I love spending time with my kids in the summer, but they utter three little words that give me an occasional, involuntary eye twitch.
Can you guess them? I’m guessing they drive you nuts too. I’ll give you a hint.
The millionth time of “Can I have a snack?” and “Can I watch TV?” also bring out the crazy in mama. Mostly, because they’re all about the same thing!
“Mom, I’m bored” – said in a ridiculously whiny, nasal voice.
I swear they use an entirely different set of vocal cords when saying it! Ugh, my eye is twitching right now. Just thinking about it!
So what can we do to keep those words at bay? Easy summer activities, of course!
100 Easy Summer Activities Your Kids Will Love
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Every year, during the dog days of summer, I run out of ideas in my head for them to do. So, I pull up my master list of activities (usually, in desperation) to keep the kids busy and playing until the end of summer!
Whether it’s during the day, weeknights, or weekends we could all use some extra ideas to keep the screens away!
Additionally, all of these are cheap, easy to do, and easy to clean up. Because mama doesn’t have time to clean up lots of messes!
And finally, the activities below are split up into 5 sections so that you can go to the list that feels right for what you need that day!
Out and About Activities
Some days, we just NEED to get out of the house! But, I need it to be easy, and I usually don’t want to spend much money! These activities do the trick!
1. Visit a park. Bring a picnic!
2. Visit a splash park
3. Go camping
4. Go bowling
5. Play at Chik Fil A for lunch or snack
6. Have a reading picnic in a fun new place
7. Take a night walk or bike ride
8. Go to the library
9. Go fishing with dad
10. Visit a relative or friend
11. Go out to eat – meet dad for lunch one day!
12. Run errands that need to be done anyways
13. Walk around the mall
14. Go to the pool
15. Try a discounted summer movie
16. Go to the free lunch that’s offered to families in the summer
17. Free breakfast at Chik Fil A. We like to check it out and watch people that are dressed up!
18. Try some library classes. We’ve done cereal robots, book camping, and lego challenges there!
19. Schedule playdates with friends and neighbors
20. Visit Deanna Rose (a local farmstead)
21. Go to a state park: camping, cabin, beach
22. Visit the zoo
23. Visit a nature park
24. Go to the local drive-in movie theater
25. Stop at a garage sale and let them bring their money
26. Visit the fair. Our county fair takes place in August!
27. Go to the local arboretum
28. Walk a 5k together
29. Do a free craft at the local children’s learning store (Lakehouse Learning is wonderful!)
30. Spend a night in a hotel (not cheap, but if we have no vacations planned, the kids LOVE it!)
31. Go to a local sporting venue (baseball, soccer, etc)
32. Have a sunset picnic at a park
33. Try a Whole foods cooking class
34. Visit one of our local Scheels/Bass Pro/Cabellas to play and watch fish!
35. Go to a concert or movie in the park
36. Listen to storytime at the library
37. Go to the Farmers Market and play on the playground
38. Do a “Me and Mini Me” Swim at the local community center
39. Walk to our local coffee shop
Outside at Home
If the weather is decent, these easy summer activities will take advantage of it! These are my favorite because we’re out in the sunshine, yet it isn’t a commitment to pack up my crew!
40. Play in the backyard: catch bugs, etc.
41. Blow bubbles or do poppers
42. Draw a chalk picture on the driveway
43. Clean up the nearby trail/playground
44. Fly a kite
45. Do some garden work
46. Play a sport: soccer, frisbee, baseball outside
47. Get out the squirt guns
48. Take an evening or full moon walk
49. Do a firepit with friends
50. Have a family bike ride
51. Walk to the local Elementary school playground
52. Have a water balloon fight
53. Look through the telescope
54. Collect things on a walk to turn into an art or craft project
55. Paint rocks
56. Pick wildflowers
57. Water the rocks and plants
58. Play in water! Get out the sprinkler, slip in slide, water table
59. Walk up to school and exchange a book in the library swap box
Summer is the BEST time to teach kids important skills because we all have a little extra time! So, don’t forget to utilize the extra moments! What do you want to teach your kids this summer?
60. Follow a simple recipe and have kids measure out ingredients
61. Do a craft project with random craft items: googly eyes, pipe cleaners, felt, etc.
62. Color in stained glass coloring books and put them up everywhere – We like THIS pack, 1 for each
63. Draw a city on a huge piece of paper
64. Create your own unique recipe
65. Build something with daddy
66. Count out money and talk about money management. Open a bank account or do some comparison shopping!
67. Make something out of recycling Ex. Can you make something that holds pencils and is also a musical instrument?
68. Make something to give to someone: cards, muffins, gifts, etc.
69. Do some problem solving – what would you do if ___? (you have mud on your shoes, you step in poop, you go to buy something but you don’t have enough money….) practice different scenarios and use critical thinking!
70. Paint with objects (twigs, rocks, legos, etc)
71. Try some super easy science experiments! We love baking soda and vinegar!
72. Do puzzles and mazes, or make a maze for someone to solve
73. Create a play or a story and act it out
74. Match our alphabet spoons or locks
75. Make bracelets or necklaces with beads
76. Make a scene with dinosaurs and rocks
77. Color or paint a new picture of something you see
78. Make a picture or words with magnets on the fridge
79. Do a simple sensory box or have crunchy time by smashing uncooked noodles in a tub
As July and August come and go, I’m always looking for activities to do while the kids are stuck inside. The truth is that it becomes increasingly easy to let them spend time on screens! These are an extension of the teachable activities above, but they can do more of them on their own.
80. Play with playdoh
81. Make jello – It’s on our bucket list!
82. Have an indoor storytime picnic
83. Read books in a fun new place or our reading corner
84. Play a game: ex. Hide & seek, Uno, Old Maid
85. Make a fort
86. Make an obstacle course
87. Have someone over for dinner
88. Do brain breaks or a dance party. We LOVE cosmic kids yoga!
89. Have a pillow fight or tickle fight
90. Find stuff to donate
91. Build a cardboard castle with appliance boxes
92. Learn some jokes or riddles to tell
93. Have a tea party with a friend
94. Invite others over for a playdate
95. Build paper airplanes
96. Learn some magic tricks
97. Build something: legos, lincoln logs, etc.
98. Make some noodle necklaces
99. Pour water into different types of containers (in the bathtub)
100. Make a marble run
Lastly, two out of my three kids are to the age where I shouldn’t be entertaining them all of the time.
So, I put many of these easy summer activities on some craft sticks to pull out when they inevitably tell me they’re bored.
If they don’t want to do an activity from the jar, they can do a chore instead. 🙂 That usually works!
Something To Think About
I hope this list helps you as much as it does me! Keep this list handy through July and August for a little boredom inspiration!
What would you add? What easy summer activities do you love to do that keep the kids happy and playing?