By Brittany Carlson

I love finding creative ways to make summer more fun. So, when I saw my friend Amber’s Bingo-style summer bucket list poster, I was sold.

The Bingo-style bucket list makes achieving summer goals even more fun by illustrating them —a water slide with “Visit Water Park” or a strawberry with “Go Berry Picking” — and putting them in compartments for family members to cross off together as they work their way through their summer goals.

“I love the visual because the kids like to talk about it whenever they see it,” Amber said. “[It] builds anticipation as well as a way for me to encourage good behavior.”

Many of the items on her list are things that cost little to nothing. “I try to find activities that are low cost,” she said, such as camping in the living room, painting rocks, visiting a park or going geocaching.

Another bucket-listing mom, Tonya, had the idea of putting family goals on the bucket list too, in addition to places to visit. Some of her bucket list items include writing to a pen-pal, learning to count to 100 or trying a new food. Other items were goals parents could make for kids, such as biking without training wheels, completing potty training, or (for older children) helping to make dinner.

Tonya also had some great craft ideas, from making tie-dye shirts and recycled art to building a  bird-feeder. (Note: home improvement stores host classes for young children to build bird-feeders with a parent, if you’re like me and don’t want to do the prep work yourself).

Making a bucket list of summer activities to do with your family is nothing new, and there are myriad ideas for activities and how to display your list on Pinterest or other idea-sharing sites.

Here are some of my favorite summer bucket list ideas, collected from Amber, Tonya and my own list: 

-Camping (indoor or outdoor)

-S’mores

-Zoo

-Playground

-Garage sale (hold one or visit one)

-Baseball game

-Movie theatre (or drive-in theater)

-Farmer’s market

-Bowling

-Make homemade pizza

-Hike

-Swimming

-Geocaching

-Game night

-Ice cream

-Roller-skating

-Water balloons

-Fireworks

- Picnic

-Local fair/carnival

-Berry picking

-Mini-golf

-Fishing

-Bike ride

-Visit local factory

-Splash pad

-Do a puzzle together

- Water park\theme park

-Children’s museum

-Puddle splashing

-Library story time

-Beach day

-Stargaze

-Bubbles

-Flashlight tag

-Eat snow cones

-Color with sidewalk chalk

-Fly a kite

-Make homemade popsicles

-Count M&Ms

-Have a pillow fight

-Make a pet rock

-Horseback riding

-Visit the aquarium

- Bouncy castle

-Pool

-Make root beer floats

-Help a neighbor

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Brittany Carlson is a lifelong lover of words and all things chocolate. She is an Army wife and now has two sons, Adam (4) and James (18 months). She has written for several Army community newspapers, including the Stuttgart Citizen (Germany), Fort Leonard Wood Guidon (Missouri) and Fort Belvoir Eagle (Virginia). Brittany holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She and her family live in upstate NY. 

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