Summer is just around the corner, and now more than ever, maybe we all need that quintessential summer of sun kissed days and starlit nights, to refresh and renew our spirits. Time in the summer moves deliciously slow as schedules clear of what we have to do, and we are able to pencil in more of what we want to do. I know we have all seen a variation of this quote, but it really does bear the weight of remembering. “We have eighteen precious summers with them.” What do you want to do with this precious summer with those wonderful children?
A few years ago, I went to a sweet friend’s home and she had the most delightful, colorful, hand written bucket list displayed on the front of her fridge. Just observing it, I could tell the fun and intention that went into making it; that this was not a chore list, these were the memories and moments that would linger over her children’s conversations in future years. These were core memories they would share someday with their spouses and their children. They were on a large white piece of paper, each item a different colored marker with big boxes down the line in unison, some check-marked already and some not. When I remarked on how much I enjoyed seeing it, she explained they made one every season and what fun they had, as a family, sitting down and adding to the list. My twins were babies at the time, but I made a mental note to incorporate this practice each season with my own family.
A summer bucket list can be a really sweet and fun way to create memories, build excitement of experiences together, but the key to making a great summer bucket list is this: make it the summer bucket list that works for your family. Keep it fun, low pressure, and about cultivating friendship and relationship as a family. It can be a great time to add in some new rhythms or routines, like reading or starting a garden together. Our family bucket list has some classics, some new experiences, and some acts of service. Here are some examples of what you may want to add to your own list!
- Firefly catching night
- S’mores and game night (kid charades is complete mayhem and totally fun)
- Find a splash pad at a nearby town that you want to try and drive there to enjoy it
- Popsicles. Daily. This is Summer in Texas. Buy different brands and have everyone vote on favorites
- Make a summer playlist as a family that you can play on road trips, or just driving to H-E-B
- Hiking at Mother Neff or at another State or National Park
- Host a family or Neighborhood talent competition
- Have a Lemonade stand and donate any earnings for a good cause
- Mow a neighbor’s yard when you know they won’t be home, or if they just had a new baby
- Family water balloon fight
- Go grocery shopping and let the kids pick a few items; those become a fun hodgepodge picnic lunch
- Read “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis under an old tree and do voices
- Outdoor movie night with all the blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and popcorn you can grab
- If you have a family pass for the Cameron Park Zoo or the Mayborn Museum, check their websites to see the list of institutions they are affiliated with that your family pass will also work at for free
- Host a summer bbq in your backyard for neighbors
- Buy the ingredients for everyone to make a homemade pizza with what toppings they love on it
- Backyard camping – let the record show this was a husband suggestion and is a VERY sweet Dad suggestion
- Study a beautiful piece of art together – learn about the artist, read about the technique, and print the picture for a common area
- Fireworks and a Fourth of July Parade
- Go to a college, major, or minor league baseball game or buy some cracker jacks and invite friends over to play America’s past-time together
- Have family hype nights! Everyone gets to go around the table and say what they love about the person sitting to their right. Praise the gifts and qualities in them and pray specifically over them.
- Buy or borrow a telescope and spend some time star gazing under this big Texas sky, MUST also learn the words too, “Deep in the Heart of Texas”
Absolutely anything goes when making a bucket list, the goal is to be together and enjoy time together! I hope you are inspired to make one that feels easy, fun, and summer memories that fill your heart! Happy Summer Adventuring to you and your family!