If you're like most families (including mine) summer is one of the busiest times. There are birthday parties, summer sports, vacations, and with the longer summer days, it's really exhausting.
Unfortunately, because of how tiring it is for you, summer often goes by with your kids spending most of it in front of the TV. Sure, your family might go to the lake like usual, but the rest of the summer is a blur for your kids. Before you know it, it's time to go back to school and your kids are complaining because "we didn't even do anything fun this summer."
This one idea for your family that will help you have one of the most memorable summers ever:
How to make a summer bucket list
Just like a normal bucket list, which is a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket," this is a list of things you want to do before your summer 'kicks the bucket.' But, instead of making it just another list you hang up on your fridge and forget about, this is something a little more fun — and your kids will have a lot more fun with it, too.
Find an actual bucket
It can be a decorative one from your local craft store or just one of the buckets you have lying around the house. It doesn't really matter. Then get a bunch of clothes pins that are big enough to write a word or two on. These can be pretty cheap from your local craft store or even eBay.
Sit your family down one evening and talk about the fun things they want to do this summer. As they come up with ideas, write them on the clothes pins (1 per pin) and clip the pin to the bucket. Make sure each child gets to have at least one thing they really want to do clipped to the bucket. Include big things (like going to a theme park) and small things (like having a waterfight).
Eliminate the undoable
As you discuss things to put on the bucket list, you don't have to agree to everything your children bring up. Explain to them that there are budget and time restraints so you won't be able to do everything. But you'll at least be able to do a number of things they want to do that will make the summer memorable for them.
Once you have enough things for the summer, take the bucket and put it on the windowsill in your kitchen or somewhere else where your family will see it. This way, the kids (and you) will remember it and you'll have some extra accountability to get them done. This also gets them excited to do the things on the list and they'll be more willing to help you prepare for them.
As you fulfill each item on the list, let the child who put it on the list unclip the pin and place it in the bucket. As simple as this sounds even your teenagers will get into it.
It's the events that make memories
Remember, it's events that make memories. As you do each thing on your list, your children will make memories that will last. And this will be one summer that you don't hear "we didn't even do anything."
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. Checkout his blog for expert information on how to improve your relationship.