Hey, there! Welcome back to Flawed yet Functional! As a mom of two young kids, ages 4 and 5, I L-O-V-E summer. The weather is awesome from sun up to sun down, and I love taking advantage of all the sun to do all the fun things. Would you like some ideas for healthy activities to fill your summer bucket list? Squeeze all the fun out of this summer without breaking the bank. Check out these 10 awesome (and free!) activities!
Inside: A free printable Healthy Summer Bucket List!
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What is on Your Summer Bucket List?
My family’s summer bucket list is filled with FREE activities that are fun and promote good health. While we do enjoy the sweet treat now and then during summer break, I don’t want every activity to revolve around sugar.
These simple ideas will get your family moving, get them excited about healthy things, and won’t break the bank. Did I mention they are all free (or nearly free!)? Go out on a limb and try some new things this summer that promote good health and well-being of your family. Don’t forget the simple joys this summer!
Plant a Garden
There’s nothing more awe-inspiring and simple than planting a seed and watching it grow into something you can eat! Teach your kids to appreciate the effort that goes into growing food by planting a garden or even just some herbs in a pot! Our world is a marvelous, self-sustaining organism that does incredible things. Help your kids see it! Your kids will love getting their hands dirty and the chance to water their precious plants every day.
Harvest and Prepare Food from Your Garden
Even if you only choose to plant a pot of basil on the deck, teach and let your child harvest the herbs for dinner. Teach them how to prune the plant so it grows best (a quick Google search will tell you how if you don’t know!), and even show them how to dry the herbs for use throughout the rest of the year.
A larger garden is a wealth of learning and teaching opportunities. Yes, they might damage or kill a few plants, but take the opportunity this summer to get down in the dirt with your kids to teach them how to harvest and then cook their hard-grown veggies.
Hike the Dunes
I live in West Michigan which has wonderful sand dunes to climb up, over, and around. They are nature’s best playground! Pack a picnic lunch, throw it in a backpack with some water and go for a walk! Toss a sheet in the bag too so you can stop and eat whenever your kiddos get hungry.
Take your time walking if your kids are young and stick to easy paths if quite young. Encourage every diversion, curiosity, and tree-climbing adventure. Giving your kids time to explore with no time constraints will make a highlight memory of summer for them.
Go for a Bike Ride
Summer has barely arrived here, and we’ve done this one so many times! Bikes are such a great toy with huge health benefits. A bike ride can burn calories while taking you to a fun destination (or just a spin around the block!). We like to use our bikes to go to the neighborhood playground or an ice cream shop that is just 2 miles away.
When we visited Mackinac Island recently, we hiked and biked the trails in the inner island. It was awesome! Look up some local bike trails for a fun family health challenge!
Whether it’s a gourmet meal in the kitchen or weenies over a campfire, take the time (and the patience) to create a meal with your kids. Involve them in every step from brainstorming what to eat to picking out the ingredients at the store/farm stand to chopping/stirring/cooking. Your kids will love the quality time spent with you and the pride of accomplishment in the meal they prepared.
Play Baseball in the Yard
Youth baseball season is over, but your kid will still love to toss the ball around! Grab a ball, a mitt, and a bat for hours of play in the yard. Use frisbees to make bases, and run those kiddos until their legs fall off!
Better yet, go over to the unused baseball field and practice on a real field! The kids will love “the real thing”, and there’s even more space to run!
Wash the Car
What is summer without water? Put your kids’ love of water to work by having them wash the family car! A bucket, a squirt of dish soap, a few rags, and a hose provide fun and accomplishing a chore!
Paint Amazon Boxes
There’s bound to be a rainy day in there somewhere. Make the most of it! Spread out a drop cloth in a room with easily wipe-able floor (for us, that’s our entryway). Grab those unneeded shipping boxes, you know you’ve got them! Squirt a couple colors of washable paint on a paper plate and let your kids have a field day. This is hands-down my kids favorite indoor craft activity. They LOVE to paint.
Go to the Playground
Never underestimate the power of a playground! Kids will enjoy a playground longer than you might think. Change it up by trying all the playgrounds your town has to offer. Go to the one with a splash pad on a hot day. Test out the one in the woods with hiking paths another time.
You could even make this bucket list item more challenging by making it a goal to visit every park in your city! For us, that would be 9 parks in our township and many more if travel just a few more miles. Fun!
Our local library has a summer reading program, so my boys are super pumped to read all the books to get a prize! Make going to the library for new books a regular routine and take time to sit with your kids and read.
Change up the location too! Try reading on the front porch, snuggled up in bed, under a tree in the backyard. If you’ll be taking a road trip, look up some audio books the whole family will enjoy. A summer bucket list doesn’t need to be free of learning; stretch your brain this summer by reading!
Summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. No need to sweat over unique activities that are new and different. Kids love routine and the familiar. Add these simple, free summer bucket list ideas to your plans and watch your kids have the time of their life!