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 fun summer activities 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!
Whether you’re entertaining very active toddler or a low-key tween, this mondo list of fun ideas for summer will come in handy for all ages and types of kids. Got a sitter or nanny helping you out this year? Make sure to share these fun summer activities and ideas with them too.
Summer games for kids to play
- Use laundry baskets and a cardboard box to make a DIY skee ball game.
- Host a game of water balloon baseball.
- Have a tricycle race at the park.
- Enjoy summer evenings with these games you can play in the dark.
- Make a twirligig paper spinner toy, and enjoy playing with it afterwards.
- Make a giant hopscotch or Twister game on the lawn (with spray paint) or driveway (with chalk).
- Try these easy games you can play just using your hands.
- Have a game night with charades, Pictionary and bingo.
- Have a water balloon toss — or fight!
Summer crafts for kids to paint or color
- Fill one of these blank books with stories and illustrations.
- 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.
- Make a sidewalk chalk mural.
- Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.
- Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.
- Decorate something you love with these dish brush dandelions.
- Paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When the creation dries, begin again.
- Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
- Never enough crafts? See how many of these summer crafts you can complete.
Fun backyard summer activities
- Have a luau with great food and creative dancing.
- Have a sing-a-long around a campfire.
- Run through the sprinklers.
- Throw a backyard movie night.
- Gather around the fire pit and tell scary stories.
- Craft DIY sponge bombs and then let the water play begin.
- Go camping in the backyard and invite over the neighborhood kids for a sleepover.
- Set up a tent to use as a summer playhouse.
- Plant a butterfly garden with flowers.
- Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
Summer art projects
- Make puffy sidewalk chalk and get creative.
- String beads into jewelry.
- Make a bird house out of popsicle sticks.
- Make a magical DIY “stained glass” unicorn.
- Use an online tutorial and learn to sew, crochet or knit.
- Make Mexican paper flowers using different colored tissue paper.
- Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and reposition-able glue.
- Take on some tie-dye projects — from shirts and socks to pillowcases.
- Practice your origami skills and make construction paper crafts to hang from the ceiling.
- Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.
Summer sports for kids
- Break out your baseball glove and start a game, sandlot style.
- Set up a net and play badminton and volleyball.
- Learn how to play Frisbee in 15 different ways.
- Learn fun jump rope songs and rhymes while improving your skills.
- Set up a mini-golf course in your driveway by laying different size containers on their sides.
- Stage your own Summer Olympics with races, hurdles and relays.
- Line up a game of pool noodle hockey (no pool required).
- Cool off and enjoy some friendly competition when you kick off the summer ice boat races.
- Go ice blocking (sledding) on grass with a towel-covered block of ice.
- Try one of these backyard games for kids.
Outdoor summer activities that get kids out of the house
- Clean up trash at a park in your neighborhood.
- Pick a nearby town to visit for the day.
- Go horseback riding.
- Mark off all the local parks on a map — then visit them, take pictures and vote for your favorite.
- Take in a fireworks exhibit.
- Collaborate with other kids in the neighborhood to do a “chalk walk” — have all the neighbors vote on the best sidewalk chalk obstacle courses or other creative chalk masterpieces.
- Let kids paint each other with washable tempera paint and then wash it off in a sprinkler run.
- Set up a bike wash and raise money for a local charity.
- Plan a picnic at the park and invite friends and neighbors.
- Decorate bikes and have a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.
- Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.
Summer nature activities
- Encourage wonder and time outdoors playing nature observation bingo.
- Take a walk in nature and see how many types of birds you can spot.
- Go canoeing at a local lake.
- Head to a local creek or pond and look at the ducks.
- Go biking on a trail.
- Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night).
- Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible.
- Go for a walk and make nature crafts from objects you find along the way.
- Collect wildflowers and create leis.
- Go fossil hunting near a lake.
- Wade through a stream and search for minnows or tadpoles.
Easy summer food activities for kids
- 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.
- Set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner.
- Use a fidget pop-it to make a frozen summer treat.
- Create unusual s’mores by experimenting with ingredients like cookies, bananas, mini candy bars, flavored marshmallows and white chocolate.
- Make homemade pizza.
- Blend your own smoothie — they’re good for you!
- Make some of these easy ice cream sandwiches.
- Pick fresh berries.
- Assemble a family cookbook with all your favorite recipes.
- Make popsicles in small paper cups using fresh fruit.
- Investigate an ethnic grocery store and make lunch using interesting spices and kid-friendly international recipes.
Fun summer activities at home
- Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
- 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.TK
- Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.
- Get surprised and inspired with a Box of Happy, customized by age and interests.
- Get a map of the United States and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit — create the ultimate road trip.
- Learn some easy magic tricks and put on a magic show.
- 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.
- Learn some good jokes and put on your own stand-up show.
- Have a fancy tea party. Dress up and wear hats.
- Draw pictures and write letters to local seniors living in skilled nursing facilities.
Educational summer activities for kids
- Learn about the voting process and why it’s important to take part.
- Interview a grandparent or an older relative about what life was like when they were young.
- Volunteer at an animal adoption organization.
- Save this list of Coretta Scott King book award winners and try to read as many as you can throughout the summer.
- Learn how to type.
- Make a photo journal or a family yearbook.
- Try one of these fascinating science projects.
- Create three-dimensional buildings or structures using toothpicks and mini marshmallows.
- Check out a local museum you’ve never visited.
- Read some slam poetry and then write some of your own. Speak your truth!