50 Ideas for Easy and Inexpensive Summer Fun (including a free printable 2019 summer checklist)

This is the 8th summer for our family's summer checklist. Every year, we make a list of all the fun adventures we plan on completing during my boys' break from school. We fill our summer bucket list with easy and inexpensive ideas for summer fun. This is one of my absolute favourite annual family traditions, and it has helped us to create many priceless memories. Today, I am sharing our 2019 summer checklist (that you can download for free below). I've also included several links to additional info about the activities.

To download and print the summer checklist: click on the checklist below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8X10 photo. I sent mine to my local copy store and printed it for $0.59. That's a lot of fun for less than a dollar!

We always have 50 items on our list, but feel free to adapt the list to fit your family. You can choose 10, 20, 30 or 40 of your favourites and add them to this blank list. It's not meant to be stressful... it's a template for family fun!

To download the blank version: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

And... in case you need more info about the items on my list, or you are looking for items to make your own list, check out the helpful links below.

1) Celebrate Canada Day or the 4th of July - Find simple and fun ideas for photo props, crafts, decor and recipes here.

2) Watch fireworks or attend a parade

3) Have a picnic or BBQ and eat outside - All picnics are great, but a teddy bear picnic is extra special. You can get the recipe for our favourite teddy bear picnic cookies here.

4) Go to a splash pad or swim in a pool

5) Host a "half sleepover" or backyard carnival - Hosting a fun event for friends is a really fun way to spend a summer afternoon or evening. Click on the links above for some of my favourite DIY party details.

6) Go to a farmer's market or visit a yard sale

7) Visit the library and read a book outside - If you are looking for some great books to get your kids reading this summer, you can find a list of some of our favourites here.

8) Have a water fight or NERF gun battle - I have simple tips for transforming your backyard into a water park here and easy and inexpensive NERF battle ideas here.

9) Go fishing or hiking

10) Have a family movie night outside or attend an outdoor concert - Outdoor movie nights are a family favourite in our house. You can read my best tips and tricks for an easy, inexpensive and fun movie night here.

11) Eat donuts from a string (with no hands) 

12) Pick out a toy or treat at the dollar store

13) Plant something and watch it grow

14) Visit a wildlife park, farm or zoo

15) Build a fort (inside the house or outside) or a trail through the woods

16) Get ice cream in PJs (drive throughs are OK) 

17) Play baseball, soccer, golf or street hockey

18) Make homemade ice cream or another cold treat - I have tons of great ideas for ice cream on my blog here. They are all delicious, but I highly recommend giving the DIY ice cream pie a try.

19) Go for a bike ride

20) Decorate a cake or bake cookies - I have tons of recipes for sweet treats on my blog, but if you are looking for a tried and true favourite, check out my soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe here.

21) Spend time at a cottage, beach or park

22) Do a science experiment or make a craft - Science experiments and crafts are perfect ways for kids to have fun, be creative, and continue learning during their summer break. Find some of our favourite science experiments here and some of our favourite crafts here.

23) Play a board game or chocolate bar bingo (which is like regular bingo... but with chocolate bars as prizes) - Playing games together is always fun. I have a great idea for a board game day here and a fun DIY outdoor game here.

24) Go geo-caching or bowling

25) Have a "kids pick the meals" day

26) Play mini golf

27) See a play or visit a museum

28) Have a lemonade stand or yard sale

29) Try a new food

30) Have a theme day (e.g. a pirate daysuperhero day, "parents say yes" day, or "spend our gift cards" day)

31) Camp at a campground, in the backyard or in the living room

32) Have a PJ day

33) Build a large puzzle

34) Make a summer reading list, set a reading goal or keep a summer journal

35) Fly a kite

36) Have a dance party or sing karaoke

37) Go on a scavenger hunt - Scavenger hunts are fun for kids of all ages. You can find one for younger kids (with pictures) here, and you can find a fun idea for older kids here.

