The Best Summer Bucket List for Kids in 2023

Check out these 101+ ideas for your summer bucket list for kids!

Summer is finally here! Check out this Summer Bucket List for kids to see how you can make the most of this season as a family! 

School is almost out, warm temperatures are here, and it’s time to have some summer fun!

At Jen Bradley|MOMs we’re all about celebrating every season of the year in simple ways that can have a big impact. We want to help you make awesome memories with your kids. 

Get your hands on our Summer Bucket List for Kids and keep on reading to get all the details on each of the activities we feature on the list!

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What is a Bucket List? 

First, the term “Bucket List” refers to making a list of things someone has not done but wants to do during their lifetime. 

Thanks to the 2007 movie called Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, the term “bucket list” has become more popular in recent years. 

The Summer Bucket List for Kids ideas here on Jen Bradley|MOMs are a bit more light-hearted than a typical adult’s lifetime Bucket List. 

Instead, you’ll find tons of great ideas for family summer activities that can help your kids feel excited about the season ahead. 

Free Printable Summer Bucket List for Kids

To download and print your copy of our Summer Bucket List, simply click right here or on the image below! 

summer bucket list for kids printable

You’ll find two different versions available. One is brightly colored and festive and the other is mostly grayscale if you need a more printer-friendly copy. 

Once you’ve got your free printable Summer Bucket List for Kids, keep reading to get more details on each of the activities we’ve listed. 

With over 101 ideas on the list, you can easily choose the summer activities that are the best fit for your kids’ ages and interests!

We’ve organized our list into three simple categories:

  • Summer indoor activities 
  • Outdoor activities ideas
  • Out and about summer activities

101+ Great Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List 

Let’s get started with our indoor ideas for the Summer Bucket List for Kids!

Summer Indoor Ideas

1.Make a summer playlist

Start your summer off right with an awesome summertime playlist! Here are few summer hits to get you in the mood:

  • “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
  • “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama
  • “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams
  • “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper
  • “Surfin’ USA” by the Beach Boys (or any of their songs!)
  • “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
  • “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
  • “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars
  • “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley
  • “Wipeout” by The Surfaris

2. Have a dance party

If you’ve got a playlist, why not have an at-home summer dance party?!

Grab this awesome and inexpensive disco light from Amazon to make your dance party that much cooler!

3. Participate in a summer reading program

Check to see if your local library has a summer reading program for kids.

Usually they offer some great prizes and rewards for kids based on the number of books or minutes they read. It’s a great way to keep kids motivated to read during the summer months!

reading aloud is a great way for summer learning to happen

4. Learn some cool yo-yo tricks

Yo-yos are awesome, and it’s no surprise that they’re gaining tons of popularity again.

If you’re kids want to get into yo-yo-ing this summer, check out this cool trick yo-yo for kids!

(FYI: National Yo-Yo Day is June 6th, so double up the fun by celebrating a National Day AND learn to yo-yo!)

5. Make a music video

Whether your kids are into Tik-Tok or not, learn a short, fun dance routine and make a music video!

6. Do an art project

There are so many fun and easy summer art projects out there, but here are some we especially love:

Sunburst painting from Art Bar (perfect for an artsy teenage summer bucket list!)

Splatter painting from The Artful Parents – this one is great to do outdoors with kids of all ages

Water pistol painting from Messy Little Monster – your kids will LOVE this crazy fun outdoor painting experience!

Potato stamp ice cream cones from Made to Be a Momma – follow this up with real ice cream cones for a perfect summer afternoon

7. Celebrate National Days

Kids are so great at finding joy in the little things in life, which is why they typically LOVE celebrating National Days!

Whether you celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day on June 20th or National Water Balloon Day on August 5th, or any of the other awesome National Days in between, is totally up to you.

To stay up-to-date on the BEST National Days for Kids, join the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library! Every month we upload a brand new National Days calendar with all of the best National Days for kids!

June National Days calendar

8. Read summer picture books

Help your kids with their summer reading and read some cute summer picture books together.

Our favorites are:

Cannonball: A Fun Summertime Read About Believing in Yourself and Having Fun by Sacha Cotter – honestly, the title says it all!

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones – based on a true story of a town that turned their fountain into a goldfish pond

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli – a funny alligator deals with his biggest fear: swallowing a watermelon seed!

The Sandcastle That Lola Built by Megan Maynor – a fun summer twist on the well-known story, The House That Jack Built

9. Make homemade popsicles

Homemade popsicles are super easy to make! Check out this fun recipe for Sugar-Free Strawberry Popsicles from Live Eat Learn.

