Bucket List Examples – Making your custom Family Bucket List – My family, just like yours, has things that we want to do together. We talk about going on a hike to our favorite waterfall in the nearby state park, but we also dream about going to Atlantic Canada, seeing the whales, and watching the tide rise 40+ feet at the Bay of Fundy. Some things are easy to do and others would take some planning. So together we decided to come up with the Miller Family Bucket List. What’s a “bucket list”, you ask? Isn’t that something adults put together before they die? No, no, it doesn’t have to be like that! That’s just for the movies! A family bucket list is simply a list of things your family wants to do together over the course of a lifetime. Maybe you could say “before all the kids grow up”, but a family is a family no matter how old its members are! Now, onto my bucket list examples so you can build a custom bucket list with your family!
Step 1: Hold a family meeting.On a not-so-busy Sunday evening, gather your family members in the living room. Serve some hot cocoa and popcorn and have pen and paper handy. Begin by talking about enjoyable family activities you have done in the past. This will get everyone thinking about the fun they have had and the fun they want to have in the future! Make sure, however, that everyone knows this is to include all the members of the family. They can make a personal bucket list later, but this one includes whomever would like to participate!
Step 2:Take turns giving ideas.Start with the youngest member of your clan, or the oldest, and ask, “What would you really like to do as a family?” Then make sure to listen! Does the husband/father in your family want to go to a dude ranch and have everyone be a cowboy for a day? What about your youngest? Does she want to go to New York and see the Macy’s Day Parade and wave flags and get a family picture with the Snoopy balloon? Don’t forget mom! What do YOU want to do? Maybe it’s just to take everyone to that fancy bakery you pass every day on the way to work and let them pick a specialty flavored cupcake or maybe you dream of taking the entire family to England to see the castles and Westminster Abbey.
Step 3: Nothing is off limits! The key here is to let everyone feel heard and to let all ideas be valid. Don’t say, “We can’t do that” to your son when he says he wants to jet ski in the Pacific Ocean at sunset on July 4th with everyone waving flags and wearing red, white and blue. All ideas are valid and all dreams are real for the person dreaming them! Be thankful you are getting to hear the things your family wants to do TOGETHER!
Step 4: Organize!When each member of your family has given a few ideas, talk about which ones are easier to do than others. What can you do without much advanced planning? What activities are nearby to where you live? Stopping by that bakery on a Sunday morning after brunch is an easy one. England? Well, that might take more money and more planning! Organize your list into activities that you can do when you are looking for a daytrip or a quick family outing, activities that you can do on an extended weekend trip and then the big ones, the ones that will take saving and planning and may not be able to happen in the foreseeable future. Let each member of your family participate in this conversation, as well. Discuss which ones might need some tweaking and if your family member is old enough, what aspects of his or her idea might not be feasible, but as a family, “we could surely try!”
Step 5: Post your list! Now it’s time to post that list for all to see. Find a cool bulletin board, a fun chalk board for the wall or even some poster board or a large piece of butcher paper. Let the adults or older children in your family, whomever has the best handwriting, transfer the list from paper to poster or chalkboard. Let the littlest members decorate the outlines! Talk about how much fun you are about to have trying to accomplish some of the things on your list. Be sure to remind everyone that this is a bucket list and will take time, maybe a lifetime, to complete.
Step 6: Enjoy!Now it’s time to make one of those dreams a reality! Did one of your children want everyone to share triple decker ice cream cone with sprinkles on top? That’s an easy one. After dinner on a warm Sunday evening, everyone can walk to the ice cream shop, load up on those triple scoops and laugh at each other as the ice cream melts all over because who can possibly eat three scoops before getting covered in messy goop!
Step 7: Record the Fun! Don’t forget the camera! No matter what activity you choose to do from your bucket list, don’t forget to record the memories! Take pictures of the entire family and together make a bulletin board or scrapbook, print those pictures and put them out for all to see. Give it a name like “The Miller’s Bucket of Fun” and keep it in a place where you can share with each other, friends and extended family who may visit.
Step 8: Cross it off!When you have completed an item on your bucket list, cross it off! Help the younger children see how you have accomplished a goal as a family and crossed it off, but there are still ones to work on.
Step 9: Plan and Dream! Don’t forget those big items on the list! Decide as a family the first big dream you will chase. Talk about how much money the family will need for expenses, including transportation and lodging. Discuss how you might save up by cutting out that Friday night pizza for a while or giving up that weekend camping trip to put money towards the bigger trip to the dude ranch Dad wanted to enjoy. This is a great opportunity to help your children see what it takes to make a larger dream happen and to work together as a famly to accomplish a goal. It may take you five years to save enough money for something really far away or expensive and some things on your list you may never be able to do at all, but the idea is to let everyone dream and to do as many things as you can and add to the list as you get more ideas.
A family bucket list is just one more way that you can come together and do something fun with your husband and kids. Everyone gets to be heard. All dreams are acceptable. No one feels forgotten. And the very best part of all will be the memories you will make as a family and the fun you will have doing it! So, go ahead, make that list! And get going! Make things happen! There is a whole wide world waiting for your family to explore! You will be so glad that you did!
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