Blog with Friends - School is Out

June's Blog with Friends is all about Summer Break. Not that this applies to us - not this month yet, at least. We are one of the few, if not the only, area that only gets four weeks off in summer: This year it's going to be form July 15 to August 13.

This summer will be bitter-sweet for me because Colin will spend two out of four weeks in camps! One with his boy-scout group and one with his hockey team. I try to look at it this way: less laundry, more freedom. Right?

Anyway, in today's post I'm talking about 

How to create a summer bucket list

Depending on your lifestyle, one or more of the following elements may be scarce in your and your kid(s) lives:
  • Time: If you have to work during summer break, you need to do some serious planning around your commitments and team up with other Moms, neighbours, grandparents who might be willing to let your kids join, and you can return the favour on the weekends. Rabia is going to cover this: Make the Most of Summer: For Working Moms
  • Money is tight, so you want to focus on using your imagination and look for free or cheap activities. Read on, lots of ideas to come! Avoid any talk about Legoland, Disneyland and Magic Mountain.
  • Friends: Your kids' friends are on vacation or you're new to the area and still need to meet new people? Summer activities are a great way to do so.
  • Ideas: Unsure on what to do at all? Say no more, log on to Pinterest, type Summer Activities for Kids - or just keep reading, Lydia has come up with some Non-screen activities for your children. Aren't we all in need of those...
Here's what you do - I have gotten into the habit of making lists of ten ;-)

  1. Have a Summer Bucket List Kick-off Party with some fun snacks and beverages like ABC SquaresFrozen Mocha Coffee by Dawn or Karen's Frozen Berries and Cream Cocktail and talk about this year's Summer Bucket List.
  2. Map out your summer break on a large piece of paper. Folks who enjoy 10 - 12 weeks off probably need two sheets! Mark days you already have plans, camps, sleepovers, dentist's appointments, birthday parties, BBQs, etc. 
  3. The blank space will give you an idea on how many days you get to fill with activities. Don't go for 100% coverage, leave some days up for spontaneity and "life happens while you're busy making plans". 
  4. Unless you live in Southern California, use different colors for nice and crappy weather activities.
  5. If time is an issue you may want to color code half and full days as well. Throw in some items that need to be done: purge your rooms, take care of your chores, get your reading done like Kia in 5 Books ESL Teachers must take to the Beach and read or go back to school shopping.
  6. If your kids are old enough, give them a budget per activity like "under 2.50 / 5 / 10 bucks per person" or a maximum amount you're ready to spend in total. Free math / life lesson, you're welcome.
  7. Have your kids write down what they want to do this summer: go to the swimming pool, library, drive-in movie or zoo, pick their own strawberries, make a time capsule, dress up as pirates, set up a yard sale, play with water balloons, build a tree house, have a scavenger hunt, craft your own cards, Melissa is showing you how: Flower Market Card Frenzy, ...
  8. After you have approved the items, cut the list into strips, fold and staple them and throw them in a bucket - we like to use our Halloween candy bucket ;-)
  9. The night before or the morning of a bucket list day, check the weather and let the first person draw an item. 
  10. Have fun, take pictures, make memories - blog about it!

Here are some of my previous posts and links that include activity ideas:

Now please head over to my blogger friends and find out what they are up to this summer:

Karen @ Baking In A Tornado with Frozen Berries and Cream Cocktail
Melissa @ Heartfelt Sentiments with Flower Market Card Frenzy
Dawn @ Spatulas on Parade with Frozen Mocha Coffee
Tamara @ Part-time working Hockey Mom with Summer Bucket List
Rabia @ The Lieber Family with Make the Most of Summer: For Working Moms
Kia @ Think in English with 5 Books ESL Teachers must take to the Beach and read
Lydia @ Cluttered Genius with Non-screen activities

PS: Totally unrelated, but need to share: the pants I couldn't quite fit in last time? Wearing them now - with a belt!!