Also, you’ll need a popsicle mold to make homemade popsicles, so try this highly-rated, reusable silicone popsicle mold available on Amazon.


10. Celebrate Father’s Day

Celebrate Father’s Day by helping your kids do something sweet for the father-figure in their lives.

Breakfast in bed, a special foot massage, a handmade card, or a book of Father’s Day coupons are all great ideas!

11. Make a simple bird feeder

If your kids enjoy art, they might really like this cute DIY wooden bird feeder that they get to paint themselves!

Related article: 101 Awesome Screen-Free Activities to Do With Your Kids This Summer

12. Have an indoor campout

But if it’s too hot where you are to go camping outdoors, you can always stage an indoor campout instead.

13. Learn to sew or knit

If you have kids who are crafty, this could be the summer they want to learn to sew or knit!

See if your local recreation center offers classes!

14. Make homemade lemonade

Nothing says summer like a tall glass of cold, homemade lemonade!

Check out this easy 5-ingredient homemade lemonade recipe right here (that even includes the ice!).


15. Have a bake-off competition

Challenge your inner chef and have a bake-off competition one afternoon!

Think Great British Baking Show and let your kids have a blast creating their best dessert.

16. Celebrate the 4th of July

The 4th of July is quintessential summer.

Relax with friends, have a BBQ, wear your red, white, and blue, and watch fireworks!

17. Make friendship bracelets

Grab some embroidery floss from your local craft store and let your kids experiment with making friendship bracelets.

If you’d rather have an all-in-one kit, check out this one right here that comes with a 58-page instruction book.

friendship bracelet

18. Do a puzzle together

Spend a hot summer afternoon out of the sun and do a puzzle together!

Doing puzzles promotes spatial awareness and skills, so this could almost be considered educational!

19. Have a movie marathon

Now we’re all about screen-free time during the summer.

But why not take one day and have a movie marathon?!

Choose whatever movie series your kids love best, stay in your PJs, pop some popcorn, and bring all the pillows to the living room for a movie-watching day.

20. Celebrate the first day of summer

The first day of summer is June 21st.

Celebrate it by having a special picnic full of summery food, playing summer bingo, or doing a summer scavenger hunt!

(And don’t forget to crank up that summer playlist either!)

21. Declutter kids’ rooms

Choose a day during the summer to help your kids declutter their bedrooms.

Be sure to go through all the leftover school work and school supplies that they no longer need.

They may not love this idea at first, but having some extra space will be worth it!

22. Have a theme day

Summer is the perfect season for theme days!

Choose a theme that your kids are really into, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Disney Princesses.

Then pull out everything you own that has to do with that theme, and do them throughout the day! Think board games, movies, coloring books, toys, dress-ups, Lego sets, and more.

23. Make a fall bucket list

As summer comes to a close, don’t forget to make a Fall Bucket List!

24. Write a letter to a grandparent or teacher

Writing a letter will help your kids to practice their grammar and handwriting during the summer.

Plus, your kids’ letters will be sure to brighten someone else’s day!

25. Put together a LEGO set

If your kids love LEGO, grab a new set and spend an afternoon putting it together.

Challenge yourselves by setting a timer to see how fast you can get it done!

26. Paint kindness rocks

Choose some flat rocks and let your kids paint them with sweet messages such as “Have a great day!” or “Kindness rocks!” Then anonymously leave them in your neighbor’s flowerbeds or at the local playground.

kindness rocks

27. Do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku 

Have your kids flex their brainpower with a kids crossword or Soduku book!

They just might love the challenge.

28. Make homemade ice cream

Making homemade ice cream is a cinch with this awesome Cuisinart ice cream and frozen yogurt maker!

We’ve had ours for more than 2 years and it’s fantastic. The included recipe book is full of yummy recipes that are super easy to make.

29. Play summer bingo

Summer Bingo is another great way to keep summer exciting!

Basically, you have a bingo board filled with different summer activities. As you do each activity, you cross it off on the board. Once you have a row or column of activities completed, you get a bingo!

For more info (and free summer bingo printables!), check out our popular post: How to Play Summer Bingo and Keep Kids Engaged This Summer!

summer bingo printable

30. Make slime

Summer is the perfect time to make slime with your kids!

This easy fluffy slime recipe from Best Ideas for Kids uses glue, shaving cream, and contact lens solution.

31. Try a new summer fruit or vegetable

With summer produce at its peak, take your kids to the Farmer’s Market or grocery store and let them choose a fruit or vegetable they’ve never tried before!

