We’ve got a small budget for summer fun. For the first time I have two kids that just finished a whole year of school. Today’s their last day, and I want to have a meaningful, fun summer with them.
To get us started we decided to do 7 days of ‘no screens’ starting tomorrow. This was one of my takeaways from reading a book about what can make technology addictive.
My next step was to ask each member of my family what they wanted to do this summer. Here is the input I got: going to the beach, going camping, writing a sequel to a story they wrote in school, playing Carcassone, time with mom (me), play in the rain (we actually did that yesterday), going to a baseball game, potty training (my idea, not recreation but needs to be figured in to the schedule), watch fireworks, visit the grandparents, get a day trip with my husband somewhere relaxing or adventurous.
I want to add qualitative items that are harder to make actionable but really important, like take time to talk to my kids, play board games in the evenings, learn a new skill together, watch less tv, laugh more, play outside.
I’ve been reading a lot and talking to readers and friends and I get the feeling we all feel like there isn’t enough time in life for what really matters, but we’re not sure how to change that. Let’s take advantage of the fact that everything does naturally slow down a bit in the summer and be intentional about finding time for some meaningful activities and making memories with those closest to us.
Here are the steps I’m taking and I invite you to join me on:
- Have a brainstorming system, by yourself and with your family. Make sure to get input from everyone and write down all the ideas you think of.
- From those ideas make two lists: bigger activities that need planning and that you might only do once (ie. camping, fireworks, the beach), and smaller activities that you could do more frequently and easily with just a little bit of awareness and watching for the opportunity (ie. board games, playing in the rain)
- Pick 4 events from the first list and put one on the calendar for each month
- Pick 4 activities from the second list and try to do each of them once next week
- Add 4 activities that are about who you are doing them with. For example a pool play date with a friend, or a trip to grandma’s house. These are dependent on other people, but relationships can really make the event, so plan some activities thinking about who you want to have time with first and then as a second thought what you all want to do together.
- Choose a few more you’d like to find time for if you get to them
- Write these 15-20 items (from step 3, 4, 5, and 6) down and put them up somewhere your family can see them.
- Schedule on your calendar to take 30 minutes every few weeks to come back to your ideas (your list and your brainstorm) and look at how you’re doing, and consider what else you want to add or plan, and if any obstacles are keeping you from incorporating these activities into your summer schedule. Repeat throughout the summer.
I’ll do this too and give you an update in a few weeks. I’ve been meaning to make a summer bucket list, and started to with my kids. I had trouble finalizing a list of exactly 2o things I plan to do this summer. I was inspired by this post about family fun on a budget to think about how we can spend more or less on various activities depending on how we prioritize our budget.
Here is my Summer Bucket List worksheet you can download and use to do the steps above and create your summer bucket list.
What do you want to find time for this summer?