Curious about what on earth to do with the kids out of school? Rather than searching for empty ways to “keep busy” until August, consider a summer family bucket list that fosters meaningful connections within your home.
Why? Summertime often provides unique opportunities for families to bond and make memories together.
These positive experiences fuel long-term family resilience. In other words, they equip you and your loved ones with the perseverance needed to power through challenging situations together (e.g., school year stress).
This post will provide simple, no to low-cost ideas to help you connect with your kids from Kindergarten through high school. So let’s get started creating your own unique positive-parenting-friendly family bucket list!
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What is a summer family bucket list?
A summer family bucket list is a checklist of activities for you and your family to do together, often during an extended break from school.
Activities can range from outdoor adventures, such as camping or visiting a national park, to indoor activities, such as baking cookies or playing board games.
Creating a summer family bucket list is a simple and fun way to spend quality time together and build lasting memories.
Top 50 Summer Bucket List Ideas for Family Connection
#1. Create a family time capsule where each person can contribute items, notes, or drawings to be sealed and opened in the future.
#2. Play a family game of “Would You Rather?” with fun and silly questions.
#3. Play board games or card games together.
#4. Trying out a new recipe and prepare a meal together.
#5. Create a family scrapbook and reminisce about favorite memories.
#6. Build something simple together, such as a bird feeder.
#7. Play tag in the backyard or at a local park.
#8. Embrace your silly sides and hold a family dance-off competition.
#9. Design your own family board game using a large sheet of paper or poster board.
#10. Do a family yoga session together on YouTube.
#11. Play charades.
#12. Create a family vision board where each family member can cut out and paste images or words to represent their goals.
#13. Hold a family karaoke night or lip-syncing competition.
#14. Walk through nature together and play “I Spy.”
#15. Plant herbs or vegetables together.
#16. Hold a family talent show where each family member can showcase their unique strengths.
#17. Go on a family bike ride and explore your local community.
#18. Visit your local library and read your favorite childhood book together. Then read your child’s favorite book.
#19. Hold a family movie night with homemade popcorn and watch a favorite family-friendly movie.
#20. Make homemade crafts with recycled materials.
#21. Do a family volunteer project, such as cleaning up trash in the neighborhood or stocking shelves at the local food bank.
#22. Have a family no screens day, where everyone disconnects from distractions.
#23. Go on a family picnic in your backyard or local park.
#24. Create a family journal. Have each family member can write or draw about their favorite summer memories.
#25. Have a family bonfire and make s’mores. (If a bonfire isn’t an option, make oven s’mores!).
#26. Make and toss around water balloons together.
#27. Go on a family camping trip in your living room or backyard.
#28. Create a family gratitude jar, where each family member can write down something they are grateful for each day and read them together at the end of the week.
#29. Have a family cooking challenge, where each family member can create a dish using ingredients from the pantry and share their culinary creations.
#30. Hold a family “random acts of kindness” day, where each person does kind deeds such as writing encouraging notes, doing yard work for a neighbor, or complimenting someone.
#31. Have a family stargazing night. Lay on blankets in the backyard and look for constellations.
#32. Have a family painting or drawing session outdoors.
#33. Visit a local farmer’s market or fruit-picking farm.
#34. Visit a local farm or petting zoo to learn about and interact with animals.
#35. Do a family DIY science experiment, such as baking soda and vinegar volcanoes.
My son absolutely adored this science kit! If you want to take your classic baking soda and vinegar volcano up a notch, check it out here.
#36. Go on a family geocaching adventure using a smartphone GPS to identify hidden treasures in your surrounding area.
#37. Play a family game of “20 Questions,” asking for clues to identify familiar objects or people.
#38. Complete a family arts & crafts project, such as making tie-dye shirts or designing greeting cards.
#39. Create a family obstacle course or relay race outside, using natural obstacles like logs, rocks, or tree stumps.
#40. Hold a family “un-birthday” party. Celebrate everyone with homemade presents and cake.
#41. Participate in a family DIY home improvement project, such as painting a room together or printing, framing, and hanging special family photos.
#42. Create a family recipe book, where each family member can contribute their favorite meals.
#43. Plan a special “date day” between each parent and child. Do an activity each child loves in a one-on-one setting.
#44. Create a family reading nook or cozy corner with pillows and throw blankets. Fill it with a new assortment of books borrowed from your local library.
#45. Build a family fort out of blankets, pillows, and chairs.
#46. Have a family “spa day” and pamper yourselves at home.
#47. Set up a family “art show” where everyone can appreciate and celebrate each other’s talents.
#48. Have a family “appreciation circle,” where each person can take turns expressing gratitude, giving compliments, and building positive family relationships.
#49. Facetime a loved one you haven’t seen in a while as a family.
#50. Make homemade popsicles.