Summer Activities for Kids + Calendar with Bucket List
Looking for affordable ways to keep your kiddos occupied this summer? I rounded up inexpensive activities that we love to do and want to try this year. I find that coming up with somewhat of a plan (I swear by the calendar + the bucket list — sign up to get access), helps the kiddos look forward to all the adventures summer brings, while keeping me sane.
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1. Learn to cook with mom
This summer activity is one that we enjoy very much here at the Gomez home and is practical too: teaching my kiddos to cook is something we enjoy and we all benefit from long-term. Start by making a list of your families favorite foods. For us that was tacos, lasagna, fresh made lemonade, and chicken tostadas. You’ll see how proud they are while eating the meal you prepared together.
2. DIY chalk & draw on the sidewalk
Kids love this one! Mix 1 cup of plaster of Paris with 3/4 cup of water. Separate into plastic cups. Add desired amount of washable paint and stir with a popsicle stick until fully mixed. You can also add 3-5 drops of essential oils. Pour into toilet paper tubes (about 3 inches high). Let dry thoroughly (this may take several days). Remove from tubes and let the kiddos draw & create one of a kind art with chalk they helped make.
3. Go on a picnic
Have them help you pack a picnic lunch and go on an adventure or maybe have it in your very own backyard and invite some friends. We usually prepare sandwiches, fresh fruit and yogurt — we keep it simple!
4. Community park & library activities
Community parks offer summer camps and activities like swimming, sport groups, arts and crafts, and nature programs. Contact your local park and library for low cost activities. We’ve met some pretty good friends doing this!
5. Decorate rocks
We’ve been going on walks lately and the kiddos love to collect unique rocks. Sometime during the week they decorate the rocks with paint, markers and googly eyes. Then drop the finished masterpieces around our neighborhood, for people to find.
6. Explore your hometown
This one is new to us this year but it already has been fun for all of us. It can be fun getting to learn new parts of your hometown. My son likes to find random places within the city, we’ve never been to, and give me directions on how to get there.
7. Enroll in a craft class
Craft stores offer hands-on activities for little ones like scrapbooking, box decorating, bead stringing, pottery, and more. Some classes are free and others require a nominal fee (typically $10 or less). My youngest two love this throughout the summer! They get to make new friends and craft at the same time. This is a good option if you need to run errands or don’t want to deal with the clean up of crafting at home.
8. Scavenger Hunt
What kiddo doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Whether you do this summer activity for kids indoors or outdoors, the objective remains the same: find hidden objects using clever clues.
9. Make a bird feeder
Invite summertime birds to your yard with a DIY bird feeder. To make it, simply coat sticks with peanut butter and roll them in birdseeds. This makes for a fun way to learn about nature and animals.
10. Plant a flower garden
This one is one of my favorites. We plant our favorite flowers. The kids get to care and learn about growing and caring for flowers, and I get free flowers once they start to bloom to decorate my home. You can do a veggie garden too!
11. Make homemade playdough
One of my favorite recipes is from The mama notes. The ingredients are simple, clean and items you most likely already have in your kitchen. Ingredients: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup salt, 4 tsp cream tartar, 2 cups water, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and food coloring (optional: essential oil, I add about 2 – 4 drops). Directions: combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and stir together over low heat. Stir constantly until the dough begins to form and pulls away from the edges — you will notice the consistency change. Remove from heat and place on the counter to cool. Once cool knead and separate into sections. Add food coloring and essential oils. Store in ziplock bags to use all summer long.
12. Host movie night
There is something about hosting movie night during the summer. I don’t know what it is but the vibe is different — it seems more magical. We usually get munchies and play games too. The kiddos have a blast!
13. Make a summer memory book
This one is new to us too but I’m looking forward to making this with my kiddos this year. Some ideas to include in the summer book: dried up flowers and leaves you collect from walks, drawings, summer pictures, memorabilia, and love notes. The possibilities are endless — the more involved the kids are the more special the book becomes over time.
14. Go to the beach and fly a kite
Going to the beach during the summer is always fun! Collect seashells and rocks on the trip, and paint them sometime during the summer. We have a little collection going and it makes my heart so happy to see it grow every year.
15. Go to a water park
Water parks are a favorite to-do for all three kiddos. Pack a bag with all the essentials and go. This one never disappoints.
16. Visit a new park/splash pad
Go on google and look up parks in your hometown. Print out a list and visit a new park every week.
17. Have a balloon and water gun fight
A little messy but its not summer if this doesn’t go down at the Gomez home. The kiddos get really into it and try to drench the adults — it hasn’t happened yet but I’m sure its coming.
How about you? Do you have any plans or summer traditions?
I hope you found this post useful and that you have a great summer! I plan on spending more time making memories with the kiddos, so you might be hearing a little less from me, until August. They grow up so fast so making the most of these summers with them means the world. You can find us over on Instagram @sandroxxie in the meantime.