A Letter from Lisa: July Edition

Dear Friends,

I must say, I am enjoying this summer! Buffalo has one of the best when it comes to weather! The longer days and warmer nights mean there’s so much to see, do, experience, and explore. Summer is the best time to make a family bucket list of things that you don’t want to miss doing together. Making a summer bucket list will help you avoid looking back in August and wondering where the time went! There are simple, free, and low-cost things that can fill this summer with fun for the entire family. Let’s make a summer bucket list together!

I was inspired to make a summer bucket list for my family. Sometimes things happen in life, and we can’t do fun stuff right away, so this is a great way to ensure you still do them later! What makes this bucket list idea so awesome is that it will evolve over time and kids can get involved in the planning in a way that helps them develop delayed gratification skills and gives them something to look forward to.

To make a family bucket list for summer fun all you need is slips of paper, a large jar, and a marker. When your children ask for something, they can’t do or have right now, write it down together and put it in the jar. This is your bucket list. It’s as simple as that! This is a great opportunity to work your way through the jar and be more grateful for the little things in our lives. In the meantime, the jar will fill up with so many wonderful and magical things that the whole family can look forward to.

Kids of all ages may have a hard time understanding why they can’t have fun right this minute. With work, school, and other things in life getting in the way, you can’t always have fun right now. Responsibility isn’t on their minds like ours, so a bucket list helps them know you aren’t ignoring them, but they can’t do the fun things they want just this minute, but you will do them later.

This will also give them something to look forward to, because let’s be honest, we could all use some motivation once in a while. Other ways you can help your kids understand: use phrases like “We can’t do that now, but here’s what we can do instead.” The bucket list activity is a concrete way of reminding them of what they can do right now (create the bucket list).

In the meantime, we can help our kids wait to do those fun things in our bucket list by creating a bucket journal! What is a bucket journal? Well, a bucket journal is a journal that you write down (or draw) the details and plans of those things you want to do. This would be a great activity to go along with your bucket list. Don’t know what to put in your journal? Here are some ideas:

List each activity you have done and write down details like:

  • How fun it was
  • Stuff you did
  • People you saw
  • Places you saw along the way
  • How it made you feel
  • People you went with
  • Add a checklist of things you want to do or see when you get there
  • Add photos you took
  • Write down new ideas

You can purchase inexpensive plain journals, pens, and markers from the local Dollar Store. Let your children decorate their journals and fill the pages with details about each bucket list item you do out of the jar.

So, make this summer exciting! Add places to explore, see, and do and do them together as a family! A bucket wish jar and a bucket journal are a perfect way to make this happen!

What will you and your kids put on your bucket list? Perhaps, you will venture down to Canalside and take a break from the heat by playing and learning at Explore & More.

I hope to see you soon!

Lisa Chrapowicz
Director of Strategic & Community Initiatives