create a summer bucket list with your kids

The days are long, but the years are short. 

The same could be said about summer. Except that summer days are extra long, yet somehow summer seems to fly by in the blink of an eye. Before you know it you're snapping that first day of school picture with a spiffy new backpack and fresh school supplies wondering how your little baby became so grown up.

Each day of summer seems to stretch on forever, especially here in Florida where the heat and humidity make it hard to go outside in the middle of the day. There are only so many trips to the library we can take before we all start going stir crazy. 

But I always reach the end of summer with a slight feeling of panic. Did we have enough ice cream? Did we lay in the grass enough? Did we ride bikes, eat popsicles in the driveway, or go to the beach enough? 

If you're anything like me, you have amazing memories of summer, and you want the same thing for your kids without also feeling like you have to entertain them every second of every day.

I think one way to find that middle ground is to have a summer bucket list. If you have enough excursions, outings, and special days planned for your summer, you end up appreciating the relaxing days at home while also making memories. 

The perfect summer bucket list will have a mix of big trips and small moments. Some items will require planning days and weeks in advance, while other items won't even require getting out of your pajamas.

Also keep in mind that a summer bucket list is not meant to box you in or stress you out, but rather to give you peace of mind and structure. If you don't get to everything on the list, no big deal! Add it to next summer's list, save it for Labor Day Weekend, or just skip it altogether if it wasn't that important to you. 

So without further adieu, here are some ideas to add to your summer bucket list. Pick and choose the ones that work for your family, and use these as a springboard to come up with your own ideas. 

Ideas to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

1. Go Camping

2. Make homemade popsicles

3. Have a Summer Kickoff or Summer Solstice party

4. Go to the beach (or lake or river)

5. Buy each kid a water bottle or cup with a straw and decorate with puffy paint

6. Go for a bike ride

7. Make lemonade

8. Have a water balloon fight

9. Have a picnic

10. Go for a nature walk

11. Visit a state or national park

12. Go swimming

13. Blow bubbles

14. Get up early and watch the sunrise

15. See fireworks

16. Make s'mores

17. Visit the library

18. Have a barbecue

19. Go to a museum

20. Have a movie night

21. Write a letter and send it in the mail

22. Play with sidewalk chalk

23. Go to a baseball game

24. Participate in a summer reading program

25. Take a day trip to a nearby city

26. Have a family sleepover in the living room

27. Bake cookies (brownies, cupcakes, whatever!) and bring them to someone

28. Go to the zoo

29. Make a fruit salad

30. Have a family Olympics day

31. Write in a journal

32. Go to a splash pad

33. Stay up extra late

34. Watch a parade

35. Do makeovers

36. Build a fort

37. Have a lemonade stand

38. Lay in the grass and watch the clouds

39. Look at the animals at the pet store

40. Visit all the parks in your city

41. Play with glow sticks when it's dark out

42. Make shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks

43. Go fishing

44. Plant flowers

45. Make ice cream sundaes

46. Go to a fair

47. Pick your own berries

48. Listen to live music outside

49. Go to a farmer's market

50. Play Mad Libs

51. Drive to another state

52. Make a scrapbook or photo book of your summer adventures

53. Have a movie marathon and pajamas day

54. Get haircuts

55. Listen to an audiobook together

56. Be a tourist in your city

57. Try Little Passports

58. Go on breakfast dates

59. Have an Uno tournament

60. Create a summer playlist

61. Enter a photo contest

62. Play yard games like bocce ball or bean bag toss

63. Go to the movies

64. Collect rocks or seashells

65. Start learning a new language (use podcasts or audiobooks from the library)

66. Visit an aquarium

67. Try a new recipe

68. Go mini golfing

69. Toss a frisbee

70. Visit a fire station

71. Dress up in costumes and put on a show

72. Visit a relative

73. Learn to hula-hoop

74. Roll down a grassy hill

75. Learn a new skill from YouTube

76. Create chore charts 

77. Rent paddle boats

78. Splash in puddles on a rainy day

79. Teach your kids how to cook (or help cook) a specific dinner

80. Run a 5K

81. Read your favorite book from childhood aloud to your kids

82. Clean out your closets and donate or sell your old clothes

83. Learn everything you can about a famous artist and try to draw like them

84. Create a family exercise routine

85. Learn how to set a table properly

86. Go barefoot

87. Have a garage sale

88. Get disposable cameras and do a photo scavenger hunt

89. Find a constellation 

90. Make fruit-infused ice cubes for refreshing summer drinks

91. Paint rocks and hide them around town for others to find

92. Volunteer together

93. Make an outdoor pouring station with water and ice cubes

94. Have a tea party

95. Stay in a hotel for a night

96. Have a squirt gun fight

97. Do a hop-on-hop-off bus or trolley tour

98. Start a family savings jar for your next big trip

99. Play hopscotch

100. Do workbooks together

101. Play a board game

102. Interview your kids on video

103. Go to a candy store

104. Color your hair with wash-out hair dye

105. Fly a kite

106. Try cuisine from another country

107. Visit a botanical garden

108. Read books in the park

109. Take a walk in a neighborhood you've never been to

110. Have a Bunco tournament with your kids and wrap up prizes from the dollar store

111. Jump rope

112. Try a fruit or vegetable you've never tried

113. Take photographs of your family at sunset

114. Play Spoons

115. Make and decorate your own cupcakes

116. Find treasures at a local thrift store

117. Go for a scenic drive

118. Have a popcorn night with different seasonings

119. Make virgin piña coladas, daiquiris, margaritas, or slushies

120. Decorate baseball caps or t-shirts with fabric paint or markers

121. Practice alphabet and numbers on windows with dry erase markers

122. Go out for ice cream

123. Make your own pizzas and grill them

124. Visit a water park

125. Check out local festivals

Of course, you won't be able to do all of the items on this list, and some of them might not be conducive to your family. Pick and choose which items would be fun, exciting, and doable for your family, then add them to your list!

What's on your family's bucket list this summer?

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