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Keep your kids occupied and entertained this hot season with these 101 free or cheap amazingly fun summer activities for kids! From making your own delicious ice-cream to camping in the yard, there are so many things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money!
School is out. What summer activities do you have planned? Do you know how you’ll entertain your children all summer long when they cry ou “Mom! I’m boooorred”?
Well, don’t worry. To help bust summer boredom, I’m bringing you a list of some of our favorite fun, cheap, and even FREE summer activities for kids to silence the boredom battle cry!
Summer Activities for Kids When It’s Raining
1. Camp Indoors – Set up a campsite in your living room with a tent or use chairs and sheets to make your own tent.
2. Jump In Puddles – Jump in, over and around puddles. It can also be fun to watch the patterns in the water when someone jumps in puddles.
3. Catch Raindrops – Catch raindrops with your tongue, hands or your umbrella.
4. Play In The Sand – Playing with sand in the rain will be completely different for your kids than when they’re building with dry sand.
5. Look For Worms – Take a walk in the rain and save the worms from the sidewalk and put them in the safe grass instead.
6. Build A Town – Use a big piece of paper or card box, tape it to the floor, draw roads and use old cartons as stores and houses. Grab some toy cars and let your kids drive around.
7. Create An Obstacle Course – Build an obstacle course through your whole house. Crawl under chairs, walk over a balance beam, do a crab walk and so on.
8. Make A Fort Out Of Cardboard Boxes – Grab some boxes and make a fort with your kids. If you don’t have any boxes at home, ask around at your local stores and then check out this collection of 10 ingenious cardboard forts.
9. Make An Indoor Sandbox – Mix a little bit of water with a few drops of food coloring, add rice and let sit for 5 minutes. Let the rice dry on newspaper or paper towels overnight and the next day your kids will have their own indoor sand to play with.
11. Have A Dance Party – I love to dance. And it doesn’t matter that it’s to kid’s music! Have a dance party with your kids and sing along to all of your favorite tunes.
12. Play Video Games – Teach your kids to play video games (or perhaps it’s they who get to teach you?). And even better…
13. ..Get Your But Of The Couch And Play Wii – Play tennis, go bowling or do some other fun activity in the convenience of your own living room.
14. Play Dress-Up – Drag out those old rags that you haven’t worn in years, dig out hats, jewelry and everything else that you can find and play dress up with your kids.
15. Camp Inside – Put sleeping bags on the floor and have a family slumber party.
16. Cuddle In Bed – This is my all-time favorite. Cuddle up in bed with your loved ones, read stories, watch a movie or just talk to each other.
17. Watch A Movie – You definitely should watch a bunch of movies during the summer. But try to schedule them on rainy days.
18. Puzzle – Puzzle together is a great and relaxing activity. But if you’re feeling competitive, have a puzzle-off! See who can put together a puzzle the fastest.
19. Back-To-School Shopping – As boring as it is to think about during the summer, school is just around the corner. But shopping for new clothes, shoes, and supplies is something that has to be done.
20. Finish A House Project – Do you want to remodel your kitchen or repaint a room this summer? Find a way to let your little ones to be involved. They will take pride in getting to help out.
21. Watch Family Movies – Kids love to watch themselves on screen. Dig out those old movies of when the kids were babies, make some popcorn and make it into an all-nighter.
22. Dig Out Your Photo Albums – Look through your old photo albums and tell your kids about the pictures that you’re watching. Do you have a bunch of photos that need to be put into albums? Great! I bet you have at least one person at home with tiny hands that would love to help out.
23. Write a Journal – Help your kids to write (or draw) a journal at least a couple times a week so you can remember all the fun things you did this summer.
24. Write A Book Together – Kids have a fantastic imagination and it’s something that should be encouraged. Write a funny, scary, exciting or crazy story together (draw pictures too!).
25. Have A Yardsale – Spend a rainy day clearing out your storage and the kid’s toys, sell them and do something fun together for the money.
27. Master A New Skill Together – Try to find an interest that you share with your child and learn a new skill together. It can be to juggle, decorate cakes, play an instrument, etc.
Adventurous Summer Activities for Kids
28. Look At Animals – Visit a nearby zoo or perhaps a farm, or make a family trip to one of the bigger zoos in your country.
29. Visit The Library – Sign up for a library card if you don’t have one and borrow as many books as you can carry. Make sure to read them as well!
30. Go To A Carnival or Country Fair – Visit a carnival, ride the Ferris wheel and eat a little bit to much cotton candy.
31. Ride Water Slides – Spend a day at the water park and make the effort to be in the water with your kids and ride some slides too.
32. Make A Sand Castle – We’re blessed with living close to the beach so when it’s nice weather, we’re at the beach every day. But if you’re not as blessed as we, try to spend at least one day at the beach this summer. And oh, don’t forget to make a pretty sandcastle!
33. Go To A Museum – Go to a museum that you’ve never been to before. Chose a museum that’s kid-friendly where they get to touch at least something.
