For kids, there is nothing better than hearing the words Summer Vacation and Fun! For parents, it is fear of keeping kids entertained and busy for the summer. Here is a long bucket list of fantastic summer activities that will keep your kids busy all summer long without breaking the bank. No summer boredom for your kids this summer. The kids will actually forward to the summer this year!
Rain or shine, here is a list of fun things that are interesting and so much better than sitting in front of TV or a computer screen. So whether you are at home, in the kitchen, in the back yard, at the park, or in the park, this list of summer activities for kids is EASY PEASY - you got this! AND these fun summer activities are designed for kids of all ages, including parents, cousins, grandparents, and friends. Fun times for the entire family!
With busy schedules and the lure of technology, it is hard to get the kids outdoors. So free time away from electronics is ideal. Arrange for a playdate, a gathering of friends or family members - your kids will love you for it!
Hula Hoops - Hula hoop games and races are challenging and fun. Make some flower leis to add to make it fun and see who can hula the longest!
Make a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course - Set up a backyard obstacle course using furniture, ropes, and other DIY obstacles. Easy peasy!
Lemonade Stand - Setting up a lemonade stand is a great way to embrace the heat and teach kids valuable life skills. Add some homemade cookies if you want to make some extra cash!
Water Fights -Invite friends and play dodgeball with water balloons, blast each other with a garden hose or play tag with water guns - water fights are fun for the whole family.
Blowing Bubbles - Kids love bubbles, and it is a classic activity. Who can blow the biggest bubble? Plus, bubbles are so pretty!
Make a Slip n Slide - whether you buy a slip n slide or make one at home, there is nothing better than slip n slide fun in the backyard on a hot summer day!
Family Sack Race - use a potato sack, an old pillowcase or duvet cover, and let the race begin!
Plastic Cup Greenhouse- plastic cups are perfect for kids to plant seeds, water them and watch them grow. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and make a greenhouse.
Setup a Net -use a net or string line and play volleyball using a beach ball. You could also use balloons and a paddle.
Play yard games - Setup bocce ball, croquet, mini-golf, ladder toss, corn hole, scoop ball, horseshoes, or whatever you have in the house. Have fun and get moving outside.
Set up a bird-watching station - Hang up homemade bird feeders in your yard and see how many bird species you can attract to your yard. Take photos and listen to their songs. See how many you can identify.
Games to play using Chalk - Bust through summer boredom and get creative with chalk. Play checkers, trace your shadow, play classic hopscotch, draw a picture, draw roads, or a bike trail.
Set up a Bowling Alley - Fill up pop bottles for pins, use a softer ball, and go bowling. It is so easy and cheap!
Have Nerf Gun Fights - set up targets and buckets and make sure you have plenty of darts available.
Neighborhood or nearby park
Getting your kids outdoors to your neighborhood park can be beneficial both mentally and physically, and they will have tons of fun.
Scavenger Hunt - The summer bucket list is not complete without a scavenger hunt at your local park. Scavenger hunts are our favorite activities and can be adapted for all ages, adults, and even an older relative. There are several printable lists available on the internet to get you started.
Remote control car races -head to a schoolyard with open spaces, invite your friends with remote cars, and set up an Indianapolis 500 speedway.
Climb Trees - There is nothing more satisfying for a kid than climbing a tree -you will see the biggest smile ever when they reach the top. Determining which tree has the best branches or pretending to be a monkey in the jungle - lets their imagination run wild.
Nature Walk - Going on nature walks is a great activity to learn about nature, science, and the environment. Take pictures of plants, birds, and animals and make a book to capture the memories of the day.
Visit the Fire Station - schedule a tour to your local fire station to learn about the job of a firefighter and how they protect us and keep us safe.
County Fair - Don't miss the opportunity to spend a day at the local county fair. It happens once a year and provides lots of summer activities for the kids. A fair is so much more than rides and arcades, and you get to eat lots of junk food.
Bike Ride - Riding bikes with family and friends brings on smiles, and everyone gets some exercise! If you are heading to a bike trail, use the free printable map to plan your route.
Create Olympic Games - Use the resources in your park to create Summer Olympic games, and be sure to include medals for the kids.
Meet friends - Invite your friends to join you at the neighborhood park, BMX park, skate park, or pool. It is always fun to get together with your friends.
