Activity buckets for kids: Bringing fun on the go

At the beginning of the summer, a bunch of families I’d met at new moms’ group planned a joint camping trip. All our excited plans were canceled, though, when the weekend we’d meant to go turned hot. It seemed like insanity to take a bunch of kids camping with no lake or river when the temperature soared past 100. But I’d made activity buckets for all the kids, and I got to give them to the littles at a backyard picnic instead—a small consolation prize.

But I needn’t have been so disappointed! The activity buckets have come with us on many adventures since.

Going disc golfing? Heading to the beach? Playing in the yard? The activity buckets have brought fun wherever the girls take them.

Making kids' activity buckets lets them bring all their supplies for outside fun! Ten Thousand Hour MamaMaking kids' activity buckets lets them bring all their supplies for outside fun! Ten Thousand Hour MamaDIY kids' activity buckets for outdoor fun are a great family activity for camping, the beach, or anything outside - made from Dollar Store supplies. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Bringing fun to go

Activity buckets are super easy to put together, and the kids love having one of their own—especially one with their name on it. Whether you’re camping or just headed to the park, these activity buckets bring fun along.

Peeper, especially, adores playing with her activity bucket. She’s been on a detective kick lately, calling herself Detective Sensitive for some reason I still can’t sleuth out.

DIY kids' activity buckets for outdoor fun are a great family activity for camping, the beach, or anything outside - made from Dollar Store supplies. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

When we take her activity bucket outside, she investigates everything. She examines the ground with her magnifying glass, draws maps in her notebook and collects “clues” with her pinchers.

The mysteries we play always involve something that’s gone missing. “This is the case of the missing teapot!” she’ll gravely inform me, and off we go on a hunt.

“My skin tickles,” she’ll say out of the blue. “I think someone is watching us!” She imagines herself getting goosebumps from creepy eyes peeking out from behind bushes, and it’s always me who investigates.

And whenever we solve a mystery—here’s the missing teapot!—there’s a new case to be cracked. Good thing we have all the needed mystery-solving supplies with these activity buckets.

DIY kids' activity buckets for outdoor fun are a great family activity for camping, the beach, or anything outside - made from Dollar Store supplies. Ten Thousand Hour MamaDIY kids' activity buckets for outdoor fun are a great family activity for camping, the beach, or anything outside - made from Dollar Store supplies. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Making kids’ activity buckets

Supplies

You can get just about everything you need from the dollar store. Here’s what I included, though of course you can adjust to your kids’ ages and interests.

  • Bucket
  • Crayons
  • Small notebook
  • Bubbles
  • Magnifying glass
  • Pinchers, for picking up things (and developing fine motor skills)
  • Puff paint, for writing your child’s name on her activity bucket

Although we didn’t go on our big group camping trip, the kids got together plenty. And they certainly didn’t let the cancellation get in their way of fun.

Summer is drawing to a close now. Kids are starting school, and days are getting shorter. But I’m not worried: I know we’ll have plenty of opportunities to use our activity buckets throughout the year, rain or shine. And we’ll try again for our group camping trip next summer.

DIY kids' activity buckets for outdoor fun are a great family activity for camping, the beach, or anything outside. Ten Thousand Hour Mama


PS – If you’re looking for a fun kids’ camping craft, check out my post about outdoor collages!

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

7 thoughts on “Activity buckets for kids: Bringing fun on the go

  • September 15, 2017 at 7:06 am
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    Love this post girl, but imma need you to come home so our kids can be besties and do this together?

    Reply
    • September 15, 2017 at 7:08 am
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      Don’t worry, I’m coming home this weekend!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 9:22 am
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    Such a great idea! So portable and easy to take anywhere!

    Reply
    • September 17, 2017 at 8:49 pm
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      Yes! We just put ’em in the trunk, so we don’t have to think about bringing random things for them to play with. Toys and entertainment are ready to go at a moment’s notice!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 11:00 am
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    I live this! It’s like a set of tools to encourage and enhance curiosity and creativity. Have you been tempted to make one for yourself? 😂

    Reply

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