34. Map Out Your City – Give your kids a map of your own city, visit different places and map them out on your map.
35. Take A Road Trip To A New City – Visiting a new city can be a lot of fun. And you don’t have to travel that far! Just visiting a new playground and buying ice cream at another ice cream parlor will be a fun adventure.
36. Go Fishing – Find out if you need to get a license to be allowed to drop a line and hope that your kids get something on the hook.
37. Rent A Kayak Or Canoe – Put on life vests and paddle away!
38. Play Miniature Golf – Miniature golf is so much fun and if you haven’t tried it yet, you have to this summer. Try to get as many hole-in-ones as you can!
Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids
39. Study The Clouds – Lie on your back, next to your child in the grass. What do the clouds look like? It’s amazing to listen to kid’s imagination and this activity will let both of you relax at the same time as you’re bonding.
40. Stalk An Ant – Where’s that little guy going? Aren’t you both dying to know?
41. Feed An Ant Community – Put some sugar on an anthill and watch the ants flock.
42. Follow The Stream – It can be really exciting in the great outdoors. You never know what kind of adventure you might end up on by just following a stream.
43. Search For Colors In The Forrest – Take a piece of paper and draw different colors on it (black, brown, red, blue, yellow, etc.). See how many objects you can find in the forest that match your colors.
44. Find Adjectives– Bring an egg carton and write down different adjectives in the holes. You can write things like hard, soft, big and small and then let your kids go out on a hunt for things that match the adjectives.
45. Shop For Craft Supplies Outside – You don’t always have to spend money on craft supplies. You can make animals out of pine cones, and paint on rocks. You just have to find them first.
46. Follow The Leader – This game is great if you’re on a walk and your kids are starting to get tired. Take turns deciding how you’re going to
47. Paint Your Sidewalk – Paint beautiful flowers, a nice message or hopscotch outside your house with sidewalk paint.
48. Camp In The Yard – Set up a tent in your yard, light a bonfire (keep the fire extinguisher close just in case) and gather around the fire and tell stories before you go to sleep.
49. Set Up A Treasure Hunt – Draw a map or set up multiple clues outside and let your kids go out to find the price. Perhaps they’ll find a nice picnic to be the treasure.
50. Fly A Kite – Make your own kite or buy one. Then choose a windy day to try and fly it.
51. Create Summer Memories – Gather sand at the beach, search for beautiful shells and other great craft supplies and make a memory box or some other kind of summer memories.
52. Learn To Jump Rope – If your kids can’t jump rope, teach them! But if they can, teach them the reverse jump, criss-cross, and one-foot jumps.
53. Catch Lightning Bugs – See if you can catch some lightning bugs in a see-through jar and set them free when it’s dark and watch them flicker away.
54. Have A Picnic – Eat your lunch in the shadow of a tree in a park, in your backyard or anywhere you want.
55. Take A Hike – Go for a hike with your kids. Bring some friends along for motivation or let your kids bike on the route.
56. Pop Bubbles – Blow bubbles and let your kids run around trying to pop them.
57. Play Croquet – Croquet is suitable to play when you want to play a game outside but doesn’t feel like running around too much.
58. Set Up A Badminton Net – Set up a badminton net in your yard or at a park and play badminton (or volleyball!).
59. Participate In The Summer Olympics – Invite your friends and family over for Summer Olympics. Compete against each other and give the winner a nice medal (you can make one yourself).
60. Take Bike Rides – Take bike rides just for fun. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Or take your bikes instead of the car if it’s nice weather
61. Learn About Animals – Borrow books about animals and insects and go out in the forest and parks. Search for animal tracks and poop and try to figure out what kind of animal it’s from.
62. Learn About Nature – Learn about different trees, flowers, herbs, and plants with your kids. Borrow books for this activity as well!
63. Ride A Pony – Contact a stable nearby and ask if they’ll let your kids ride their pony for a few laps around the paddock.
64. Teach Your Kids To Swim – Take this summer to teach your kids to swim. It’s fun, challenging and can ultimately save your child’s life at some point.
65. Watch The Sunset – Stay up late and watch the sunset with your kids. It’s beautiful.
66. Watch The Sunrise – Get up really early (but probably not the next day) and see the sunrise together. You might need to nap later that day.
67. Get To Know Somebody New – Start talking to someone at the playground and try to make a new friend. This activity is for both kids and adults (but it’s definitely easier for kids to make a new friend but you should make the effort too!).
68. Take Care Of Animals – Ask around to see if someone you know needs help with pet sitting during the summer. It’s a great way to find out if your kids are ready for a pet of their own whilst it’s a lot of fun too.
69. Enjoy The Sun – It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to stop and enjoy the sun this summer. And try not to complain about how hot it is, you’ll miss it in a few months.
Craft Activities for Kids
70. Grow Cress – If you want to plant something during the summer, cress is the way to go. They grow fast and taste delicious.
71. Die A Tulip – Wanna teach your kids some fascinating science? Pour some food dye and water in a vase and put tulips or some other flowers in it and see what happens.
