Whether you want to stay close to home or are taking a destination vacation we hope you and your family will enjoy these activities. Call this a bucket list or use some of these activities to put on your own bucket list. Here are just a few of ideas we loved and wanted to share with you and your family. Whether it rains or shines we have you covered. Make this a Summer of FUN.
Make a Bucket List:
Make a Bucket List as a family or let each of your kid’s do a little research to make a list of their own. Then decide as a family which places on the list will work best with your schedule.
Spray Parks and Picnics-
Spray parks are popping up all over. Why not check out all the spray parks in your area and find your family’s favorite. While you’re at it, make a day of it and have a picnic too. Great way to get outside, stay cool and have lots of family fun.
Backyard Camp Out-
Kids love to sleep in places other than their own beds. You don’t have to travel far for this activity. Put up your tent, roast marshmallows, tell stories and laugh a lot. Invite the kid’s friends and their families and have a neighborhood campout. This is an activity your kids will remember for a lifetime.
Escape to the Lake-
Have a beach day! Spend the day at a local or favorite lake. Pack a picnic basket and beach towels for a day of fun. Don’t forget the beach toys and sunscreen.
Feeding the Birds-
Learn about nature and make a craft all wrapped up in one activity. Making a bird feeder is not only fun but it helps to feed the birds in your area. An added activity is having your kids keep a journal tracking the type of birds who are coming to eat. Great for practicing writing, drawing and learning about the birds in your area.
Visit the Farmer’s Market-
So much going on at Farmer’s markets. Whether you plan your meals for the next week or like to find items and then decide what to make, this is a good place to start. There is nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables. Let the kids pick out their own veggies for the Kids Cook Dinner Night.
Attend a Free Concert-
Check to see if there are free concerts in your area. Most are family friendly. Pick up a pizza and have a picnic dinner and listen to good music. Maybe even dance a little.
Float Down a River-
Doesn’t matter what age you are, floating down a river is so relaxing. If you have a canoe livery in your area, check to see if they have tubes too. If you have little ones join them in a blow-up boat. You can keep them dry but they can still be in on the fun.
Visit Your Local Library-
Check out your local library for summer reading programs. They usually have programs for all ages with prizes for all. What a great way to keep your kids reading. While you’re there check out some books, discover new book series or research your child’s newest interest.
Make Root beer or Dreamsickle floats-
Enjoy a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream and some root beer. If your family doesn’t like root beer try the Dreamsickle by adding orange pop to vanilla ice cream. Top with whip cream and enjoy!
Start a Family Puzzle-
Find space to put together a family sized puzzle. Kids love to sit and try to add pieces to the puzzle. It’s relaxing but also teaches them how to look for clues to finding the right piece. This is something I routinely use to help new readers. When learning to read a child is encouraged to look at the pictures to see if what they are reading makes sense. Puzzles help kids to learn to look for clues just like learning to read.
Fly a Kite-
Flying a kite can be a relatively inexpensive family fun activity. You can be creative and make your own or buy readymade ones. Find a field, a beach or an area with very little trees. We always had contests to see whose would go the highest. Make up your own contests or just enjoy being together.
“Kid’s Cook Dinner” Night-
Do you have problems coming up with dinner ideas night after night? Put your kids in charge! Have them plan out the menu, prepare, make and serve dinner. You may have to help a little. What a great way to teach them while they are having fun. If the kids really love this activity, make it once a month. Enjoy!
Go Berry Picking-
Grab the kids and head out to the berry patch. Some of my best memories are picking berries in my grandma’s raspberry patch. I know I ate more than I ever picked. Pick some berries, bake some muffins or use it as a topping on ice cream. Pick enough and you can share them with family and friends.
Grow a Veggie or Flower Garden-
Start growing flowers or veggies. It’s easiest to plant them ahead of time and start them in the spring and then transplant when the weather is nicer. Growing plants helps kids to learn about being responsible by checking on the plants, watering and making sure the plants get enough sunlight. Why not make it an annual event?
