Oh, summer… how we love you. As a teacher, the countdown to summer begins just after Spring Break! Summer is the perfect time to slow down, relax, and enjoy time with friends and family. It’s also the perfect time for kids to complain that they are BORED!
Ugh! But with this MASSIVE list of awesome kid-approved summer activities, you can banish “I’m bored” forever! Many of these summer activities kids can do on their own to give you a much-needed break.
Want even more Summer Activity ideas? Check out my Pinterest Board dedicated to finding fun ways to keep your little ones amused this summer (or any other time of year actually!).
I’m adding to the board all the time, so make sure you follow it, so you can get the latest in summer activities!
Table of Contents
Outdoor Summer Activities
Make a fairy garden
Make and fly a kite
This was one of my favorite activities as a child. Making a kite and then watching it fly gives you an amazing sense of accomplishment! Inner Child Fun has a simple kite tutorial that your kids will love!
Go to the beach
Summer wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the beach! OK, so maybe you don’t live near the sea, but there’s normally a lake or river nearby with a beach area. There are so many ways to have fun at the bach. Playitivies has these 10 fun beach games to keep the whole family amused.
Use sidewalk chalk
Sidewalk chalk is cheap and easy to find and is one of my favorite summer activities! One Little Project has these amazing ideas for fun sidewalk art projects. Have fun drawing them and then have fun taking the photos!
Go to the park
Edventures has some wonderful ideas for games to play at the park. Or you can just let your kiddos be kids and run around, climb, swing, and slide like crazy! Summer activities don’t get much simpler!
Make a solar oven
I Can Teach My Child did a really fun experiment by turning a pizza box into a solar oven! What a fun way to cook s’mores?
Wash the car
This is another summer activity that I suggest in my No-Spend Weekend post. This activity is free, practical and kids love it! Is there anything more fun than splashing around with water, a bucket, and a hose? This is also a nice activity because it makes kids feel like they are being useful.
Indoor Summer Activities
Build a fort
This is a classic summer activity for kids – building a fort! Life as Mama has a great list of different fort ideas. My favorite is also the blanket fort in the living. There’s something so cozy about a blanket fort!
Summer activities don’t get much yummier than this! Let’s bake some cookies! The Baking Chocolatess shared her recipe for the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. I’m not a baker (at all!), but these cookies turned out amazing perfect, and oh-so-yummy!
Build a Lego house
It doesn’t even have to be a house. Dumping a pile of Lego pieces on the floor and building from your own imagination is a great way to keep kids of all ages amused. You can have a contest to see who can build the best model. Kitchen Counter Chronicles even uses Lego building to introduce their children to architecture principles.
All your Lego pieces driving you crazy? Check out my post all about Lego storage.
Have a Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are a great summer activity to keep kids amused. Your kids will love this cute Rainbow Treasure Hunt by Simple Play Ideas.
DIY Skee Ball
This activity will take a little longer to set up – but the kids will enjoy helping you make the ramp. A DIY Skee Ball game is a perfect way to enjoy some time indoors while it’s too hot (or cold, or wet..) outside. Frugal Fun 4 Boys made this awesome one!
Popsicle stick catapult
My son made this project in STEM class at school and when he brought it home we had so much fun playing with it and experimenting. Little Bins for Little Hands takes us through the steps to make the catapult out of popsicle sticks and rubber bands.
Play a board game
Board games were a big part of my summers as a child and now I love playing them with my family. There are so many games now that are great for adults and children to play together. Our current favorite is Exploding Kittens. If you haven’t played it yet, then you MUST try it! I seriously woke up at 6 am the day after Christmas because my kids wanted to play it… and I didn’t mind one bit!
My 8-year-old son has recently got REALLY into origami. It all started when we saw a display of Origami cranes at the library. We checked out a few books after origami and then he was hooked! We don’t use fancy paper, just regular printer paper and sometimes the colored printer paper. We even make spooky Halloween origami!
Messy Summer Activities
Ahhhh…. slime! This is our number one, numero uno summer activity! Well, actually all-year activity! We’ve tried a LOT of different slime recipes and written about quite a few too. My absolute favorite is Butter Slime – it’s smooth, soft and not stick or too messy like other slimes. Although my daughter prefers the glitter slime! It is shiny, sparkly, and sticky!
Mom Junction has a list of some original finger painting ideas. Yes, it might be messy, but it’s so much fun and you can get some really cute keep-sake art!
Shaving foam painting
Depending on how you decide to do this craft, depends on how messy it will be! Shaving foam paint is a fun way to do finger painting if you are brave enough! One Little Project shows us how to make a puffy paint from shaving foam and glue. Gotta try this!
This REALLY is a messy craft but your kids will love it (just make sure they help you clean up!). Splatter painting can produce some really awesome pictures. Busy Toddler had a lot of fun with this must-do summer activity!
