Last year, my kids and I tried out an experiment: A Summer Bucket List! We wrote out 60 things we’d like to do over the course of the summer, posted the list on our refrigerator, and started working our way through them. By the end of the summer, we had accomplished 70 percent of our list. We liked it so much that we’re doing it again this year.

Want to create your own Summer Bucket List to combat your kids’ boredom? Here are a few tips:

  1. Ask for suggestions. Leading up to our first summer bucket list, I asked friends on social media for their suggestions. Ask your kids what they’d like to do, too–they are more likely to be excited about items they’ve given you input on.
  2. Look at local options. What is your state or city famous for? What festivals, food, or sites in nature are don’t-miss items? Pretend like you are a tourist in your own state. Comb through your community ed catalog or research online to see what you might be missing. For Minnesotans, one of my favorite statewide resources is Minnemama Adventures, a blog that catalogs a host of indoor and outdoor kid-friendly adventures from around Minnesota.
  3. Print off a list. Depending on how much time you have, you can easily choose a preprinted list or one where you can fill in the blanks. Simply search for “Summer Bucket List” in Google images and you’ll come up with countless sites, like this preprinted option and this blank option (this is the one we used this year, although you do have to sign up for her email list before printing–I’m sure there are others without that requirement).
  4. Write down your ideas. Our list this year includes repeat favorites from last year (visiting Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater, eating ice cream for dinner, visiting the state’s largest candy store, visiting the Children’s Museum and the MN Zoo, and eating breakfast in bed), easy things we can do at home (a new craft project, a tea party, making popsicles and root beer floats, blowing bubbles, having a water balloon fight), outings that are day trips or require a bit more planning (Niagara Cave, visiting the North Shore, staying overnight at a hotel), and more.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that this is supposed to be fun. It’s ok to not get to everything, or to use shortcuts when needed. For instance, instead of making my own Scavenger Hunt List, I simply print one off (there are several different scavenger hunt themes available here, or there’s an easy printable here that includes pictures–perfect for small kids).
Kristin Demery

Author Kristin Demery

Kristin Demery is married to her best friend, Tim, and a mom to three girls. As a grammar geek and Jane Austen addict, her background in journalism has led to everything from managing a social network site for moms to working as an editorial assistant for an academic journal. Now a freelance writer and editor, she writes about mistakes, motherhood, and the power of grace at theruthexperience.com.

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