Schedule in Family Fun Time and create a Seasonal Bucket List
If your family is anything like mine, time really started flying around the time your oldest started school — and hasn’t stopped since. We’re busier than ever with baseball practice and school plays, black belts and piano lessons, but we still want to spend out weekends having fun adventures together.
Now that we’re all so busy, the only way we’re going to make sure that we take those bike rides or squeeze in that apple picking is to schedule it.
Before you scoff that there’s no fun to be had in color-coded lists, let me tell you: Spontaneity is overrated. People who get things done — even the fun things! — have a plan.
The Seasonal Family Fun Bucket List
Once my kids got big enough to have a say in our family adventures, we started having a little household meeting at the beginning of each season to make a wish list of all the things we wanted to do together before the season ended. This started as a way to make sure we’d get around to all the fun summertime things we had talked about all winter long, but along the way it morphed into a tradition that we all look forward to. Now it’s something we do at dinner on the first day of each season, which makes for a fun way to mark the passing of time during each equinox and solstice.
We don’t always get to everything on the list, so sometimes we’ll bump an activity into the next season if it’s still doable. Mini golfing in autumn? Check. Pond skating in spring? Not so much. If we’ve missed the window on something, we set the list aside until next year.
Making a wish list for fun times each season has kept us on track together as a family, because it’s rewarding to cross things off together. It also gives us a handy reference for when we’re lolling about complaining of boredom: Instead, we can look at the list and pick off an easy activity together!
This is a super-easy project for your family, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make your list. Here’s how to do it:
1. Grab Your Supplies
I use plain paper and a different colored Sharpie for each person. I love to color-code things, so I write each person’s suggestion in their designated color (which just so happens to match their color on the family iCal). This could easily be scaled up to a poster or central household chalkboard, too.
This is the fun part! Let everyone come up with a few things they want to do. When our kids were little, they’d add small adventures like taking a walk to the river or going to a pool party. Now the activities are more physical — and sometimes more expensive. We don’t censor any wishes, but everyone knows that really outlandish ones might not be so easily accomplished.
3. Write It Down
I list each idea in the color of the person who suggested it. Many activities will be crowd-pleasers, but some are very specific dreams. As you cross things off your list, the color-coding makes it easy to see if anyone is getting less attention to their ideas as the season wears on. I like this system because we can tell at a glance what color to focus on to even things out and keep it fair.
4. Have Fun!
Once we fill up a page, we post the list where everyone can see it. After that, all that’s left is to choose something fun to do on a weekend! It’s a simple system that helps us plan outings our kids will really enjoy, and I find that it creates a nice balance against the list of all the other things we have to do for work and school.
We’re just about to sit down and make our new list for the fall. I’m foreseeing bike rides, pumpkin carving, and a high school football game. What will you add to your family fun wish list?