My summer memories include library books, sunbaked mudpies, badminton games, and sips from the water hose. Sunny, school-free days melt away as quickly as a popsicle in July, but treasured memories linger a lifetime.
Let’s create a bucket list of stress-free summer fun and then map out our days to create warm memories and valuable experiences for the children we love. Choose only the ideas you deem easy and adapt them to fit your family. Parents need to enjoy summer, too.
God created seasons and ordained one to close when another begins (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The summer season provides unique freedom and fun other seasons deny. Consider the following ways to squeeze all the goodness from the next three months.
Summer’s Bucket List: Stress-free Ways to Plan Value-Filled Days for Your Family @jeanniewaters44 #Summer #FamilyTweet
10 Stress-Free Ways to Plan Value-Filled Summer Days for Your Family
1. First, ask God to fill your bucket.
Before we can model a Christ-centered life for children, we need Him to fill our hearts with His Spirit. Set aside time to seek God’s guidance as the school year ends and ask for His wisdom daily as you study His Word.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.Proverbs 2:6 ESV
2. Create a bucket list of goals after you consider these questions:
- What do I want my children to remember about this summer?
- Which Christ-like qualities do I want to model for my children and help them develop?
- As parents, how can we build family unity?
- Which Bible verses should we memorize?
- How can I lead my children to consider the needs of others?
- How can I create opportunities children will view as more fun than electronic devices?
3. Consider your child’s unique needs, qualities, and interests.
- Research camps and classes, collect library books, and interview experts to encourage a current interest.
- Spark creative expression with a summer gift of art supplies or a journal.
- Arrange playdates or teen time with friends and plan simple joint family cookouts or outdoor movie nights.
4. Consider these tips for success.
- Practice flexibility, forgive quickly, and hold your plans loosely. Chill-out days are sometimes the most valuable.
- Avoid overscheduling and allow time for children to entertain themselves. Imaginative play and the glee of running free in God’s creation help produce healthy minds and bodies.
- Consider the older children’s need for peer time but involve them in family activities. They can take photos, lead games, and read to younger siblings. Share an extra dessert with them after “the littles” go to bed.
- Create an album of treasured memories from exciting ventures and everyday backyard play.
- Pray without ceasing and listen as God directs your steps.
5. Love your neighbor.
- Share Scripture with your family to instill a desire to serve others. (Galatians 6:10, Mark 12:31)
- Join a church mission project or serve a meal at a Ronald McDonald House or homeless shelter.
- Plant seeds in late spring and share flowers with a neighbor mid-summer.
6. Tour your own town.
- Visit museums, parks, and historical sites. Locate the tallest building, bridges, and statues. Explore a peach packing plant, a strawberry farm, botanical gardens, or a planetarium.
- Enjoy a mini golf facility or ice cream shop (extra sprinkles please).
7. Preview next year’s school curriculum and prepare your children for academic success by introducing topics in interesting ways.
- Collect library books or explore locations of interest related to next year’s science, history, and geography topics. Read the biography of a famous missionary or explorer.
- Practice telling time, counting money, or using math facts in fun ways. Draw geometric shapes with sidewalk chalk and measure them.
- Include new vocabulary in mealtime conversations.
- Choose reading spots like a hammock, indoor tent, or a quilt under a shade tree. Silent reading or looking at picture books gives mom a break and allows individual reading pleasure. Afternoon read-alouds stimulate imagination and build the language of literature into young minds. Older children can complete summer reading assignments while the house is quieter.
8. Plan a weekly family activity.
- Share a picnic beside a river or waterfall. Try a nature scavenger hunt list and spread a blanket for cloud gazing.
- Design an obstacle course or play a game. Croquet anyone?
- Play “Twenty Questions” to guess the location of an upcoming family excursion.
9. Plan cooperative treasure hunts.
- Give children characters or locations to find in their Bible story books or Bibles.
- Find five toys or household items to donate to a charity.
- Bury treasure in the backyard and provide written clues. Example treasures include movie tickets, a coupon for extra scoops of ice cream, or a compass and snack for the next family hike.
