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70+ Ultimate Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids in 2023

Are you ready for summer? A great way to begin your summer break is with a summer bucket list to get you clear on what you want for your summer season! There are plenty of fun ideas and engaging activities that elementary kids and preschoolers can enjoy during the summer. No reason to sit around feeling bored during the summer months! 

circle of kids in brightly colored shirts like on the grass looking up. Text overlay says: 70+ ultimate summer bucket list ideas for kids

Updated Summer 2023


Summer is the perfect time for relaxation and fun–it’s my favorite season and I look forward to it all year! I always want to enjoy it to the fullest and spend lots of quality time together as a family! The best way I’ve found to keep it the magic of summer from slipping by AND be joyful and intentional with our summer activities as a family is to write out a Summer Bucket List. 

Why Make a Summer Bucket List? 

Basically a bucket list is part to-do list and part fun brainstorming. Making a bucket list helps us be more intentional with our summer. When we plan for fun we actually do it! A summer bucket list helps keep boredom at bay. 

A summer bucket list can be a family group project that brings everyone together and on equal footing. Your kids may have some wonderful ideas for summer fun you wouldn’t think of doing–I know mine did!summer bucket list and fun

Your summer bucket list can be full of simple moments like “climb a tree” or “make homemade lemonade“. There are plenty of free ideas that fit your budget and bank account. You can also add a few bigger moments like going to a water park or beach days. I would start small and know you can always add things to your list later! 

Picture of children exploring backyard with magnifying glass and another collage of kids playing with water balloons. Text in between says "can't miss summer fun for kids of all ages"

70+ Ultimate Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids

  1. Go on a picnic
  2. Camp under the stars
  3. Lake Michigan beach day Three children play in the waters near lake Michigan on a cloudy summer day.
  4. Zoo trip
  5. Let your kids photograph a day-in-the-life
  6. Pick blueberries layla blueberry picking
  7. See a parade
  8. Run or walk a 5K together
  9. Make homemade ice cream
  10. Take family photos
  11. Go to the 4-H Fair Crowd sits in stands at demolition derby at Whitley county 4-H fair. The evening sky is beautiful.
  12. Make a blanket fort
  13. Explore a waterfall
  14. Run a lemonade stand blonde girl in pink dress gives a thumbs up as she sits at a homemade lemonade stand with pink lemonade and red cups in her front yard.
  15. Make s’mores 
  16. Go to an art museum
  17. Make root beer floats
  18. Read 5 new books Brown haired girl reads Go Dog Go! book. The book mostly covers her face.
  19. Join the summer library reading program
  20. Have a paper airplanes race
  21. Go to the dollar store and let each kid pick out one thing
  22. Go for a hike at a state park Mom in black shirt and three young kids stand on a hiking trail together smiling
  23. Write a poem
  24. Go to a  local farmer’s market 
  25. Bake a pie (Easy Dutch apple or peach blueberry are favs!) 
  26. Go for a boat ride
  27. Visit a local farm or petting zoo Boer goat with brown head and big horns eats from a dish of strawberry tops with a barn and herd of goats in the background
  28. Go on a scavenger nature walk
  29. Create a backyard obstacle course
  30. Make homemade popsicles
  31. Build a sand castle at the beach or in the sandbox Preschool age boy builds sand castle at the beach with brightly colored sand toys
  32. Have an outdoor movie night under the stars
  33. Go to a drive in movie theater
  34. Plant a garden
  35. Create or buy a nature journal
  36. Visit a new playground Two blonde children play seesaw in a park on a summer day
  37. Write and illustrate a book
  38. Pet a kitten
  39. Climb a tree
  40. Cloud watch
  41. Go to an amusement park for a day (check for discounts on half days too!) Young boy rides a motorcycle at amusement park during summer
  42. Have a themed dress up day (pirates, Disney characters, superheroes) 
  43. Go to a minor league baseball game
  44. Try paddleboarding
  45. Find the closest National Park and go visit it! 
  46. Learn a new outdoor game like capture the flag or kickball or badminton. Girl in patriotic shirt plays capture the flag at Gull Lake Ministries family camp
  47. Organize backyard Olympics for the whole family
  48. Make a pinecone + peanut butter bird feeder
  49. Wash the car together
  50. Lego-building competition – everything from tallest tower to making houses to creating characters and scenes! 
  51. Make friendship bracelets or tie dye t-shirts with friends Girls tie dye t-shirts in backyard on a picnic table
  52. Have a homemade ice cream party! Make it yourself and invite friends to enjoy. 
  53. Sidewalk chart art competition
  54. Attend an outdoor concert (lots of parks and fairs have them in the summer!) 
  55. Family game night with a new board game (Preschool fav and Elementary fav)
  56. Go on a mini road trip -Take a day trip to a nearby town or attraction that you haven’t visited before. Explore new places, visit landmarks, or try local cuisine. family stands together in a lush tropical area on a trail.
  57. Do a science experiment
  58. Decorate bikes, strollers and scooters for a neighborhood bike parade. 
  59. Host a water balloon fight with friends or family
  60. Go on a bike ride Dad with pull behind bike trailer and son and daughter on small bike take a summer bike ride together
  61. Ride a ferris wheel 
  62. Try a new fresh fruit
  63. Give everyone $2 dollars to spend and go to a yard sale
  64. Catch fireflies
  65. Stay up late roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories or asking would you rather questions. Little girl with blonde hair and sun on her shirt sits in a camp chair holding a s'more
  66. Do a random act of kindness for a friend, teacher, church or community member
  67. Go geocaching
  68. Turn off TV and electronics for a full day (or week or month!) 
  69. Kayak or float on a river Family kayaks down a channel together. Most are wearing life jackets. some are not enjoying the time.
  70. Let them “be bored” and see what happens! 

