A Kid Tested Summer Bucket List That Will Make Your Life Easy

A Kid Tested Summer Bucket List That Will Make Your Life Easy

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A few years ago 1500 children were asked to rank their favorite summer activities. You won’t believe what they said. Now you can give your kids a magical summer WITHOUT stress. Click through to see what is on the kid’s summer bucket list. It’s going to be a great summer!

What do you remember about your summers as a child?

I remember bright blue sunlit skies, lazy days, no school; summer hikes, munching on wild berries, weaving daisy crowns and the buzz of honeybees.

We had picnics by the river, climbed trees, and tried in vain to stand on our hands. I have such happy memories of those long relaxed summer days. This beautiful song by Sara Groves sums it up beautifully.

What kind of summer you want for your children?


Most bucket lists are meant to be helpful. After all they are filled with fun ideas for you to enjoy with your kids. So what’s the problem? Most of them include  hundreds of ideas, each with a handy checkbox. It stresses me out just looking at them.

Look at all those checkboxes! We need to get started now! Hurry up we need to get them checked off.

Surely there is a better way? How can we give our kids a summer to remember without all the stress?


In 2012 a major grocery chain in England surveyed 2,000 parents and 1,500 children about their summer activities. The results were really interesting.



  • 29% worried their children wouldn’t have an enjoyable summer if they didn’t have any outings to theme parks.
  • 36% planned costly day trips/excursions (spending on average £183.00/$260 per child).
  • 41% worried their kids would be bored if left to enjoy simple activities and free play.

Do you have similar worries? Do you find yourself booking expensive trips or clicking through endless summer activities on Pinterest? This is the stuff of those stressful summer bucket lists

Take a breath and read on. You are going to LOVE what the children said.
Summer Bucket List


The children were asked to rank their favorite summer activities. They had to rate each activity on much fun it was, how happy it made them feel and how special and memorable it was.

Are you ready for the results?


The UK’s top 12 summer activities, as voted for by kids across the country were:

  1. Play date in the park or garden
  2. Water fight
  3. Building a den in the garden with family or friends
  4. Bike ride
  5. Outdoor games such as tag or hide & seek
  6. Climb a tree
  7. Mud pie making
  8. Berry picking
  9. Eating ice cream in the sun
  10. Feeding the ducks
  11. Planting flowers
  12. Trip to the movie theater


In fact the top 11 are all low cost or free. They are the simple pleasures that I remember from my childhood. The children also include the following activities on their summer bucket list.

  • Picnics
  • Playing in a paddling pool or sprinkler in the garden
  • Flying a kite
  • Trip to the local beach/outdoor swimming pool or national park
  • Backyard camping with family or friends



When quizzed more generally about their summer holidays at home

  • 47% children rated playing in the park or back garden HIGHER than going to places they haven’t been to before. In fact as long as they have friends to play with most kids said they are VERY HAPPY to occupy themselves in the garden.
  • 59% confirmed that they like playing outside with their friends the most.
  • 26% say no activity is boring when you have your friends by your side.

When asked to choose their ULTIMATE summer wish,

  • 39% picked summer sunshine for the entire duration of the holidays
  • 32% chose hanging out with friends
  • 25% wanted to see more of their mum and dad
  • 29% said they wanted to camp out in the garden


Good news parents! You don’t need a long summer bucket list full of expensive outings and dozens of activities.

To help you remember, I made a simple printable bucket list that includes all the kids suggestion. Post this bucket list as a reminder to you. Every time you start stressing about pretty those bucket lists with all their checkboxes All your kids really want to do is play with their friends and hang out with you more.

Is that EASY or what?


Use this list to help you remember to keep it simple this summer.

  1. Download the free cheat sheet. Join my newsletter and as a bonus, you’ll get access to my free resource library! Just click here to download and subscribe.
  2. Print and hang your list where you will see it every day.
  3. You will notice that are no check boxes. These ideas are so simple that you will probably do them multiple times. Take a look when you worry that you are not doing summer right. Remember that the activities listed are all the things that kids wanted to do. Then go through the list and say,

“Yup did that and this and that. Oh look we did that too and that. We are having a great summer!”

Here’s a sneak peek of your printable cheat sheet:

[su_button url=”http://eepurl.com/cwQfdr” target=”blank” background=”#9d2700″ size=”8″ center=”yes”]Click here to get access to my library of free resources[/su_button]


Studies are increasingly showing that lots of free play is the BEST WAY to give your kids an academic advantage. Say goodbye to Pinterest activities and hello to lazy summer days!


When I think about it simple pleasures like playing with friends and bike rides are some of my fondest summer childhood memories. Let’s give our children the gift of long, lazy summer days filled with play and laughter.

Summer memories last a lifetime, so we need to PAY ATTENTION to what the kids have said in this study.

Instead of spending money on expensive outings let’s make sure they have the freedom to go outside, build dens, have water fights, climb trees and play in mud.

We can’t do anything about summer sunshine, but we CAN change out with our kids. You could  land art, make a fairy house, blow some bubbles, or enjoy some easy play activities. If you are feeling a bit more ambitious, you could camp out in the garden.

Instead of worrying about enriching educational activities or Pinterest worthy summer activities, let’s just invite their friends over.

While they make their own fun we can sit back and sip on a cold beverage.

How does that sound?

6 thoughts on “A Kid Tested Summer Bucket List That Will Make Your Life Easy”

  1. Great Information! Thanks for confirming that we are going to have a wonderful summer!

  2. Aw, this is a really cool post! Summer is such a special time because you have so many opportunities to embark on new adventures with your little ones. So glad to see you’re taking advantage of that and encouraging others to do the same! Thanks so much for sharing all these fun ideas!

    1. Sharon Harding

      You are welcome. I am hoping this post will help parents relax and let their children play.

  3. This post really truly does make me feel a lot better!! I have tried to stop playing with my girls all day! Not because I don’t love them but because I want their imaginations to develop and for them to run off and play without always having guided play! Reading this made me feel happier!! Thanks <3

    1. Sharon Harding

      Your comment made my day! I am so glad you found it helpful. I think that most parents feel a great deal of guilt if they don’t play with their children all day. My research has shown that free play is essential for children. I think long summers filled with lots of free play is just prefect. The children seem to agree with us!

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