10 Things to Do With Kids Before School Starts

It's not too late to finish off that summer bucket list

August 19, 2018

It seemed like the last day of school would never come. 

Now it seems like summer has passed in a flash ... there were thrills at the amusement park, unforgettable camp adventures, memory-making family vacations, endless days spent splashing at the pool ... the list goes on and on.

On one hand, it's sad that summer break is winding down. On the other hand, the kids could use some structure, and mama could use just one day where she doesn't have to pick up wet bathing suits from the floor, separate kids battling over tablet time, and remind them -- as they sigh heavily and roll their eyes -- that their summer chores will just take 10 minutes out of their day. Just. Ten. Minutes. 

Please. Don't make me yell.

Anyway, let's not digress. Instead, let's soak up the time we have left before the kids disappear back into the daily routine that comes with school. Here are 10 things to do with kids before summer ends:

Spend a night outside.

Go camping as a family, even if it's just in your own backyard. That time together creates fun and simple memories of finding constellations, making a perfectly roasted marshmallow, and giggling over not-so-scary stories around the campfire.

Play a full game of Monopoly.

OK, it doesn't have to be Monopoly, but finding time for game night will be much harder once school starts. Plan at least one evening of game night fun before summer ends so you can crown a family champion.

Go visit that park you haven't found time for.

Maybe it's not a park, but a hiking trail. Or a new restaurant. Or a new local attraction. Now is the time to find the time!

Get to the water. 

There's something about spending an afternoon at the water -- whether it's an ocean, a lake, a pool, or a stream -- that makes people unwind and relax. Skipping stones, digging holes, diving under over and over ... being on the water is what summer memories are made of.

Take a long bike ride.

Spending time together leisurely exploring your town on two wheels is the perfect way to spend a late summer day. Stop at your favorite restaurant for lunch, or pack a picnic to make a day of it.

Eat more ice cream.

I mean, do we really need to expound on this? 

Close down your local amusement park.

Amusement parks are fun during the day, but after dark when the lights come on, they are magical. Give the kids the experience of staying until closing time at least one night before the season ends.

Be a tourist in your own town.

Visit the local museums. Eat at the local restaurants. See the sights the tourists don't miss. You and your kids will gain a new appreciation for what makes where you live special.

Go to a drive-in.

Nothing says summer like an outdoor movie. Don't have a drive-in nearby? Make your own "theater" outside by showing a movie on your garage. Don't forget the popcorn and candy!

Go back-to-school shopping.

Kids everywhere love back-to-school shopping. Get them excited about the school year by taking them out to choose new shoes, outfits, and school supplies. (Want to save money? Macaroni Mamas know how to do it!) Then don't let them touch anything until the first day of school.

After all, it'll be here before we know it.