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Some of my BEST childhood memories come from those summer days I spent goofing off with my sister.
Those fun, random summer activities are the very things that will turn into your kids’ most cherished memories.
And, no, you don’t have to have a fancy vacation planned or spend tons of money to have a great summer and create lasting memories with your kids.
In fact, these summer bucket list printables include 42 ideas that even the most tablet-obsessed kid will enjoy!
Summer bucket list printables
Summer bucket list ideas for kids
1. Admire the stars – brownie points if you can identify the Big Dipper & Little Dipper!
Looking up at the stars on a clear summer night is a perfect way to relax and enjoy the summer season.
It’s also a great learning opportunity to teach kids about constellations. With a bit of instruction, they can be on their way to identifying the Big Dipper and Little Dipper.
Spending a little time under the stars is definitely a bucket list-worthy activity!
2. Slip N slide
Slip N slides have been a summer staple since I can remember. This idea is perfect for a hot summer day when the kids want to cool down.
You can always find these at stores locally during the summer months. Or, just add one to your Amazon cart real quick.
Bonus tip: We used to add a tiny bit of baby oil to make it extra slippery. They’ll be sliding for hours!
3. Go camping in your backyard.
Camping in your backyard – even if it’s just for a couple of hours – is a fun and easy way to enjoy the outdoors without having to travel too far.
And, when you have kids, it’s a safer way to introduce them to camping without having to worry about bears or other wildlife.
All you need is a tent, some sleeping bags, and a few snacks and drinks and you’re good to go.
4. Make a fort out of blankets and pillows.
If you have some extra blankets and pillows lying around, set them up in the living room and make a fort.
These little indoor forts can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
For such a simple summer activity, kids absolutely love it.
5. Have a water balloon battle.
Water balloon battles are always a hit with kids. They’re cooling, and it’s a fun way to get the whole family involved – especially if you have older kids.
Set up teams, fill up some water balloons, and let the fun begin.
6. Make homemade popsicles.
With some homemade popsicle molds, you can make any flavor of popsicle you want.
Once they’re done, they can taste-test their very own creation.
The best part? You are in charge of the ingredients you use, so you can make them as healthy or indulgent as you want.
For us, that means no artificial food dyes – and that’s a win.
7. Make homemade pizzas.
Making your own pizzas is another fun way to get the kids involved in the kitchen.
If making pizza dough from scratch sounds too complicated, you can always use a tortilla instead.
Once you have your dough or tortilla, the possibilities are endless. Let the kids add their favorite toppings and get creative.
8. Walk on grass barefoot.
Walking on grass barefoot is one of those simple summer pleasures that kids seem to enjoy.
So, add it to the summer bucket list! Kick off your shoes and enjoy the freeing feeling of grass between your toes.
9. Read _____ new books. (With a prize if they complete the challenge)
Reading is good for kids all year round, not just when they’re in school.
To encourage your kids to read more, set a goal for the summer and offer a prize if they reach it.
Since it’s summertime, let them pick their own books. After all, kids are more likely to read about topics they’re interested in.
Related: Free Printable Summer Reading Logs
10. Roast marshmallows.
An oldie but a goodie. Roasting marshmallows is a classic summer activity that kids of all ages (and adults too!) seem to enjoy.
If you don’t have a fire pit, no worries. Oven-roasted s’mores are a good alternative.
11. Make fresh lemonade.
Making lemonade from scratch is another classic summer activity that kids enjoy.
All you need is some lemons, sugar, and water. But, buying a quality lemon squeezer (We love this one) will make this activity so much easier on your hands!
12. Splash in some mud puddles.
This idea is perfect for those rainy summer days.
Grab some rain boots (or don’t – depending on how dirty you want to get) and jump in some puddles. You may even get lucky enough to see a rainbow!
13. Run through the water sprinkler.
If you don’t have a pool, the next best thing is a water sprinkler.
Set it up in the yard and let the kids run through it to cool down.
If you don’t already own a water sprinkler for the lawn, you can find all sorts of water sprinklers for kids on Amazon.
Some of them also have splash pads, which can be a lot of fun when it’s sunny outside.
14. Have a water soaker battle.
If that isn’t enough fun in the water, have a water soaker battle.
Grab a few super soakers or load up on minis from the dollar store and let the kids have at it.
15. Collect shells at the beach.
If you’re headed to the beach this summer, add shell collecting to your list of things to do.
And, if you’re feeling extra creative, you can use those shells to make some crafts when you get home.
16. Paint rocks.
Painted rocks are all the rage right now.
And, it’s a great summer bucket list activity for kids because it can be done both indoors and outdoors.
To get started, grab a rock painting kit and have the kids go collect some rocks. Then, let them get creative and paint away!
17. Have a board game night.
With all the new technology, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and play some good old-fashioned board games.
Am I right?
A few classics to consider are Monopoly, Scrabble, and Candy Land.
And, if you want to mix things up, there are tons of new board games for kids on the market these days.
18. Make a tie-dye shirt.
Tie-dye is another idea that can be done both indoors and outdoors.
To get started, you’ll need a tie-dye kit and some white shirts.
Then, let the kids go to town and make some fun designs.
19. Watch fireworks.
Fireworks are a staple for any summer bucket list.
If you have your own fireworks, great. If not, many towns have public fireworks displays that the whole family can enjoy.
20. Learn how to hula hoop and have a contest.
Hula-hooping is a fun way to get the kids moving.
And, it can be a lot of fun for adults too! If you haven’t quite figured out how to hula hoop, follow some tutorials together and see who can keep the hoop going the longest.
If the hula hoop doesn’t work out, consider jumping rope instead.
21. Have a picnic in the park or your backyard.
Head to the park or find the perfect spot I’m your backyard and plan a picnic.
