Keeping kids busy with fun (and simple) activities can make or break your summer months. Creating a summer bucket list is one of our favorite family traditions and it is so easy to get started. If you’re interested in reading more about how we start our bucket list every summer, read this post right here.
Once you’ve started your summer bucket list you actually have to follow through in order to make the most of your memories!
First, decide how often you will realistically do things from your “bucket list.” This will tell you how many ideas to add. I usually pull 3-5 items a week, depending on how crazy our schedule for that particular week may be.
Second, add ideas to your bucket. You can just add things as they come to you, or – if you’re anything like me – you can kind of map out how many shorter activities you need and how many longer or bigger activities you need each week. You could even write quick activities on one color sticky flag, and longer or more involved activities on another color so they are easier to pull out. My girls get one blue sticky flag (a longer activity) and three green sticky flags (shorter activities) each week.
Or maybe on one color you might add ideas that you can do with things you already have around the house. On another color you could write activities that will take a little bit of prep work – maybe buying ingredients for making ice cream or clearing your schedule and gathering things/lunches for a day trip to the beach or pool.
If the thought of color coding stresses you out and seems like too much work and upkeep, just streamline and make all of your flags ONE color.
Also, I would recommend to double check your calendar and at least pull things that you know you can realistically get to that week. There is no point in adding things to your week for fun (and get your kids all excited about it) if you know you logistically can’t make it happen!! OR if the thought of adding that activity to your already packed week stresses you out, throw it back in the bucket for another week!.
Then, make sure anything you need to purchase is added to your grocery list for that week. We pull our activities during my Sunday evening planning time. During this planning time, I make my menu, grocery list, and map out our schedule for the upcoming week. This really seemed to simplify things for me. I just add our fun activities to our schedule and add anything I need to our grocery list. Just a couple extra minutes invested make our week so much more enjoyable.
Now, for the fun part! Listed below are several ideas you may or may not want to add to your Summer Bucket List. Don’t feel like you have to do every single one. Just use the ones that inspire you and will be a good fit for your family.
- Take a family walk together
- Have a picnic in your front yard
- Have breakfast for dinner
- Story time at the library
- Blow bubbles
- Side walk chalk
- Sun prints – Gather items and lay them on black (or any other dark color) construction paper. Place them in the sun for a few hours to make a cool piece of artwork.
- Bake cookies
- Run through the hose/sprinklers
- Make cards for elderly relatives and neighbors
- Paint with watercolors
- Have fun with a water table
- “Wash” your toy cars and/or baby dolls
- Have a water gun fight
- Write letters to each other and put them away to open them next summer
- Homemade popsicles
- Catch fireflies
- Go hiking or take a walk on a local nature trail
- Build a fort
- Make your bed every morning (I’m kidding! I just wanted to see if you’re really reading…)
- Go to the beach for the day
- Go to the park for the day
- Go to the pool for the day
- Summer movies (Most Regal Cinemas show movies over the summer for $1.)
- Host a playdate
- Host a slumber party for your older girls
- Make homemade ice cream
- Make homemade play dough
- Make homemade goop or slime
- Have a themed family movie night
- Go on a vacation as a family
- Find a field and pick wildflowers or sunflowers
- Surprise a friend or relative by meeting them at work for a picnic lunch on their break
- Roast s’mores over a bonfire
- Go to a drive-in movie theatre
- Go to the zoo
- Go camping
- Watch the sunrise at least once as a family
- Random act of kindness day (or week) – pick a couple to do together
- Game night
There you have it! I’m willing to bet that once your family starts a summer bucket list and tweaks it to fit your family’s needs, you will do one every single year. My girls look forward to starting ours as soon as the weather starts turning warm.
So, what are some things you would add??