Visit a Kid’s Museum-
There are so many educational, hands-on museums filled with lots of activities. You don’t have to save this activity for a rainy day because most museums have outdoor activities as well. Check out our blog on Top Kids Museums.
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt-
Create a list that is customized to your neighborhood. When you go for a walk, have the kids look for these items and check them off. If you have older kids, set up teams with friends and have them search for the items. You can have them take pictures on the phone (Take a picture of yourself in front of the library) or have them put items in a bag. There are so many ways to have fun with this activity.
Outside Drive-in Movie Theater-
You will need a projector, speakers and a big screen (can use a white sheet). Use storage bins as cars and set them up so everyone can see. This is an activity to invite friends over. Each kid has their own car (storage bin), They can bring a pillow and blanket to make it cozy. Make sure to have popcorn and other treats for the kids. Enjoy the show!
Check Out a New Playground-
Kids playgrounds are so much fun. Why not find a playground in your area that your family has not played on yet? If you have played on every playground in your area, go back and play on them again. Talk to the kids about what they liked best about each playground and decide which playground your family loves best.
Make Friendship Bracelets-
Friendship bracelets are so much fun to make. Stringing beads is a good way to practice Fine Motor Skills for little ones. For the older ones they can learn how to braid. There are so many patterns out there. Find a favorite and make them for friends.
Have a Car Wash-
Grab a bucket, soap and a hose. Have the kids help you wash your cars and have some fun! Don’t forget the bathing suits. If your family is really into washing cars, have grandma and grandpa bring over their cars too. I’m sure they would love a clean car.
This can be messy but is oh so much fun. This activity can be done outside. There are kits you can purchase. It is so much fun to see the colors and design each child chooses. Make sure to have a day where they can wear their Tie-dye shirt so everyone can show off their art.
Go for a Bike Ride-
Bike riding is great exercise. Bike trails are popping up all over. Enjoy being together and all the fresh air. You could ride to a destination like the ice cream shop or just simply enjoy the ride.
Volunteer at a Local Animal Shelter-
There are so many animals at shelters who don’t get the attention they need. Why not contact your local shelter and see how you can help?
Check out the Bowling Alley in your area for family times and prices. Bumpering bowling is a great way for little ones to start out. The bumpers go in the gutters so your kids can be successful. Invite another family to go and make it even more fun.
Go Get Ice Cream After Dinner-
As the weather gets hot it’s nice to find ways to cool down. Grab some ice cream after dinner. If you’re unable to do that, make sundaes at home. Have extra toppings, sprinkles and even whip cream. Enjoy!
Read a Book as a Family-
Pick an age-appropriate book that you know your family will enjoy. Read a chapter a night. Before you read each night, ask questions to recap what was read the night before. This helps your child to better understand what was read.
Take in a Baseball Game-
Summer is the time to play ball! Go to a ball game whether it’s a professional game or a kid’s game. It’s nice to get out and support your local teams. If you have a favorite player, make some signs and cheer them on.
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Go to the Local Pool-
Enjoy your public pool. We often get a family pass so we can enjoy the pool as much as we want. Meet friends and make a day of it. Don’t forget the drinks and snacks because swimming makes kids hungry.
Set up a backyard full of games. It can be single games or an obstacle course. Either way it’s so much fun. Make sure to make it age appropriate. We often combine challenges as well as games so everyone can be successful. What’s most important is having fun!
Brighten Up Someone’s Day-
Bake some muffins, take them flowers or even help carry in their groceries. There are so many ways to brighten people’s days. Brainstorm with your kids how they can help others and who they want to help. Helping others makes them feel good and you too.
This is a great rainy-day activity. Set everything up like a regular spa. Have a nail station, a facial and even a place to get your hair done. Pamper them or let them pamper you. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures too.
Sitting by a lake or a stream is a relaxing way to spend the day. Everyone can take part in this activity. Kids do not need a fishing license. So, throw in a line and enjoy some nature as a family.
Neighborhood Flashlight Tag-
This was popular in our neighborhood. As soon as it got dark, we would play. Only the finder has a flashlight and the rest will hide. The kid with the flashlight would try to find everyone. If there were little kids that wanted to play, they were teamed up with an older kid. You can add your own rules to make the game easier or harder.
