Ah! It’s finally here. Sweet summertime is the season for sunscreen and lightning bugs and sprinklers in the front yard.  It seems as though the 80 degree weather also ushers in kids who suddenly have too much time on their hands. Every parent begins to hear the all too familiar gripe of “Mom! I’m bored!” and the expectant gaze of a child waiting for you to solve their summertime troubles.
While the summer is undeniably packed with family vacations and day trips to the pool, it can be difficult to come up with daily activities for energetic kids who always seem to be on to the next thing.
Enter: the summer bucket list.
This isn’t your typical bucket list.  We’re not talking skydiving or visiting all seven Wonders of the World–although, who are we to dissuade you from Parent of the Year award?  No, this bucket list is for that everyday attack of summer boredom.  It’s for that 2:30pm lull on a rainy Tuesday the week before an anticipated trip.  It’s a bucket list that puts the magic back in the little things, like Legos and finger paint.
Let’s begin, shall we?

What You’ll Need: 

  1. A plastic sand bucket: we suggest a trip to your local dollar store and a bright color
  2. Clothespins: as many as the activities you want to cross off your list
  3. Permanent markers
  4. Imagination
  5. Teamwork

How It’s Done: 

  1. Gather all your supplies and all your kids.
  2. Divide the clothespins and markers evenly amongst your children. (Little ones made need some parental supervision for the writing portion.)
  3. Have each child write one activity they’d like to do this summer on each clothespin. (Give examples as you write your own clothespin items.)
  4. Have each child clip their pins onto the rim of the bucket.
  5. As you participate in each activity together, drop that clothespin in the bucket.  At the end of the summer, you’ll be able to relive some sweet memories from those pins!

Some Quick Brainstorming:

  1. Lego-stamp painting: A little twist on a classic favorite
  2. Family “marathon”: Set up a course, some obstacles and print out a few race numbers
  3. Ice cream for dinner: Just once, mom. Please?
  4. Backyard camping: Lay on your sleeping bags and gaze at the stars before you fall asleep
  5. Water relay races: Grab some plastic cups and a kiddie pool, line up the kids and GO!
  6. Toy donations: Sort through old or unused toys and take a family trip to Goodwill
  7. Sign up for a library card: Stay for story time while you’re there
  8. Spa day: Nail painting, massages and fancy hair-do’s galore
  9. Learn a new language: Start with some conversational Spanish or French
  10. Restaurant kitchen: Dress up in your best and turn your dining room into a 5 star restaurant for a night

However you choose to spend your summer, always remember to stop and savor the little things.  Take photos of your kids in their silly dress up clothes.  Sing funny songs around a campfire.  Sit around the dinner table for an extra few minutes.  Enjoy these carefree, fun summer days and watch your bucket list run dry.