Summer break is upon us and my boys and I are thrilled! We love the late bedtimes, freedom, and downtime that summer brings. I wish we had later wake-up times as well, but my boys aren’t quite there yet. Regardless, it’s so nice to have a relaxed, slower schedule. If your children are anything like mine though, they need a good mix of boredom and adventure during their summer vacation. Too much boredom leads to fights, whininess, and meltdowns, so we like to keep a bit of structure to our days.
One way I like to make this happen is through family-friendly bucket lists.
I definitely don’t want to plan every minute of our vacation, but I do like to be intentional with our time and fun. I’ve made a bucket list for every season of the year since my boys were little and some of our most fun memories have been made as we cross items off our list. Sometimes we don’t get accomplish everything on our lists, but that’s ok. We just have fun doing what we can.
When it comes to making our lists each season, I like to keep them simple and realistic. I’ve learned along the way that some things are just too hard to do (like getting food from a food truck every summer or finding a Christmas parade to attend each year), so I reevaluate them each year and change items to better fit our family. My husband works every day too, so I keep it simple enough that I can accomplish most things by myself. I also incorporate things I already know we’re doing, like vacation. I also like to sneak in a few things for myself, like date nights with my husband…it doesn’t have to be all about your children. Moms and dads deserve some fun, too. You’ll also notice that I have a few of the same activities on each list — some things are worth repeating four times a year!
Our summer bucket lists have more items on them than the others since we have more time to complete them. We always go to the beach in the summer too, so I like to tie in some fun things to do while on vacation. Since summer tends to be our laziest season, that’s reflected in our bucket list items.
Fall is my favorite season, so I love planning our fall bucket list every year. Some of my favorite family traditions were born from this list. Since our fall lists coincides with the beginning of a new school year, I try to keep it simple. We’re still getting into the groove of our new schedule during the fall months, so I try to not overwhelm our schedule.
When winter rolls around, I make a bucket list for Christmas items instead of the entire season. We pack a lot of fun into the months of November and December, so it gives us a little breathing room until springtime. We have tons of Christmas traditions we do as a family, so I like to include lots of those on our list.
By the time spring weather arrives, we’re about to go stir crazy from the dreary, cold winter months. I try to plan as many outdoor activities as I can on our spring list. This is a busy season for us as the school year is winding down, so I keep this one pretty simple as well.