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For years now, as a “hip-hip-hooray, we’ve finished another year of school” gift, I’ve had a huge Summer Fun basket waiting when my kids wake up on the last day of school. This has become a tradition that we all love.

The thing with the Summer Basket that I have figured out–this is a basket stuff with things that I have to buy for summer anyway. It’s just packaged up really fun, so it becomes a gift. Yay for everyone.

Cool Mom status is a fun place to be–if even for a few minutes. So, allow me to help you get there for a few minutes too.

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Here’s my great-big-long list of Summer Fun Basket ideas.


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Summer Fun Basket Ideas-the Essentials

Let’s start with the basic essentials for summer. You’re going to be buying a ton of sunscreen anyway, right?

Put it in the basket.

Bug spray?

Put it in the basket.

Sidewalk chalk artist in your home?


You feel me, right? Here’s some other ideas.

  • New bathing suits for kids that grew over the winter.
  • Flip flops
  • S’more fixin’s
  • Sidewalk chalk–or our favorite…Sidewalk Chalk Paint! It’s so much fun!
  • Sunglasses
  • Lemonade mix
  • New summer shorts and tanks
  • Pool toys
  • Water goggles
  • Water balloons–our favorite is Bunch O’ Balloons...they’re the easiest water balloons ever!
  • and don’t forget sunscreen
  • and bug spray

Summer Fun Learning

Let’s not forget what summer is really for…learning without your kids knowing it. 🙂 I love to tuck some things in our Summer Fun Basket that will totally build brains over the summer without my kids even noticing.Summer fun basket: a tradition to try this year!

  1. Mushroom growing kit
  2. Any of the Dr. Noggin trivia games
  3. Gathering a Garden board game
  4. Paint by Stickers: Art Classics
  5. Nature Carving Kit
  6. Water beads
  7. Bird Origami kit
  8. Link It game–perfect for critical thinking
  9. Nature Kaleidoscope kit–this kit is amazing and I can’t wait to make it with the kids!
  10. Sun Print Paper kit–have you ever used this before? This special paper creates amazing art from nature and the sun. Easy to do–your kids will love!
  11. Wikki Stix Traveler Play set–these are so fun to create with, but a play set for the car for long road trips is brilliant!

More ideas…

  • This is a great time to share a Summer Reading List with your kids. Purchase the books and bundle them up for each kid. Stick a little “coupon” bookmark into each one telling the child the little prize they’ll get upon finishing the book. Click HERE for some summer reading ideas that you could pair with movies for your older kids!
  • New summer movies coming out? Create your own tickets with the opening date on them, letting your kids know you’ll be seeing some summer movies.
  • If you’re planning a summer road trip, add a travel journal, maps, and reading material to learn about where you’ll be visiting.

This is a tradition we really love in our home. Let me know if you try it out! Summer’s allllmossst here!!


  1. What a great idea! It totally reframes all the things that you NEED for summer as a super fun gift. I’m totally sneaking away this weekend to build this, and I’ll tag you in it on Instagram!

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