Summer Bucket List: Toddlers & Preschoolers

kids summer bucket list

Kids Summer Bucket List

Even though some of us are still having extreme weather, summer is just around the corner. Kids are approaching their last few weeks (or days!) of school. Soon, our kiddos will be on summer vacation and daily schedule as you know it will be changed. Before you allow the panic to set in, here are some ideas to keep your keeps occupied all summer:

Kids Summer Bucket List

Outdoor Fun:

1.       Splash pads/parks: This is one of our top favorite things to do in the summer. It is free and involves water! Splash parks are usually opened from June-August. You can find ones near you with a quick Google search.

2.       Early morning park play with breakfast picnic: Another one of our summer favorites. Even if this is the only thing you do that day, you will feel accomplished and good that you were able to get the kids out. We like to head out a few minutes after waking up and pack an easy and on-the-go breakfast. Bonus, our park waters early in the morning, which provides some more free water play!

kids summer bucket list

3.       Aquatic centers: These are great because they are low cost and provide hours of entertainment. They usually have activities for a wide range of ages with splash pads, pools, and water slides.

4.       Beaches/lagoons/swimming holes: We are fortunate to live near beaches and make good use out of it several times a year. The kids absolutely love playing in the sand and water and is a great all-day outing.

5.       Water Parks: These ones are certainly more of a destination and cost more money, but if you can arrange to go with a group, it is much easier to handle the madness.

6.       Live performances: Summer is the best time to listen to live music and dance your heart out. They usually offer weekly performances at various local parks.

7.       Drive-in movie theater: these usually come around for a few months in summer time.

Indoor Fun:

1.       Movie theater: usually in the summer certain movie theaters will offer heavily discounted movies. Check your local theaters for summer movie programs.

2.       Fort building: this is always a blast and usually keeps the kids occupied for about an hour. You can make it very elaborate by taking apart the couch cousins and adding sheets and blankets on top.

3.       Obstacle courses: All time favorite in our house when the weather is poor. We all take turns creating challenging course runs and repeat them at least two times for practice. Excellent way to use up hours in the day.

4.       Library programs: there are many programs offered through the library that include story time, music, science and more. Check out your local library for their kids’ programs.

5.       Museums: My kids are huge fans of any science and hands-on museum. If it is something you will frequently visit in the summer, see what social summer promotions they have.

6.       Live performances: Look into children’s theater, music, and puppet shows. It’s a great way to entertain your child that does not involve screens!

7.       Roller skating rink: They have skate rentals and safety gear to rent. Usually they have certain times of the day and designated spots within the rink for younger kids.

8.       Ice skating rink: Gear and safety rental. They also usually provide the the “walkers” that a younger child can push around to help with balance.

9.       Check out your local parks/recreations & Jr. colleges for kid’s classes: gymnastics, dance, cooking, science, art, swimming, etc.

Backyard Fun:

kids summer bucket list

1.       Slip n Slide: We just purchased one from Target and it’s a huge hit for both kids and adults!

2.       Small wadding pools/water tables/containers: fill up any type of container you have will water, add some pouring and measuring cups, droppers, large spoons, sponges etc. This is such an easy way to cool off while providing play.

3.       Sprinkler/hose fun: You can either get the ones that attach to your hose, or simply turn on your sprinklers. Kids do not need much to have a good time.

4.       Freeze small toys in huge blocks of ice and let them work at trying to break it and melt it.

5.       Painting with frozen paint or painting on ice: This one is super fun and really, just an extension on ice melting.

6.       Washing your car! This one is awesome because the kids have a blast and your accomplishing a chore!

7.       Mud pits: Find a dirt spot in your yard, add water, and let your kids go crazy! Add animals or cars and let them get super messy. Just hose them off when they are finished. It’s less of a mess than you think.

8.       Washing toys: Any activity that accomplishes a chore is always great. Dump their toys into a bucket of soapy water and have a rinse bucket next to them. Add a few sponges and rags and they will have the best time!

9.       Really anything that involves water of some kind…use your imagination!

kids summer bucket list


1.       Plan play dates and switch off with friends

2.       Join meet up groups or plan curriculum trade off parties with friends

Super Fun Summer Staycations:

1.       Sleep overs with close friends and/or family members

2.       Backyard camping

3.       Plan a house rental with a close friend: I have done this twice and it has been such a blast!

There you have it. What on this list do you love doing in the summer? What is something new you think you will try? Leave your comments below!

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