After the long spring we’ve had, we need a summer bucket list to keep the kids entertained! My boys and I pulled together a list of our favorite activities to share with you, and we’ll keep adding to this list with a version 2.0 around mid-summer.
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Planning a Summer Bucket List for Kids
Since I’ve felt the challenge of keeping young ones entertained for a long break, I know many of you are experiencing the same thing!
How about having a handy list of kids activities to motivate you to get out and make things happen?
This list is geared toward young children in pre-school or elementary school. I hope it inspires you to live your summer break to the fullest!
For a free printable version of this summer bucket list, keep scrolling!
21 Fun Summer Activities for Kids
1. Go on a nature scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a great way to give kids an appreciation for local plant and animal life. You don’t have to venture far!
I recently put together a free printable nature scavenger hunt to help you on your way.
2. Fly a kite
I can’t think of a better activity for a windy day than flying a kite! You can even find tutorials to make a DIY paper kite. Two activities in one! Genius!
Shop my favorite kites for kids
3. Go to a park
Here’s one activity that you can combine with a few others on the bucket list (like having a picnic, flying a kite, or going on a scavenger hunt).
The key is to have a change of scenery, so you could really replace “park” with “beach” or any other destination.
4. Swing on a hammock or swing
One of my boys’ favorite summer activities is swinging on the hammock at their grandparents’ house. It helps them relax and slow down to watch the treetops and clouds above.
Shop my favorite kid-friendly hammocks
5. Play hopscotch on the sidewalk
Do you remember drawing your own hopscotch on the sidewalk and enjoying some free fun with friends? Kids can make up other games as well or create an outdoor obstacle course.
Check out my DIY paper flowers tutorial for another fun craft using facial tissues and sidewalk chalk.
6. Make salt dough ornaments
One of my most popular posts to date is how to make salt dough ornaments. My kids love rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters to make different shapes. Then painting the ornaments is like icing on the cake.
7. Watch fireworks
With the 4th of July coming soon, children should have some great opportunities to watch fireworks (even if it’s the virtual kind). For those staying home, a package of sparklers is always a thrill for the kids.
8. Build a fort
This is an activity that my boys enjoy year-round, not just in the summer. They typically use blankets and furniture to create their little forts, and they especially enjoy using this Crazy Fort kit.
9. Plant a flower, fruit or vegetable
Oh, how I love this summer bucket list activity! My kids have already enjoyed watching some Forget-Me-Nots blooming on their windowsill. I found some amazing kits (all highly rated) you can buy to plant flowers or veggies (see below).
Shop my favorite plant kits
10. Blow bubbles
Sure, this is a classic pastime for kids, but you can turn regular bubbles into something fabulous with the help of the bubble machines and gizmos below!
Shop my favorite bubble toys
11. Go swimming
Whether you have a community pool, own a pool or have a friend with one, swimming is a great summer activity for kids. Just remember to always have an adult around to supervise young swimmers!
12. Look at the stars
Star gazing is a great way to teach children about constellations and outer space. If you’d like to incorporate a fun space game as part of the discussion, I have a free Space Bingo activity you can download.
13. Have a picnic outdoors
My kids and I debated whether you really need to specify that a picnic should be outdoors. Is there such a thing as an indoor picnic? If you’re planning to sit on the ground, this picnic blanket is a must-have.
14. Make a pinwheel
Pinwheels take only a few minutes to make, and my boys love watching it spin in the wind outdoors. See this post on how to make a pinwheel for a step-by-step tutorial.
15. Put on a play for your family
Do your kids love to play with hand puppets? Encourage them to perform a play for friends or family! As an added bonus, they can create their own stick puppets with construction paper and wooden craft sticks.
Shop my favorite puppet theatres
16. Play in the sprinklers
Who remembers Slip ‘n Slide? When you don’t have a pool nearby (or even if you do), frolicking through the sprinklers is something kids of all ages enjoy on a hot summer day! You can take it to the next level with some of the products below, too.
Shop my favorite water games
17. Make a cardboard robot
Everyone has cardboard hanging around, it seems. Why not put it to good use by cutting out some armholes and a neck hole to make a robot? You can also upgrade it with a toolkit like this:
18. Make a bird feeder
As another nature-related activity, consider making a bird feeder to invite some feathered friends to visit. This kit for kids is a great way to apply some crafting skills while you’re at it.
19. Read a new book
I firmly believe kids should continue reading (or be read to) throughout the summer. You can set up a book exchange with friends, visit a library or download e-books from your local library using the OverDrive app.
20. Watch a sunrise
Though it takes some planning ahead to rise and shine this early, watching a sunrise is a magical experience for children. You can watch as nature comes to life with the rising sun.
21. Watch a sunset
At the end of a long summer’s day, it’s fun to watch the colors shift on the horizon as the sun sets. Kids can draw what they see and will always remember what a fun time they had completing their summer bucket list!
More Summer Bucket List Ideas
- Make a suncatcher
- Make DIY play dough
- Draw a self-portrait
- Complete a new puzzle
- Mail a letter to a teacher or friend
- Make homemade popsicles
- Visit a local museum
- Visit the zoo