Summer is often the best time of year for kids. There is no school, days at the beach, family vacations, summer camp, and tons of other fun things to do. For parents, it can be a bit more complicated than that. Whether you work or stay at home, summer can be a difficult time dealing with added day care, bored kids, and the expense of many summer activities.
Summer can seem to crawl slowly by, until you near the end of August and realize, it’s almost over! Panic sets in as you look back on your summer and realize that you didn’t do all the things you wanted to with the kids. That trip to the waterpark you had been meaning to make had fallen to the wayside between screen time and your busy schedule. Of course, you want your family to have a fun and memorable summer, so try making a bucket list of activities that you definitely want to do with your kids. You don’t have to schedule every minute or day, just make a list of ideas that you want to do. A fun idea is to write the ones that need less planning on Popsicle sticks and put them in a jar. On a day that you and your kids are looking for something to do, pull out a stick and follow the fun!
The Beach or Pool
Spending a day near the water is a low cost and fun way to spend the day with your kids. If your family did nothing but go to the beach this summer, your kids probably wouldn’t complain at all. In fact, it can be hard to tear them away.
You can add many beach activities to your summer bucket list, like building a sand castle, having a picnic, flying a kite, and body surfing the waves. If your kids are old enough, you can stay to watch the sunset. Something about water and sun wears kids and adults out. After a day by the pool or beach, you can count on a good night’s sleep.
Having a bonfire with family or friends is a great way to spend a summer evening. You sit by the fire in camping chairs, roasting marshmallows, catching fireflies, and chatting. This is also wonderful if you are camping. At first, taking kids camping seems daunting, but it can be really fun and kids love it.
If you are feeling particularly ambitious, hang a sheet from a tree or on your house and use a projector to watch a movie outside. Your kids may have to stay up past their bedtime because it gets dark so late, but that is fun too!
Road trips are great fun, even if you are not going to some far off place. Pop your kids in the car and take a short road trip to a park that you’ve never been to before, or to an ice creamery that you’ve heard of, but have never tried. You don’t have to spend all day ‘road tripping’ with your kids, and where you go, doesn’t have to be amazing. The cliché that the best part of the journey is getting there rings true for a reason. Make sure to bring some great music (pro tip: kids love oldies) and sing your way to your destination.
Just because its summer doesn’t mean your children can’t learn. Try visiting some museums with your kids this summer. It is a great way to start conversations with your kids about what they see and how they interpret the world. Many public museums are free, or have only a nominal entrance fee. Depending where you are, you can find a host of museums with different specialties. This is a great activity on a rainy day or as a destination for your road trip.
Have a Field Day
You must remember the joy of field day at school just as summer was nearing. There were tons of games, contests, and best of all, you got to be outside all day! You too can have a field day with your family. If you want more people, invite over some family or friends to join in the fun! Play water balloon toss, have a water relay, treasure hunt, squirt gun fight, capture the flag, and top it all off with a shaving cream fight. A day of friendly battles and bbq will be a day to remember.
Summer Bucket List for your Family
You can be sure to have the best summer ever with your kids by making a summer bucket list with them.