After the world shut down last year, I am determined to make this summer our best summer ever so my kids and I put together a summer bucket list of more than 50 activities we’d like to do while the weather’s still warm.
Will we complete them all? I’m really not sure to be honest, but I know we’ll have a lot of fun and make a lot of memories trying!
I think my least favorite sound of summer just might be, “Mom, I’m boooored!” That sentence could drive me crazy coming from just one or two kids, and now that we have seven I know I need a serious game plan to make it through the summer months. Enter the summer bucket list!
What is a bucket list?
I had actually never heard of a bucket list until The Bucket List movie came out years ago.
Basically, a bucket list is a list of accomplishments or activities someone wants to do within a certain time period. That time period can be a week, a season, or an entire lifetime. I still haven’t seen the movie that first introduced me to this, but I loved the idea and decided to adapt it for our family!
What should I put on my summer bucket list?
The good news about a bucket list is there’s really no wrong way to make one. Bucket lists will vary from person to person and family to family because they are extremely personal, but I wanted to share some questions that can help you make your list.
1 How much time do you want to give yourself to complete the activities?
You could make one large bucket list for the summer of all the activities you want to do or, if that feels overwhelming, make a new list every week or month instead.
2. How many activities should I put on our list?
That really depends on what your schedule’s going to be like when you’re trying to finish your tasks. If your calendar’s already filled with work commitments or vacations, and your kids will be spending most of their time at summer camps or somewhere other than home, it might be best to make a smaller list.
This will also depend on how you and your family will feel if you don’t complete everything on your list. If the list is a resource for ideas and not necessarily something you have a goal to completely achieve, a big list can be a lot of fun to make! It can be a great brainstorming activity and lead to a lot of great family conversations, but if your kiddos are going to be devastated because a few tasks are left undone, it’s best to make a smaller, more realistic bucket list so the summer doesn’t end in disappointment.
3. Who in the family should make the list?
I am a big believer that the more our kids can be involved in just about anything, the more interest and enjoyment they’ll take in participating in the task when the time comes. Side note: If you have a picky eater, this little trick can work wonders for mealtimes. Food apparently tastes better when toddlers help to make them.
When I’m planning out summers, I like to get input and ideas from everyone in our family. I’ll admit every suggestion doesn’t necessarily make the list, but my kids always seem to think of things I never even thought of, and it’s fun to hear what their little minds come up with.
Summer Bucket List Free Printables
Bucket lists don’t have to be fancy to be fun. They can be as simple as a list on a phone, activities written on a chalkboard, or a piece of paper taped to the side of the fridge.
I do personally like to have a bucket list displayed for our family so we can be reminded of the fun things we want to do and get the satisfaction of marking them off when they’re done so I made this free summer bucket list printable for our family, and we’d love to share it with you! There are two pages, one with tasks and one without, so you can make it work for your personal summer goals.
50+ Summer Bucket List Ideas to Make This Your Best Summer Ever
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1. Make and eat ice cream
Ice cream and I have had a lifelong love affair so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s at the top of my list! While I know most kids would be more than thrilled with a simple scoop in a bowl or cone, this could be made even more fun by creating a topping bar with things like sprinkles, sauces, and whipped cream or your own version of Cold Stone Creamery where you mix toppings and candies into the ice cream yourself (just be sure to use a cold stone. I tried folding toppings into my ice cream on a cutting board once and couldn’t figure out why it was melting so quickly. Then I realized, “Oh COLD stone!” This happened before I even met my husband, and he still makes fun of me for it!)
I’ve started making ice cream for our family because we’re trying to cut down on sugar as much as possible, and I’m thrilled to share that this recipe is phenomenal! I tweak it a bit by using dark chocolate and mixing in chocolate chunks, almonds, and coconut, and I promise you seriously won’t miss the sugar at all. You won’t even know it’s missing!
I have three of these ice cream makers, and they work pretty well, but if I had to do it again I’d buy something a little larger like this 2 quart machine or splurge on something super fancy like this machine with a compressor so I didn’t have to wait for bowls to freeze and can have ice cream on demand.
2. Go to a festival
3. Visit the zoo or a petting zoo
4. Go to a farm
5. Have a car wash
6. Have a water balloon fight
Water balloon fights are always a big hit with my kids, and they even come in bunches with handy nozzles so they can be quickly filled up. Much easier than how I had to fill them when I was a kid.
7. Make and play with play dough
8. Fly a kite
9. Draw with sidewalk chalk
Sidewalk chalk can be surprisingly versatile and is really just the beginning of a bunch of fun activities. I especially love creating mazes, games, and interactive images for my kids to pose with. This video has a few fun ideas too. I’ve never seen the spray sidewalk chalk before! I’m going to have to try that soon.
10. Play miniature golf
11. Make pizza
12. Go swimming
13. Play in a sandbox
14. Read a book.
Reading a book as a family can be a lot of fun. Everyone can snuggle up together and let their imaginations bring the book to life. Audiobooks are another great idea and the perfect companion for an unhappy kiddo who’s just been told he needs to do his chores. Ask me how I know!
15. Visit the beach
16. Ride bikes
17. Have a picnic
18. Visit your favorite or a brand new park
19. Have a cookout
20. Create an obstacle course in your own home or yard
Obstacle courses are so easy to put together with random things from around the house. Anything from paper towel rolls, packages of toilet paper, and cushions from the couch can turn a regular old family room into an exciting physical challenge.
21. Play tennis
22. Watch a movie outside
23. Make S’mores
24. Catch fireflies
25. Play frisbee or frisbee golf
26. Play with a pinata (These watermelon and hula pig in a grass skirt are really cute!)
27. Take a trip to the library
28. Sleep in tents under the stars
29. Run through sprinklers
30. Visit a water park
31. Have a family game night
Game nights are a great thing to add to a summer bucket list! Our personal favorite now that our kids are getting a little older is Catan, but Telestrations and Phase 10 Twist are a lot of fun too.
32. Pay it forward with acts of kindness
33. Make popsicles
34. Have a sleepover
35. Watch a parade
36. Feed ducks
37. Visit a museum
38. Go for a hike
39. Go fishing
40. Visit an amusement park
41. Make a fruit bouquet arrangement
Creating a fruit bouquet is a really fun way to take snack time up a notch!
42. Have a pillow fight
43. Watch fireworks or play with sparklers
44. Give the kids a wagon ride
45. Have a relay or potato sack race
46. Make a movie
47. Blow bubbles
48. Have a treasure hunt
49. Finger painting
50. Play bean bag toss
51. Go bowling
52. Have a movie night
53. Build a fort
54. Run a lemonade stand
55. Plant and tend a garden
56. Play on a slip and slide
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