Bye Bucket Lists – We’re Having A 1990’s Summer



My kids are officially out of school, and we are all excited to put backpacks, drop-offs, and school lunches behind us. We are pumped to be summer bound!

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of talk and chatter among my fellow moms about creating the perfect summer bucket list for their kids.  Many of the bucket lists include elaborate crafts and fancy day trips.

However, I just can’t with the bucket lists.

Friends, I’m a child of the 1990’s.  If I had told my mom that I had a summer bucket list that I expected her to fulfill in order for her to keep me entertained the whole summer, she would have looked me square in the face, told me to make myself some Tang, and to get my little butt back outside to play. That’s just not how things were done.

Untitled designI had a great childhood.   One that wasn’t filled with overly structured activities, and I have wonderful carefree memories.

Besides one or two large events, like Bible Camp for example, the next three months have intentionally been left wide open. I have restrained myself from my usual tendency to over plan every second of our summer vacation because, I think somewhere along the way, the importance of independent and pretend play have been lost. Pretend play has been replaced with video games and independent learning has been replaced with Pinterest crafts.

Therefore, we’re having a low-key summer this year.  I’m keeping the planning to a minimum. Ultimately, I guess I would be lying if I said my kids didn’t have a summer bucket list right now. However, their bucket list consists of one thing: have a 1990’s summer vacation.

Untitled design (4)My kids will spend their summer like I did playing outside slathered in sunscreen.  They will have dirty hands from hours of digging in the mud, building sand castles, and having mud fights.  Frogs will be caught, and impromptu fishing trips will take place.

They will spend their days with great friends while they all ride their bikes a little too fast, roll down hills a little too steep, and climb trees a little too high.

Many exciting adventures will happen alongside crazy old Ms. Frizzle while my children ride along on “The Magic School Bus”.  They will develop a love of poetry while they recite lines from “Where The Sidewalk Ends”, and my children will make friends with the American Girls and Amber Brown.

My kids will foster their creativity by creating colorful masterpieces that rival the art of Lisa Frank. Friendship bracelets will be knotted and tie dye t-shirts will be sloppily hand-crafted.

In the evenings, we’ll all roast marshmallows until they are roasted to burned perfection in order to create the gooiest smores. Summer nights will be spent under the stars having backyard camping trips and reading Goosebumps with a flashlight.

Despite the fact that we’re having low-key summer which is reminiscent of my childhood, the days are sure to be crammed full of big dreams, laughter, and precious memories.


  1. But all of the things you listed sound like a bucket list to me… roasting s’mores, tie-dying t-shirts, back yard camp out, mud pies, etc.

    I am a mom who prefers structure, and who likes setting goals and making plans for fun things to do w/the kids. I guess you could call that a bucket list. Whether or not we check them all off our list is not important. It’s about making memories, having fun, and yes–even having lots of lazy/unstructured time too. I will only have them for 18 summers before they fly the nest, and I do not homeschool–so summers are precious time to spend w/them. I don’t think either parenting style is right or wrong. Whether it’s more go-with-the-flow (i.e. bucket list on the fly), or more structured and planned out (bucket list formally written out/planned). Just love your kids and do it your way, and in the end, I think that’s the best parenting “style” there is!


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