By Hannah Logan
It’s a southern summer night. The lightning bugs are sparkling. A few scattered stars are shining, And sparks are dancing high above the crackling fire. I can hear the crickets and frogs softly murmuring As the darkness deepens and the sunset fades away. It's in moments like these that I can truly see How God took so much care and time in creating such beautiful little details.
It's a southern summer night. My family chatters and laughs at all the little inside jokes That have formed between them over the years, And I take in the sweetness of the moment knowing It’s simple nights like these that should never be taken for granted.
Summer is now upon us! All around the country, people are getting ready for summer camps, vacations, beach days, and all the other fun summer activities that have been long awaited for many months. Summer is such a lovely time to slow down and enjoy the sunshine and longer evenings with those we love. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to pull together a list of summer bucket list ideas for kids that you and your family can enjoy over the summer.
As a side note, here, in order to help your children create their own summer bucket lists, I would recommend calling out some of these ideas and having them choose which ones interest them. If you like, you could always leave out the ones that you know are not practical this summer for your family or for your child. Encourage your children to be creative, choose the ones that appeal to them, and even add their own at the end, if they like!
Without further adieu, here is a list of 50 summer bucket list ideas for kids!
These bucket list ideas can be accomplished with little to no financial investment. They can be done as a family or by children individually, and my hope is that they will enable you to build sweet and lasting memories with your littles. I believe it is so important over the summer to not focus so much on doing elaborate and expensive things. If going to amusement parks is your thing, then go for it! That said, do not put pressure on yourself to make such trips the main and most important parts of your summer.
Children are often so enamored with simple pleasures. Enjoy the beauty of simplicity this summer. Take your littles outside after supper to catch lightning bugs or bring blankets out to the trampoline to star watch on a Friday night. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised by just how much these simple, inexpensive ideas can bring smiles to the faces of your kids and be embedded in their memories for years to come!
Go on an outdoor family hike
Spend a night outside in a tent or on a trampoline
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the backyard
Build a fort in the living room
Develop a bug collection
Have a day outside with some kind of water activity (swimming, a slip and slide, water balloons, water guns, etc.)
Play hide and go seek in the dark as a family with flash lights
Enjoy some glow stick fun on a summer evening or catch lightning bugs
Do some star-gazing
Go bird-watching and document your results
Create a nature journal
Read at least 15 books (can be from a library!)
Write a song together
Take pictures of 20 different animals/birds/bugs
Write a story (fiction or nonfiction)
These ideas are trip options for you and your family. The license plate idea would work great for a road trip along with the post card collecting. My brothers and I had post card collections growing up, and it was such a fun way to chart our travels (or our dad's travels) for a very small price. I put many of them in a photo album and would look at them often. It can also be a way to document a road trip since your kids can write little “diary entries” on the back of the post cards, as well :) It is a simple, inexpensive way to help your kids remember their travels, even if those travels may not be all that far from home.
Go to a zoo
Visit an aquarium
Go to a museum
Document all 50 states in license plates
Visit a national park
Go biking somewhere pretty
Start your own postcard collection
Visit a tree house
Go to an amusement park
Bake a pie
Bake a cake
Learn to knit/crochet
Make $20 selling a craft of your choice
Learn to skip rocks on water
Run an 8 minute mile
Grow a garden
Journal every day of the summer
Put together a scrapbook of pictures they took over the summer
It is so important to instill in children an "others" based mentality, and summer can be a wonderful time to focus on that since school is not as pressing a responsibility for them. For that reason, when creating a summer bucket list, I would encourage you to also consider a few activities that your children could do that are very focused on service and instilling a servant’s heart in your littles.
A quote that has helped me with this concept so much through the years is:
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." - Rick Warren
I think this quote so effectively puts into words what it means to be focused on others. Children must learn to be confident in their own skin while also putting the needs of others before their own. That said, I believe that intentionally ministering to others and seeing the great needs around them can help them learn that.
With that in mind, here are a few summer bucket list ideas that focus on being mindful of and serving others:
Visit a nursing home
Hand out 100 Gospel tracts over the summer
Take a missions trip/Go to summer camp or VBS
Find a pen-pal that is on the missions field
Spend time with an older individual in your church
Learn to play a Gospel song on an instrument of your choice
Memorize an entire chapter in the Bible (long or short)
Do something selfless and kind for a family member
Write a handwritten, thoughtful letter to a loved one
Pray every day of the summer for the missionaries your church supports
Raise $50 for a cause your church supports
Get involved in church visitation, if available
Send a thank you note to someone you appreciate
Write your own prayer list
Read a book about a missionary or preacher (personally or as a read-aloud)
There you have it! This post has discussed fifty summer bucket list ideas for kids. I sincerely hope that this list has been an inspiration to you and your kids as you get ready to have a very wonderful summer. Over the course of the next several months, I challenge you to live intentionally and to make the most of every day! Enjoy and savor these precious days of summer.
Do you have any other ideas to add to this list? Which idea is your favorite?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Until next time