You can pack up some sandwiches, snacks, and drinks and enjoy a nice summer meal outdoors.
And, if you want to make things extra special, pack up a dessert too – like fresh watermelon or cantaloupe.
22. Go somewhere new.
Whether it’s a new park, a new store, or even a new city, explore somewhere new this summer.
Sometimes it’s fun to mix things up. It keeps it interesting!
23. Try something new.
Much like you can go somewhere new, you can try something new.
This can be anything from a new food, a new activity, or even a new way of doing things.
24. Make homemade ice cream. (Nothing compares!)
Homemade ice cream is one of those summertime activities I always looked forward to! You have to make it at least once.
And, it’s actually pretty easy to make, and the kids can add their favorite toppings or mix-ins.
25. Have some shaved ice.
Shaved ice can also be quite refreshing on those hot summer days.
However, I’m not a fan of the artificial food dyes that are usually in your traditional shaved ice.
But, if you’re avoiding food dyes, did you know you can get natural syrups for shaved ice?
26. Make slime.
Making slime can be messy, but it’s also a lot of fun for kids.
And since this is for something special – your kid’s summer bucket list – it may be worth making an exception. Just this once!
There are all sorts of fun slime kits you can buy.
27. Play hide and seek.
Playing hide and seek is another classic that you can’t skip, especially if you have younger kids.
And, it can be done both indoors and outdoors. So, if it’s too hot to be outside, you can always play inside.
28. Play tag.
As kids, we played regular tag, but there are so many variations of the game now.
Tag is a great summer game for getting the kids up and moving. Just make sure they stay hydrated as they’re running all around, of course.
29. Play frisbee or catch.
Another summer game to check off your bucket list is frisbee or catch.
Kids can play with just a few people or a large group. Use an old-school frisbee or upgrade the game with a glow-in-the-dark frisbee.
30. Visit someone you haven’t seen in a while.
This is a great idea for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
If there’s someone you haven’t seen in a while, make an effort to visit them this summer. It’ll be fun for the kids too!
31. Find a four-leaf clover. (I found a 7-leaf once. Incredible, yes?)
This is one of those things that’s definitely more challenging than it sounds, but it can be a lot of fun for kids (and adults) to search for a four-leaf clover.
And, if you’re lucky enough to find one, it’s considered good luck!
32. Toss a penny into a fountain.
Make a wish as you toss a penny into a fountain.
You can do this at some local parks or even at some malls.
It’s something new and fun to add to your summer bucket list, and who knows – your wish might just come true.
33. Make sidewalk chalk art.
Making sidewalk chalk art can be a fun bucket list idea for kids during their summer break. It’s easy to do and the supplies are inexpensive, so it’s a great way to get creative.
Kids can make all sorts of designs with sidewalk chalk, and they’ll have a blast doing it. They can draw pictures, write messages, or even make a hopscotch board.
34. Bake and decorate a cake or cupcakes together.
Everyone loves cake and cupcakes! Why not make it into a summer activity?
You can use a basic box mix from the store or make it completely from scratch.
Whatever you do, kids will love helping to bake and decorate the cake or cupcakes. And, they’ll be proud of their creations too.
(You can buy sprinkles that do not contain any artificial food dyes as well – just throwing this out there for other parents like myself who didn’t know this until recently.)
35. Plant something and watch it grow.
You can plant flowers, vegetables, or even herbs. And, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy – even a pot of dirt will do.
Kids will love watching their plants grow and seeing the results of their hard work.
36. Pick fresh fruit/veggies or support your local farmer’s market.
If you have a local farm or farmer’s market, take the kids and let them pick out some fresh fruit or vegetables.
They’ll love picking their own food and it’s always nice to support local businesses. Plus, you’ll get some delicious food out of it too!
37. Serve up some fresh watermelon.
There’s nothing like a fresh watermelon on a hot summer day. It’s refreshing, delicious, and healthy too.
It’s the perfect summer treat for kids. To make this one easier, you may want to grab a quality watermelon slicer – this one will turn a large watermelon into 12 equal pieces. Magical.
38. Wash the car together – kids love spraying each other!
Washing the car is a summertime tradition for many families. But, it doesn’t have to be a chore.
Kids will love spraying each other with the hose and getting all sudsy. And, you’ll love having a clean car.
39. Complete _____ crossword puzzles or summer word searches.
Keep the kids occupied this summer with a stack of crossword puzzles or word searches.
40. Ride bikes or scooters together.
Riding bikes or scooters is a great way to get some exercise and have some fun during the summer break.
It’s a nice activity to do as a family. If you have a little one who’s not quite ready for a regular bike, try a balance bike – our youngest loves his!
A balance bike is basically a bike without pedals. They’re excellent for younger kids who have outgrown the tricycle but haven’t quite learned how to balance on a regular bike yet.
41. Visit the zoo or aquarium.
Zoos and aquariums are fun experiences for kids. They’ll love seeing all the different animals and learning about them too.
And, you may even learn a thing or two yourself.
42. Take a family photo
And, of course, don’t forget to document all the fun with a family photo. You can even make it into a yearly tradition.
Then, you can hang the photos up in your home and look back on all the great memories each year.
Why spending time creating memories is important
Summertime is a time to slow down, relax, and just enjoy the company of your family.
It’s also a time when kids can explore their imaginations and be creative without the pressures of schoolwork or grades hanging over their heads.
Think about it. You only have 18 summers with your kids while they’re still kids. (I know – bring out the tissues.)
That’s why it’s so important to create lasting memories now. These are the memories that they’ll cherish for years to come.
There are so many fun summer bucket list ideas and activities that kids will love.
And, lots of them are free or relatively inexpensive. Download one of these free summer bucket list printables and start making your own bucket lists!
What’s on your summer bucket list?