Create a Summer Bucket List
This summer, we encourage you to create a summer bucket list with your teen! The idea is to create a list of activities your family can enjoy doing together. (Your teen may also want to create a separate list for activities to do with his/her friends.) Here are some good reasons for creating a summer bucket list:
Fights boredom. Teens like adventure and excitement. Many studies show that boredom is a major reason for teens to experiment with drugs or alcohol, crime, sex, and other risky behavior. Although teens do need some downtime, they become bored quickly. Unless you help teens find positive ways to take risks and live adventurously, they will find negative ways to do so.
Prevents missed opportunity. Although we all start out summer break with the idea that we have plenty of time, it quickly flies by, and we can easily never find the time to do any of the favorite activities that we had hoped to do.
Creates memories. With each passing year, your teen can become increasingly busy. Friends, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs can make it difficult to find time to connect. Creating a bucket list can help you prioritize the most important activities to your family that will help strengthen your relationship and create lifelong memories.
Creating a Summer Bucket List
To create a bucket list, call a family meeting at the beginning of the summer. Ask everyone to contribute ideas for family activities, so that you have a large variety. Once you have a large list, prioritize the list in order of importance, so that the activities everyone wants to do are at the top of the list. Once you have your list complete, discuss how to schedule the activities. Some activities may require advance planning, while others might depend on the weather report. Encourage your teen to do some of the planning.
Ideas for your Summer Bucket List
Your teen may not realize all the potential activities your family could enjoy. Here are a few suggestions of the types of activities you could include on your list:
- Swim in the ocean
- Go camping
- Go to a concert
- Enjoy a festival
- Go to a water park
- Invite friends over for a barbecue
- Make snow cones or homemade ice cream
- Tie dye old clothes
- Have a picnic
- Visit a National Park
- Have a bonfire
- Climb a mountain
- Learn something new, such as yoga or baking
- Build a birdhouse
- Make a collage of family photos
- Plant flowers
- Set a goal for performing a certain number of random acts of kindness
- Go on a road trip
- Create and produce a mini movie or music video
- Visit a museum
- Go on a family vacation
- Have a movie marathon on a rainy day
- Take a photo every day during the summer and create a video
However you create your bucket list, do NOT make the mistake of treating it like a to-do list. It is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not stressful or obligatory. Don’t require yourselves to do everything on the list. This list is simply a way to spend some quality time with your teenager.