Make mud pies
I’m a big fan of all messy activities (well, except the cleaning up part!) and this is the most classic of messy summer activities… making mud pies! Kids LOVE it! B-Inspired Mama shows how she had a mud pie playdate!
I discovered this fun activity by accident… well, I should say my KIDS discovered it! I foolishly left some painting supplies out one day after we had finished a project and I was in the other room folding laundry. My daughter (Little Miss Creative) decided that finger painting was too boring and FOOT painting was far more fun! She even cleaned up after herself by WALKING to the bathroom to wash her feet! Yes, she left cute little paint footprints all across the carpet! It seems like Homegrown Friends had a better idea of doing this summer craft outside!
This is one of the messiest summer activities but also one of the most fun! Get a big plastic sheet or plastic paddling pool and fill it with cold cooked spaghetti!! Meri Cherry also dyed her spaghetti rainbow-colored, so it’s EVEN more fun!
Water gun painting
This is definitely a messy activity! Painting with squirt guns! But this is the kind of thing that childhood memories are made of! Crafty Housewife gives us all the information we need to have fun with this summer activity.
Quiet Summer Activities
Make a comic book
My son loves making comic books. Normally I just staple a few sheets of paper together and let him create what he wants. But these cute comic book pages from Life of a Homeschool Mom would be a great alternative. Perfect quiet summer activity.
Go to the library
This is the ultimate quiet activity – spending time at the library! Local libraries have so many more facilities and events than they did when I was a kid. My children get so excited about a trip to the library!
Listen to an audiobook
If you want a bit of peace and quiet, then why not put on an audiobook for your kids to listen to. Perfect activity for before bed. I also LOVE audiobooks for love car rides! We regularly drive 9+ hours to visit my family in Georgia and I doubt I’d be able to survive the car ride without audiobooks!
Learn a card trick
Card tricks are a fun activity for kids to learn and then perform for their friends and family. Frugal Fun 4 Boys has 3 easy card tricks that kids will love to learn!
This is a great tool to calm a fussy child as well as keeping them quiet for a few precious minutes! These I Spy bottles by Lady Behind the Curtain are fun to make and will keep your kids amused long after you have finished making them.
Sponge blocks towers
Jenga is fun but when those blocks fall they do make a lot of noise! If you have a baby trying to sleep, that can mean the end of nap time! Why not try these sponge blocks by Toddler Approved instead? You could even cut them into different shapes to make an alternative building block set.
Mandala coloring is very therapeutic for adults and kids. These free printable mandala patterns from Best Coloring Pages For Kids are perfect for a little bit of quiet coloring.
My mom used to take cardboard and yarn when we traveled for my sister and me to make pom-poms with during long-haul flights (this was before in-flight movies!). It’s a great quiet activity and at the end go have a cute pom-pom that you can then make something else with! The Craft Train gives full details on how to make them.
Physical Summer Activities
Jumping rope is a great way to keep fit and a great summer activity for kids to burn off some energy. Five Litte Chefs has some awesome jump rope songs that will bring back memories of the schoolyard!
The Inspired Treehouse has some great ways to use a common hula-hoop in original ways. Time to get outside and have some hooping fun!
Have running races
Kids love to run and they love to race! Relay races are a great way to teach kids teamwork at the same time. Cornerstone Confessions has some great relay race ideas to keep your little ones running all day long!
Go for a bike ride
A perfect way to spend a summer’s day is to take a bike ride. Mother’s Niche steps it up a bit with this fun Bike Ride Scavenger Hunt. I know my kids will love to do this!
Make an obstacle course
Obstacle courses are fun indoor or outdoor activities. Heart of Deborah has some great ideas for make-shift obstacles that you can make yourself.
DIY Slip and Slide
The Relaxed Homeschool has some awesome DIY instructions on how to make your own giant slip and slide! So much better than the tiny store-bought ones!
I’ve been doing yoga since I was 8 years old (30 years ago… long, long before it was fashionable!), so I think it’s so important to introduce kids to yoga as early as possible. It teaches them great relaxation skills as well as being good for their mind and body. This is a perfect physical summer activity for kids that isn’t crazy and noisy!
Dancing is such good exercise (because it doesn’t feel like exercise!) and fun! There are so many studies that prove just a few minutes dancing is great for your physical and mental health! I’ll take that! I’ve been using Amazon Music to stream different playlists. Depending on our mood, the kids and I get down to a different playlist every day! And the best part? NO ADS!
Try Amazon Music Unlimited – 30 Day FREE Trial
Craft Summer Activities
Painting rocks is so much fun. We made our own mini-cacti rocks, but you can pretty much paint anything you like!
Tie-dye a t-shirt
Have your very own summer of love with these cool tie-dye ideas! I love making tie-dye shirts with my kids. It’s a fun craft to do together and then they have a piece of clothing that they are proud of afterward. See Vanessa Craft even threw a tie-dye birthday party!