72. Create A Wind Chime – Craft your own wind chime and hang up on your patio. I’m sure it will look as beautiful as it will sound nice when the wind blows.
73. Make Paper Boats – Crafting is a lot of fun. But racing is even better. Create race boats out of paper and race them in a small pool by blowing on them with straws.
74. Make Paper Airplanes – Make paper planes, decorate them and see who can fly the longest.
75. Renovate Furniture – Visit a flea market and buy furniture that you can renovate and paint together with your kids. It can be something that you can put in your common spaces or in their own room.
76. Start A Band With Home – Haven’t you always secretly wished to start a family band? Now you can. Check out how to make your own maracas here.
77. Craft Your Own Pinwheel – This craft suit kids of all ages. Older kids will enjoy making them and younger kids will have a lot of fun by just blowing on them.
78. Make Jewelry Out Of Sring Beads – As a mom, I have to say that you can never get too much home-made jewelry. Perhaps you can even make jewelry together to sell for charity.
79. Make A Bird House Out Of Popsicle Sticks – Save all your kids popsicle sticks this summer and make a birdhouse that you can hang in your yard when the winter is coming.
80. Teach Your Kids To Sew, Crochet Or Knit – Take this summer to teach your kids a new crafting skill. Why not sewing, crocheting, knitting, or if you’re handy, carving.
81. Show Your Kids That Science Is Cool – Make invisible ink, a lava lamp or some other easy experiments and show your kids that science can be quite cool.
82. Get A Pen Pal – Make pretty envelopes out of colored paper, glitter and other craft supplies. Send letters to friends or distant relatives and ask them to reply by mail. Your kids will love it when they get mail.
83. Pick Flowers And Make A Wreath – When you’re celebrating Midsummer in Sweden, you have to have a flower wreath on your head. But even if you don’t celebrate Midsummer, flower wreaths are still fun to make and will look really nice as a centerpiece in your home.
84. Make Play Dough – Baking with Playdough is a great activity for all ages. Try out these different recipes and make your own play-dough.
Roadtrip Games For Kids
85. Guess What Animal – Think of an animal and let your kids ask you closed-end questions while trying to figure out what kind of animal you’re thinking about. Can they get it right within twenty questions?
86. Relay Story – Someone starts off by coming up with a few lines of a story. Then the next person takes off and tells a few lines. Keep going as long as you’d like and get impressed by your kid’s imagination.
87. Count The Scenery – Have your kids look for a specific item such as brown horses or yellow cars. The first one to find ten wins.
88. Crazy Questions – Ask your kids all kinds of crazy questions. E.g. “What kind of animal would you rather be, a sheep or an elephant? Why?” Or “Would you rather smell like poop or have to eat broccoli every day?”.
89. Look For Shapes – Tell your kids to look for a shape through the window. Whoever can spot something with the right shape wins that turn. (Keep an eye out for shapes.
90. How Many Cars – Look for cars of different colors. When you see a blue car – whistle, when you see a red car – bark like a dog, when you see a white car – start dancing and when you see a pink car – stop for ice cream.
Kitchen Activities For Kids
91. Make Your Own Ice Cream – Make your own healthy, unhealthy, chocolate, blueberry, strawberry or whatever flavor you might prefer ice cream! Here are 40 recipes you can try.
92. Set Up An Ice Cream Sundae Buffet – Invite some friends over and set up a crazy ice cream buffet. Or if you’re feeling crazy, set up the buffet instead of dinner one night.
93. Set Up A Lemonade Stand – Make tasty lemonade for yourselves or set up a lemonade stand and sell to your neighbors.
94. Blend Smoothies – Cold smoothies are the perfect snack on a hot summer afternoon. Follow recipes to guarantee a tasty smoothie or go wild and let your kids add whatever they want.
95. Bake Cupcake – Bake cupcake and put them In ice cream cones and let your kids decorate.
96. Put Together A Family Cookbook – Write a family cookbook and let every member of the family add their favorite recipes.
97. Play Guess What Is This – Bring out different things from your fridge, blindfold your kids and let them taste different things while guessing what it is.
98. Select This Summers Best Ice Cream – Taste at least 10 different ice creams and select which ice cream is the best this summer and which one you never want to eat again.
99. Make S’mores – Grab some crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate and make smores over an open fire (or in the microwave!).
100. Let The Kids Cook Dinner – Take turns making dinner this summer. If you have young kids, let them serve salad, sandwiches or plowman’s platter.
101. Have Breakfast In Bed – Gather all of your kids in your bed and eat breakfast together. Try to not the thing about all the crumbs.
When you’re staying home with your kids all summer, you need to come up with a few activities to prevent that they end up getting too much screen time.
Create a summer bucket list with one summer activity for kids to do every day, or why not choose something random from this list to do whenever your kids start complaining that they’re bored.
And hey, don’t let your kids have all the fun to themselves. Summer doesn’t have to mean all work and no play for you, so make sure to do at least a few of these 101 summer activities for kids AND parents to do together!