At-Home Family Bucket List

At-home activities you can do with your kids this summer.

With the government’s recent announcement that most summer camps will be closed for the 2020 season, a lot of families find themselves pressed for ideas to keep their kids entertained at home. We’re here to help with your brainstorming! Below is a list of 20 activities that can be done inside or in your backyard. Some are athletic and engaging, others relaxing and creative. Enjoy!


1. Create a Rube Goldberg machine

A Rube Goldberg machine is designed to perform a very simple task in an indirect manner. Generally using a marble or small ball, there are a series of devices and steps the ball must travel through in order to complete the task. For example,  the marble rolls down the stairs on homemade ramps, hits a domino trail, which then triggers the movement of a toy car to travel down a designated route and hit ‘play’ on the TV remote. Don’t forget to film your Rube Goldberg and send it back to us, we would love to see your creation! Here are a few examples we found on Pinterest for some inspiration. Youtube is also full of tutorials. Grab some inspiration HERE

2. Make your own board game

Take a classic board game set up, like Monopoly, and make your own personal version! Cardboard, construction paper, markers and tape/glue is all you need. Each property can be a special place to your family, or even your go-to spots around the neighbourhood. The process of creating the board is creatively entertaining itself, but there is the added fun of playing it all together.

3. Homemade, edible playdough with kitchen ingredients you likely already have

No shopping necessary for this one. Safe and edible playdough is easy to make with ingredients you already have in the kitchen. Make your own (edible) Playdough HERE

4. Turn old jeans into purses, pencil cases and more!

Many of us pass down our old clothing as hand-me-downs to others or give them away to charitable organizations and thrift stores. Another way to make use of a worn pair of jeans is to convert them to something else! These denim bags or wallets make great donations themselves, or can even be sold to raise money for the charity of your choice. YouTube & WikiHow

5. Paper Mache

A classic arts and crafts activity that never gets old! The paste can be made with ingredients found in your home. Youtube and other online platforms are full of instructional videos and can help you keep the mess at a bare minimum.

6. Gimp and thread bracelets

Just because sleep-away camps are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of the experience into your home. A great example of a camp memento is friendship bracelets. Wal-Mart and other craft stores sell kits, and there are tons of pattern ideas and step-by-step tutorials on the internet.

7. Life-size self-portraits

With a large roll of poster paper, you can trace real-size outlines of each-others bodies. Then, feel free to color them in and dress your 2-D self-mannequin the way you wish.

8. Build a fort

An oldie but a goodie! Pillow forts are fun and easy to make! Making pillow forts can also be an art.

9. Projector movie night (or rainy matinee)

After purchasing a projector on Amazon or BestBuy, you can up your at-home-movie-nights! Maybe even go the extra mile and watch it IN the fort?

10. Thank you cards or paintings for front-line workers

Why not engage in an afternoon activity with the intention of giving back to our community? Decorative cards, or even mini painted canvases, are a great way to thank the health care workers for all of their hard work and dedication during this time. This can also be a friendly approach in teaching kids about what is going on in our world.


1. Tye-Dye

This trend is back and better than ever! This classic DIY activity is not the most indoor-friendly activity, but it’s a great way to redesign old clothing you might have around the house. Some steps do require going inside, for example using the washing machine. What a great way to brighten up your wardrobe!

2. Gardening

Summer camps usually teach kids how to respect mother nature and support the environment around them. You can plant basil, mint, chives…etc. in the garden and teach your children how to make sure the plants are happy and healthy. Plus, there is the added benefit of using your own ingredients to cook with!

3. Life-size tic tac toe

Cut-out poster boards to make giant Xs and Os. With string or rope, you can make a giant tic tac toe board in the backyard.

4. Giant Jenga

Another classic game you can scale up in size is Jenga. You can even write challenges on the big block pieces. For example, someone might poke out a piece that says “10 jumping jacks” or “sing a song”.

5. Make a bird feeder

6. Egg drop

Bring this classic elementary school science project to your house! Provide about 10 different random materials, like tin foil, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks…etc (and of course: tape and glue). Kids can pair up in teams to create a structure that will protect an egg when it is dropped from an elevated surface, such as a balcony. A great way to bring about friendly competition.

7. Water balloon toss (or fight!)

8. Slip n Slide

This one takes a bit more setting up, but is worth it on a hot day! If you have an old tarp lying around the garage, you’re all set. Or, Canadian Tire and Amazon both sell great backyard slip n slides. We recommend using a hose and environmentally-friendly soap for extra ‘slip’ on the ‘slide’.

9. Chalk on the drive-way or sidewalk.

Brighten up someone’s day by decorating the concrete around your house! All it takes is one rainy day to restart and create something new.

10. Home-made bowling

Any sort of ball will do. Make a bowling alley with pool noodles and use empty cans and pins.