means you’ll have to mark off about two experiences every week. Some families choose a list of 10 things, other families choose a list of 100. It’s up to you to decide!
Brainstorm What To Have On Your Summer Bucket List
It’s important (and fun) to let the kids help you brainstorm what to have on the summer bucket list. One of the best ways to get everyone excited, and willing to participate, is to get everyone to contribute at least one idea. Then when it’s time for an activity and someone isn’t thrilled about it, you can explain that this is a group effort and that the family will eventually do their activity.
To keep the summer bucket list from breaking the family budget, challenge your kids to come up with one experience that costs money, and one experience that is free.
If you’re still having a difficult time coming up with things to add to your summer bucket list, try thinking back to some of your favorite summertime memories when you were a kid. There are also lots of lists on Pintrest and the internet to help out.
Just remember that your summer bucket list doesn’t need to be extreme or difficult. Some of the best family moments are simple and laidback.
How To Execute Your Family’s Summer Bucket List
The most common way I’ve seen families manage a summer bucket list is to have a sheet of paper with everything written on it. Spend some time decorating it together and takes turns writing things onto the list. Then hang it up where it’s easy to see, and most importantly, easy to remember.
Another way my family has done a summer bucket list, is to write everything we want to do on strips of paper, then fold the paper in half and drop it into a mason jar. Then we take turns pulling the paper out of the jar. This is really exciting for kids, but slightly more stressful for the parents.
If you’re worried about your kids nagging you about when they will get to do the next thing on the list, just pick two days of the week (for example Tuesdays and Fridays) and tell them those are the days they can ask you about the summer bucket list.
The best piece of advice I have is to get the experiences you’re least looking forward to (or even dreading) done first. Get the difficult things out of the way early, so that when summertime burnout happens in the middle of July, you don’t have the temptation to skip out on your kid’s idea.
Remember, a summer bucket list is just an opportunity to make family memories and to deepen your relationships with your kids. I hope you have fun with it.
For ideas to help you make you summer schedule go here.