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Make a summer bucket list with your kids

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Planning for family fun

Hot, lazy days spent lounging and playing are great -- but they shouldn't be the only kind of days you and your kids have this summer. Give yourself incentive to do more this summer by creating a bucket list of to-dos to accomplish! Here's how.

Family fun at the water park

Hey, Mom! What are you doing with your kids this summer to make sure that it's one to remember?

Whether it has not yet started or you're already halfway through summer vacation, it's never too late to start a summer bucket list of things for your kids and you to do before summertime ends.

>> Summer fun: 20 Outdoor family activities

What's a bucket list?

When Cate O'Malley at Sweetnicks shared her Summer Bucket List last year, her readers quickly chimed in with encouragement and ideas... and compliments, too. The idea, it seems, resonates with families.

Her list was a handwritten checklist of places to go, things to do and things to see before summer ends. From trips to the farmers' market to bubbles, the list is a collection of big and small ideas to make a fun, memorable summer.

>> How to plan a kid-friendly summer staycation

Is it for you? Well, it can be for anyone. Maybe you've talked to the kids about things you'd like to do this summer. Maybe you've just thought about them. Maybe you need some inspiration or a list to make it all happen. Whatever the case, creating a summertime bucket list is a great way to ensure that you and your kids have fun this summer. You know, the kind that they will talk about forever.

Who's doing this?

Haven't heard of a summertime bucket list? No biggie -- because now you have. And lots of moms are doing it, like Angie Six, who writes the blog Just Like the Number. She made a list of 23 things to do before her kids return to school on August 23. "So far we have crossed off seven of the 23. I'm pretty sure we'll get them all done, though, as June and part of July were packed with vacation and summer camps. After this week, our schedules are wide open," Six says.

>> 7 Ways to keep your kids active this summer

Mom of three Brenna Burke created a summer activity list for she and her kids, too. "This is my first time trying this. I got the idea after a spontaneous trip to the freestanding elevator in the next town, and realized how many great things to do there was nearby -- but to fit all (or any) in would take more planning," says Burke, who blogs at Almost All the Truth.

>> Start a family summer keepsake collection

The creation of the ideas can either be a mom thing or a mom and kids thing, depending on what works best for your kids. "I came up with all the ideas on the list, with input from my 8-year-old. My personal goal was to come up with a variety of things that would get us away from the TV and the Wii and encourage us to explore our city and state," says Six.

>> Get great ideas for family fun near you at GeoParent!

Finding ideas

Where can you turn for ideas? The internet is a great place to start. You can check you state's tourism site for ideas, as well as local newspaper sites. "I gathered ideas from other blogs, parenting magazines, my daughter, and promotional materials I received at an Indiana Tourism event I attended in the spring," says Six.

>> Making your summer vision for your family a reality

Finally, start doing. "I have tried to put some activities on the calendar and am leaving some for spontaneous 'field trips.' I found that they have to take priority over other things to be able to get them in," says Burke.


What are your plans for summer fun? Tell us in the comments section below!

More summer activities:


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