You know the saying: you only have 18 summers with your kids. Most parents want to make each one count. Is there a way to do it without breaking the bank?

Absolutely. It doesn't take a tour of Europe or a luxury safari to create the memories kids will carry with them long into adulthood. And this summer, maybe more than any in history, is the one when it makes the most sense to stay close to home and create simple, meaningful time together.

Enter the summer bucket list. In a few easy steps, you and your kids can create a plan to make this the most special summer ever.

Consult the kids but have your own ideas too

Think back on your childhood: what are some of the memories that stand out? Is it riding bikes around your neighborhood with your mom and dad? Is it bringing a picnic to the beach? Bring these ideas to your summer bucket list meeting to get the conversation flowing. Depending on how many kids you have, you may have them come up with 3, 5 or 10 ideas each. Have the older ones help by having them share favorite memories of summers past.

Set parameters

Depending on your time and budget, set limits. Maybe because of social distancing, everything needs to be done in your backyard. If you can get out and about, perhaps it's within an hour's drive. You can either set a monetary limit per activity - say, no more than $20 - or one budget for a summer's worth of bucket-list items to allow for a variety of activities ranging from free to more expensive.

Get creative

PHOTO: A summer bucket list craft.
Passionate Penny Pincher
A summer bucket list craft.

Sure, you could write your ideas on a piece of paper and leave it at that, but why not make the bucket list a centerpiece of your home this summer? There are hundreds of cute ideas online, but we love writing your ideas on clothespins and attaching them to an actual bucket. Once you've completed an activity, take off the clothespin and toss it in your bucket. Hopefully you'll have a bucket full of clothespins and a heart full of memories when September rolls around. Check out these two from Passionate Penny Pincher and Delia Creates.