Our kids loved buying a real coconut, drinking the water, and making roasted coconut chips.

Outdoor Summer Ideas

32. Play baseball

Set up some makeshift bases and have a good old-fashioned baseball game in the backyard.

If you don’t have all the equipment, play kickball instead!

33. Watch fireworks

Setting out a blanket or camp chairs to watch the fireworks is summer at its finest!

Take along some playing cards or fun activities to pass the time while you wait for it to get dark.

34. Catch a ladybug

Be on the lookout for lucky ladybugs!

Have your kids count the spots on the ladybug and make a wish before they let it fly away.


35. Walk a dog

If you own a dog, this may not seem that exciting. But taking your dog to a new place to go on a walk could be a lot of fun.

And if you don’t own a dog, ask a neighbor if you and your kids can take their well-mannered dog for a walk. Doing something novel can make a slow summer day much more exciting!

36. Hula Hoop contest

Buy a hula hoop or two and have a family hula hoop contest!

Make sure that the parents get involved too.

These sturdy hula hoops from Amazon are WAAAYYYY better than what you’d find at your local big-box store. They’re still in fantastic shape and haven’t faded a bit after two summers at our house.

37. Watch a sunrise

Get the kids up early, make some quick smoothies, and head outside to watch the sunrise on a warm summer morning.

38. Play catch

Whether you use softball or baseball mitts, a football, or a tennis ball, get outside a play some catch with your kids on a warm summer evening this year.

39. Outside read-a-thon

If you have kids who love to read or are participating in a summer reading program, have them bring their books outside and read for a set amount of time every day.

They could read while laying on the trampoline, up in a treehouse, laying in a hammock, swinging on a swing, or spread out on a blanket in the grass.

40. Wash the car

Not only will this be a fun activity, but you’ll also get a chore done at the same time. Win-win!

Have some wet summer fun while washing the car as a family!

washing the car

41. Watch a sunset

Go on a walk and watch a sunset as a family.

This simple activity is one we love to do on Sunday evenings in the summer.

42. Play water games

Get out the buckets, and water guns, slip and slide, and turn on the hose.

Let your kids have a ball playing in the water together!

43. Smell summer flowers

Look for summer roses blooming in a garden or wildflowers growing randomly in a field.

Take a moment to actually stop and smell the roses.

44. Have a watermelon eating contest

Summertime means watermelon!

Cut a large watermelon into even slices and have a contest to see who can eat the most.

Or buy a watermelon with seeds and let your kids have a seed-spitting contest instead.

watermelon eating

45. Go swimming

Whether it’s in a pool, lake, or the ocean, summertime is for swimming.

Don’t forget the sunscreen!

46. Climb a tree

Find a tree with low-hanging branches and let your kids spend some time climbing, observing, and discovering.

47. Dine al fresco

Take advantage of the warm summer evenings and eat dinner outside for a change.

48. Play with water balloons

These self-sealing water balloons are genius!

And they fill up super quickly, so you can have a fun summer bucket list activity ready in just a few minutes!

49. Play croquet

Croquet is a great family game because it doesn’t require much set-up OR much skill!

This highly-rated six-player croquet set comes with a handy carrying bag too.

playing croquet

50. Watch a movie in the backyard

Watching movies is fun.

But watching a movie in the backyard?

That’s even more fun!

Check out this 5G WiFi projector that comes with a screen too! (While it might seem like a lot of money, a few trips to the movie theater would quickly cost as much!)

Related article: How to Have an Amazing Outdoor Movie Night

51. Play at the park

Take a free morning before it gets too hot to go play at a favorite park.

Invite some of your kids’ school friends to meet you there!

52. Play frisbee

These are the BEST frisbees for kids!

They’re easy to throw and catch, thanks to the hole in the middle. Plus, they’re super durable.

53. Have a relay race

Relay races may seem old-fashioned but they can still be a ton of fun.

Think egg on a spoon race, potato sack race, or a simple running, skipping, walking backward relay. Get creative!

54. Play miniature golf

Choose a warm summer evening and head out to the local miniature golf place for a night of family fun!

55. Roast marshmallows for s’mores

We love these fantastic, telescoping roasting sticks.

Not only are they safer, but they’re also color-coded so everyone knows whose marshmallow is whose!

56. Have a BBQ

Invite some friends over and have a classic BBQ together.

57. Skip rocks

The next time you’re near a pond, search for some flat rocks and practice skipping rocks together.

