Who is excited about summer?!?
My kids are, and I am too! I enjoy spending time with my kids, and I look forward to the not heavily scheduled days when we can relax a little bit. I will admit, however, that it is not easy keeping them all entertained! Even though I am sending the kids to camp this year, there is still so much time at home.
The problem is that they want to do fun things, and I want to do fun things, but I can’t always think of fun things to do with them! Especially after a long workday (no summer vacation for adults!), it is hard to think of fun things to do on the spot. So I need a list of activities for when my creative juices aren’t flowing!
If you are stuck for ideas, then read on! I have created a list of activities to do this summer:
List of Activities to do With Kids
Let everyone choose something they want to bake together as a family. It could be cookies, cake, muffins, or even a pastry—anything yummy and semi-easy! Then, you all work together as a family to get the ingredients and make something super delicious that will make you all proud.
If you have a large family, you can even do a different baking project every other day until everyone has had a chance to make their favorites!
Gardening is a handy skill, and it can be a lot of fun to get into the dirt. You can start a little vegetable, herb, or flower garden, depending on the space you have. If you have a lot of space, everyone can have their little plot to grow what they want as well! Gardening is a great way to show your kids how patience, hard work, and perseverance can pay off in big ways!
3. Act Out a Story
To get the whole family involved in a favorite story, try acting it out instead of just reading it! Everyone will become part of the story, and you will all have a fantastic memory to look back on forever. Bonus points for going all-in with costumes, funny voices, and homemade props!
4. Board Games
Sometimes just a relaxing day of playing board games is a great way to pass the time. If you want to add a little something extra, try making up some new rules and change the same old games up a bit! You can also create your very own games like themed charades or scavenger hunts! Unleash your creative side, and play by your own rules. 😉
5. Craft Day
Coloring, collages, slime making, painting, etc., are examples of super fun crafts you can do with your family. Art can be therapeutic, making sure this is a positive experience with no bad ideas or critiques. Art styles are all different, and there is no wrong way to be creative. Just have fun! Need inspiration? Visit Pinterest or google some good ideas.
6. Pizza Night
All you need is dough, toppings, sauce, and an oven to have your very own family pizzeria! Everyone gets enough dough for a personal-sized pizza, and they can top it however they want. Then, you bake and enjoy! This activity makes personal pizzas truly personal and makes for excellent bonding time with food and fun!
7. Pillow Castle
One person can make a pretty awesome pillow fort, but a whole family can make an epic pillow CASTLE! Use cardboard boxes, blankets, couch cushions, pillows, and more to create a huge pillow fort to hang out in.
8. Book Marathon
(This is a great add-on to pillow fort day) Get comfy and read books for a day with lots of snacks and finger food. Stay in your pajamas for extra coziness! Check out these great book recs for kids and for adults.
9. Learn Sign Language
Sign language is a beneficial language to know, and it is a lot of fun to learn. You can use books and/or online tutorials, help each other practice, and even try going a whole day communicating with just sign! Find more about learning sign language here: https://www.startasl.com/american-sign-language-alphabet/
10. Make a Family Video
Use your phones or an old camcorder to document a whole day with your family. Then you can watch it back and even edit it into a fun family movie if you want to! As the years go by, it will be fun to look back and remember what a fun day you had and how you lived at that time.
11. Dance Party
Make a playlist with everyone’s favorite songs, and have a big dance party! Go crazy and have fun just shaking out all your troubles. You will get an excellent workout for it, too!
12. Do Yoga
Yoga is a fantastic way to help with flexibility and fitness. Start with beginner positions and practice yoga daily until everyone is gradually learning more complex positions. Never overdo these exercises, and they can be a fantastic way to promote a healthy body and mind. I love Cosmic Kids Yoga. We found it when we were in quarantine, and it’s fun to do with the kids.
13. Have a Picnic
A picnic can be had indoors or outdoors, depending on your situation. First, pack up some food, drinks, snacks, pillows, and blankets. Then set up a nice little picnic spot in your house or backyard! Picnics are always a lot of fun and much more relaxing than a typical formal meal at a table.
14. Make Cards
Cards can mean so much to the elderly in nursing homes and troops overseas. Make some handmade cards with happy messages, write some kind letters and send them out to senior residences and military bases. Sending homemade cards is a wonderful way to boost morale and spread love to people who may be lonely and discouraged.
You can use these links to send your cards: https://supportourtroops.org/cards-letters AND https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks/write-letters/
15. Write Letters
You can also encourage the kids to send letters to family members who will likely write back (grandparents and great-grandparents are great for this!). It’s great to encourage bonding between kids and their families and a good way to practice writing!
16. Have a Fashion Show
Let the kids put on some old clothes from your closet and make the craziest outfits they can think of. Then, the parents can pretend to be fashion show judges and score everyone’s costumes. Of course, the judges can dress up as well; no need to be left out of the fun!
17. Write A Story
Writing a story can be done in a lot of ways. You can use a white/chalkboard to add words while everyone takes turns adding one word at a time. You can also write one altogether and put it on paper to bind together into a homemade book. Finally, you can attach this to the letter-writing activity and have the kids send a handwritten story to a loved one.
