What are we going to do all summer break? Have a whole lot of fun with this printable summer bucket list for kids. Try these 31 fun family activities to keep kids busy and make memories.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids
Summer break can be both a parent’s delight (no more homework!) and a parent’s nightmare (what do we do all day?!)
For our family, we like having a balance of total free time (for kids to play outside, play with friends, and do their own thing) and loosely scheduled family activities.
Doing something new or different 1-2 days per week make summer feel longer because we have more distinct activity memories, without being overwhelming trying to do something fun every. single. day.
So, we put together a printable summer bucket list of 24 activities to check off your adventure list this summer.
Get THE PRINTABLE
SUMMER BUCKET LIST FOR KIDS
We’ll also send you a reminder once a week highlighting tips and fun ideas for 2 of the easy summer bucket list activities.
Consider this a quality time checklist so you’ll have plenty to talk about when people ask “what did you do this summer?”
Planning a family trip? Check out our printable vacation planning pack and our best family traveling tips here.
35+ Activity Ideas: Summer Bucket List for Kids
🍉 Eat Watermelon
Remember: To pick a good ripe watermelon, choose one that is dark green and heavy, with a yellowish spot (not white) on the bottom.
🌊 Play Water Games
A good ol’ fashioned water game is the best way to pass a summer afternoon. Invite a few friends to make it a party by playing these 8 Easy Backyard Water Games. Set up slip and slide, add some easy-fill water balloons for a water balloon fight, and don’t forget the bubbles!
🌱 Plant a Garden
Planting is always in season for kids!
When planting a little later in the season, try planting fast-growing carrots, beans, or lettuce, or flowers such as sweet peas, marigolds, or sunflowers.
🍋 Host a Lemonade Stand
My kids love hosting a lemonade stand in our neighborhood. It’s great to see budding entrepreneurs learning how to work — even if they do drink a lot of their own inventory! Here are 7 tips to make it a success.
🥫 Play Kick The Can
Do your kids know how to play kick the can and the classic games that you played growing up, before there was “screen time”?
Play these 8 classic games together and try these other classic screen free activities:
- put on a puppet show
- fly paper airplanes
- play catch with a frisbee or baseball
- play night games like flashlight tag
- draw and play hopscotch
🍪 Make Cookies
The last thing I want to do in the summer is turn on the oven and heat up the house for a batch of cupcakes — so we make NO BAKE cookies instead!
🔨 Build a Fort
It’s a rite of passage to build an epic fort during the summer! Build a fort with a blanket over the clothesline, or try these fort ideas, built from a variety of materials, from cardboard and bed sheets to 2x4s and shingles.
🎲 Hold a Game Night
Playing games together can strengthen a family bond and give years of good memories! Check out 15 of our Favorite Family Games to Play Play in your fort or on the patio for extra summer fun.
🍃 Go on a Nature Walk
Choose a cool morning to take a nature walk around the neighborhood or the park. Gather a few sticks, rocks, plants, or flowers to make these easy nature crafts.
👨🍳 Kids Cook Lunch/Dinner
Take the day off and let the kids cook dinner (or lunch) today! They’ll need only your supervision to make these 7 lunch or dinner meal ideas.
🧊 Play with Ice
When it’s hot outside, ice makes an inexpensive refreshing toy! Channel your inner Ice Queen with these chillingly cool ice activities. (These do require about 24 hours or so to freeze, so plan ahead.)
🍓 Pick & Eat Strawberries
Strawberry season is one of my favorite parts of summer! Pick up some strawberries (find a patch near you or swing by the grocery store, no judgment here!) and eat up summer’s best crop.
🔥 Make S’mores
Build a campfire or fire up the grill and roast those marshmallows (or try these other campfire desserts). I can almost feel the sticky gooey deliciousness on my lips…
✂️ Host a Craft Day
Let their creativity loose! Round up some craft supplies and see what they can create from cereal boxes and buttons and tin cans and duct tape and… whatever else you can find. Try these 25 Wall Art Ideas Kids Can Make or make friendship bracelets, paper flowers, and more.
