Having goals helps me avoid watching the next chunk of the calendar flip by me like a whirlwind. As I make my Summer Bucket List, I’m keeping our goal of 1000 hours outside at the front of my mind. While I want to incorporate plenty of time on the trail through hiking, biking, and running; I also want to spend time outdoors in other ways.
The best way to start making your summer bucket list is to consider your family’s age and activity level. This week I’ll give suggestions for families with small children. I’ll also share my list which is geared toward families with elementary age kids.
Little Trail Blazers’ Summer Bucket List
If you have a bouncy bunch of Littles, then lots of nature walks and gross motor (large muscles of the body) movement is just the ticket.
Go on at least three nature walks. Set aside time to really engage your small children in a long walk where you teach them to observe nature. Count how many different kinds of trees and flowers you see. Look for animal tracks. Stop along the trail with a picnic blanket and have everyone close their eyes to observe what they hear and smell.
Paint and hide rocks. There are thousands of painted rock groups on Facebook. You can post pictures of the rocks that you hide for others to find and let the group know which rocks you discovered. This activity will keep you busy multiple days because you can paint rocks on rainy days but hike and find them when it’s sunny.
Set a goal to ride your bikes X number of miles. Whether your Littles are on tricycles, training wheels, or riding along in a trailer or baby seat, logging miles is a fun way to work together as a family. Track your miles in an interesting way by using stickers or stamps for each mile. Your smallest ones will enjoy seeing a poster or paper fill up.
Choose a reasonable goal by estimating how many days each week you can ride, how far you go on each ride, and how many weeks you have for summer break. For example, you have one child on a trike and another who just graduated from training wheels. Biking half a mile three days per week for ten weeks of school break means you can reasonably reach fifteen miles total. You’ll probably beat your goal since their endurance will increase over time.
Our Summer Bucket List
Visit a local landmark. One landmark that is a short hike away for us is called Stoneface. It is a boulder in the shape of George Washington’s head.
Find one Geocache. A future post is coming about geocaching. I’m excited to share this experience with my children.
Run a 5K. I’m stoked to get back into running this Spring and Summer. I really think that my 10 and 11-year-old can both do a 5K with me. I’ll have a post soon about safe running goals for kids.
I kept these lists short because I know the burn of failing by overestimating. Setting reasonable goals is a challenge. It is better to make a list of three items and accomplish them all than to make a ten item list and only do three. Most of us would focus on the seven missed items rather than the three amazing memories we’ve made with the kids. Set some goals this summer and have fun achieving them too!