Museum, Airshows, Science Centre Attractions - Don't forget to check these venues during the summer months. Usually, on weekends they will host exhibits explicitly designed for kids.
Picnic at the Park - Bring a blanket and your favorite foods and enjoy your lunch sitting on a blanket in the park. It's amazing how good your lunch will taste!
Lake or beach day
Pack up and head to the closest lake. In addition to swimming and fishing, there are many summer activities for kids to enjoy at the lake. Don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray!
Play Beach Ball - How can you go to the beach on a really hot day without a beach ball to bat around. Play beach games in the water or on the sand.
Build Sand Castles - Building sandcastles is fun. All you need is an assortment of pails, shovels, carving tools, and a good imagination.
Make a River on the Beach -Dig a river in the sand, add the water from the lake, and find some driftwood, debris, or make a boat to float down the river.
Have a rely on race - All you need is a pail and a plastic cup. At the sound of "get ready go" they will have to run to the lake to fill up the cup and then run back and empty the cup into the pail. The first kid to fill the bucket with water wins the race.
Play Beach Dodgeball - Playing dodgeball in the sand is so much fun. So easy peasy, all you need is the ball and some players.
Make a homemade fishing rod and Go Fishing - Have fun fishing with Grandpa. If the fish don't bite, he can teach you how to skip rocks on the lake.
Play Golf - All you need for a club is a wooden stick you can find on the beach and some tennis balls.
Have a Game of Tug of War - All you need is a rope, or you can tie some towels together to make a rope. Nothing feels better than landing on a soft bed of sand.
Have a Treasure Hunt - Make the list of items specific to the beach, such as shells, a feather, a sea creature, colored rocks, white pebbles, black pebbles, .etc. And let the hunt begin.
Beach Spa - This is a great mother-daughter activity. Girls love to have a beach spa, and sand is a natural exfoliant.
For the evening
Here are some super fun things to entertain your kids in the evening. Guaranteed they will talk about them for years to come.
Stargazing - Layout your blankets on the deck, grass or on the trampoline. See if you can find the Big Dipper and other constellations. A perfect ending to the day.
Backyard Camping - teach the kids how to pitch a tent and invite their friends for a sleepover. See who tells the best ghost story.
Set-up a drive-in movie theatre - set up an indoor or outdoor drive-in movie theatre using lawn chairs or laundry baskets. Drinks and popcorn are a must.
Build a bonfire - gather your family around a fire pit, roast hot dogs, toast marshmallows, and make smores.
Glow stick games - Invite your friends to a glow stick party - they all agree that this is one of the best summer activities for kids! The dollar store has a great variety of glow sticks for a reasonable price.
Flashlight Tag - Playing hide and seek in the dark with a flashlight is still one of the favorite summer activities for kids.
Have a slumber party - invite your friends and play a game of truth or dare. They will have a blast! There are lots of fun and silly free printable questions online.
Create a Home Spa -Fill some basins, have a foot soak, set up a polish station, and paint your toes and fingernails.
Make a home movie - Help your kids pick out a theme to make a home movie. There are apps they can use to edit, add music or special effects. This will keep the kids busy for hours.
Build a blanket fort - Use blankets and two chairs or turn your living room into an elaborate fortress with towers - no need to pitch a tent.
These are some super fun summer activities for kids on those busy rainy days when you are stuck inside. Break out the board games, puzzles, make cookies, or have a dance party.
Play Charades - Charades games are so popular, and the kids will have a blast. Whether they are action-oriented, theme-based or word-based, charades are a game perfect for any age.
Write Letters or cards - write a letter or make a card and send to a friend or family member. They could even draw a picture and include it with card. Then, send it in the mail or deliver in person.
Build a reading station -Use sheets and blankets to make a tent to use as a reading station. Add some stuffed animals and pillows, some snacks, and have them pick out a comic book or listen to an audiobook.
Facetime or Skype with family - connect with your grandparents and tell them all about the exciting and fun summer activities you have planned.
Play games - Beat summer boredom with board games. Set up stations of board games and have a tournament.
Projects using cardboard boxes - collect your boxes and when you have enough, have a box night! Make a dollhouse, build a train or race car, a dog house, or make a backdrop and have a puppet show - these are just a few great ideas.