58. Take a picnic to the park

Just like diaper bags have been replaced by diaper backpacks, the picnic basket is quickly being replaced by the picnic backpack!

We love the functionality of this picnic backpack that includes a blanket and service for four.

59. Summer scavenger hunts

Kids love scavenger hunts, so be sure to check out our 7 different summer scavenger hunts for kids below!

Related post: 7 Awesome Summer Scavenger Hunt Printables for Kids

We’ve got options for pool and beach scavenger hunts, vacation, the 4th of July, and more!

at the pool scavenger hunt

60. Go on a hike or walk

Pull on those hiking boots or tennis shoes and get out into nature together!

61. Sidewalk chalk

Spend an afternoon creating chalk pictures on your driveway and sidewalk for the neighbors to enjoy!

62. Fly a kite

On a windy day, head to an open field, and fly kites together!

kite flying

63. Watch ants

Kids are often fascinated by nature.

Be on the lookout for the chance to see a colony of hard-working ants in action.

64. Cloud gaze

Spread out a big blanket on the grass and lay down on your backs, looking up at the clouds slowly drifting by.

Enjoy sharing ideas about the different shapes and pictures your kids see in the clouds.

65. Jump on a trampoline / go to a trampoline park

Kids usually love trampolines, so set one up in the backyard or visit your local trampoline park for an afternoon.

66. Outdoor tic-tac-toe

Draw a big tic-tac-toe board with sidewalk chalk on the ground.

Then give one player all green leaves and the other player some flowers to mark their spaces.

(Of course, use whatever you have around! Five of each item will do the trick.)

67. Try geocaching

Geocaching is using GPS coordinates to find treasures and surprises left by others in specific spots all over the world.

For more info on how to get started, check out this article here.


68. Jump rope

Jump is a classic kid’s outdoor activity that never goes out of style!

69. Blow bubbles

For a fun twist on this perennial outdoor activity, check out this awesome Giant Bubble Making Kit that won a Mom’s Choice Award and is made in the USA!

70. Pick up trash 

Do a good deed this summer and spend an afternoon picking up litter as a family.

Look around your neighborhood or head to a local public park.

71. Birdwatch

While bird watching may not sound like a barrel of laughs, it can actually be a lot of fun for kids.

Set out a bird feeder (or make your own!) and spend a summer morning watching them come and go.

72. Play badminton

Badminton is a fun backyard racquet game that doesn’t require a ton of skill to play as a family.

Give this inexpensive badminton set a try!

73. Stargaze

Let the kids stay up late on a weekend evening and watch the night sky.

If you really want to see some cool things, we’ve had a great experience with this Celestron refractor telescope.

Additionally, download the StarChart app on your phone to make sense of what you’re seeing in the sky!

74. Chase butterflies

Give your kids some inexpensive butterfly nets and let them run through the yard looking for butterflies.

Of course, have them be careful to set the butterflies free without causing any harm.

butterfly nets

75. Have a treasure hunt

What kid doesn’t love a backyard treasure hunt?

Hide a special treat or a new summer outdoor toy.

Then give your kids a map of the backyard that leads them on a short quest!

76. Go on a bike ride

Pull out the bikes, put on your helmets, and go for a spring bike ride together.

77. Play tag

For another fun and simple summer bucket list idea, play tag as a family in the backyard.

Mix it up by playing freeze tag or TV tag too!

78. Find wildflowers

When you’re out on a walk or hike, be sure to look for spring wildflowers.

Depending on local laws (ie: no picking bluebonnets in Texas!), have your kids pick some to bring home and put in a vase.


79. Play hide and seek 

In our opinion, classic games are classic for a reason!

Playing hide and seek outside can be a ton of fun when everyone gets involved!

80. Play hopscotch

Draw a hopscotch board on the ground with some sidewalk chalk and teach your kids how to play!

Out and About Ideas

81. Go to a parade

Attend a Memorial Day or 4th of July parade together.

Or see if your town has some local heritage days during the summer and support their parades too!

4th of july parade

82. Spend a day at an amusement park

Look for coupons or great deals and spend a day at an amusement park near you!

(Lots of large amusement parks are looking to rebound after the pandemic, so they’re majorly discounting season passes!)

83. Participate in a summer camp

Sign your kids up for a local summer camp.

Check to see if any local sports leagues, nature centers, 4H groups, private schools, or your YMCA are hosting any day camps your kids might be interested in.

84. Go to a drive-in movie

Drive-in movies are making a comeback, so take your kiddos for some good old-fashioned fun!

drive in

85. Go out for ice cream 

If you can, support a local ice cream or frozen yogurt shop during the warm summer months.

