Summer is the perfect opportunity for children to build up to longer durations of independent play and so for the most part, our Summer rhythm is rather relaxed. The children spend a large amount of their time outdoors, creating their own games and activities as they go.
As summer approaches and I see more and more jam-packed summer schedules, I want to put this out there: It’s (more than) okay for your children to be bored. Because we live in a world of instant entertainment, where we can just place a screen in front of a bored child, we tend to forget that boredom is when creativity happens.
The problem with non-stop entertainment of children during the long summer months – or at any time – is that they come to rely on you for ideas rather than coming up with anything themselves. This leads to a lack of creativity and independence for your child and is a quick-fire route to being burned out for you.
A much better approach is to design a simple summer rhythm.
With that being said, having a Summer Bucket List, where the whole family pitches in with ideas on what they want to do, is a great way of having some focal points in what can be an incredibly long season!
The Summer Bucket List
These ideas are designed to help you get started with ideas to try over the summer. The list contains a mix of both free and paid for activities that are popular with young children from the ages of 2-3 onwards.
Some of the ideas featured might not be possible, depending on where you live so think outside of the box and make the list work for you . For example, if a beach visit is out of the question, try visiting a local creek or lake instead.
Host a family meeting to get ideas from the whole family so that everyone gets to look forward to something on the summer bucket list. Again some outside the box thinking is needed here, especially when faced with suggestions like ‘ a trip to the moon’; (try a planetarium or science centre) or an expensive trip to Disney (try a budget friendly amusement park or even a Disney movie day) is added to the list.
- Build sandcastles
- climb a tree
- learn to ride a bike
- paddle in the sea
- collect seashells
- explore rockpools
- outdoor art
- make ice domes
- go stargazing
- go camping – even if it’s the backyard
- run through the grass barefoot
- watch the sunrise
- watch the sunset
- go for a picnic
- make chalk spray paint
- go swimming
- explore National Trust / National Park locations
- make sponge water bombs
- attend free kids festivals in your local area
- make popsicles
- wash the family car
- play frisbee
- make fresh lemonade
- have a BBQ and invite friends
- put on a puppet show
- watch fireworks
- watch a live music festival
- create rock art, then hide them for someone to find
- eat watermelon
- create an obstacle course in the garden
- explore a new playground
- go on a nature treasure scavenger hunt
- make floral playdough
- create a bug hotel
- make a backyard den / forte
- read stories outside
- make a smoothie with seasonal fruit/ veggies
- host a family game night
- go berry picking
- make bubble foam
- visit a splash pool
- go to a kids movie screening
- plant bee and butterfly friendly plants
- visit a country fair
- go on a road trip
- collect recycling and create an outdoor art collage
- make temporary art with nature / beach treasures
- go cloud watching
- visit a science centre on a rainy day
- visit a butterfly centre