🚲 Take a Family Bike Ride
A bike ride around the neighborhood is a great way to burn off some energy, exercise as a family, and help kids understand geography, too.
🥾 Go on a Hike
Hiking as a family is a great activity to experience nature and build confidence and curiosity in kids. Take a picnic lunch, water bottles, and snacks, and don’t forget the pencils and paper to make a scavenger hunt!
We love using AllTrails.com to find good kid-friendly trails near us.
🎨 Paint Rocks
Painting rocks is a simple craft activities that all kids seem to love. Check in your area for local rock hunting and hiding groups, too. Read our tips for rock painting.
Have lots of landscaping rocks that you don’t want permanently painted? Decorate with sidewalk chalk and it will wash off the in next rain storm or sprinkler day.
🍿 Hold an Outdoor Movie Night
This is the only screen time activity on our list because we do LOVE watching movies together and what’s better than watching a movie under the stars!
🍧 Make Popsicles
What’s better than a popsicle? A homemade popsicle you made yourself!
Most of these 8 simple treats to make with kids need to freeze for a few hours, so make these in the morning to enjoy in the afternoon or for an evening filled with fireworks.
🏕️ Camp in the Backyard
We love camping, but sometimes it’s nice to be close to home, too! With backyard camping, you can make time to camp even with a busy schedule: watch the sun set, catch fireflies, and cook breakfast in your own kitchen instead of over the fire.
Headed to the campground? Read 8 tips to make camping with kids easier and more of our camping tips here.
🌳 Play Outdoor Games
Use sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, and other items in the yard to make an obstacle course for a fun summer Olympic game day.
💦 Play in the Sprinklers
Running through the sprinklers is a fond childhood memory. Make your own memories *and* sprinklers with 5 DIY Sprinklers for Kids to Play In.
Be sure to apply (and re-apply) sunscreen so you don’t need to use our tips and natural remedies to treat sunburns!
🍳 Eat Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast for dinner (aka “brinner”) is a standby at our house and a mom favorite! Whether you eat brinner once a month or once a week, this is a definite family tradition to keep!
⭐ Go Stargazing
There’s something magical about staring up into the heavens. Finding constellations and watching for shooting stars is a great way to celebrate school-free nights.
🍕 Make Homemade Pizza
Homemade pizza is a year-round meal at our house, but we especially love to make it during the summer!
🧪 Do a Science Experiment
These Hands-on Science Exploration Activities for Younger Kids and for Older Kids are a great way to have some fun while learning this summer.
🏊♀️ Go Swimming
Head to the pool and play these fun but educational pool games.
🎁 Make a Handmade Gift
Summer is a great time to talk about giving, or plan ahead for Grandparents’ Day, the first day of school, or even Christmas. Make an easy gift for grandparents, teachers, or friends.
Take a break! Relax and read with our favorite book picks in a fort, the hammock, or somewhere else fun while watching the sunset.
🍦 Make Root Beer Floats
Pick up some vanilla ice cream (or make homemade ice cream) and some root beer and let the kids make their own root beer floats! Add orange soda to the shopping list for a creamsicle float, too, or make a colorful soda float.
📜 Do Some Family History Activities
Add some extra family bonding by creating a time capsule or doing these family history crafts and games for kids.
🥤 Make a Smoothie
Pick up some fruit, yogurt, and other smoothie ingredients to make these 12 Smoothie Recipes for Breakfast or Dessert. Fun for a sunrise hike starter!
🌞 More Summer Bucket List Activities Around Town
Our summer bucket list activities above are mostly centered around being home or in the great outdoors — try these other activities around town, too!
- Go bowling or mini golfing.
- Go to the park and fly a kite.
- Visit the aquarium or zoo.
- Play at the local water park or splash pad.
- Go to the movie theater.
- Visit the children’s museum.
- Get a treat from the ice cream truck.
- Go to a concert.
- Ride all the rides at a local carnival or amusement park.
Try these other Summer Family Activities
- 15 Outdoor DIY Projects for a Summer Ready Yard
- Build a Pergola for Swings (around the fire pit!)
- DIY Inflatable Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Setup