Every kid’s favorite time of year has arrived: summer vacation! School is out of session, the days get longer and hotter, and your kids are ready to get out and have some fun. But every parent knows this: it can be tough to keep children entertained for days on end. They’ve watched their favorite movie 30 times, played with a stuffed animal for hours, and are totally bored of the same old things.
Have no fear – we’re here to save the day with an epic summer bucket list for kids! With 50 ideas to choose from, your kids can create the perfect summer bucket list that gets them pumped for this sunny season.
To up the fun factor, turn this bucket list into a craft project! They can write down their bucket list on canvas or construction paper, then use art supplies like paints, glitter, and pipe cleaners to decorate it. Hang it up somewhere special – your kids will get so much joy out of checking off each item as the summer progresses.
Have a dance party.
Have your own little dance party in the living room! Play fun summer tunes for kids and let loose to the beat. You can even make a bowl of punch for when you break a sweat.
Visit an art museum.
Visit your local art museum and explore their more colorful or quirky exhibitions. Many art museums also host special games and workshops just for kids, so check their websites ahead of time.
Cook dinner for your family.
Pick the dinner recipe of your choice and transform into a chef for the night. You can grocery shop for the ingredients together and even set the table like you’re in a proper restaurant.
Make tie-dye shirts.
Create your own cool tie-dye shirt designs in the backyard or driveway. All you need is a tie-dye kit and a pack of white t-shirts from your local craft supply shop.
Have a water balloon fight.
It can get pretty hot in the summer heat. One of the most thrilling ways to cool off is to have an epic water balloon fight in the yard or local park. Just be prepared to get your clothes soaked!
Go fishing at the pond or pier.
Do you live near a pond, lake, or pier to go fishing at? Grab your rods and bait – it’s time to catch a big one!
Make ice cream sundaes.
Ice cream is a necessity during the hot summer months. Instead of finding a local ice cream shop, make it more hands-on and get your own supplies for ice cream sundaes. You’ll have fun making your sundae just the way you like it.
Run through the sprinklers on a hot day.
Is it sizzling-hot outside? Throw on your bathing suit, and run through the sprinklers to ward off the heat and have a blast.
Have a movie marathon.
What’s better than watching an incredible movie? Watching incredible movies all afternoon! Pop some popcorn, get cozy under the blankets, and enjoy a family movie marathon on a rainy day.
Spend a day at the beach.
If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, strap on your sandals and head out for a fun day at the beach. Go boogie boarding, build sand castles, or play frisbee in the sand.
Have a lawn game tournament.
There are so many lawn games out there that can get your family in the competitive spirit – set the stakes with a grand prize! Try flag football, Kick-the-Can, ring toss, or cornhole. But there are hundreds more.
Take a dip in the local pool.
Grab your floaties and head for the local pool. Floating around on a raft or practicing your doggy paddle could be just the thing you need to stay entertained.
Have a slumber party with friends.
Invite some of your best friends over for a good ol’ fashioned slumber party. Pick out a movie, get some snacks, and set up the sleeping area so you and your friends will have a memorable night playing and talking.
Make homemade popsicles.
Do you love popsicles? It’s a lot easier than you think to make them! Grab a popsicle holder from a local home goods store, and fill it with your favorite flavor of juice, like lemonade!
Have a water gun battle.
Time to whip out your super-soaker and drench your opponent! Water gun battles are an exciting, hilarious way to play in the water.
Summer is the season of fireworks! They usually go off on special occasions like the 4th of July, so find a scenic park or viewpoint to watch the lightshow in the night sky.
Build a pillow and blanket fort.
Grab some pillows and a big blanket, and build your own fort in the living room using furniture to prop it up. Then climb inside and read a book, take a nap, or play with toys.
Tell scary stories by candlelight.
It doesn’t need to be Halloween to enjoy a good ghost story! Gather around, shut the lights off, and share creepy tales by flashlight or candlelight.
Slide down a slip-n-slide (or make your own!).
Enjoy the thrill of a waterslide without having to go to the water park. Set up your slip-n-slide in the grass, get the hose going, and have a blast sliding down on your tummy. You can also make your own with tarps and suds!
Go boating at the lake.
If you live near a lake or large pond, pack up your kayak or canoe and head out for a fun morning of boating on the water. You can pack your favorite snacks for the ride or a picnic afterwards.
Have a pizza party.
If your class has ever thrown a pizza party, you know how exciting it is. Don’t miss out on the fun just because summer’s out of session. Pick up pizzas with a variety of toppings and go crazy.
Take a road trip somewhere new.
You of course need someone with a driver’s license for this one, but why not take a little road trip somewhere you’ve never been? You can visit a beautiful mountain, the nearest amusement park, or a cool town.
Have a carwash at home.
All that summer mud caked onto the family car will need a good cleaning. Set up your own car washing station right at home. Grab a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, and get to washing!
