there are several ways to approach the summer bucket list. you could simply make a list, and check it off as you go. you could do the same thing, but use an actual bucket. you could invoke your inner Kinko's and create fancy labels. you could come up with a bucket for each member of the family and do it crafty style. you can color-code by the length of time an activity takes or by the type of activity, a popular method. or take things to a whole new level and make it a game.
me, i'm a procrastinator. i'm also of the "good enough" parenting philosophy. do the kids get a kick out of it? then why go to the extra effort of making it an ode to Martha Stewart? bleck. so with no further ado, here's our version: the summer bucket surprise! (we actually don't call it that. but this is a blog. and blogs give things names. so there we are.)
step one: find some containers. we used three plastic red cups. (tip: don't buy anything at Costco unless you know you're going to use such massive quantities. we have about a billion of these things. need any?)
step two: get a Sharpie and label them "indoor," "outdoor" and "excursions." or whatever categories you decide on for your summer activities.
step three: have the kid(s) decorate the cups. my oldest isn't much into art. a smattering of glitter glue on each and she was done.
step four: cut out slips of paper (if you bring out a ruler and debate whether to use cardstock or construction paper, and mull the merits of coordinating colors, you are seriously taking this too seriously).
step five, part a: commence writing down activities, one per slip, for indoor activities, outdoor activities and excursions (can you guess what July's vocab word will be here?). i am of the firm belief that we should let kids lead on things like this. don't relive your teacher's-pet years and stay up at 10 p.m. doing this all yourself, writing with your perfect penmanship – involve the ones this is for! my daughter chose things i wouldn't have thought of, like roller skating. i made other suggestions as well, and wrote some more on my own to make for plenty of options (and inspire the use of all the puzzles and craft projects sitting on our shelves). here in the rainy PNW we're still waiting for summer to begin. so our "indoor" cup is most popular.
Dollar Tree once again being my best friend, and an awesome kid-in-a-bubble trick i want to try (outdoor). then get some paper bags, fill them with the necessary supplies for the surprise activities, all prepped and ready to go, and label them with the corresponding symbol. (this is as creative as it gets, folks.)
step seven: have fun! look at your day and the weather, and have the kiddos draw a corresponding slip. you should endeavor to do whatever's listed -- that is the point, after all. but if necessity dictates, toss the unwanted one back and draw again. for example, our first outdoor activity drawn was to hop in the little purple plastic pool. but while it was finally sunny today, it wasn't exactly hot. so we threw that one back in for later and instead drew the "go buy a treat" slip and walked to our neighborhood coffee shop for a bagel and then on to the playground.
other examples of things on our summer bucket lists:
- do art
- play baseball
- go for a hike
- fly a kite
- write a story (say, by re-purposing an old board book or painting rocks)
- play a game
- make a superhero cape (or in our case a superhero princess cape)
- have a tea party
- bake cookies (this recipe looks similar to our dog-eared fave)
- dance party! (a trip to "Istanbul" perhaps?)
- make and play Angry Birds (stay tuned for my half-baked version ... it involves those red plastic cups, too) here it is! diy "Angry Birds" game, in two parts
- have a race
- have a picnic (indoors and outdoors)
- build a fort (indoors and outdoors) (get rad inspiration at All For the Boys' Fort Fridays, and get in the mood with "Andrew Henry's Meadow")
- write a letter
- play chalk games
- run through the sprinkler
- play soccer
- go for a walk (and make it into a scavenger hunt, perhaps)
- go to the zoo/children's museum/park/beach
so far this has been a success. i feel like i'm sneaking veggies into their diet: my oldest is giving art projects more than a passing scribble because the idea came from a cup. in turn, i feed off my oldest daughter's enthusiasm, so it's good for my mood too. she's now really feeling the anticipation with "the surprises" – she can't wait to draw the mystery slip of paper, and neither can i!
what's on your summer bucket list? share your ideas in the comments!
|happy times with angry birds||the best kind of book||to get us started|