I have the privilege to facilitate a group of moms who meet monthly. The speakers, topics, crafts, etc. are varied. As I began to prepare for our May meeting, I looked for activities I might tell our moms about as they began to plan for their kiddos summer. I was able to tell them about lots of things - reading clubs, cheap movies, parks, where to pick berries, etc. It was a great time of sharing ideas. However, in my preparation I came across the blog The Happy Family Movement . It was full of different families summer bucket lists. I began to print out and copy some of them to share with our moms. Well, I got a little copy crazy and realized I had better stop or I would be responsible for the elimination of a small tree with all the paper I was using! At that time their 2014 Summer Bucket info was not posted- but good news- it is now. I sat and read for a while (a long while) all the lists posted. It is fun to get ideas from other families and also see some of the fun things they have available in their corner of the world. I also enjoyed seeing all the ways some of them posted them for the summer- on chalkboards, pennants they hung, creative bulletin boards, charts, lists, etc.
On that May day I challenged our moms to begin to make their Summer Family Bucket List. I did however ask them not to complete their list. I asked them to allow their family to join together and all add something. I understand that sometimes it can be scary to ask your kids what is something they want to do during the summer. However, they may surprise you. Often times you may be afraid they are going to ask for that trip to Disney or the beach that you know is not in the budget this summer. When you begin sharing as a family your kids just may surprise you. They may want something really simple. Something you know your family can easily achieve - a campfire, a family bike ride, flying a kite, going to a local park, etc. They may still ask for that destination you know you can not check off this summer but you can turn that into a positive as well. This can be a teachable moment when you share that your family can begin to save for that special destination. If so, make a special bank or decorate a jar to begin saving.
Along the Summer Family Bucket List journey, remember to document the memories being made. Display pictures and souvenirs in a prominent place in your home. I realize some of those souvenirs may not go with your decor. Especially if your son or daughter has collected rocks all summer because that is what they wanted on the Bucket List. But when you do give their souvenir (or collection) a prominent place in your home, you are speaking volumes to your child. You have just told them what they care about is important to you.
So a few weeks ago, our moms started bucket lists for the summer. I did too. I don't have children in my home so I collaborated with my husband to finalize our Summer Bucket List. Listed below is our list. I encourage you to make one too- it is not too late. Many consider Memorial Day what kicks off summer, so it has just started! I also created a Facebook page to post things your family plans to do (with information about where, when, how much, etc.) so others can learn about as well. In the beginning I planned on it being a page for our area- but quickly realized others were joining outside our area as well. I am excited about that because we can learn things to do not only in Cleveland, Tennessee but many, many other places as well. Take a moment and "like" the FBC Summer Bucket List Adventures page please! Also please post pictures and information about your family's adventures!
I also encourage you to check out The Happy Family Movement's resource page- this year there are facebook groups, pinterest boards, guides, sponsors, etc.
Waldrop's Summer Bucket List 2014
Go to an outdoor movie
Build a fire and make Smores
Picnic at White Water Center
Make Homemade Ice Cream
Fly a Kite
Watch the Stars
Go to a Lavender farm
Pass out treats to neighbors
Plant a container garden
Visit Point Park
Mike take Tara Fishing
Go to the Farmer's Market for produce
Swim at least every 2 weeks at parents / in-laws
Looking forward to seeing and hearing about the things you do together - things that will create memories. And memories last a lifetime!