86. Visit a nature center

Nature centers often offer lots of great summer programs for kids.

Check to see what is happening near you!

87. Go to a botanical garden

You may think that a botanical garden would be super boring for kids, but we’ve found the exact opposite!

Look for I Spy or Scavenger Hunt type pages or other kids’ activities in the visitor center.

88. Visit a farm

When you take your kids to a local farm, you’ll be giving them a fun opportunity for education that many other kids don’t have.

Did you know that 48% of Americans don’t know where chocolate milk comes from?!

89. Go to a carnival or fair

Look for state fairs or carnivals hosted by local groups such as the Lions or Rotary Clubs and go support them as a family!

family at the fair

90. Go camping

Depending on the weather where you live, take your kids on an overnight campout!

They’ll probably love the chance to sleep in a sleeping bag and have a campfire.

91. Try a new local restaurant

Eat at a restaurant you’ve never tried before.

On the way home, let each member of the family give it a star rating.

92. Visit the Farmer’s Market

Support your local Farmer’s Market and get your hands on some super fresh local produce.

You may consider allowing your kids to try a fruit or vegetable they’ve never had before.

farmer's market

93. Shop at a yard sale

If you love searching for secondhand treasures, take your kids along one early Saturday morning and let them find some treasures of their own.

94. Go to a play or musical performance

Support your local arts and attend a play or musical performance together as a family.

Many local theaters will have a children’s summer musical or play your kids might enjoy!

95. Go to the zoo

During the summer, it can be important to get to the zoo early while the animals are most active.

If you live where it’s really hot, they tend to get sleepy during the warm afternoons!

96. Take a day trip

Choose a local attraction and take a day trip as a family.

You could find out if you live near any National Historic Sites or Parks and check them out!

97. Visit a science museum

Help your kids have an educational experience at a great science museum.

The best part is that they may not even realize how much they’re learning!

science museum

98. Feed the ducks at the pond

The next time to take a walk near a pond, take along some bread to feed the ducks.

Feeding the ducks is a surprisingly fun activity for a wide variety of ages!

99. Go to a baseball game

With Major League Baseball in full swing, head on out to a game together.

Thankfully, this is one professional sport where you can still get some tickets at a reasonable price!

100. Go to a water park or a splash pad

Slather on some sunscreen, grab the towels, and visit a water park or splash pad near you!

101. Visit a petting zoo

Kids love the chance to get their hands on different animals, and summer is a great time to visit a petting zoo.

Just make sure they wash their hands super well before you leave!

102. Go to the library

There’s a lot of buzz about summer learning loss lately, so get your kids to the library as often as possible during the summer!

Reading is one of the best ways to keep their minds engaged over the summer months.

Related article: 3 Things You Need to Do to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Why Kids Love Bucket Lists

Bucket lists are great for kids for several reasons:

  1. They give kids something to look forward to as the seasons begin to change
  2. Kids look forward to the personal interaction with you
  3. Having a list can help kids visualize what’s coming up in the next few months
  4. They help kids understand the importance of planning
  5. They create lots of fun family memories!

Final thoughts about the Summer Bucket List for Kids

As with all things here at Jen Bradley|MOMs, we are here to help you find meaningful ways to connect with your kids WITHOUT adding a ton of extra work to your already-too-busy life!

We hope you and your kids will enjoy these ideas on the Summer Bucket List for Kids. If you haven’t had a chance to download it yet, you can do so by joining our Free Printable Library right here:

summer bucket list for kids printable

Remember, whatever activities you choose from our Summer Bucket List for Kids, keep it simple! What your kids really want most is the opportunity to connect with you and have a little fun in the process!

Related articles about Summer Fun activities:

15 Fun Ideas to Celebrate the Last Day of School 

How to Create the Best Summer Schedule for Your Kids

50 Awesome Boredom Busters for Kids You Need in Your Back Pocket

The Step-by-Step Guide to Having an Unforgettable Screen-Free Week

Pin the image below to easily return to this article in the future!

Summer bucket list pin

Which Summer Bucket List items are you excited to try with your kids?

The Best Summer Bucket List for Kids in 2023The Best Summer Bucket List for Kids in 2023The Best Summer Bucket List for Kids in 2023The Best Summer Bucket List for Kids in 2023

Jen Bradley, the founder of Jen Bradley|MOMs

Hi there! I’m Jen and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a mom who believes that meaningful connections with our families can happen in small and simple ways. Read More …


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