Create your own summer bucket list

summer bucket listBy Jeanine Jantz

Summer is here and many of us are asking how are we going to keeps kids busy for the next couple of months. Making a bucket list of things to do during the summer is a fun way to keep the excitement of summer going. Making a special event or activity for each week provides something to look forward to. When everything on the bucket list is complete and summer is winding down you’ll have memories of summer and not just the hum drum boredom or what seems like non-stop arguing. Beat the summer boredom that quickly occurs after the out of school excitement starts to wear off. Here are a few ideas for your Summer Bucket List, be sure to add your some of your own. Many of these are inexpensive or even free!

Water fights – who doesn’t like a water fight especially when it’s 100+ outside? You can use sprinklers, water guns, big bowls, plastic cups- really anything that holds water. All ages love this, you can even divide up into teams and the younger children can be “secret weapons” so they can be part of the fun also. Change it up in the winter and have snowball fights.

Pudding paint-mix up pudding and let the kids paint on old newspaper or wax paper. This works for all ages. If you are feeling brave you can take it outside and they can paint themselves (arms, legs etc). Older kids may like this better than just simple painting. You can wash off with a hose or buckets of water before coming inside.

Making play dough– older kids can measure while the younger ones mix and play with it.

Shaving cream paint– Younger children love this. It looks really cool on various colors of construction paper.

Make popsicles– you can pour Kool-aid into small containers and add Popsicle sticks or you can buy Popsicle molds.

Tents are always fun– grab a blanket or a couple chairs or anything else you can find to make a tent. If you have a real tent camping out in the backyard for a night is fun for kids.

Body Art-girls always like to have their nails done, even the little ones. This probably works better when you have time and a lot of patience! Painting little girls’ nails can be challenging yet they like it, and it doesn’t even have to look good.

Boys and some girls usually like tattoos. You can buy temporary tattoos for the younger ones. Tweens and teens can create their own. Make sure you approve the tattoo and use water soluble paint or markers to color it on their arm. They can do it themselves or for extra fun, the parent paints it.

Collages– save old materials, pop bottles, lids, buttons, yarn, and old torn up clothes, clothes, fabric -anything you can think of, then grab some glue and let them create a masterpiece.

Picnics– you don’t even have to go to the park. Just change things up at meal time. Grab a blanket and head to the back yard or living room floor.

Finger paints-this old standby never goes out of date.

Games-tag-make up your own family rules so the younger ones can play too. Hangman, I Spy, tic- tac- toe are all fun and free! Or make up your own fun game.

Fun in the kitchen– use cookie cutters or free hand shapes in sandwiches. Funny shaped pancakes can also be made using cookie cutters. Let kids add their own toppings to pizza. The sandwiches are a fun surprise if you pack their lunches for summer camp.

Make your own band or have a parade– you can use pots/ pans/lids, old boxes and wooden spoon or chopsticks for drums, and empty bottles with rice or beans for shakers. Warning this is a lot of fun but can be loud!!!

Make your own sports team -grab a ball and play catch, football, basketball or kickball. You can incorporate the younger children in the game by making them your “special weapons” and let them run/kick the ball.

Starting your own family traditions– children love this! They don’t have to revolve around holidays and can be very simple such as making “special breakfast or other meal” for the first day of summer/school, making a simple sign for birthdays, a certain snack each Saturday or Sunday or any day you want. One family had popcorn and chocolate milk for Sunday evening snack!

Create a scavenger hunt -hide things for the children to find. If you have older children this is a great one to develop and pull out on a long day when you’re tired as they can search for things on their own as you rest for a few minutes. You will need to offer more assistance with the younger ones. You can also do an outside hunt.

Other super fun ideas-make your own puppet play, or act out the children’s favorite book. If you feel like spending more money and venturing out you can buy craft kits when they are on sale and save for those hot summer days to keep when your need a cool indoor activity.

Parks– See how many different parks you can play at through the summer. Adding interactive water parks add to the fun and keep you cool.

Library– Many local libraries have summer reading programs which are fun.

Camping- Even if it’s in your own back yard.

Have a great summer and beat that summer boredom.

Have other ideas? We would love to hear your ideas for a bucket list to beat the summer.

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