The thing with starting traditions is that when you start one, it might just catch on and your kids will never let you forget! That’s the case with this summer tradition: The Summer Basket!
On the last day of school, every single year, my kids wake up to a giant basket STUFFED with fun gear for summer! Between you and me, a lot of the items in the basket need to be purchased anyway: outgrown swimsuits need to be replaced, fresh bug spray and sunscreen, and ice pops. But it’s all in the presentation! Kids will LOVE to come downstairs on the last day of school to this fun basket full of summer fun!
(Psst: if your last day of school as already passed, it’s not too late! Set it up for the first day of summer or even a Fourth of July treat!)
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29 of the Best Ideas for Your Summer Fun Basket: A New Summer Tradition!
Every year while I’m thinking about what will go into our Summer Basket, I like to make sure it will inspire my kids to play outdoors, replace any outgrown summer items, check off summer must-haves, give them something to do on super hot or rainy days, AND get us ready for any summer road trips.
I also like to think about what “basket” I will put the things in. Sometimes I just simply grab a laundry basket. But sometimes if we need a tub to store things in, I will grab that and use it since I’m buying it anyway.
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On the list below is a great picnic basket, which would be a great container to hold all your summer goodies!
Messy Backyard Fun
2. Bubble Gloves Four-Pack // We just picked these up–they look super fun!
3. Beautiful Mandala Chalk Stencil // My girls have used and loved this for years!
4. Adorable Bug House // A place for all the new “friends” you kids are finding outside.
5. Pizza Garden Starter Kit // My kids love growing things! Love that this has a theme.
6. Seaside Sand Baking Set // We have used and loved this set forever!
7. Lighted Pocket Microscope // This is so perfect to even keep in your purse for kids to look at things closely on the go.
9. Two-Pack Swim Goggles // We have to restock on goggles every year–they’re either too small or lost! These are a great deal.
10. Quick Fill Water Balloons // My kids will never fill water balloons the regular way again! This makes it SO much easier!
11. Fun Foam Water Shooters // The best water guns because the never break!
13. Plant Based Bug Spray // I can’t stand using all the sprays with chemicals on my kids. This is a much better option.
14. Classic Picnic Basket // You will use this all summer long and a GREAT container to give your kids their Summer Basket!
15. Favorite Marshmallow Roasting Sticks // I ordered these last year and they are the BEST!
16. Centerpiece Drink Dispenser // This would be a great container to just leave outside for your kids while they play and they can fill up their own waters rather than coming in and out of the house house 100x!
17. Lightweight Sunscreen // Another summer essential to include!
18. Soft and Absorbent Beach Towels // We always grab a few new beach towels each year.
19. Best Summer Clothes for Kids // If you need to grab your kids a few new clothing items for summer, this post will tell you everything you need to know!
20. Shaved Ice Maker // I have an old version of this and it still works great! Such a fun summer treat.
Grab my guide for having the best summer yet this year!
Summer Road Trips
21. Kids’ Travel Journal // This is a great journal to take along on a trip.
22. Kids National Geographic US Atlas // My kids love paging through an atlas while we travel.
23. Fujifilm Instant Camera // This is a MUST HAVE on a summer road trip! Kids love to take their own photos.
24. Fun & Educational License Plate Game // This is a super fun game that will take up tons of time of the road.
Rainy Day Fun
25. Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Cookbook // Cooking and baking on a rainy day is always a good idea.
27. Colorful Water Beads // Spread out a cookie sheet with a bowl of water beads for some sensory fun on a rainy afternoon.
29. No-Rules Mother & Daughter Journal // Sophia and I have been writing in this together for years and it’s a great way to connect.