Published June 12th, 2024

49 Fun summer activities for kids

Written by Level Home Staff

49 Ways to keep your kids busy this summer

Summer vacation is a time for kids to unwind and enjoy their break from school, but it can also present a challenge for parents looking to keep their children entertained. From creative arts and crafts to outdoor adventures, we've compiled a list of fun summer activities for kids that will keep them engaged and make this summer memorable.

Discover 40+ ways to keep your kids busy this summer:

Table of contents:

  1. Arts & Crafts Activities
  2. Social Activities
  3. Responsible Summer Fun
  4. Indoor/Outdoor Activities
  5. Cooking & Baking Ideas
  6. Travel Near Or Far With The Kids
  7. Ideas To Get Kids Active/Exercise
  8. Fun Projects
  9. Summer Camps & Community Activities

Arts & Crafts

Engage your kids in various arts and crafts projects that allow them to express their creativity and develop fine motor skills. Provide a variety of materials and let their imagination run wild.

To make things easier, try signing up for a subscription crafting company like Kiwi Co. If you want to get your kids out of the house or encourage socializing while enjoying crafts, check with your local Library for arts & crafts-dedicated days for children of all ages. Home Depot even holds kid craft mornings on the 1st Saturday of every month from 9am - 12pm!

1. Sensory play

Try activities like sculpting with modeling clay, making resin art, finger painting, shrinky dinks, crafting jewelry or beading.

2. Decorating

Let your kids enjoy customizing their water bottles, making decorations for their bedrooms or around the house, or even creating seasonal porch decor.

3. Make your own slime

Making slime is a fun and educational activity that kids love. You can create different types of slime using household ingredients like glue, baking soda, and contact lens solution. Add food coloring and glitter for an extra touch of fun, or essential oils to give it a nice aroma.

4. Sidewalk chalk

Encourage your kids to go outside and create masterpieces with chalk. They can draw murals, write uplifting messages, or make hopscotch grids to play in.

5. Paint rocks

Collect some smooth rocks and let your kids paint them with vibrant colors and patterns. These painted rocks can be used as garden decorations or given as gifts to friends and family.

6. Scrapbooking

Help your children create a scrapbook filled with summer memories. They can include photos, ticket stubs, pressed flowers, and other mementos. This activity not only keeps them busy but also helps preserve cherished moments.

7. Photography

Give your kids a digital or polaroid camera and let them explore the world of photography. They can capture the beauty of nature, interesting objects, or candid moments. You can even create a photo album together or use them in your scrapbook!

Social activities

Social activities are a great way for kids to interact with their peers and make new friends. From sleepovers to pool parties, these activities can help build social skills and create lasting memories. They offer a fun and engaging way to spend time with friends and family.

Tip: try joining a local Facebook parenting group for a great way to connect with other parents nearby!

1. Sleepovers

Organize a sleepover for your kids and their friends. Plan activities like movie marathons, board games, and late-night snacks to keep them entertained all night.

2. Pool party

Host a pool party in your backyard or at a local pool. Swimming is a great way to cool off and have fun during the hot summer months.

3. Water balloon games

For another great way to cool off during the hot summer months, gather your kids’ friends for a fun-filled water balloon fight or set up games to play with them. Try purchasing reusable water balloons for some eco-friendly fun.

4. Host a BBQ

Organize a barbecue with games and activities. Let your kids help with the preparations and choose some of their favorite dishes to include.

5. Play dates

Coordinate with other parents to meet at a local park and let your kids have a fun play date. You can even suggest taking a walk with other parents and their kids so you can all enjoy some sunshine together.

Responsible summer fun

Responsible summer fun includes activities that are both enjoyable and educational. These activities can teach kids important life skills and keep them productive during the summer break. Incorporating learning into fun activities ensures that kids continue to develop and grow.

1. Gamify cleaning

Turn cleaning into a game to make it more enjoyable for your kids. Set timers, offer rewards, or make it a competition to see who can clean the fastest.

2. Don’t forget summer schoolwork

Incorporate a bit of learning into the summer break. Set aside some time for assigned summer reading, creative writing, or math activities to keep their skills sharp.