A simple one, but always enjoyable. All you need is a bubble wand and some bubble juice, and you’ll be creating a magical sky of bubbles in no time. Bonus points if you use a giant bubble wand!
Spend an afternoon at the playground.
Spending some time at the playground is always a good use of time! Get your body moving, get out in the sunshine, and make friends with other kids.
Camp overnight in the backyard.
Looking for a magical experience right at home? Go “camping” for the night in your backyard. Set up a tent, get a comfy sleeping back and games or books, and pretend you’re far out in the wilderness.
Create colorful chalk art on the driveway.
Sidewalk chalk can keep kids entertained for hours. From drawing self-portraits to flowers to little towns, there are no limits to what the imagination can create.
Grab a partner and start a game of hide-and-seek around the house or yard. Nothing is off-limits! Just try not to giggle when you’re hiding, you’ll give yourself away.
Do you have time and baking ingredients to spare? Why not whip up a batch of your favorite cookies? Chocolate chip is the best flavor, in our humble opinion.
Wake up early for sunrise.
Watching the sunrise is a magical experience for kids, especially those who’ve never seen it before. Set up a blanket with an unobstructed view, like in a beach or meadow, and watch the colorful show.
Go strawberry or blueberry picking.
‘Tis the season for delicious blueberries and strawberries! If available, visit your local farm that offers blueberry or strawberry picking, and stock up on fresh fruit. You can even find a recipe to bake with afterwards.
Make friendship bracelets for your friends.
Why not spend part of your summer doing something that will make your friends feel good? Learn how to make friendship bracelets using YouTube or a craft book. You’ll match as a reminder of how important your friendship is.
Fly a kite on the beach.
Flying a kite is harder than it looks! Head to where the winds are strong at the beach or in a flat field, and see if you can get it sailing high in the sky.
Go for a picnic in a park or field.
Pack a basket or cooler with your favorite snacks, juice, and lunch items. Then pick the perfect spot at the park or open field to lay out a blanket and have a picnic as a family.
Have a pillow fight.
Prepare your fighting stance, because it’s time for an epic pillow fight! Equip yourself with a fluffy weapon and see if you can subdue your opponents by making them laugh too hard.
Go on a scavenger hunt.
Scavenger hunts are a simple, fun way to get active. You can use a list of items from the internet or create your own – the goal is to hunt down each item on the list using clues. The first one to hunt down every item wins!
Have a family board game night.
A family game night requires very little prep. All you have to do is crack open the board games or card games you already have, and get to playing. Make it interesting by betting on candy or snacks.
Do a random act of kindness for a stranger.
Sometimes the best way to feel good is by doing something for another person. Come up with a few “random acts of kindness” that you can do for a stranger. Pay for someone’s food in the drive-thru, help them put their bags in their car, or give someone a compliment.
Go mini golfing.
A family game of mini golf always keeps the boredom at bay! Look for a fun mini golf course theme that you’ll enjoy, and hit the course for a friendly game.
Plant flowers or vegetables.
Have a green thumb? Find seedlings or seeds from your local garden supply store, and start your own little garden in a planter or flowerbed. You can try your hand at growing flowers, veggies, or anything else in season.
Pick out a treat at a farmers market.
Local farmers markets are a fun way to pass an afternoon. You can help pick out fresh produce for dinner, or grab a delicious treat like a locally made slice of pie or chocolate.
Paint your favorite summer memory.
You don’t have to be a “good” artist to enjoy painting. Reflect on your favorite memory from this summer or past summers and paint it however you imagine it!
Take out three new books from the library.
Summer can be a great time to dive into some exciting YA novels. Head to your local library and pick out a few new books that you can devour at home or under a shady tree.
Have dinner at a new restaurant.
This one is up to the parents, but every once in a while, it can be a really fun treat to try out a new restaurant. Find one with a nice outdoor terrace and enjoy your food outside on a pleasant day.
Learn a new instrument.
That old guitar, drum set, or violin laying around in your house? Why not use it to practice a new instrument? It’s great for the mind and hand-eye coordination, and it passes the time like nothing else.
Compete in a homemade obstacle course.
Do you have a competitive spirit? Set up your own obstacle course in the yard, and recruit your family to compete. From races to egg tosses to cornhole, you’ll stay entertained for hours.
Roast marshmallows over a bonfire.
Sitting around a fire is quintessential to a magical summer night. Want to make it even better? Roast marshmallows and make s’mores – everyone’s favorite!
Join a summer camp and make friends.
There are so many different summer camps that offer a variety of fun activities, from coding camps to tennis camps to overnight camps in the forest and so many more. Pick one that sounds the most exciting and have a blast with new friends!
Lay in the grass and stargaze.
It’s beautiful outside, so don’t miss the chance to stargaze in the grass on a clear summer night. See if you can find constellations like the Big Dipper.
Visit a local petting zoo or farm.
Do you live near farmland? Chances are, one of these farms is open to the public to browse their market, getting fresh cut flowers, or visit with their cute farm animals.
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