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Each year when we mark a brand new year starting, I feel like I don’t necessarily make resolutions but strive to make the next year better than the last for my kids. We look back at the things we loved the year before and add those to our list of things we would like to do again, and I also look back at the things I wish I could change so that I can try to be a better mom, a better wife and to make our family memories just better all around.

This year I am making a bucket list. Nothing elaborate or crazy, but 12 things I want to do this next year with my family. 12 things means it’s only one per month and won’t overwhelm me trying to cross anything off the list! I included cheap and attainable fun things, meaningful things and things that will help to make each of us a little bit more grateful for what we have. Hope you enjoy our bucketlist-feel free to use it yourself OR come up with one that will fit YOUR family!Bucket List For Families 2016

1. Go on a hike somewhere we’ve never hiked before.
We love to be outside, but the magic of hiking in a new place is so magical and fun! discovering a whole new place all together makes for such wonderful memories!

2. Family game night-kid’s game choices!
All too often our game nights tend to be games picked by mom or dad (in our house) to make sure the games can be played by all. I want to have a night where each child gets to pick any game they want to play, no matter how easy or hard it may be for the rest of the family. Too hard for the littlest ones? They can be on Mom’s team!

3. Pay it forward.
I love taking my kids to tape a dollar on a vending machine or slipping a Redbox code in our rental box when we return it. Think of a few ways to “pay it forward” and let your kids take the reins.

4. Go out for dessert…for dinner!
Some of my fondest memories were the nights when my dad was away for work and my mom would treat us to dessert for dinner! We were breaking the rules and no one complained! I can’t wait to do this with my kids this year.

5. Take a walk around the neighborhood and pick up any trash you see.
This happens anyway, but I want to take a LONG walk around our neighborhood, purposefully looking to clean up any garbage we find. I want to teach our kids to leave things better than they found it, and this is an easy lesson for my young boys to learn.

6. Family story night.
Take an evening where mom & dad each tell the kids a fun story they remember from when they were young, and then have the kids tell a fun story that they may not have told before! It’s so fun to get to know each other better like that!

7. Kids pick 10 books/toys each to donate to local charity.
I am always a fan of spring cleaning, and we always have a surplus of books and toys that aren’t being used any more. Find a local place to take them to (your local PBS stations may take books to give to local children wh0 need them!) and explain to your kids the importance of helping others!

8. Take family pictures.
Not posed, Christmas card photos…just take pictures of your family! I realized that this last year we took only a few photos of all of us together and it really made me sad! I don’t want that for the years to come, so I will be bringing my tripod or selfie stick (man are those actually helpful trying to get a family of 5 all in one shot!) along to more places we goor ask more strangers to take our picture in order to get all of us in a picture.

9. Go Geocaching.
Have you heard of Geocaching? It’s modern day treasure hunting! It’s so much fun and there are tons of spots in every area of the world just waiting to be found! Download an app and get started!

10. Invite friends over for a dance party.
Have your kid invite their buddies, and heck even invite adults! Have the kids help you make the playlist and burn energy in the funnest way possible.

11. Messages on balloons.
Write positive messages on pieces of paper and place them on a balloon. Send them up into the air and let your kids know that those messages will make someone’s day, somewhere!

12.  Write letters.
In this tech forward world, the art of letter writing is fading fast. I don’t know the last time I wrote a letter just because. I am making it a mission for myself to write more letters this year, but I want to take time with my kids to sit and write letters to people they love. My oldest loves to close an envelope, place the stamp and take it to the mailbox…the anticipation of knowing their words will go to the person they are intended for  is very exciting for the kids!

What would you add for YOUR family’s bucket list?