I am a list maker by nature. Grocery lists, to-do lists, packing lists—I always seem to have a few in progress. However, bucket lists are by far my favorite. Bucket lists are better than any other lists because they are the things that I really want to do—the things that are meaningful, make memories and are just plain fun. It balances out bill paying and grocery shopping and cleaning the bathroom.
Summer is beckoning us with long, sunny days and warm, starry nights, and I have created a bucket list with my kids to make the most of the days we have before school starts anew in the fall.
Summer Bucket List
- Make homemade ice cream. My kids are old enough to almost do this themselves, and I am looking forward to sharing the experience of mixing the cream, sugar, and vanilla, waiting for it to freeze, and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Yum!
- Go to the library as much as possible. The local library summer reading program is where it’s at! My kids earn some nice swag for reading, which helps to prevent the dreaded “summer academic slide.” Also, the library has become one of the most dynamic places to be in the summer. There are cool crafts, lively concerts, and even amazing animals. My kids have held chickens and bunnies at the library – how cool is that? It is our go-to place for sweltering or rainy days.
- Read a book (or several) as a family. My kids are 9 and 11 and reading aloud as a family is my favorite way to end our day together.
- Plan nothing. Summers today are filled with activities and are not like my childhood summers, where days were largely unstructured. I plan to carve out entire days and hopefully whole weeks filled with riding bikes and playing in our backyard.
- Celebrate the longest day of the year with a water fight. My 9-year old son put this on the list, which I think is a great idea. He wants our yard filled with friends wearing swimsuits and requests that we cap the day off with popsicles. Sounds perfect to me!
- Go hiking. We live in a beautiful area along the Rocky Mountains. I want to get our family into the great outdoors, away from screen time and other distractions. I need this as much (or perhaps more) than my kids do!
- Set ladybugs free in our back yard. This started as a tradition around my daughter’s April birthday, but it is so much fun that we do it again once school is out. We purchase about 2000 ladybugs (yes, you read that right!) at the local garden center for under $10. Once we are home, we go to our backyard and open the bag and watch the ladybugs populate our lawn.
- Go to an outdoor concert. There are dozens of concerts in parks across our city, and sitting outside as the sun sets while listening to awesome music is like a mini-vacation.
- Have a campfire. I love sitting around the fire, eating s’mores and watching the stars. To me, this is quintessential summer.
- Go to our favorite outdoor pool. This is my daughter’s addition to the list. Simple but required for a successful summer!