Make a Summer Time Capsule - Have each family member add a particular item that will capture fond memories for years to come. Some great ideas are a photo of their pet, a comic book, a birthday card, and can add a note to me from me. A shoebox is excellent for safekeeping your time capsule treasures.
Throw a Dance Party - Does life get any better than having a summer dance party with a disco ball and colored lights. Don't let your kids have all the fun, join in.
Setup a a toy donation bin - Teach your kids how to give up their excess toys - a unique and fun rainy day activity. Take them for ice cream as a treat and reward for helping others.
Host a Fashion Show Party - Create a tickle trunk of old or outdated hats, scarves, shoes, jewelry, and obsolete clothes and let the summer fun begin. Take pictures and edit the photos on a computer.
Play card games - Pick your favorite card game, go fish, crazy eights, golf, Uno, etc. An inexpensive and fun way to spend time with your family.
Host a music concert - let the kids be the conductor, set up the stage and mic, pick the instruments and songs they want to perform. Then, record the concert and enjoy it for years to come!
Have a pajama day - For those dreary rainy days when you just want to stay, be lazy. You can watch movies, listen to music, have a nap, or read your favorite book.
Some fun and creative ideas that kids will enjoy making and especially eating!
Tacos - Let the kids set up a taco bar with all the fixings. Kids love to chop, grate, and cut. Everyone can get in on the fun!
Bake cookies - Let the kids make peanut butter or chocolate chip cookies and then share them with the neighbors.
Build your own sundae - Create a pop-up ice cream bar that includes a range of toppings like fruit, cookie crumbles, chocolate bar pieces, mini marshmallows, and sauces. Then, let everyone create their own ice cream sundae this summer -who doesn't like ice cream in the summer?
DIY Pizza - Kids love to eat pizza, and it is even better when they can pick their own toppings. You might even convince them to try something new!
Let the kids plan a dinner - Let them decide what to make for dinner. Let them select the recipe, shop for the ingredients, and prepare and plate the dinner - fancy dishes and napkins included! They will be beaming with pride.
Make a cookbook - when your kid finds a recipe that they enjoy making and eating, have them start their own personal cookbook. In no time, they will have a great collection of their favorite recipes.
Decorate Cupcakes - Set up a cupcake bar. They can add their favorite food color to the icing and then add sprinkles and toppings. Everyone can get in the fun, and even the little ones can decorate their own cupcake.
Arts and crafts
Anyone can make these cute and easy crafts, so don't worry if you aren't crafty, they are simple and straightforward, and even better, you will likely have most of the items in your home. A win for everyone!
Make a Wind Sock - Kids can use their imagination and make a windsock from a plastic bottle (cut in half), ribbon, markers, and paint. A great way to introduce reused and recycled materials.
Make Paper Flowers - Flowers are the first sign of summer, a perfect summer craft, and suitable for any age. Paper plates, construction paper, tissue paper, and you can make a fantastic bouquet of sunflowers.
Make Homemade Slime - I don't know a kid who isn't excited to make SLIME. Add some food coloring and sparkle! They love mixing, kneading, stretching, and squishing the slime.
Make Paper Plate Animals - You can make lots of different animals using affordable paper plates from the dollar store. Invite some friends and create an entire zoo!
Make a craft using Popsicle Sticks - They can be painted, glued, and glittered - so many fun crafts to create. Of course, washable paint is a must!
Make Paper Airplanes - Make paper airplanes for flying fun this summer. Have a contest and see who can make the one that can fly the farthest.
Painting Rocks - Make pet rocks, paint flowers, patterns, messages, or even create a wall hanging out of stones. Collect stones from special places - the beach, vacation, or a visit to your grandparent's home and turn your collection of rocks into memories and keepsakes.
Make a Milk Carton Bird Feeder - A creative craft that gets kids excited to feed and watch the birds. Boys really enjoy making this craft and hanging it in the tree.
Wind Chimes - Save your tin cans and lids. Paint and add some glitter and turn them into a beautiful wind chime to hang in your backyard or give as a gift.
Pasta Necklaces or Bracelets - Paint your pasta with pretty pastel or primary colors and then string on yarn. They will be so cute!
Make art from nature - Pick and press flowers or design a picture using different leaves, pine cones, or tree needles, etc.