How Do You Make a Summer Bucket List for Kids? 

  • Ask them what they want to do this summer.
  • Ask what are they excited about? 
  • Ask them what they loved doing last summer (if they can remember!)

You can write down their answers or have them draw their ideas if they aren’t reading and writing yet. 

Use my FREE Playful Mom’s Summer Guide to help you get started! I have lots of ideas for embracing play together this summer season including a FREE printable summer bucket list so you can brainstorm and create your own summer bucket list for your family!

Plus get my favorite playlists and trello boards for even more family fun! 

collage of features and photos of the Playful Summer Guide a resource for moms with summer bucket lists

What is a Reverse Bucket List and Why It’s Genius. 

A reverse summer bucket list helps take the pressure off you, if a summer bucket list feels overbearing or you’re already low-key dreading “failing” by not checking everything off.

Simply add memorable and fun things you do to your Summer Bucket List AFTER you do them!

This how visiting a waterfall and making a blanket fort made its way onto our list! Yesterday the kids and I built a blanket fort (I needed to dry a large comforter so win-win). Then another time we spontaneously decided to check out a local park and it had a beautiful waterfall!  

summer kids in fortI realized after-the-fact these were fun, memory-making activities we had already completed, so onto the list they went! 

Remember the list is there to serve YOU not the other way around!

RELATED: An Imperfect Summer

Remember, meaningful moments don’t create themselves. If you want joyful and  adventurous days this summer–not whiney, hectic, and bored days–it’s time to think about summer differently.

And a great place to start is with a summer bucket list that the whole family can get behind! Putting pen to paper can help you prioritize your time (there are only so many weekends in the season) and be intentional with creating memories all summer long. Don’t forget to grab your Playful Summer Guide with the FREE DOWNLOAD Summer Bucket List

7ish Kids sit on a bench in brightly colored summer outfits. Text on top reads the ultimate summer bucket list for kids

This summer we have weddings, hikes, road trips, family lake vacations, live music, 4-H fairs and so many other fun activities on our list. We’ve also been intentional about NOT being involved in summer sports or theater.

Enjoy the summer and create wonderful memories with your little ones!

Summer Bucket List - Live intentionally this summer! This free printable summer bucket list can help!

What is one thing on YOUR summer bucket list?

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