School is almost out and summer vacation is quickly approaching! If your children are anything like mine, they are ready for some summer fun. Without some proper planning, the last few weeks of school quickly go by and we are faced with either the summer “I’m bored” grumble or lost in the summer activities and chaos. The frustrating aspect to me me is that our family has both of these problems at the same time when I don’t have my game plan in order which creates more chaos for the family.
The purpose of this challenge is to help you get ready for the summer vacation that you and your family deserve. Summer vacation is supposed to be fun, relaxing, and a time to connect as a family. I am hoping that these small will be the road map to wonderful memories, family bonding, and to quote my daughter, “The best summer ever”!
The first challenge on our road map to summer fun is one of my favorites! Each year before school gets out, we sit down as a family (usually after we eat in the evening) and create our summer bucket list.
This list is a collaboration of everyone’s ideas of what their goals and aspirations are for the summer. We get a large piece of construction paper or poster board and we create our list with markers or crayons making it colorful and exciting. I then hang it on the refrigerator or on the wall and we cross off the list as we progress through the summer and complete the project.
Obviously not every idea will make our list because with 5 kids and 2 adults we have a LOT of ideas and goals (and some of the kids’ ideas are not even possible…rocket ship to space, for example)! However, I try to at least use 3 ideas from each person. Here are some examples of what we had on our list last year:
- Swimming lessons
- Play softball & t-ball
- 4-H projects
- Horsemanship camp
- Summer library reading program
- Have a family water fight
- Go to the lake 5 times
- Go to Colorado for vacation
- Spend the night with Grandma
- Have a picnic at the park
- Go to a nearby museum
- Visit the water park
- Make s’mores
- Make puffy paint
- Grow a garden
- Ride horses
- Make a robot out of boxes
Remember, these ideas don’t have to cost a lot of money! We’ve had blowing bubbles, catching fireflies, and reading 25 books on the list before. The point is to come together as a family and for each member to contribute and feel part of the group.
My kids absolutely love doing this because they feel they have some control over the summer activities and when we do big sister’s activity later on, it makes the rest if the children more agreeable because they also know we will be completing one of their activities soon (although sometimes I have to give them a friendly reminder).
Your challenge today is to get your family together and create your own bucket list. If you can’t do it tonight, do it this weekend! Your family will be blessed by this activity. All you need is a piece of paper, something to write with and your family! This is fun and usually only takes 15-30 minutes because your family already has ideas and expectations for the summer, but by putting these goals and ideas on paper it will give you all some accountability and it also works great for the days when you start hearing the “I’m bored…” There is usually something on the list that you can do at home or for little cost that will be an instant uplift in your children’s mood.
What activities did you come up with as a family? I’d love to have you share them, it may give someone else an idea for their own list!