Google “summer bucket list” and you’ll find oodles of ideas for little ones. But what about the tween moping around the house groaning, “OMG, I’m so bored!” a few short weeks into summer break? Or the teenager wasting away in their bedroom glued to their phone? No worries, Mom and Dad. I’ve got you covered.
To preserve our sanity and to keep them from going all salty, I’ve created this list of cool activities for kids that have moved past kiddie pools and lemonade stands. It’s very “Gucci,” as the kids like to say (I know, I’m so embarrassing) and is great for girls and guys alike. You’re welcome.
1. Learn how to do the laundry.
2. Host a backyard bonfire with friends.
3. Learn how to tie-die a t-shirt.
4. Go stargazing and learn a few constellations.
5. Learn how to locate and check out a book at the library.
6. Have a sleepover and stay up as late as humanly possible.
7. Make homemade lemonade or sun tea.
8. Go 24 hours phone free.
9. Learn how to mow the lawn.
10. Perfect the ultimate pancake recipe.
11. Spend a day taking crazy-cool photos of nature or grab a friend for a photo shoot.
12. Find a local volunteer opportunity.
13. Grow and care for a potted plant.
14. Make a digital journal of all your summertime adventures.
15. Learn a new craft like jewelry- or soap-making, or how to make your own fishing lures.
16. Run a 5K color, glow or mud run.
17. Make your own You Tube video.
18. Have an all-day classic movie marathon on a rainy day.
19. Get up early and watch a sunrise.
20. Perform a random act of kindness for a neighbor.
21. Learn how to play the ukulele.
22. Write a letter to a grandparent or elderly friend.
23. Make summer-themed cookies and deliver to your friends.
24. Attend an outdoor music concert.
25. Complete a 1,000-piece puzzle.
26. Go to a drive-in movie with friends.
27. Build something (a birdhouse, bookshelf, etc.) or learn a new DIY skill.
28. Try a new summertime sport like skateboarding, golf, kayaking, volleyball or tennis.
29. Close your eyes and enjoy a 5-minute back float at your local pool or lake.
30. Learn to cook your favorite meal.
31. Learn how to budget—keep a log of every penny you make and spend this summer.
32. Bake a cake.
33. Grab a few friends and pick up litter at a neglected park.
34. Learn how to paddleboard.
35. Play a late-night game of Ghost in the Graveyard or Flashlight Tag.
36. Rock a new summer hairstyle.
37. Build a model car, building or plane from a kit.
38. Have a dance party or play a game of hoops in a summer storm.
39. Go thrift store shopping with your friends and design a new piece of clothing.
40. Invite your friends over for a blindfold food challenge.
41. Learn about chemistry and make your own rock candy.
42. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise a day.
43. Learn (and use) a new word every week.
44. Pack and bury a time capsule that you can open when you’re older.
45. Order lunch or dinner from a food truck.
46. Host an old-fashioned weenie roast and sundae bar for your besties.
47. Look up a messy science experiment on Pinterest and recreate it.
48. Write a poem or song, create a comic book or try writing one short story.
49. Start your day with 5 minutes of yoga.
50. Makeover something old—a piece of clothing, furniture, etc.—into something new again.
© Rachael Liska, happyhearthappyhome.com