Summertime is a time to relax, slow down and let go of a schedule. I avoid putting my son in lots of programs for the summer because I want to have the flexibility to take each day and see what my kids want to do that day. Whether it be go to a playground with friends, a trip to the beach, a play date, or simply hang out at home together.
I ask my son for places that he would like to go throughout the summer. On the list are your typical answers like go to the beach, get ice cream and go to the pool. We made a bucket list of places to explore in Fairfield County and around Connecticut (Check out this great list if you’re looking for day trips).
I also started thinking about making a backyard bucket list for the summer. Some fun experiences and activities that we could do together at home. The perfect way to keep the day easy and to save some money! Here is what we came up with:
- Play in the sprinkler
- Have a truck/car wash – This is so easy and my kids love it! Fill one bucket with water and one with soapy water. Then give each child a sponge and let them go to town cleaning their cars, trucks and anything else that may be dirty! My kids love it so much that they once washed the deck and playhouse too!
- Make your own ice cream sundaes
- Dinner play dates with friends – Check out this write up about hosting a dinner time play date!
- Making s’mores around the fire pit (Mommy and Daddy added USE the fire pit to our list!)
- Lay on a blanket and look at the stars
- Catch fireflies
- Cook dinner together (or any other meal that is kid friendly!)
- Look for bugs in the backyard and use a magnifying glass to see them up close
- Play with water – My kids love water in big bins and use sand toys to play!
- Arts and crafts
- Go to the library – This is a great option for really hot days! Many local libraries have summer reading programs ranging from preschool – high school ages! Our town library has a Monopoly theme this year!
- Have Fun!
When my son added Have Fun to our bucket list, I made sure to make it my mission to have a fun and enjoyable summer! Yes I know our kids can certainly get on our nerves looking for things to do, but hopefully your backyard bucket list will help prevent these moments!
Make a list on a chalkboard, whiteboard or posterboard and check them off as you do them. Of course some can be repeated but it’s fun for kids to see what they’ve accomplished over the summer. Have a conversation at the end of the day with your children. Conversation skills necessary and it is a big help as kids get older. This way you are helping them learn and enjoy their summer at the same time…win, win!