Summer is coming! Despite the anticipation that most everyone feels for summer, most people are also familiar with the sad feeling that the summer has passed by too quickly. Luckily, a bit of planning can help you get the most out of your summer.
Let’s stop right here and let you voice the fact that you are too busy—yes, you are busy. However, even busy families can plan a family outing like sharing hot cocoa in the backyard under the stars. These precious times are great memories, but they’re also an important way to recharge from daily stressors.
No matter how busy you think you are, remember that everybody needs some downtime and a change from the hectic pace of day-to-day life. So, get going on that summer fun bucket list. It’s good for you and the whole family. Outlined below are the steps you should take to create a bucket list that the whole family will enjoy.
Step One: Plan a Family Meeting
This first step is one of the hardest parts because both parents and kids are busy for much of the day—whether it be with school, work, or after-school activities. Because of this, finding the time to sit down and talk about summer plans is especially important. Some questions to consider during this brainstorming session include:
What Are Your Favorite Things to Do?
This question will often bring a lot of “remember when we did…” sort of stories that get everyone in the right frame of mind. You don’t have to plan exactly the same activity as before, but get some ideas on the table for similar ways to have fun together. This is often when it becomes clear that fun times in your own backyard can be just as memorable as a big trip.
What Do You Want to Learn?
Is there a sport or activity that the whole family might enjoy and benefit from? Maybe you all need to get outdoors more or you all might want to learn a bit more about music, art, gardening, or kayaking. Open the discussion to ideas. You might be surprised that your children might like to know more about some activities that intrigue you too.
What Have You Been Wanting to Do but Haven’t Had Time For?
Do you want to visit family, spend time at the beach, go cycling, read more, or maybe volunteer as a family? Every family is different—maybe you all need a summertime movie night or maybe it’s the year to schedule an extended family reunion.
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If you have trouble getting the momentum going on ideas, check out the list of 101 Fun Things to do with Kids this Summer.1
Step Two: Write the List
At your meeting, write down the ideas. Some ideas may come from your kids while some may be your ideas, but write them all down—even the ones that don’t seem the best or even important at the moment. Sometimes, off-the-wall ideas can lead to other ideas as the discussion continues.2
Use this list during the meeting to review and figure out what the most important suggestions are. Get some agreement from the family and highlight those best deas. After the meeting, rewrite the list of the best ideas and put it on the fridge so everyone can see it.
The list is there to remind you all that there are a lot of summer fun options. Of course, you and your kids won’t be able to have fun all day, every day, but your suggestions of chores to be done might be a bit more palatable to your kids as they are reminded of fun options available after the work is done.
Step Three: Make the Plans
Everyone knows that a list of good ideas won’t make things happen. At some point, either during your family meetings or maybe at an adults-only planning session, get some plans made. All plans—even taking a day for a hike, picnic, or night out at the movies—can slip by if you don’t get some dates on your calendar. Pencil in events so that you and the family have some fun adventures to look forward to at least once a week. Some plans may have to change, but getting things written down goes a long way towards making summer fun happen. Once a bucket list event is on the calendar, all of you can work towards making it happen.
Planning a summer bucket list for your family may seem like a daunting task. However, with the right planning, you’ll be able to plan activities that the whole family will enjoy this summer.
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