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101 Fun Things to Do With Kids This Summer

Ilene Jacobs
June 7, 2018

Try these 101 ideas to keep kids from getting bored and to create memories that they'll have for a lifetime (or at least for that first day of school when they're asked "what did you do this summer?").

Want help making your way through this list? Print it out for your babysitter or nanny to do with your kids. If you don't have child care lined up for the summer, look through profiles of summer child care professionals. 

  1. Bake cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
  2. Volunteer at a nature center.
  3. Make a photo journal or a family yearbook.
  4. Have a luau in the backyard.
  5. Visit the beach and collect shells.
  6. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
  7. Visit a farmer's market.
  8. Stage an A to Z scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter. Here are eight more scavenger hunt ideas.
  9. Pick berries.
  10. Have a picnic at a state park.
  11. Make ice cream. Tipograph loves using YayLab's ice cream ball, which you fill with ice cream base and kick around until frozen.
  12. Go canoeing at a local lake.
  13. Build a sandcastle.
  14. Write and illustrate your own book and have it published into an actual hardcover book using IlluStory.
  15. Forget cooking—set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner.
  16. Clean up trash at a local park.
  17. Have a backyard campfire ... or just use the grill! Roast hot dogs on sticks, pop popcorn and finish off with s'mores.
  18. Make homemade pizza.
  19. Go for a walk and then make a collage from nature objects you find along the way.
  20. Head to a creek and look at the ducks.
  21. Set up a lemonade stand.
  22. Have a water balloon fight.
  23. Practice your origami skills and make objects to hang from the ceiling.
  24. Go biking on a trail
  25. Interview an older relative about what life was like when they were young.
  26. Plan a picnic at a local park—or in your backyard.
  27. Print out a list of children's books that have won Caldecott Medals. Visit the local library throughout the summer and try to read as many as you can.
  28. Create salad spinner art: Place circles of paper inside a cheap salad spinner, dab tempera paints on top, cover and spin away.
  29. Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.
  30. Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.
  31. Make a sidewalk chalk mural.
  32. Go ice blocking (sledding) in the grass with a towel-covered block of ice.
  33. Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.
  34. Visit a fish hatchery.
  35. Plant a butterfly garden with flowers.
  36. Pretend to be pirates for a day—dress up in costumes, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
  37. Make an indoor sandbox using colored rice: mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring and let dry overnight.
  38. Turn the backyard into a carnival—set up a face painting area and games like ring toss.
  39. Make totem poles out of paper towel rolls and decorate them.
  40. Visit a museum you've never been to.
  41. Make a giant hopscotch or Twister game on the lawn (with spray paint) or driveway (with chalk).
  42. String beads into jewelry.
  43. Make a bird house out of Popsicle sticks.
  44. Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible -- see if there are any local astronomy groups for kids.
  45. Create leis with wildflowers.
  46. Go fossil hunting near a lake.
  47. Break out your baseball gloves and start a game, sandlot style. 
  48. Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.
  49. Play mini-golf—or set up a course in your driveway by laying different size containers on their sides.
  50. Make your own colored sand and create sand art.
  51. Get a map of the United States and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit—create the ultimate road trip.
  52. Set up a net and play badminton and volleyball. Or try one of these 11 Backyard Games for Kids.
  53. Visit an amusement park or water park.
  54. Wade through a stream and search for minnows or tadpoles.
  55. Go zip-lining.
  56. Have a tricycle race at the park.
  57. Investigate an ethnic grocery store and make lunch using interesting spices and kid-friendly international recipes.
  58. Visit a fire station.
  59. Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.
  60. Go roller skating.
  61. Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals.
  62. Run through the sprinklers.
  63. Blend your own smoothie.
  64. Set up a bike wash and raise money for a local charity.
  65. Batter up at a batting cage.
  66. Let kids paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When their creation dries, they can begin again.
  67. Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones and then decorate them.
  68. Assemble a family cookbook with all your favorite recipes.
  69. Go horseback riding.
  70. Make popsicles in Dixie cups using fruit juices.
  71. Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night).
  72. Stage your own Summer Olympics with races, hurdles and relays.
  73. Create a backyard circus—kids can pretend to be animals and dress up as clowns.
  74. Decorate bikes and have a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.
  75. Take a sewing/crochet/knitting class.
  76. Make Mexican paper flowers using different colored tissue paper.
  77. Go to a flea market.
  78. Volunteer at an animal adoption organization.
  79. Visit a retirement home and read stories to residents.
  80. Attend an outdoor festival or concert.
  81. Pick a nearby town to visit for the day.
  82. Visit a cave.
  83. Get a map of your area, mark off all the local parks—then visit them, take pictures and vote for your favorite.
  84. Take in a fireworks exhibit.
  85. Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and repositionable glue.
  86. Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
  87. Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
  88. Create three dimensional buildings using toothpicks and mini marshmallows.
  89. Make bird feeders by covering pine cones with peanut butter and rolling in birdseed.
  90. Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.
  91. Create unusual s'mores by experimenting with ingredients like cookies, bananas, flavored marshmallows and white chocolate.
  92. Have a fancy tea party.
  93. Make a giant slip-n-slide with a painter's tarp and shaving cream.
  94. Go camping in the backyard or at a campsite. Follow these tips for camping with kids.
  95. Let kids paint each other with washable tempera paint, then wash it off in the sprinklers.
  96. Visit a national park and help the kids earn a junior ranger badge.
  97. Go to a ballgame and teach your kids (and yourself) how to keep a scorecard.
  98. Set up a tent in the backyard to use as a summer playhouse.
  99. Take a free kid's workshop at stores like Lowe's, Home Depot or Pottery Barn.
  100. Have a game night with charades, Pictionary and bingo.
  101. Take a boring brown paper bag and have kids brainstorm creative things to do with it—you'll be surprised at how many things you can come up with.
Comments
User
June 29, 2016

Like it is rightly said in the article it is good to have fun with kids, play with them at least once or twice a week. I suggest if any one is looking for a good play school/pre school visit the website of Planet Kids.

User
June 15, 2016

this really help best summer ever.:):):)

User
June 9, 2016

I like the idea of going onto a trip because me and my family are going to a trip on the last 9 days of summer. Plus my brother is going to miss the first day of 6th grade and I am not because my brother is starting a day early and I am in 7th grade ,so, I am very happy that is not me. and if you are wondering what school i am going to and that is Clpms in Laporte. So I am going to have so much fun going on a trip!! And maybe when you are listing maybe not text has much. So, maybe list and when you are finish with the list than write what you are going to say. Like this: 99. fishing Fishing is fun because you get to go outside. Like that. To me that looks better. Than this. 99. fishing, fishing is fun because you get to go outside. That is better.

User
May 22, 2016

So I really like this but I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old daughter and since it's May we can't play with water do you know What to do because my kids wouldn't like these activites. Thanks, Michelle

User
May 17, 2016

These are great things to do

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