Make A Summer Bucket List: Bringing Summer Fun Within Reach

By: Martianne Stanger

Back in May, Jessica shared some ideas for Organized Summer Fun.  Since then, Tanya gave us some tips for having a flawless summer beach day in Beach Bound, I wrote about some of our favorite local destinations in Passport Hikes and Sheila offered a favorite summer recipe while reminding us of the importance of the Family Dinner.  Posts such as these remind me that summer is, indeed, here and that it is high time that my little brood creates a Summer Bucket List.

What is a Summer Bucket List?

In its most basic form, a Summer Bucket List is simply a list of things you want to do over the summer.  It serves as a reminder of ways to be intentional with your time, making it more likely that you’ll actually do some of the things that you always say you’ll do, but often simply don’t get around to doing.

In its craftier forms, a Summer Bucket List can range from being a modified lunch box with accompanying treat jar, like the one I stumbled into at Tatertots & Jello, to tiny buckets filled with clues that are hung with clothespins over your mantel, like the clever one I saw over at The Collins Clan.  Whatever form it takes, a Summer Bucket List is sure to help you and yours have a more delight-filled summer!

How do you make a Summer Bucket List?

First and foremost when making a Summer Bucket List, remember it is summertime.  A time that is supposed to be filled with aimless hours of unstructured time when the mind can wander and dream and the body can relax.  So, be sure to think about a few settings that help you and your family enjoy hassle-free fun.  Add an action verb to them and you’ve got the first few things on your list.  Some examples might be:

  • Lay in the grass and look at the clouds.
  • Wander around a local park.
  • Laze around for a day at a pool, pond, or beach.

Then, simply gather your family and begin brainstorming ideas about what you’d each like to do over the summer.  These can be random things, or they can be guided by parameters and guiding questions:

  • What free things can we enjoy doing at home or in our yard this summer?  How about in town?  Further afield?
  • Are there fun things we might enjoy after work/summer school/sporting activities/camp?
  • Any day trips we’d like to take?
  • Projects we’d like to begin or complete?
  • How can we have fun outdoors?
  • What might we do on rainy days?

Prompts such as these can help generate ideas.  Looking at other folk’s lists can be inspirational, too.  For a peak at many others’ ideas, simply click through the links at the Summer Bucket List Party at Little Wonders Days.

Is There Anything You Should Not Forget?

What goes on your Summer Bucket List is completely up to you.  It’s a personal list, reflective of your own family’s interests and needs.  But, there is one thing I encourage you not to forget: F-U-N!  FUN!

Summer is supposed to be fun and your Summer Bucket List can help make it more so.  But, if the list becomes a “have to” instead of a “want to,” the purpose of it is defeated.

So, give yourself a break. Realize that having the list as a guideline for summer fun is a great thing, but life happens.  You may not complete everything on the list.  That’s okay!

If you discover one fun new activity, or focus on enjoying a favorite old pastime together, you’ve succeeded.  If you simply got your entire family to come together to communicate about things you’d like to do together, you’ve succeeded.  If summer passes by with a few more laughs, you’ve succeeded.

Share Your Summer Bucket List Ideas

As for me and my family, no matter what the rest of summer brings, I know we’ve already succeeded.  Why?  Because we are less than a week into summer and we’ve already enjoyed a number of our “free fun” activities from our Summer Bucket List:

  • Have a picnic at the Fish Hatchery in Sandwich, MA.
  • Splash at the Wading Pool at the Freetown State Forest.
  • Use a library pass for parking so we could enjoy a day at Scussett Beach.
  • Giggle at the Splash Pad at Nelson Park in Plymouth.
  • Explore simple science and play with the kids at home, such as making a “bucket elevator” over a tree branch (pictured right).
  • Host a family party.
  • Enjoy dinner picnics in our front yard.
  • Go on a family walk to a playground after dinner.

We’d love to hear some of your ideas for your Summer Bucket List.  Please leave a comment with one or two, or a link to your whole list.


4 thoughts on “Make A Summer Bucket List: Bringing Summer Fun Within Reach

  1. Fun! We did something similar this year that I saw on a blog. I made “Happy Days of Summer” Cards and we pick one every Friday. They have special summer activities on them (outside iced tea party, ice cream for dinner, etc…) and I did a few rainy day ones as well (rain dancing, messy craft day). I love the Bucket List idea though!

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