Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Bucket List

OK, I know a "Bucket List" is actually a list of things you wish to accomplish before you kick-the-bucket, 
but I made a summer list of things to do, and well, they are in something like a bucket.
Thus, the name "Summer Bucket List"

Years ago, I stumbled across a website (don't ask me which... it was three years ago!) that gave me the idea to do this:
This was used when my kids were 3, 4, 7, and 9... three summers ago.  We sort of misplaced it for awhile, and I paid the price with "I'm bored" a lot.

Basically, when the kids were driving me crazy bored 
or following me around and bugging me need some guidance 
or whining expressing their concerns that they needed a project, 
I would let them randomly reach into my handy-dandy plastic index file box and pull out an index card.  The deal was that whatever was listed, they needed to do. 

Sometimes the card listed super cool activities that Mommy would have to set up for and sometimes they were thinking-activities that made their brains work over the summer.
It worked!  We made some awesome crafts (and most were non-mom-necessary, independent things) and the kids started what has become a new summer tradition (the Gazette... to be discussed later).

This year, I looked through some of the cards and decided many were outdated (i.e. read to your younger brother and sister... they can read now) or a little lame (i.e. watch the clouds... granted, that's cool, but my kids' attention span would only let that happen for five minutes.)

So, I updated!  Enter... the Summer Bucket List

The supplies needed were some sort of box/crate/basket/bin/purse/etc.  I found this little wooden box in my craft storage.  I bought it long ago to use as a family mailbox.  (ahem)  Yeah, I never quite got around to that project, as my daughter reminds me all the time.

So, I painted her up, distressed a tad since the paint job was lacking and because four kids will be playing with this box this summer, added a fun label (a chalkboard sticker from Michaels) and ribbon and a bulldog clip to the handle, and then wrote out my cards.

I found these cards at Michaels for a buck (Paula Deen recipe cards).  At first, I planned to cover the "Recipe for" and "Ingredients" words with stickers, but changed my mind.  I figured "Recipe for Fun" is a cool catch phrase, and the Ingredients allowed me to write out what was needed.  (By the way, I couldn't find my $$ "Distress Ink", so my $1 Studio G ink pad worked just fine.)

They fit beautifully in the box... vertically or horizontally.

I saw that I had a bulldog clip to match the ribbon, so I wondered what I could do with it.  
So, for the time being, it sits on the handle.

However, after a card has been chosen, the clip can hold the card in plain sight, in case the kids forget the details of the quest.
Either on the lock...
 Or on the handle...

 Now, you are READY for those sure-to-come-in-summer-break "Mom, I'm Bored!" whines.

I'll list some of the activities I wrote down.  Most came from brainstorming, but I'm sure several came from ideas found on other sites.  Man, it was so long ago... I can't remember!

Collage Letter Fun:  Cut letters from a magazine and glue into a letter for someone.
Noodle Art Fun:  Glue noodles into a design on paper.
Mask Fun:  Make a mask out of a paper plate.
Robot Fun:  Draw in detail the coolest robot and then explain his parts.
Famous Person Fun:  Pick ANY famous person, research him/her, and write a short report.
Paper Airplane Fun:  Have paper airplane races.
World Travel Fun:  Using the globe, design your ultimate trip around the world.
Sign Language Fun:  Learn the sign language alphabet.
Food Necklace Fun:  Make a noodle or cereal necklace.
Origamin Fun:  Make a few new origami shapes.
Reading Log Fun:  Design a reading log to record your summer reads with a spot to "grade" them.
Leaf Booklet Fun:  Pluck leaves from plants in yard.  Glue to paper and label.  Make a booklet of "leaves of our yard".
Nature Art Fun:  Use leaves, sticks, seeds, etc. to make a nature-person on paper.
Story Fun:  Write a short story and illustrate it.
New Food Fun:  Make a list of foods (dinners, fruits, etc) that you want to try one day.
Kind Words Fun:  Write one kind thing about each person, and then make certificates for them.
Reading List Fun:  Make a To-Do List of books you want to read.
Daytrip Ideas Fun:  Make a list of places you would like to go on nearby trips.
Restaurant Fun:  Make a list of possible restaurants our family can visit.
Review Fun:  Write a review on a movie or book.
Name Picture Fun:  Lightly write your name on paper, and then make pictures in the shape of the letters (i.e. "C" can become an orange slice.
Paper Chain Fun:  Make a paper chain using colors that match your room.
Sidewalk Town Fun:  Use sidewalk chalk to design a town on the driveway.
Alphabet Photo Fun:  Take pictures of every letter of the alphabet.
A-Z House Fun:  Find things around the house that start with each letter A to Z.
Homemade Boardgame Fun:  Use grid paper to create you own boardgame.
Body Tracing Fun:  Trace your body on large paper and color.
Menu Fun:  Design a menu for your own restaurant.
Town Map Fun:  Make a map of your town, your neighborhood, or an imaginary "NameVILLEl"
Fingerprint Fun:  Use your fingerprints to design a picture.
Scavenger Hunt:  Find and count all of the following in the house:  candles, frames, windows, doors, TVs, chairs, pillows, dog toys, clocks, beds, plug-in-flashlights, pocket lights, vases, throw blankets, A/C vents.

Many of the above should be saved for a home journal... a catch-all of places your kids want to eat, Food they want to try, etc.

Enjoy, and if you have any other great "keep 'em busy" ideas, PLEASE feel free to share them!


  1. I love this idea and have sort-of used it. You listed some great additions that I want to add. My son is not into crafty things, but maybe we can try some of these and find one that might him be a little creative.
    He hasn't really said, "I'm bored" in the past, but has started this year. This will be great to pull out and use when he says that. Thanks!!!

  2. OK, just one entry has me concerned. Cutting words / letters out of magazines to write a letter makes me think of serial killer letters on tv shows...

  3. Well, hopefully my children aren't thinking of writing ransom notes... just learning how to spell...LOL.

  4. I love this craft project idea! Such a cute way to display all the activities and fun in a box.

    Your new follower


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