AN ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR SUMMER activities
READY OR NOT, IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Whether you can’t wait for these slow lazy days OF SUMMER, or they make you QUAKE in your boots a little bit, one thing I know for sure is that you want this TO BE THE BEST SUMMER for you and your kids.
One of the biggest challenges our family faces during Summer Vacation is the dreaded ‘B’ word (BOREDOM). I’ve found that even just a small amount of intentional time spent with my kids at the beginning of the day can set the tone for the rest of the day to be joyful, successful, and restful.
That being said, I’ve created a list of 90 fun activities to do with your kids over the Summer. One for each day of Summer Vacation. Most of these ideas are easy, low cost, and technology free. I hope reading this list will kickstart you into having YOUR best Summer yet!
So without further ado, here are 90 fun activities to do with your kids over the Summer.
1. Go Berry Picking
Strawberries! Blueberries! There are so many different things in season over the summer. Do a simple online search, and see what’s ripening around your area.
2. Make Beaded Buddies
This is such a fun craft for all ages. As a bonus, the kids will have a fun little pet to play with when they are finished. If you aren’t familiar with Beaded buddies, you can watch this tutorial.
3. Bring books to a local coffee shop and read
My older kids love this one, and would be content for an hour or two sipping their London Fog and reading a few chapters of a book. Our local Barnes and Nobles has both a coffee shop, and a little play area for younger kids to entertain themselves as well.
4. Geo Caching
If you haven’t been Geo Caching before, you have to check it out! It’s such a cool community activity. You can read about it here.
5. Make a dinosaur dig out of ice
6. Build a fort out of boxes
You could go all out and make a giant fort using X-Large furniture boxes, or keep it simple and make a house for a doll or stuffed animal using a small box.
7. Have a picnic by a lake (don’t forget to save some bread crumbs to to feed the fish)
8. Go on a Family Adventure Day Trip
One of our favorite family activities, and one that takes a bit more intentionality, is taking a day trip to a nearby city to explore. You can read more about it in my blog post below.
9. Go on a progressive dinner and discover local restaurants in your community
Grab an appetizer at the first restaurant, dinner at the second, and dessert at the last.
10. Build something together out of wood
This could be a big project, or a small one. But some of my kids, especially my boys, love getting to work together using tools.
11. Bake cookies for the neighbors, and deliver them with a note
12. Sign up for a VBS camp
Where we live, there are so many Vacation Bible School’s offered over the Summer at local churches. They are a drop off camp that will usually run for a week, about 4 hours a day. The best part? They are free!
13. Make bath bombs
14. Make slime
15. Play ‘School’
Costco has fun workbooks for K -3rd grade, to help keep your kids fresh over the summer. Add in a little imagination -You’re the ‘Teacher’, they’re the ‘Students’, turns this activity into a game.
16. Allow them to use some educational tech
Some Technology that we have found usueful and educational over the Summer are the app Duolingo, and the educational websites Prodigy Math, and ABCmouse.com
17. Make ‘street art’ with chalk.
18. Learn Macrame
There are some simple plans out there that older kids could easily pick up.
19. Paint By Number
20. Learn how to finger knit
21. Make a ‘movie’
Download iMovie, and let them act out a play or script. They could even make their own commercial.
22. Organize a neighborhood 5k
23. Learn magic tricks with a deck of cards
23. Go to a pottery painting class
24. Tie Dye t-shirts together.
25. Make a tree swing
26. Play Sardines
27. Make a Thunder cake
Based off the Book Thunder Cake from Patricia Polocco. Make sure to read the book together first, and when the next Summer storm rolls in, get ready to build your Thunder Cake. I recently did this with my daughter and the timing ended up being absolutely perfect, just like the book, I nearly cried with joy. It was pure magic.
28. Sign up for MasterClass and let them learn a new skill from a ‘Master’
29. Face Painting
30. Learn how to make balloon animals together
31. Make pins together
Always wanted a pin with Grandma’s face on it?
32. Learn how to play the cup song
33. Visit a farmers market and get familiar with local produce
34. Learn how to braid hair
35. Give a lesson on proper table setting
36. Easter egg hunt
My toddler age kids LOVED doing an Easter Egg hunt in the Summer. I’d simply fill the plastic eggs with little treats like fruit snacks, or even their tiny toys, and hide them around the house.
37. Visit a community pool
38. Plant a garden
39. Play games with the garden hose or sprinkler
40. Build a bug house
41. Play hopscotch
42. Make a giant bubble wand
43. Play a favorite or new board game
Some of our favorites are The Game of Things, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan
44. Make a bonfire (don’t forget those marshmallows)
45. Play in a slip and slide
46. Bring an ENO or another hammock to the park
47. Play ‘the floor is lava’
48. Play a neighborhood game of bigger and better
49. Join a summer book reading club
A local library would be a good place to sign up, but some book stores offer book clubs as well (Barnes and Noble is one). When you kids have completed their chosen amount of reading, they get a free book.
50. Join a summer fitness club
51. Get involved in a community treasure hunt
Similar to Geo Caching, but .more organic. See if you can find one by searching online, or create your own as a family.
52. Visit an afternoon Movie matinee
53. Go camping in the backyard
54. Go on a nature scavenger hunt
55. Create a stuffed animal pet shop
My daughter would play this all day everyday, so I thought it be a good one to put on the list. Set up all the stuffed animals as a pet shop, and then let her come in and shop.
56. Catch fireflies
57. Make a car track on the floor using duct tape
58. Go on a hike
60. Make a lemonade stand
61. Find a new park to explore
62. Throw a garage sale together
63. Make a special dinner for the family together
Go all out, light some candles, add some music, and pull out your best serving wear
64. Learn how to knit
This is a little harder than finger-knitting, but my 8 year old recently picked it up, and it’s kept his mind and fingers busy for hours already this summer.
65. Go iceskating
66. Play in a splash pad
67. Have a water fight
68. Visit a Children’s Museum, Zoo, or Aquarium
69. Sew a quilt together
70. see a show at a community theatre
71. Throw a dance party
72. Get a job (pet sitter, baby sitter, simple lawn care like raking leaves)
73. Volunteer together at a local animal shelter or food bank
74. Put a sprinkler under the trampoline
Add some dishsoap to the top of the trampoline if you dare.
75. Backyard games like Badminton, Four Square, or Wiggle Ball
76. Play with Playdough, Moonsand, or Sensory Sand
77. Make your own popsicles
78. Make little ‘bugs’ by painting rocks
79. Create an ‘Art Room’ for the summer
80. Play dress up and have a fashion show
81. Visit a farm or petting zoo
82. Invite the neighborhood crew over for some organized backyard games
83. Learn how to make String Figures, like Cat’s Cradle and Jacob’s Ladder
84. Do a puzzle together
85. Write a letter to a distant relative or friend
86. Make a fort out of sheets
Bonus, let them have a sleepover in it!
87. Build a tee-pee or fort outdoors
88. Make paper airplanes
We sometimes draw little people, cut them out, and let them ‘ride’ in the airplane. The little ones love that.