3. Book club

Join or create a book club for your kids. Choose books appropriate for their reading level and discuss them together. This encourages reading and critical thinking.

4. Pool safety classes

Sign up your kids for a pool safety class. They get to beat the heat and enjoy the pool, all while learning life-saving skills through swim lessons.

Indoor/Outdoor Activities

Indoor and outdoor activities provide a variety of ways to keep kids entertained, regardless of the weather. From camping in the backyard to movie marathons on rainy days, these activities offer fun and engaging options for kids to enjoy their summer.

1. Camp out (or in)

Set up a tent in your backyard or living room for a fun camping experience. Tell stories, make s’mores, and enjoy a night under the stars (or ceiling).

2. Build a fort

Instead of setting up a tent, try having your children build a fort! You can make use of old refrigerator boxes or set up a blanket fort in the living room. The kids get to have fun creating a new place to play or camp in.

3. Gardening

Teach your kids about gardening by planting fruits, vegetables, or flowers together. They’ll learn about plant care and enjoy watching their efforts grow into beautiful plants or tasty produce. Try gardening in containers inside or outside in a garden bed.

4. Movie night or rainy day movie marathon

Have a movie night at home or organize a movie marathon for rainy days. Choose a mix of new releases and family classics. Grab a projector and try having a movie night outside, weather permitting!

5. Puzzle day

Spend a day doing jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, word searches, or whatever your favorite puzzle is! These activities can be both relaxing and stimulating for your kid’s mind, plus you will get to enjoy some quality time together.

6. Campfire

If you have a fire pit, enjoy a campfire night. Roast marshmallows for s’mores and cook hotdogs over the fire. It’s a classic summer experience the whole family can enjoy.

7. Computer, Video, and Board Games

Allow some screen time for video or computer games, or have a board game night with your family. You can even teach your kids card games and spend an evening playing together.

Try out interactive games, like ones from Osmo, that connect with iPads to allow your kids to be creative in a fun, modern way!

8. Have the kids put on a play

Encourage your kids to write and perform their own play, skit, or musical. They can create costumes, sets, and scripts. Invite family and friends to watch their performance.

Cooking & baking

Cooking and baking activities are a fun way for kids to get involved in the kitchen. These activities not only teach valuable cooking skills but also provide a delicious end result that everyone can enjoy. From making pizza to hosting a dessert party, these activities are sure to be a hit.

1. Pizza night

Turn dinner into a fun activity by making pizza together. Try letting your kids choose the toppings, sauces, and cheese – this not only makes mealtime exciting, but can also encourage them to try new foods.

2. Summer dessert party

Have your kids choose a dessert to make with you, such as ice cream, cupcakes, or pie. Invite their friends over to enjoy the treats. You can even ask the other parents to do the same and host a dessert potluck.

3. Make popsicles

Try making popsicles from juice, lemonade, or yogurt! Add a little fruit and blend it up for extra nutrition. It's a perfect summer treat and a great way to involve your kids in creating healthy snacks.

Travel near or far

Travel activities can be exciting and educational for kids. Whether it's a day trip to a nearby city or a visit to a local attraction, these activities offer new experiences and opportunities for learning. They provide a change of scenery and can make for memorable summer adventures.

1. Have a park day

Spend a day at a local park. Bring a picnic, play on the playground, and explore nature. Parks offer endless opportunities for fun and physical activity, plus they’re a great place for children to socialize.

2. Day trip

Plan a day trip to a nearby city, beach, or natural attraction like a waterfall. Exploring new places can be exciting and educational for kids.

3. Visit a local attraction

Check out local attractions like historical sites, interactive museums, kids-centric places like the Crayola factory, a science museum, aquarium, or the zoo. These outings can be both fun and informative.

4. Trip to an amusement park

Spend a day at an amusement park or water park. Your kids will have a blast on the rides, games, and attractions.

5. Go to a farmer’s market or local farm

Visit a farmer’s market or a local farm where you can pick your own fruit like apples or cherries. It’s a fun way to teach kids about where food comes from.