Make bouncy balls
Making super bouncy balls is a craft that I’ve done with my kids a few times and I just LOVE it! I wrote a post all about making your own bouncy balls with tips on how to make it successful (it can be a bit tricky sometimes).
Make a suncatcher
I LOVE these suncatchers. I haven’t tried this craft yet, but it’s definitely top of my list for summer activities this year. How pretty are these? The Jersey Momma shows you step-by-step how to make these gorgeous sun catchers.
Make a Nebula in a Bottle
This is such an easy craft and such a pretty bottle. With just a few simple supplies you can create this really cool looking nebula (or galaxy!) in a bottle! Check out my post all about how I made one of these great nebula sensory bottles.
I have a confession to make – I’m very biased about this craft! I LOVE dreamcatchers… no, seriously I adore them! Over 20 years ago I bought a genuine Native American dreamcatcher and I’ve had it hanging over my bed every night since then (it’s the first thing I unpack when I move house). So I love this craft to make them with my children. Kiddie Matters has this great version that’s so fun and easy to make.
I first did this craft with my kids at a church festival and I was amazed at how easy and fun it was. Just what you want from a summer activity! DIY Candy shows you how to do this fun craft. The best way to do it is with a salad spinner – I found one at a thrift store for just a couple of dollars! Alternatively, you can buy a Spin Art set from Amazon which includes everything you need.
Cardboard box creation
I’m sure we all remember a Christmas or birthday when we were more interested in playing with the box that a toy came in than the toy itself! My aunt used to send me clothes for my birthday, but luckily she sent them in a good-sized box! These cardboard box ideas from Playtivities are pretty impressive – I’m not sure I’d be able to recreate them, but they definitely give me some ideas!
Silly Summer Activities
Have a water fight
Water fights are some of our favorite summer activities! We use water guns, water balloons, tubs, or just buckets! These Sponge Water Bombs by Mom Spotted are a great reusable solution to water fights all summer long!
All kids (and grown-ups!) love blowing bubbles! This recipe for giant bubbles by Busy Kids Happy Mom is AMAZING! These bubbles are massive and super strong. Sooooo much fun!
Make paper hats and have a fashion show
Who doesn’t love to make paper hats? An old-fashioned craft, but still fun today! You can use newspaper, butcher paper, wrapping paper, or any large sheets of paper you can find! Once you made them, why not decorate them and then have a mini fashion show to show off your creation! Skip to My Lou has instructions on how to make these fun paper hats.
Play Pie Face
We LOVE playing games as a family and this is one of the most fun (and messiest!) out there! Pie Face is great fun for all ages! Have you tried it yet?
Toilet paper snowman
Come Together Kids has this super silly game that’s perfect for
Christmas ANYTIME! Kids love this funny game… it seems even sillier in the middle of summer!
Put on a puppet show
You don’t even need puppets to put on a puppet show – you can just use regular teddies or toys. Occasionally Crafty even has a great tutorial on how to make your own puppet theater – a craft and activity in one! Bonus!
Minute to win it games
“Minute to Win it” games are so much fun. Kids love them and they can get really silly! Paging Fun Mums has 5 super easy Minute to Win It games that will have you and your kids rolling on the floor with laughter!
Space hopper race
This is a silly and fun physical activity that kids of all ages will enjoy. Don’t have a space hopper? Amazon has a large selection of them in different sizes and colors. At between $10-15 each, they will bring you endless hours of summer fun!
Educational Summer Activities
Make spaghetti towers
This classic STEM activity is cheap, educational, and fun! Summer doesn’t mean that your little ones don’t have to learn – Sunny Days in 2nd Grade gives you all the details on how to use spaghetti and marshmallows to make towers!
Make paper airplanes
Teach your kids about the principles of flight with paper airplanes! Amazon has dozens of books about making paper airplanes. We’ve tried quite a few of them (my brother is a pilot, so planes are a big part of our lives!), and I LOVE Kids’ Paper Airplane Book – it’s simple to follow with clear pictures to follow.
Visit a museum
There are so many wonderful and educational museums around the world. You probably have one very close to where you live – why not look into getting a membership pass? Our local science museum is part of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. For a low price, I can get a family annual membership to my local science museum that also gives me free entrance to world-class science and technology museums around the world! Find out if you have an ASTC facility near you by visiting www.ASTC.org.
This is a great science project to do with your kids anytime – but perfect for summer when the kids can watch the crystals grow day by day. Love to Know gives you a full guide to making crystals.
Make a balloon rocket
Another great science project to keep your kids amused – making a balloon rocket! Discover Learn Explore shows you how easy this project is and all the great things your kids will learn.
Lego Fidget Spinner
And last but not least…. our very own Lego Fidget Spinner project! This is so much fun to make and experiment with different sizes, weights, and shapes to see which spin fastest. This Lego summer project uses common, easy to find pieces, and can be customized to use whatever pieces you have. Enjoy!