18. Learn To Sew
Sewing is a skill that always comes in handy at one time or another. Knowing how to sew on a button can be the difference between an awkward situation and a quick fix with no fuss. Basic stitches are also good to know in any future fashion emergencies. Use old rags and clothes to practice on- it’s a great way to reuse things you may have thrown out anyway!
19. Build Models
Order a model airplane, building, robot, car, etc., and build it together as a family. Model building is a fantastic way to learn about how things go together and work together as a team.
20. Look at Old Photo Pictures
Looking at family pictures is a great way to keep memories and traditions alive. Hearing family stories will mean that much more if your kids have a face to place with the stories. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and they also preserve the memories of the past. If you want to get deep into family history, you can make a family tree as well.
21. Make A New Photo Album or Scrapbook
To make your own memories, take pictures and add them to a new album! You can even try out scrapbooking to make it even more meaningful and organized. Everyone can fill out a page in their own style and write their own little memory notes next to each picture.
22. Color Life-Sized Drawings
Get a big piece of poster board or butcher paper and have someone lay down on it. Then you can trace around their body, so you have a template. Once you do that, everyone can work together to fill in the template and make a life-sized drawing of the family member!
23. Sing Karaoke
Karaoke is a lot of fun and making it a family affair is sure to get lots of laughs. You can even hold a contest for the silliest song/voice combo or the most energetic singing. Bonus points for interpretive dance!
24. Take a Nature Walk
Taking a nature walk and doing an outdoor scavenger hunt can pass a lot of time! Finding plants and animals to cross off your list is always exciting. But, of course, you can also choose something else to hunt for, like molehills, spider webs, or dandelions!
25. Make A House For Some Critters
A typical birdhouse can be a home for lots of animals besides birds! Chipmunks, squirrels, mice, and other small mammals can also make their homes in birdhouses. Making a birdhouse is a great way to keep these little guys warm and sheltered in the rain or cold that may be coming up where you live.
26. Learn Something New
You can learn anything from cake decorating, to wreath making, to knitting a scarf! Just find a beginner video of something cool, and if you have the supplies you need—give it a try! It can be a lot of fun to see how your finished product compares with the videos.
You can do this as a team effort to do one big project, or each family member can work on one small project! This is a great way to see how differently each person can do the same thing. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about individuality, and help them see that everyone is different in awesome ways!
27. Play In The Rain
Rain is usually an excuse to stay indoors, but you can have a lot of fun stomping in puddles and playing in the mud. Just make sure it is not too cold out and that there is not any lightning nearby.
28. Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are awesome ways to get the brain and body moving. You can use this Indoor Scavenger Hunt Bundle or set up your own! You can theme it by color, size, room, and more! Set a time limit if you have older kids, and make sure if you have younger kids that they can have fun without feeling too pressured to “win.” Family days and activities should be all about fun!
29. Paint Rocks
Have everyone find a cool rock outside. Then, you all can use your imaginations to see the shape of something specific in that rock. Once you have figured out what your stone looks like, you can paint it, so it becomes that thing. For example, a smooth rock might look like a cat, so you can paint legs and eyes and fur on it to make it look like a real cat!
30. Do Something Quietly
Having quiet time is an opportunity for the kids to think, play by themselves, and (secretly) give you a bit of a break. You can take out some puzzles, do a word search, some worksheets, or play with a toy.
31. Make a Calm Down Jar
Making a calm down jar (or a glitter jar) is a super fun and easy activity that also can help kids with emotional regulation. You can follow the directions here or experiment with your own ideas.
32. Make a Salt Jar
Salt jars look so pretty and are fun to make. Take a paper plate and pour some salt on it. Use different color chalk to color the salt in different colors. Then layer the different colors in a jar or a plastic container.
33. Try a New Recipe
Cook with kids who can’t read or have your child follow a recipe independently (with adult supervision, of course!). You can experiment with a new soup or any one of these quick dinner ideas. Don’t forget to lavish the praise when you sit down for a delicious meal!
34. Soap play
Playing with water and soap is every child’s dream! At least, it’s my kid’s dream! Take different buckets or even a baby pool- whatever you have available, fill it with water and some soap and have them play with the bubbles and suds! It’s super fun, and they get clean while they play. Rinse them off with the hose or pop them in the bath to get the soap off, and it’s an easy and cheap outdoor activity.
35. Water fight
We all know what this is! If you have water guns- then you already know how to do this, but if you don’t, take some empty spray bottles or empty soda bottles and use those to have fun! To use the soda bottles- fill them with water, cover them, cut some holes in the bottom of the bottle and use it by squeezing it as you aim it at someone.
Did you enjoy this list of activities? If you want more, then click here to download your free Summer Boredom Busters Printable!
Family activities are wonderful opportunities to bond and create unforgettable memories with your kids. Always be sure that everyone can enjoy themselves, and that not everything is a competition. Just be creative and have fun with it!
So enjoy this list of activities, and let me know which ones you try!
Looking for even MORE fun kid’s activities? Check out these Summer Activities.