6. Visit relatives

Plan a visit to see relatives or loved ones. Spending time with family can be special and create lasting memories, plus your kids are sure to enjoy the change of scenery.

7. Go to a drive-in movie

Find a local drive-in movie theater and enjoy a film from the comfort of your car. Bring some snacks and blankets for a cozy movie experience. Try catching a double-feature!

8. Go fishing

Take your kids fishing at a local pond or lake. It’s a peaceful activity that teaches patience and appreciation for nature. If you can, try going out on a boat or canoe for a more unique experience.

Active/Exercise

Active and exercise activities help keep kids physically fit while having fun. From hiking to roller skating, these activities promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage kids to stay active during the summer months. They also provide a great way for families to bond and enjoy the outdoors together.

1. Take a hike (or walk)

Explore hiking trails appropriate for your child’s age and ability (apps like AllTrails can help you find the perfect trail). If a hike isn’t feasible, a simple walk around the neighborhood or to the local park can be just as enjoyable. Look for interesting sights, play "I spy," or simply enjoy each other’s company.

2. Roller skating

Take your kids to a roller skating rink. It’s a fun way to get some exercise and enjoy some music.

3. Family sports

Organize a family sports tournament with activities like football, soccer, or baseball. It’s a great way to stay active and enjoy some friendly competition!

4. Bike rides

Go on bike rides around your neighborhood or on local trails. Biking is a fun way to explore and get some exercise.

5. Mini golf

Visit a mini golf course for a fun outing. Many courses have creative themes and obstacles that make the game enjoyable for all ages.

6. Slip n’ slide

Set up a slip n’ slide in your backyard for some water fun. It’s a fun way to cool off and have a blast on a hot day.

7. Learn a new sport or lawn game

Introduce your kids to a new sport or lawn game. Set up a game of croquet, play tennis or badminton, or have a volleyball match. These activities are great for physical fitness and family bonding.

8. Dance party

Have a dance party at home. Play your kids’ favorite songs and let them dance their hearts out. They can even invite their friends over to join in the fun. The kids will be so busy having fun, they won’t even realize they’re exercising.

Tip: try buying or making ribbon wands, or getting some glow sticks for added fun!

At-home projects

Small projects are a great way to keep kids entertained and engaged. These activities allow kids to use their creativity and problem-solving skills while having fun. From painting to building birdhouses, these projects provide a sense of accomplishment and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

1. Paint night

Set up a paint night at home. Provide canvases, paint, and brushes, and choose an image to recreate. You can even try the TikTok trend of painting each other’s faces and only revealing your creations to each other when you’ve both finished.

2. Make t-shirts

Have a t-shirt making session with tie-dye or puff paint. Kids can create their own unique designs and wear their creations with pride.

3. Make or paint bird houses

Build and/or paint birdhouses together. You can buy pre-made kits from a craft store or make them from scratch – whatever works better for you and your kids. When you’re done, you can put the bird house up in your yard so your kids can see it in action. It’s a fun project that also helps support local wildlife.

4. Kid-friendly home improvement projects

Involve your kids in simple home improvement projects like installing a smart lock or updating cabinet hardware, repainting a room, or building a fairy garden. These projects can be educational and rewarding.

Summer Camps & Community Activities

Summer camps and community activities provide structured fun and opportunities for kids to socialize and learn new skills. These activities can help kids make new friends and explore new interests. From sports camps to community events, there's something for every child to enjoy.

1. Summer camp or sports league

Enroll your kids in a summer camp or local sports program. These activities provide structured fun, help them make new friends, and teach them new skills.

2. Have a garage sale

Organize a garage sale and let your kids help. They can learn about money management and enjoy the excitement of selling their old toys and clothes.

3. Treasure hunt

Create a treasure hunt with a map, clues, and a prize at the end. This activity encourages problem-solving and adventure. Try setting it up in your house or yard!

Conclusion

This summer, make the most of your time with your kids by trying out these fun and engaging activities. Whether you're staying at home or exploring the great outdoors, there's something here for every family to enjoy. Happy summer!