Go on a rock hunt and find some good-sized rocks that have a flat surface. Have fun painting them with the kids. To add to it, put an encouraging saying on the bottom. You can put them in your own garden or hide them around the neighborhood or local park. Last fall I found a rock in my flower bed that had a beautiful saying on it. It put a smile on my face. As I placed it back in my flower garden, I wondered which child in my neighborhood left it for me to find.
Lemonade Stand for Favorite Charity-
This can be so much fun for the kids. It gives them a chance to meet and talk with people. Anytime I see a lemonade stand I stop. It’s so much fun to see what they are raising money for. So far it has been for charities, a trip and books the kids wanted to buy. What do you want to raise money for?
Go to the Zoo-
Whether you’re traveling or staying home, check out a zoo or two. There are a lot of fun zoos in the US. If you’re looking for ideas for your child to learn, a zoo is a great place to do just that. On the trip home ask your child what their favorite animal was at the zoo. For example, your child may say polar bear. Make a trip to the library or go online and find some fun facts about polar bears. Have them share it with the family. It’s a fun way to continue learning.
Design Paper Airplanes-
Go online and learn some new paper airplane designs. Make some of the old designs that you may have learned as a kid. Then find a place to throw them and see which one goes the farthest. Have a contest or just have fun.
Pizza Making Night-
This night is so much fun! You can make your own pizza dough or buy ones already made. Your family can make one big pizza or individual pizzas. The whole family gets a say in this one.
Learn a New Sport-
There is so much to do in the summer. Take swimming lessons, learn tennis, pickleball, putt-putt golf or badminton. There are so many options in the summer. Either learn as a family or learn individually. If you’re into a sport, introduce it to your kids. Get out and take in some fresh air and have fun.
Water Game Day-
On a HOT day grab some balloons, sponges, buckets and sprinkler. Have relay races carrying wet sponges on your head and squeeze the remaining water in a cup and see which team fills it first. Have a balloon toss. Jump rope or hula hoop through the sprinklers. Have a balloon or sponge fight. The possibilities are endless.
No Technology Day-
No TV, phones, tablets, or computers. Make it a day where you enjoy each other’s company. Try some of the other activities on this list. Most importantly enjoy each other’s company.
Swap Books with a Friend-
Have you kids read all their books? Why not swap with some friends and see what they enjoy reading. What a great way to be introduced to new books or a new book series without the cost.
Squirt Gun Fight-
This is a favorite event at our house. We have lots of squirt guns to choose from. We set up 5-gallon buckets all over as fill stations. Our rule is if you’re filling up your safe from being squirted. Loads of laughter on hot days!
Bring the Legos outside and put them on a blanket or table. Create ideas for them to build. Have them make a car, boat, food, a house etc. Great for sunny and rainy days.
Set Up Craft Corner-
For those days that you just can’t get outside, set up a craft corner. Add some crayons, markers, stencils, white paper, construction paper, coloring books, scissors and glue. Everything your little ones need to be creative.
Visit friends or family in a Different City-
Why not discover a new city. Go to local attractions in that area. If your friends or family are new to that area then you can both discover new places together. It’s definitely more fun with friends and family.
This is a favorite in our neighborhood. When the kids bring out the chalk everyone joins in. The kids create masterpieces and we get to enjoy them. Don’t forget to take pictures before the rain washes them away.
Run through the puddles-
One of my little guys I used to watch was afraid of the rain. One day he decided he was going to be brave so he put his boots and raincoat on and ventured out in the rain. He had so much fun. His mom took lots of pictures of him jumping in the puddles and running in the rain. I still think of him and smile
Teach Them to Dance-
When I was a young my mom taught my brother and I how to dance. She cranked up the music and showed us her moves. I will always remember this. So, crank up the music and show them your moves.
Hope this list gives you some ideas so you can make this a summer to remember with your family. Your kids will be talking about the memories you created for years to come. So take lots of pictures and laugh a lot.