38) Organize a drawer, closet or room

39) Play with water balloons

40) Do a good deed or raise money for charity

41) Go on a road trip to another city or town

42) Play "tag" or run in a race

43) Roast marshmallows, make s'mores or cook a different campfire treat 
- Check out my favourite ideas here

44) Write and mail a letter or postcard

45) Visit at least 5 different ice cream stands

46) Go stargazing

47) Choose your own
48) Choose your own
49) Choose your own

50) HAVE ICE CREAM FOR SUPPER! - This is the last item on our checklist every year. It's the perfect way to celebrate the completion of our summer checklist and remember all the fun memories we made together.

Creating and completing a summer checklist really is one of my favourite family traditions. It's always a lot of fun, and definitely something my boys look forward to each year.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

10+ LAST DAY OF SCHOOL treats and gifts... including FREE printable tags

The last day of school is a special milestone for kids. Children spend a lot of time with their teachers and classmates, and it's important to celebrate these relationships. Bringing class treats and teacher gifts on the last day of school is a great way for kids to say goodbye.

Here are some of my favourite treat ideas for sharing with classmates on the last day of school. I've included edible and non-edible options, and they all have adorable FREE printable tags.

1) "CEREAL"sly cute treats - The little boxes of cereal are adorable when packaged with a spoon and the free printable tags I designed (which you can download here).

2) SWEET treats - Dollar store splash balls look like scoops of ice cream when you package them with ice cream cones. Wrap the sweet treats in cellophane bags, tie with curling ribbon, and add the tag that you can download here.

3) Dollar store balls and trinkets - Dollar store balls and trinkets make adorable treats when they are packaged in cellophane bags with "It was a BALL having you in my class!" tags (which you can download for free here). 

4) Bubbles or gum - Bubbles and gum make adorable class treats when packaged with "This year BLEW by." tags. You can download the tags I designed (for free) here.

5) Starburst Treats - My boys love these fruity candies, and they would jump at the chance to share them with their friends. They can be packaged in small cellophane bags with "I hope your summer is BURSTing with fun!" tags (that you can download here).


6) Crazy straws - Silly straws are inexpensive and perfect for summer. I love the idea of packaging them with these adorable cards I designed (which you can download for free here).

7) Cool treats - Summer is the the perfect time to indulge in cool treats, so freezies are wonderful for sharing with friends on the last day of school. You can download the "It was COOL having you in my class this year." tags for free here.

8) Happy face balls - These cheerful happy face balls make adorable last day of school class treats. You can download the "I'm happy you were in my class!" tags here.

Teachers love gift cards, but kids also like to give their teachers a thoughtful gift. I love the idea of coming up with practical gifts and cute packaging ideas for gift cards. Here are some of my favourite end of year teacher gifts.

9) Bath bombs and/or lip balms -  Bath bombs and lip balms are cute on their own or paired with a gift card. They make an even better gift when packaged with a punny tag that says, "You are the BOMB!" You can download these tags for free here.

10) Sweet treats - Goodies that teachers can eat or share with their families are always appreciated. You can purchase something, or you can bake some of your favourite treats. Don't forget to add the "Thank you for making my year so SWEET!" tags I designed (that you can download for free here). 

11) Kit Kats - Wish your teacher a wonderful "summer BREAK" with a Kit Kat bar, gift card, and the adorable punny tags I designed (which you can download for free here).

12) Orange goodies - What could be more refreshing than an orange summer drink? Make it extra special by adding an "ORANGE you glad it's summer?" tag (that you can download here). It makes a wonderful gift card holder too.

13) "Tote"ally awesome bag - What could be better for summer than a super-cute bag to carry books and summer treats? Just add a "Thanks for being a 'TOTE'ally awesome teacher!" (which you can download for free here).

14) DIY Cookie Mix - A cookie mix in a jar is an inexpensive (and useful!) teacher gift. It's even better with the FREE printable gift tags you can download here.

I love all of these class treat and teacher gift ideas, don't you? Are you ready for the last day of school? I hope you find these ideas helpful. Happy summer!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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