Posted by Sheryl Williams on 7/22/2021 2:30:00 PM

Summer Activities for Kids

Check out this list of 100 things you and your kids can do to fight off summertime boredom. Don't let your kids have all the fun—many of these activities are fun for the whole family to share. So join in!

Enjoy Nature

Take advantage of long sunny days by exploring the natural world (just don't forget the sunscreen).

  • Go bird watching. Take photos and keep track of your sightings. Use an app or guidebook to identify feathered friends.
  • Grow fresh herbs in containers. Use old coffee cans, milk jugs, mason jars, plastic cups, or anything else you have around the house. Keep your herb garden on a patio or windowsill.
  • Look for shapes in the clouds. Put a blanket in the grass and stare up at the sky. Take turns talking about what you see in the clouds.
  • Make a bird feeder. Watch birds visit your yard and add to your list of bird sightings.
  • Make fairy houses. Use moss, bark, and leaves to create a dwelling fit for Thumbelina.
  • Pick your own plants. Find a farm with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, veggies, or flowers and get picking.
  • Plant a butterfly or hummingbird garden, or create a backyard wildlife habitat.

Make the Most of Rainy Days

When the weather keeps you indoors, there's still plenty to do!

 Break out your movie collection or use Netflix. Have a movie marathon complete with popcorn.
Build a fort. Put pillows in the living room or cardboard boxes in the yard.
Build a Lego castle. Clear off a table and make it a family project. Work on it all summer.
Camp in. Put the sleeping bags on the floor and have a family slumber party.
Experiment with new hairdos. Let the kids try out non-permanent colors, braids, or a spiked, gelled look.
Get an origami book and fun paper. Create fun animals and shapes. Give them to friends or family members as gifts.
Have breakfast in bed. Take turns being the server and the served.
Hold marble races. Use an old pool noodle as the track. Simply cut it in half, making two tracks of equal length. Then, race the marbles down the tracks to see who has the fastest one.
Make a time capsule. Have each family member write down something they are grateful for and include a special item in the time capsule. Then, store it away until a designated date. You can open it as early as Thanksgiving or as far off as high school graduation.
 Make paper airplanes. See whose airplane goes the farthest.
Play a card game. Choose from crazy eights, spoons, go fish, or even poker. Take your pick. Or buy a board game for the family to enjoy.
Play charades. Turn all the summer drama into a game.
Rearrange the furniture. Give the kids graph paper and have them draw out a plan first.
Set a goal and complete a home project. Whether it is cleaning the garage, organizing the basement, or redecorating the spare bedroom, find ways to let the kids help.
  • Use Your Brain

    Avoid the summer slide by keeping kids thinking and learning while school is out.2

    • Build your brain. These brainteaser games can help.
    • Get a book of riddles. See if you can stump each other; then write your own riddles.
    • Get the summer homework done. Not exactly fun, but you'll be happy to get it out of the way.
    • Have a puzzle race. Use 100-piece puzzles and see who finishes first.
    • Interview an older relative. Write out your family history.
    • Join a summer reading club at your library. Or create your own, keeping a list of all the books read over the summer. Parents can participate too. Just don't expect a prize, because your kids can probably read way more books than you do!
    • Master a new skill together. Learn to juggle, play the harmonica, or sew.
    • Read a chapter book aloud. Plan to read a chapter or more a night. You can even read a whole series together.
    • Show the kids that science is fun. Try these experiments.
    • Write and illustrate a comic book. Make it a group effort or let everyone do their own.
    • Write in a journal each day. Allow older teens to create a bullet journal if they prefer. Then, at the end of the summer, share selections with each other about the highlights of summer.
    • Have a Little Nighttime Fun

      Arm yourself with bug spray and you're ready for an evening in the night air.

      • Camp in the backyardPitch a tent and bring out the sleeping bags. Sleep as a family under the stars.
      • Catch lightning bugs. And then watch them flicker away into the night.
      • Go to the drive-in. If there isn't one nearby, look for one near your vacation spot. Every kid should go to the drive-in at least once!
      • Have a bonfire. Roast marshmallows and hot dogs. Make s'mores.
      • Host an outdoor movie night. Rent or borrow a movie projector and show a movie on a white sheet draped across PVC pipe in the backyard. Or, use the side of your house as the screen. Bring sleeping bags, air mattresses, and pool rafts out as the seating and enjoy the show (with popcorn of course).
      • Listen to an audiobook under the stars. Your library probably has a great collection of classics and newer titles.
      • Stargaze. Invite friends and make a party of it.