Summer surprise garland

Summer’s long days leave plenty of time for spontaneous fun. Only I like my fun a little more planned. 

This surprise garland allows for both: you choose the activity and your child (/friend/partner/pet) picks when you’ll do it.

If you let them pick willy nilly, that is. You could also have them pick in a particular order so you can do things when you want. Whatever floats your boat.

supplies 2

For 12 surprise bags you’ll need:

  • 12 paper bags
  • 12 clothes pegs (these decorated ones are from the dollar bins at Michael’s)
  • Twine
  • 12 surprises to put inside the bags and/or wee notes about the surprises

stamps 2

What kind of surprises, did you ask? Well for example, you could write a note that says “Let’s get crafty” and tuck in some wee art supplies to go with it. I used these alphabet stamps, a mini stamp pad and some glitter glue sticks. Or you could just include a note listing the activity. That would totally work too.

Some other ideas:

  • “Let’s toss water balloons” with some balloons
  • “Let’s go for ice cream!” with a couple of spoons
  • “Let’s dance!” with a USB stick of songs they like
  • “Let’s go for a bike ride!” with a shiny new bell
  • “Let’s have dessert before dinner!” with napkins
  • “Let’s limbo!” with a string to limbo under
  • “Let’s stay up late!” with a picture of a clock showing tonight’s bedtime
  • “Let’s roast marshmallows!” with a handful of marshmallows
  • “Let’s have a scavenger hunt!” with a list of things to find

Heck, there’s all kinds of things you could do!

twine and clothespegs

Got all of your surprises? Now we can put the garland together. This part won’t take long at all.


Put the surprises inside the bags, fold the top of the bag over your twine and clip in place with a clothes peg.

garland finished

Hang the bags where your surprisee can reach them.

(And yes, there are 12, eagle eye. That one just didn’t make it in the shot.)

pick bag close up

Pick a bag and let the good times roll!

(My surprisees are away, so my neighbour’s daughter picked the first one.)

benny bags

There might even be a surprise in there for him too. 🙂

How do you like your fun? Spontaneous or planned? Do you have any surprises up your sleeve for summer?


7 responses to “Summer surprise garland”

  1. […] The summer surprise garland has been a huge hit. Each day after the supper the kids argue about who gets to open a bag and then we do the activity on the note inside. We’ve painted pictures with some new paintbrush pens, made pom poms following an easy tutorial in the summer issue of EMMA Magazine, gone out for ice cream, stayed up late and done the limbo in the living room. And more surprises to come! […]

  2. Hi! Stopping over from Oak and Oats and I just love your idea! I have a lot of girl friends getting married and I think this would be a cute gift for them filled with little date ideas. I personally like my fun a little more spontaneous, but that being said a lot of times it doesn’t happen because I don’t have the supplies or energy to make it happen so maybe I should think about doing it more planned 🙂 thanks for the idea!

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