Oh, what do you do in the summertime? Summer is the time to really enjoy our freedom, be spontaneous, and do things we just don’t have the time to do as much of during the school year. Having more time with my kids is such a great thing, but it can also be challenging to keep them busy as the summer goes on, once the excitement of being out of school has rubbed off. Summer boredom can definitely occur at our house, and every year I try to put different plans in place to help prevent it, including a Summer Bucket List!
In addition to set activities that are written on the calendar, the bucket list includes activities that are for the most part ones that we can just pick up and do, without a lot of planning or effort ahead of time. This gives my kids something to look forward to every day–after chores are done in the morning. I love it because it gives our summer a little more structure, while keeping some spontaneity at the same time. These activities aren’t expensive or fancy, and many of them are things we do all year round, but something about doing them in the summertime makes them seem extra special! They’re simple activities that all of us love, and really make summertime what it is.
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When we create our summer bucket list, we sit down as a family and talk about all the things we really want to do, and each family member gets a chance to talk about their favorite activities. When we put them all down on paper, the result is a list we can refer to throughout the summer. The vast majority of our list is something that’s either free or low cost–you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun!
Our summer bucket list:
- Put up a pool in the backyard
- Host a snow cone party (the BEST snow cone machine ever!!)
- Go to the beach
- Bake cookies
- Meet Dad for lunch
- Ride a carousel
- Feed the ducks
- Visit a museum
- Go bowling (www.kidsbowlfree.com)
- Family move night with concession stand
- Play outdoor night games
- Go to the $1 movie
- Build a fort
- Have a pillow fight
- Play board games: Game night!
- Invite friends over for an ice cream party
- Go to the pool
- Put on a play or concert
- Visit the library
- Read stories together
- Have a water fight
- Put up a pool in the backyard
- Play water games
- Run through the sprinklers
- Have a watermelon seed-spitting contest
- Go to story time at the library and Barnes & Noble
- Individual lunch dates with each child
- Camp in the backyard
- S’mores Night — invite friends!
- Cereal night at the park
- Go hiking
- Visit the nature center
- Go to the fire station
- See a drive-in movie
- Have a lemonade stand (plans to make your own here...)
- Pick berries
- plans to make your own here..
- Watermelon spitting contest
- Make homemade bubbles
- Go to the local fair
- Have a stargazing night, and look for shooting stars
- Catch fireflies
- Visit the farmer’s market
- Fly kites
- Make a giant slip ‘n slide
- Have a water balloon fight!
We also have other activities that are specific to our area, and we love to explore where we live. We moved to a new state at the end of last summer, and our discovery list is long! You can do the same where you live—do some research and look online, talk to friends, check out books—figure out what there is to do within a reasonable distance, choose your favorites, and add them to the list!
When we are planning our week, we grab our summer bucket list, and plug in the things we want to do. Several of the activities we will do more than one—maybe many times! It’s really a guide, a starting point, and just gives everyone something to look forward to.
I love that they are simple activities that give us quality time together. I feel like the summertime is so short, I want to eek out every single moment with my kids that I can. It’s important to remember that they don’t have to be fancy, or take a lot of time and money to plan or prepare—it’s just being together that counts!
WASHI TAPE SUMMER BUCKET LIST:
I’ve tried several different ways to keep track of our bucket list, but I really love this washi tape version. It’s SO easy to make, and super cute too! It also doesn’t take up too much space, and fits easily on a counter, shelf, or mantel. Here’s how you make your own!
- Wrap a small piece of washi tape around the end of each craft stick—as many as sticks as you have bucket items!
- Use a fine tip Sharpie to write a bucket item on each stick, on the opposite end of the washi tape.
- Store your sticks in a half pint mason jar or other clear container with the words up. Turn the sticks over when you complete the bucket list item.
Print on to white cardstock, cut out with scissors, punch a hole in the top, then tie on to your jar with twine!
Other ideas you might like…
- How To Do Summer on a Budget With Kids
- Summer Reading Bingo
- Make Your Own Tetherball Set…for half the cost!
- How to Put Together a Summer Car Kit + tons of ideas and free printable