Secrets to Creating the PERFECT Quarantine Bucket List
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I am a person who LOVES to organize. I LOVE my planner and had it filled strategically for January and February of 2020! Then March hit and the world seemed to descend into a fog of uncertainty. I could no longer cling to my planner for a sense of control and confidence that my family would be entertained and learning and getting things done. No more dance classes. No more date nights. No more theatre performances. No more zoo trips with friends.
I tried to make my planner useful still and maybe (DEFINITELY) over planned, planning an activity for every.. single.. day..
Needless to say, this did not work. My daughter got upset when plans fell through. It totally backfired on the goal of easing the stress. So, I dusted myself off and tried something new!
I planned just one activity week or so that was a little bit bigger: “Camping Day” was a total success and so was “Kids Day”!
“Fiesta Day” however… kind of fizzled. My husband had to go back to work and the day did not go as planned. After a rough night with my one year old, teething meltdowns, and stress induced tiredness running rampant… yeah it just didn’t happen.
So what worked since over planning was obviously a flop?! Our “Quarantine Bucket List”!!! We are on list 4 and my daughter asked yesterday: “Mommy can we make Quarantine Bucket List 5?” Yes. Yes, we can.
I wrote out a list of 25 – 30 items on brown packaging paper and posted it on the wall. (I seriously use this paper a ton for activities and lists to post. We buy it and love it!) When we accomplish an item from the list we draw a heart next to it, and our lists have filled up with hearts!
I love this system because I can see our progress and know we’re growing and learning in this time but I’m not locked in to a schedule. It is flexible and allows for the bad days. You know the days where you get nothing done but your mind is totally drained because of watching the news and adjusting to this new normal we find ourselves in? Those days. It also allows me to dump a bunch of ideas onto the paper at once and not be thinking up fun things to do all the time.
So what’s the secret? How do I make the PERFECT Quarantine Bucket List?
MAKE IT DOABLE
Are you really going to go hike an hour and a half away? Or build a paper mache volcano with a four year old? No? Don’t put it on your list. If these ideas sound fun but you usually don’t have the time then they’re perfect to include! Just be sure you’re being realistic about what you really can see yourself doing under the circumstances you find yourself in.
MAKE IT FIT IN YOUR BUDGET
Choose activities that are inexpensive, you already have materials for or projects that require no new items at all! You don’t want money holding you back from reaching your goals! We included (FINALLY) using a giftcard for our daughter to design her own shirt that was a Christmas gift from her aunt 2 years ago. She designed, we tool a picture and sent it in to the company and voila it came in the mail and she loves it. Cleaning and organizing projects don’t require you to get anything new and we literally have ALL THE ART MATERIALS KNOWN TO MAN. So art projects typically area no spend right now project.
USE CATEGORIES TO ENSURE A RANGE OF IDEAS
From my days of teaching in early childcare, I make sure to go for a well-rounded sort of perspective when planning activities. For the perfect bucket list try to cover these categories while staying home: social growth (do something nice for someone, learn a new game), large motor (go to a walking trail in your area or make an obstacle course), science (grow beans in a bag or look up the plastic milk experiment), art (make recycled art or playdough for sculptural work), cooking (let your child take the lead and choose a recipe to try or make something you’ve been wanting to try yourself!), and cleaning (organize the books or clean out a long neglected closet) When you make the list this way, you keep it balanced and can account for whatever mood your day brings!
PUT SOMETHING ON IT FOR EVERYONE
I put things on my list that I’ve wanted to do for a long time (make macaroons was on one of our lists and all for me!) I also make sure to include activities that are geared towards my one year old as well as my four year old. My husband also lands on our list with wood working projects that he’s been wanting to accomplish. Our Quarantine Bucket List is for the whole family.
KEEP IT SMALL
You don’t want to get overwhelmed by your list. You want it to be doable remember? Also, by changing the list every so often you can keep it fresh and follow what your interests are at the moment, because yes, things can change rapidly.
Remember not all ideas will be winners. It’s ok that not everything works for you and your child or children. Life is messy. Give grace and don’t sweat it! And if you have a day (or several days) where you accomplish nothing from your list that’s ok too! Just post the word “GRACE” on your fridge and keep going. Times are hard. We’re dealing with a lot and everyone needs a heaping load of grace right now. Hopefully your perfect Quarantine Bucket List will make things just a little bit easier! Good luck! You’ve got this!
PS. Check out my post for ideas if you’re stumped at what to include on your list.
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