101 fun summer ideas for kids to keep them happy and busy

Articles & Guides

What can we help you find?

101 fun summer ideas for kids to keep them happy and busy

No bored kids will be left behind this summer when you make your way through this great big list of fun activities and things to do.

101 fun summer ideas for kids to keep them happy and busy

Keeping kids entertained and engaged throughout the summer takes a bit of creativity. Don’t worry though, we have you covered! Check out these 101 summer ideas for kids that are guaranteed to stave off boredom and keep them excited about what’s going to happen every day. When the first day of school rolls around and their teacher asks, “what did you do this summer?,” they’ll have a lot to say!

Make sure to share these ideas with your babysitter or nanny for the days you need child care help. They’ll be looking for things to do with your kids this summer too!

Easy summer food ideas for kids

1. Make ice cream. You can even try using YayLab’s ice cream ball, which you fill with ice cream base and kick around until frozen.

2. Pick fresh berries.

3. Make fruity yogurt pops!

4. Use a fidget pop-it to make a frozen summer treat.

5. Make some of these easy ice cream sandwiches.

6. Create unusual s’mores by experimenting with ingredients like cookies, bananas, mini candy bars, flavored marshmallows and white chocolate.

7. Make homemade pizza.

8. Blend your own smoothie — they’re good for you!

9. Set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner.

10. Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.

11. Make popsicles in small paper cups using fresh fruit.

Summer games for kids to play

12. Have a water balloon toss — or fight! 

13. Turn the backyard into a carnival — set up a face painting area and games like ring toss.

14. Make a giant hopscotch or Twister game on the lawn (with spray paint) or driveway (with chalk).

15. Break out your baseball glove and start a game, sandlot style. 

16. Set up a net and play badminton and volleyball. Or try one of these other backyard games for kids.

17. Have a tricycle race at the park.

18. Make a twirligig paper spinner toy, and enjoy playing with it afterwards.

19. Try these easy games you can play just using your hands

20. Have a game night with charades, Pictionary and bingo.

21. Learn how to play Frisbee in 15 different ways.

22. Set up a mini-golf course in your driveway by laying different size containers on their sides.

23. Stage your own Summer Olympics with races, hurdles and relays.

Summer crafts for kids to paint or color

24. Make puffy sidewalk chalk and get creative.

25. Fill one of these blank books with stories and illustrations.

26. Create salad spinner art by placing circles of paper inside a cheap salad spinner, squirt water-based acrylic or tempera paints on top, cover and spin away.

27. Make a sidewalk chalk mural.

28. Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.

29. Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.

30. Decorate something you love with these dish brush dandelions.

31. Paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When the creation dries, begin again.

32. Draw pictures and write letters to local seniors in nursing homes.

33. Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.

Fun things to do for kids in the back yard

34. Have a luau with great food and creative dancing.

35. Fire up the grill! Roast hot dogs on sticks, pop popcorn and finish off with s’mores.

36. Have a sing-a-long around a campfire.

37. Run through the sprinklers.

38. Create a circus — kids can pretend to be animals or dress up as clowns.

39. Throw a backyard movie night.

40. Enjoy summer evenings with these games you can play in the dark.

41. Gather around the fire pit and tell scary stories

42. Make a giant slip-n-slide with a painter’s tarp and shaving cream.

43. Go camping and invite over the neighborhood kids for a sleepover. 

44. Set up a tent to use as a summer playhouse.

45. Set up your own water park. 

Summer activities that get kids out of the house

46. Take a walk in nature and see how many types of birds you can spot.

47. Go canoeing at a local lake.

48. Clean up trash at a park in your neighborhood.

49. Pick a nearby town to visit for the day.

50. Head to a local creek or pond and look at the ducks.

51. Go biking on a trail.

52. Go ice blocking (sledding) on grass with a towel-covered block of ice.

53. Wade through a stream and search for minnows or tadpoles.

54. Go horseback riding.

55. Volunteer at an animal adoption organization.

56. Mark off all the local parks on a map — then visit them, take pictures and vote for your favorite.

57. Take in a fireworks exhibit.

Fun summer activities for the front yard

58. Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.

59. Let kids paint each other with washable tempera paint and then wash it off in a sprinkler run.

60. Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.

61. Set up a bike wash and raise money for a local charity.

62. Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night).

63. Learn fun jump rope songs and rhymes while improving your skills. 

64. Plant a butterfly garden with flowers.

65. Plan a picnic and invite the neighbors over.

66. Decorate bikes and have a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.

67. Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.

Summer activities for kids at home

68. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.

69. Stage an A-to-Z scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter. Or try one of these other scavenger hunt ideas.

70. Save this list of Coretta Scott King book award winners and try to read as many as you can throughout the summer.

71. Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.

72. Pretend to be pirates for a day — dress up in costumes, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.

73. Get surprised and inspired with a Box of Happy, customized by age and interests. 

74. Get a map of the United States and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit — create the ultimate road trip.

75. Learn some easy magic tricks and put on a magic show.

76. Let kids brainstorm creative things to do with a boring brown paper bag — you’ll be surprised at how many things you can come up with.

77. Learn some good jokes and put on your own stand-up show. 

78. Have a fancy tea party. Dress up and wear hats.

Educational summer activities for kids

79. Learn about the voting process and why it’s important to take part. 

80. Interview a grandparent or an older relative about what life was like when they were young.

81. Investigate an ethnic grocery store and make lunch using interesting spices and kid-friendly international recipes.

82. Learn how to type.

83. Make a photo journal or a family yearbook.

84. Go for a walk and make nature crafts from objects you find along the way.

85. Check out a local museum you’ve never visited.

86. Go fossil hunting near a lake.

87. Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible.

88. Assemble a family cookbook with all your favorite recipes.

89. Read some slam poetry and then write some of your own. Speak your truth!

Even more crafts to keep kids busy this summer

90. Make an indoor “sandbox” using colored rice by mixing 4 cups of rice, 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of food coloring and letting it dry overnight.

91. String beads into jewelry.

92. Make a bird house out of popsicle sticks.

93. Make a magical DIY “stained glass” unicorn. 

94. Create leis with wildflowers.

95. Make a sand art garden and plant a succulent. 

96. See how many summer craft projects you can complete.

97. Use an online tutorial and learn to sew, crochet or knit.

98. Make Mexican paper flowers using different colored tissue paper.

99. Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and reposition-able glue.

100. Create three-dimensional buildings or structures using toothpicks and mini marshmallows.

101. Practice your origami skills and make construction paper crafts to hang from the ceiling.

Like what you're reading?

Join Care for FREE

Please enter a valid email address

Click 'Next' to start an account and get tips, tricks and trending stories.

Already Registered

The email address you entered is already registered. Would you like to log in?

Log in

Almost done!

Join Care for FREE

Create a free account to access our nation wide network of background checked caregivers.

Please enter first name

Please enter last name

Please enter a valid zip code

By clicking "Join now," you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Welcome to Care!

You're on your way to finding someone your family will love.

Start now