As newlyweds, my husband and I certainly thought about family traditions, a little bit. I mean, we were already anxious about big decisions, like which state our forever home would be in, and how we’d divvy up holidays between families. But I didn’t really consider family traditions until longer after we brought our daughter home from the hospital.
As our daughter slowly transformed from this little nugget to a real, little… person (gasp!) I began to consider more and more the type of home and life we’d create for her. If you don’t know, Emily Ley is one of my favorite humans ever. And in her book she talks about establishing these little family traditions. Ones that help cultivate a childhood filled with precious, everyday memories. She doesn’t ignore the big moments like birthdays and holidays and summer vacations, but she puts a healthy emphasis on the every day. This is a lesson on motherhood and parenting that stuck with me, and I think about it often.
What will Gemma remember about her childhood? Will she remember a happy home filled with laughter? One that was always warm and inviting? A safe place for all kinds of emotions? Will she remember surprise donuts on a Saturday morning and special treats on the last day of school?
One way that I’ve started focusing more on traditions is by creating seasonal bucket lists for our family. I started last year, after being inspired by my friend Brittany. I’ll admit, Gemma was far too young to actually remember anything we did, but we’ve since kept up the habit and created fall, winter, and spring bucket lists.
It’s a tradition I hope to continue season after season, year after year. I imagine as Gemma gets older, she’ll have more of a say in what we choose each season. And of course, I hope she’ll remember the activities more with age. But for now, creating a seasonal bucket list is something that I hold myself accountable to. It’s a way to focus on every day fun each season. It helps us seize and savor the seasons before they pass. And it makes me excited to spend quality time exploring new places and trying new things as a family.
A toddler friendly summer bucket list
This summer our daughter will be turning 2 years old, and we’ll be enjoy the last months of “just Gemma” before welcoming another child to our family in October. In order to make the absolute best of this summer, I’ve done what I always do: created a bucket list with 20+ items that I hope to check off before fall rolls around!
As always, the bucket list is family friendly, and since we are very much a toddler household, you’ll notice toddler specific activities. But don’t count yourself out of a little adult fun too. I made sure to include an intentional date night for us parents!
So here’s a look at this year’s summer bucket list for our family of 3. Click the image below to download your free printable summer bucket list.
Be sure to let me know if you download and use this summer bucket list with your toddlers! I’d love to follow along on your summertime adventures, so tag me on Instagram as your check off each item.