Summer Activities for Children

Ideas for Summer Activities for Children

You know what they say about all work and no play, right? Don’t let the kids have all the fun. Try out a least a few of these ideas for kids and parents to do together.

  • Pick your own…whatever! Find a farm with blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, flowers, etc., and get picking.
  • Play outside in the rain. Smell the rain on the pavement; splash in puddles; make mud pies.
  • Make your own rain. Douse everyone with the hose or sprinkler.
  • Cook out…frequently. Go beyond the burgers. Try veggies or fish. The kids might like them more if they come off the grill!
  • Make “smores.” Chocolate + marshmallow + graham cracker = summer
  • Backyard camping!
  • Camp in! Put the sleeping bags on the floor and have a family slumber party.
  • Invite friends and make a party of it. (Trampolines are a great place for this)
  • Catch lightning bugs. And then watch them flicker away into the night.
  • Rearrange the furniture. Give the kid’s graph paper and have them draw out a plan first.
  • Make your own pizza! 
  • Invite friends over for a game night. Have a kids’ games table and an adult one too.
  • Go to the demolition derby. And expect to see some major crashes.
  • See an air show. (Duluth has a big airshow this summer in July)
  • Stop to smell the flowers. (Visit a local public garden or greenhouse)
  • Talk to the animals. (Go to the zoo)
  • Get wet. (Go to a water park, local pool or beach)
  • Have a puzzle race. Use 100-piece puzzles and see who finishes first.
  • Play a card game. Maybe crazy eights, spoons or Uno. Take your pick.
  • Play a board game. Candyland, chess or Monopoly, depending on age and inclination.
  • Make good use of nearby parks. Go to your local park’s website, print the schedule of activities and tape it to the refrigerator. (Music in Library Park, Positivity in the Park, to name a few)
  • Pack a picnic. And plop down to eat it just about anywhere, at a free concert, in a state park or in your own backyard.
  • Start the back-to-school shopping early. The farther from the start of school the more fun kids think it is.
  • Get the summer homework done. Not exactly fun, but you’ll be happy to get it out of the way.
  • Experiment with new hairdos. Let the kids try out not-permanent colors or braids.
  • Dig in the sand at the beach. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the ocean, lake or bay.
  • Set a goal and complete a home project. Find ways to let the kids help.
  • Take an early morning bird walk. 
  • Grow vegetables. And then eat them.
  • Grow flowers and make fun arrangements with them!
  • Learn to cook dinner for your family!
  • Host the kids’ friends for a sleepover. And then maybe your kids will be invited next—giving you a free evening.
  • Go to a nearby museum that you’ve never been to before.
  • Go to your favorite local museum…again.
  • Go to a carnival or county fair. Eat cotton candy, fried dough or something really bad once this summer.
  • Decorate your walkways with chalk. 
  • Take a hike. Choose a route near your house or take a drive to a more distant park.
  • Plant a butterfly garden. Watch the butterflies flutter by.
  • Make fresh lemonade. Maybe even sell it at a lemonade stand!
  • Take a road trip to a nearby city. Spend the night if you can or just make it a day trip.
  • Show the kid’s science is fun. Try some fun experiments!
  • Go to a matinee. Find a bargain movie houses and pay less.
  • Go to the drive-in. If there isn’t one nearby, look for one near your vacation spot. Every kid should go to the drive-in at least once!
  • Watch family movies. Kids can’t get enough of themselves on the big screen.
  • Read a chapter book aloud. Or even go on and read a whole series together.
  • Listen to a classic as an audiobook. Or try these newer audiobooks.
  • Teach the kids a game you haven’t played since you were a kid.
  • Meet friends at the playground. Not groundbreaking, but always popular nonetheless.
  • Visit a historic house. Kids will be amazed at what the old-timers lived without.
  • Make ice cream. We use this recipe with great success.
  • Use bikes as a mode of transit. Show the kids the way to the store or a friend’s.
  • Take bike rides for fun. Either leave from your own house or drive to biking trails.
  • Go fishing. In many states, kids can drop a line in without a license.
  • Paddle a kayak or a canoe. Or if you’re really adventurous try white water rafting.
  • Jump rope. 
  • Press summer flowers. Make a pressed flower picture.
  • String beads. Beading for kids can be as simple or complex as you choose.
  • Blow bubbles. Make your own!
  • Play miniature golf. (set up a fun course at home)
  • Eat at the counter of a diner. And let the kids spin on the stools.
  • Find a new place to play. 
  • Build a Lego castle. Clear off a table and make it a family project.
  • Master a new skill together. Learn to juggle, play harmonica, do the hula hoop, etc.
  • Teach the grandparents to use Skype. And show off your new skill.
  • Build a fort. Try pillows in the living room or cardboard boxes in the yard.
  • Make fairy houses. Use moss, bark, and leaves in a dwelling fit for Thumbelina.
  • Write/illustrate a comic book. Make it a group effort or let everyone do their own.
  • Build your brain. Try some brainteaser puzzles.
  • Find a free concert near you. (Library Park in Mora, Hinckley has outdoor concerts too)
  • Fly a kite.
  • Run in the yard. Kickball, wiffleball, Frisbee, and the tag will keep you moving.
  • Visit a local farmers market. And feast on the fruits and veggies of the season.
  • Create art with beach items. Check out these seashell crafts
  • Have breakfast in bed. Take turns being the server and the served.
  • Play with clay. Then bake your creations to make them permanent.
  • Make play dough creations. Then rip them up and do it again.
  • Make paper airplanes. See whose goes the farthest.
  • Join or start a summer reading club. 
  • Keep a sketch diary.
  • Write in a journal. At the end of the summer share selections with each other about the highlights of the season.
  • Teach the kids to skip stones.
  • Make photo gifts online. Grandma will love them.
  • Take lessons together. Cooking, yoga, tennis, music, etc.
  • Play croquet on the lawn. And try bocci too.
  • Set up badminton net. You could use it for volleyball too.
  • Play HORSE. With little ones, set up a mini basketball net next to the real one.
  • Create a treasure hunt for kids. Do it on your own property or around town.
  • Build a bird feeder. And then watch the show from your window.
  • Join a Junior Ranger program. Both national parks and many state parks have them.
  • See a dramatic performance together. Doesn’t matter if it’s a puppet show in the park or a touring Broadway show.
  • Put on your own dramatic performance. Write a script, sew costumes or just do a little improv.
  • Play charades. Turn all that drama into a game.
  • Make music. Either make your own instruments or play traditional ones.
  • Break out the family movies. And the popcorn too!
  • Have a garage sale. Kids can earn spending money by selling their old stuff.
  • Go to a flea market or garage sale. And they can spend that money they just earned. 

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