As a New Englander, I start longing for summer in early January. When it finally arrives (usually after a fickle and teasing Spring) I want to make the most of it. These last few years, I have written down a short list of places I want to go and things I want to experience each summer. I’ve found that writing these intentions down makes them much more likely to happen. This year, I wanted to find other ways to be more present and enjoy this gorgeous season before it slips away and came up with a one page guide to help me to do so. I have designed a planning guide for you and your family to craft your own summer bucket list ideas. You can fill it out together and post it on your fridge or frame it and keep it in a central location for easy reference.
Below I detail some additional ways you can use this guide to enjoy the season, but the most important thing here is to not overwhelm yourself. Keep it easy and fun. Our schedules are so hectic nowadays that even just doing one or two special things to celebrate each season is enough!
Celebrate the Harvest
One of the simplest ways to celebrate a season is to enjoy produce when it’s at its peak, and that is especially easy in the summer. Even though most food is now available year round – enjoying it in season, especially when it has been grown locally or even in your own backyard is an entirely different experience. So in the “Celebrate the Harvest” section, I created room for you to brainstorm ways to savor your favorite summer foods.
Creating a Weekly Summer Rhythm
In their book, “Simplicity Parenting” authors Kim John Payne and Lisa Ross describe how having a rhythm in your family means having certain touchstones that happen predictably and dependably in your days. These touchstones can be things like meal times, a morning walk, or Friday Pizza night. Having a daily or weekly rhythm can be orienting for children (and their caretakers) because it provides some structure and knowledge of what to expect. Unlike a rigid schedule, a rhythm can be flexible and adaptable. To design a weekly summer rhythm, start with just one or two touchstones for your days. Mealtimes are a great grounding activity (it’s the only time our toddler is sitting still!) and an easy one to include. You can also add simple things like an afternoon walk or reading time. Many full time homeschoolers and stay at home moms also have had success choosing “themes” for their days, such “Wander Wednesdays” where they take the kids out somewhere, or “Foodie Fridays” where everyone bakes something together. If you think that would be helpful to you, I have left some space for you to include the theme under the day of the week. I am only home with Freya two days a week and the rest of the weekdays are a bit of a rat race, so I only dared to include extra activities on the days I am home, and they are still simple things like story time at our local library and checking on our garden.
Rest and Reset
And finally, I am pretty new to this parenting thing, but I already know what it feels like when things are getting out of control and you start counting the minutes until your partner gets home. In the “Rest and Reset” section, you can write down your quick go-to’s for stepping back and taking a breather. For us right now, that usually means sitting down to read a book, playing with bubbles, or taking a bath.
Before you begin, sit in a nice calm place and daydream about what your ideal summer looks like. Don’t skimp on the sensory details . . . recall the sights, sounds, smells that you love most about summer. My ideal summer always includes beach days, tomatoes, gardens, bike rides, outdoor concerts and camping trips.