10. Laugh often.
Relax and laugh often. “A joyful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22 ESV).
Enjoy planning and praying over your summer bucket list for the children you love. We look forward to reading your ideas in the comments!
10 Ways to Plan Value-Filled Days This Summer @Jeanniewaters44 #Family #ParentsTweet
26 thoughts on “Summer’s Bucket List: 10 Ways to Plan Value-Filled Days”
Terrific ideas for a summer bucket list, Jeannie. I especially appreciated your encouragement to make sure God is filling our own bucket and to consider worthy goals for the activities we choose. Also that free time is also so important!
Thanks, Kathy. Camps, lessons, and planned activities are valuable, but children and parents need relaxed time, too. I know you agree. Thanks for sharing.
Lots of great ideas for consideration here Ms. Jeannie. My “take-away of the day” is how important it is to factor your child/grandchild and their likes, dislikes, and interests into your summer plans. The greatest gift in all these ideas is the time you get to spend with one another. Loved this post ma’am.
Thank you, J.D. I agree spending time together is the most important, and there are so many fun and easy activities to enjoy.
Stress-free summer fun sounds amazing! I love all of these wonderful ideas for a summer bucket list. Thank you for the ideas to create valuable and memorable summer moments with our children. I’m so excited to try these stress-free ideas!
Dawn, I think stress-free is key. God expects us to do our best for children and teach them about Him, but He doesn’t lead us to frantic to-do lists. I hope you enjoy some of the activities.
Love all the ideas! I’m planning on using some of these when spending time with my grandchildren, Mason and Lilly.
I love the way you write! Your posts are always filled with fun and/or blessings.
Thanks so much, Evelyn. I’m glad you found the ideas helpful as you plan fun summer hours with Mason and Lilly.
You gave us wonderful ways to enjoy summer with our kids. Thanks for sharing, Jeannie!
I’m glad you found the ideas helpful, Barbara. With prayer and proactive planning, summer days can be filled with joy and biblical value.
This is great, Jeannie! Just reading it made me excited for summer. I also need to practice holding my plans loosely, like you mentioned, especially with two toddlers! 😉
You’re right about holding plans loosely with toddlers. If plans don’t work one day, maybe they’ll work another. Flexibility is key. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment.
Sounds like lots of fun! I always love planning summer, and you’ve offered some great suggestions.
I’m happy you enjoy summer planning and found the suggestions helpful, Annie. Summer is a great time to relax, enjoy family, and teach children about God.
“Before we can model a Christ-centered life for children, we need Him to fill our hearts with His Spirit.”
Amen 🙂 Your post makes me want to take the summer off from work and spend it with my family at home! You are always so gracious with your ideas. And thank you for reminding us of. the best Way to begin!
Charla, I’m thankful you found the ideas inspiring. Have a wonderful summer!
This is a wonderful list that I shared with my grown children. Great ideas. Thanks
Yvonne, the fact that you shared with your adult children makes me so happy. I hope they enjoy summer fun. Thank you.
Thank you. Your article reminded me of the simple object lesson of putting the big rocks in first. You reminded me of what’s most important: “Ask God to fill your bucket.” Prays first are our big rocks as parents, friends, and followers of Jesus.
Thanks for sharing, Carla. When we allow God to fill our hearts, we do a better job serving others. I appreciate your comments.
I wish I had your blog when my kids were little. You always have the best suggestions. I love the idea of touring your own town. This was easy hen we lived in Orlando. Other places I always found myself wishing I had toured more when we moved. That I can still do with my grown children.
Thank you, Jen. I enjoy sharing ideas like these on In the Quiver, a ministry blog owned by Leigh Ann Thomas and Marcy Martin. This site contributes to the spiritual nourishment of families, and I’m grateful for an opportunity to contribute.
Thanks Jeannie for another blog that just gets all the juices running! I do love the first one, because I tend to get moving sometimes out of the excitement rather than from a full bucket of God’s wisdom.
I have the same tendency, Sylvia. When I plan for grandchildren to visit more frequently this summer, I need to ask God to fill my bucket first. I’m glad you liked the suggestions.