Trying to keep the kids busy? It's not easy. When the kids are out of school and stuck at home, not providing enough entertainment can result in curious kids getting into trouble. To help you out, we've pulled together 60 fun summer activities for kids — more than enough to keep the family entertained for three months of summer vacay fun.
If the summer sun is too much for your little ones to handle, check out these activities that will keep them cool and happy.
1. Make a Summer Snack
Baking and cooking is an easy way to teach the kids some helpful math and life skills while also whipping up a fun snack the whole family can enjoy. Think summertime, cold and kid-friendly dishes, like dirt pudding.
2. Join Your Local Library's Reading Program
Local libraries across the nation offer a summer reading program over the school break. See what yours has planned and what fun prizes your kids could earn from reading throughout the summer months!
3. Get Crafty
There are tons of fun and educational crafts suitable for kids of all ages and typically only require basic household items.
4. Break Out the Coloring Books
Coloring books aren't only for preschoolers. No matter what your age, coloring is fun. Break out the (or buy some new) coloring books and create some masterful artwork to hang on your fridge.
5. Channel Your Inner Artist
You can take things a step further by purchasing some affordable canvases and letting your kids paint away. Take your artwork outside on a sunny summer day for less mess.
6. Learn to Yo-Yo
It's not as easy as it looks! Yo-yos are a dollar or less at your local dollar store. Grab a few for the kids and challenge them to learn the art of yo-yoing, even if it requires looking up a YouTube tutorial.
7. Make Butter in a Jar
Just like you can make ice cream in a bag, you can also make butter in a jar. Here's how.
8. Make Ice Cream in a Bag
It's easy and oh-so-fun — and rewarding! Create ice cream in a bag using this recipe.
9. Have a Board Game Day
Kids always squabbling over what game to play on family game night? Set aside an entire day for board games, so everyone can play games that are their favorites.
10. Build a Fort
Building pillow forts is one of the best parts of childhood! Equip your kids with some pillows, chairs, sheets and more, and let them take over one room in your house. If you want to get fancy, outfit your fort with some fairy lights and fun snacks and activities.
11. Complete a Puzzle
Purchase a new puzzle that the whole family can build together. Set it up in your dining room or another shared space and encourage everyone to add a few pieces as they pass by. You'll have a completed puzzle before you know it!
12. Clean Out the Clutter
And when you're done with those old clothes, give them new life by donating them, as well as any other clutter you find around the house.
13. Play Dress Up
Pick out some clothes from mom and dad's closets that haven't received any love in a while and let the kids turn them into brand-new outfits.
14. Learn a Magic Trick
Pick up a book on magic tricks at the library and act shocked when the kids show you their new sleight of hand.
15. Learn Origami
Pick up an origami kit from Amazon or check out a book on origami from the library.
16. Make Some Lemonade
Who doesn't love a delicious, ice-cold glass of lemonade in the summer? Grab all the ingredients and help your kids stir their way to a glass of the good stuff.
17. Send Some Snail Mail
Break out the stationery (you can find free, printable stationery online) or buy some locally-themed postcards. Give the kids some stamps and let them write messages to their friends and family.
18. Celebrate an Obscure Holiday
The Fourth of July and Father's Day aren't the only holidays to celebrate through the summer. Check out the weird and wonderful holidays on the calendar and find a way to celebrate, from National Olive Day to National Upsy Daisy Day.
19. Try Yoga
Yoga isn't just for mom and dad. Turn on some kid-friendly yoga videos (you can find plenty on YouTube) and help the kids learn a few basic moves.
20. Have a Tea Party
Whether you go super-simple with just plastic tea cups, fruit juice and some Oreos, or you go with something a little more extravagant, a tea party can be a fun way to spend a summer afternoon when it's too hot to venture outdoors.
21. Create a Time Capsule
Have everyone in the family pick out a few fun things to tuck away in a time capsule to open a year, five years or even 10 years into the future.
22. Make a Vision Board
Give your kids some scissors, a glue stick, old magazines and a blank piece of paper and tell them to go to work. Have them create a vision board for what they want for the upcoming school year or a summer bucket list for the forthcoming weeks.
23. Learn Some Basic Handyman Skills
Every home has a DIY project or two that could use a little work. Whether it's a squeaky door or a leaky faucet, break out the toolbox and teach the kids how to use essential tools around the house.
24. Start a Journal
Gift your child a small notebook and encourage them to write in it daily — whatever they want to write about!
25. Make Homemade Slime
Sure, it's messy, but it's also tons of fun!
26. Rearrange Their Bedrooms
Kids, for some reason, love rearranging their bedrooms. If your kids are old enough, help them shift around their furniture for a new look and layout.
27. Write a Poem
From couplets and sonnets to free verse and haikus, research some basic poetry forms and have the kids try their hands at writing their own poems.
28. Give Them Some Chores
No, really! There's nothing that quietens those complaints of "Mom, we're bored!" faster than the threat of dishwashing or sweeping the floor.
29. Create a Comic Book
If you're finding your kids aren't so interested in simply drawing or writing a story, have them combine the two activities by creating a fun comic book.
30. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness and the ability to stay in the moment is such an immeasurable skill for children to learn. Teach your children mindfulness through activities like meditation or mindfulness walks.
31. Start a Scrapbook
On a rainy day, pick a particular memory that's meaningful to your child and then make a scrapbook around it, using fun stickers, glitter, photos, drawings, ephemera and more.
32. Create a Laser Obstacle Course
If your family is looking to get away from their screens and out into the world, check out these activities that can be done in your backyard or around your local community.
33. Look Out for Local Opportunities
Many local parks, museums, zoos and other educational institutions will host free or affordable children's programs and summer camps throughout the season. Look for opportunities that may interest your child.
Related: 9 Thoughtful Ways To Volunteer
34. Build a Birdhouse or Bird Feeder
You can find bird feeder and birdhouse-making kits via Amazon and many big-box stores. Help your child with this craft, and watch to see what new residents you attract to your backyard.
35. Try a Summertime Sport
Pick up a cheap summer sport set or yard toy at your local big box store. From frisbee to badminton to jump rope, these are outdoor activities the whole family will enjoy.
36. Wash the Car
Yeah, it might be a chore to you, but can kids really deny the fun of spraying the water hose?
37. Have a Backyard Bonfire
If you have the space and equipment (even just a miniature backyard fire bowl), dedicate a night of the week as backyard bonfire night. Make some s'mores and kick back for some family time.
38. Find Some Insect Friends
Go on a safari of sorts to see what kinds of bugs are living in your yard.
39. Start a Scavenger Hunt
Let your kids lead on this one. Rather than you creating a scavenger hunt, let them craft a scavenger hunt for you.
40. Break Out the Bubbles
Blowing bubbles is another one of those childhood experiences synonymous with summer.
41. Create a Backyard Museum
Challenge your children to find some neat plants, rocks and other random items in the backyard to create their own "museum."
42. Have a Picnic
Whether you go to the local park or stick around the backyard, have a fun picnic with a blanket, snacks and maybe even a book or two.
43. Go Backyard (or Living Room) Camping
If you have a tent (or just a strung-up sheet) and some sleeping bags, you can camp out either in the backyard or the living room.
44.Fly a Kite
Even if you're not that good at it, it's still fun to try (and oh-so-satisfying when you're successful).
45. Visit the Farmers Market
Pay a visit to one of your local farmers market and take a gander at what's for sale. Pick out a few yummy snacks for everyone in the family.
46. Find a Local Body of Water
Whether it's a beach, a creek, a lake or anything in-between, find your local body of water and cool down.
47. Visit a Pick-Your-Own Farm
Many farms offer a pick-your-own option, where they give you a pail, and you take to the fields to pick your own raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, apples or other produce. If you live near one of these, now's the perfect time to visit.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in your community and volunteer throughout the summer. Pick up litter at a local park. Play with the pets at your local shelter. Deliver meals to the elderly who live alone. Even if you do most of the work yourself, taking the kids along can set a good example.
49. Look at the Stars
Pick a clear night in the coming days and take a blanket to the backyard to enjoy some stargazing. See which constellations you can find.
50. Ride Bikes
Go on a family bike ride, either just around the neighborhood or at a local park or trail.
51. Learn to Hula Hoop
Just like using a yo-yo, hula hooping takes practice and a little skill. Buy some hula hoops for a few dollars and challenge your kids to pick up this fun summertime activity.
52. Go on a Mini-Vacation
Pick a nearby town within an easy driving distance and go on a road trip to play tourist for the day.
53. Start a Pollinator Garden
Take your backyard gardening to the next level with a pollinator garden. Work with the kids to research pollinators in your area and their food sources, then plant a few where you can easily watch the attracted pollinators from a window.
54. Color Your Sidewalks
Sidewalk chalk is another must-have for summertime fun. Pick up a case of chalk with lots of colors and let the kids go crazy drawing on the sidewalks, driveway, pavers and more. Don't worry about the mess — the next rain will wash it away.
55. Try Geocaching
Want to explore beyond your backyard? Download the (free) geocaching app and embark treasure hunt around your neighborhood.
56. Create a Free Little Library
Have a kid who loves to read? Build a free library outside your house and stock it with books for neighbors to swap — your family will get some new-to-you books in return!
57. Identify Clouds
Learn the various cloud shapes and how they're formed, then get outside and see which you can spot.
58. Water Balloon Toss
Water balloons are equally fun. Grab a few, fill them up and get to tossing!
59. Have a Squirt Gun Fight
Sure, squirt gun fights are a hit with siblings, but things are even more fun when the parents get involved. Challenge your kids to an all-out squirt gun war for some family fun.
60. Commit a Random Act of Kindness
Show your neighbors you care by committing a random act of kindness! Bake some cookies and leave them on their doorstep. Rake their lawn or ask if you can water their plants.
Keeping Kids Entertained This Summer isn't as Difficult as You Might Think
Summer fun is waiting around every corner. With our list of fun ideas, you have a new activity for your kiddos just about every day of summer break.
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