Summer is finally here, and I know how important it is to keep your kids entertained during these long, sunny days. With school out for the summer, it’s the perfect time to explore the outdoors, learn new skills, and make lasting memories.
There are countless activities that you can do as you consider your family’s interests and energy levels. From trips to the zoo for animal-loving kids, to classic outdoor games that encourage physical activity and teamwork, there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s through creative arts and crafts, energetic sports, or calming nature walks, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making the most of this beautiful season together.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the weather and being outdoors. Here are a few fun activities to help you do just that.
During summer, one of my favorite activities is to explore the great outdoors with my kids. We can spend hours outdoors! You can too! Try a few of the following:
- hike nearby
- discover the local wildlife
- learn about different plant species
- visit a butterfly garden
- go birdwatching
- catch insects
- splash in puddles
- visit a local beach or lake
- go fishing
- catch crawdads
- camp in the backyard
- camp in the great outdoors
- star watch
Read also: How to Create a Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
As the temperatures rise, so does the need to cool off! One of the most enjoyable summer activities for my kids is playing in the water. My kids could play with our hose for hours at a time. Whether we go swimming at the beach or our local pool, it’s always a refreshing and entertaining time. In addition, we love visiting parks with splash pads and planning picnics by a lake or a river. If we’re spending time in our own backyard, setting up a water sprinkler for the kids to run through never fails to bring joy and laughter to summer days.
Sports and Games
Staying active is essential for many families during the summer. Participating in outdoor sports and games not only keeps you healthy, but it also strengthens family bonding. Schedule a weekly family bike ride, play catch, soccer, or play frisbee outside.
If you are gathering with friends or extended family, outdoor games and activities are available for all ages. From frisbee and jump rope to team-based games like relay races and tug-of-war, there is something you can do outdoors! Summer days outdoors with each other create lasting memories for everyone involved.
Read also: Outdoor Games for Kids
One of my favorite things about summer is how much space and time my kids have for creative pursuits. We can do crafts, make tie-dye shirts, or even just play creatively. Here are a few fun ideas.
For my 8-year-old daughter, crafts are the best part of summer! Our family loves creative activities like:
- sidewalk chalk
- constructing fairy houses
- making birdhouses and bird feeders
- making friendship bracelets
- making slime
- making homemade playdough
- painting rocks
- tie-dying t-shirts and towels
Cooking and Baking Ideas
When it’s time to cool off, you can also make homemade ice cream, snow cones, or even popsicles.
If your kids are interested in baking, you could help them bake a cake and decorate it, or even just learn to make muffins. Our goal as a family this summer is for our kids to learn how to make pancakes!
My kids love exploring outside in our backyard. Sometimes this is as simple as giving them free time outdoors. Kids can do things like:
- make paper boats and race them in small streams or even a large puddle after a summer rainstorm
- make daisy/dandelion crowns
- make mud pies
- create sandbox lakes
Day Trips and Outings
Need to get out of the house? Try a few of these day trips and outings:
- Visit the zoo is a fantastic option for a day trip.
- Aquariums make for an engaging and educational outing. My kids love our local aquarium and it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been, it’s still neat to see an octopus.
- A trip to the local carnival or fair can be a fun-filled day of rides, games, and delicious treats for the whole family to enjoy. There’s something for everyone, and it’ll create long-lasting memories. We love to take our kids to the fair at the end of every summer. We get to see the animals, ride the rides, and more!
- Going for a hike nearby is one of the best ways to get my kids outdoors and active. We have a few local favorites and we enjoy spending time racing to the top to see the view!
- Splash pads are great for families of all ages. Toddlers and preschoolers love them, I’ve found that if we invite friends along, even my older kids have a great time.
- Water park day trip. Going down a water slide is an exhilarating experience! Try it with your kids!
- On a sunny day, why not set up a backyard obstacle course? It’s a budget-friendly and creative way for kids to burn off energy. Use items like hula hoops, pool noodles, and cardboard boxes to set up fun stations that challenge their physical and mental skills.
- Another option for backyard entertainment is hosting a family movie night outdoors. All you need is a projector, a white sheet, and a selection of your favorite films. Enjoy the warm summer evening with your family while watching movies under the stars. This was one of my family’s favorite activities last summer and I can’t wait to do it again this summer!
- Water play is a classic summer activity, and I love setting up a mini water park in my backyard. A small inflatable pool, sprinklers, and water balloons can provide hours of excitement for kids. Plus, it’s a great way for everyone to stay cool on hot summer days.
Summer Camps and Classes
Skills and Hobbies
While I enjoy not having too many scheduled activities in the summer, I do think that a few classes or camps can break up the long and boring days of summer. These might include:
- Summer camp is an excellent opportunity for children to make new friends, learn a new skill, and spend time outdoors.
- Music lessons. A few of my kids are doing piano lessons this summer and they can’t wait to have the time to explore their musicality a little more.
- Art camps: Encourage creativity and self-expression through painting, drawing, and sculpture.
- Science and technology camps: Kids develop problem-solving skills and foster curiosity in areas such as robotics, coding, and engineering.
- Outdoor adventure camps: Kids dive into nature through hiking, camping, and exploring the wilderness.
- Sports camps: Develop teamwork, discipline, and physical skills in sports like basketball, soccer, or swimming.
The great thing about summer camps and classes is that they offer your kids a structured environment for children to explore their interests and develop new skills. Plus, outdoor activities help kids make the most of the summer weather while making long-lasting memories.
Screen Time Alternatives
During the summer, it can be tough to find activities that keep our children engaged without resorting to screens. I’ve discovered several fun alternatives that not only entertained them but also provided valuable learning experiences. Here are a few of my favorite screen-free activities for kids to enjoy during the warm summer months.
- Organize a game night with friends and family. Play board games, card games, and puzzles can bring everyone together for a night of laughter and friendly competition.
- Play frisbee. It’s a fantastic way for your kids to burn off some energy, develop hand-eye coordination, and have fun outside in the fresh air.
- Plan a day for a photo scavenger hunt. Kids can explore their surroundings, learn about nature, and hone their photography skills while enjoying a tech-free adventure.
- Create an “I’m Bored Jar”
Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the community events and local attractions where you live! Consider the following in your community:
Has your family really explored your city? Take time this summer to explore:
- Parks. Try park hopping so that you visit a new park every week.
- Pools and splash pads
- Kids museums
- Lakes and rivers to swim in or float down
Local Summer Events
During the summer, I love taking the kids to explore local attractions in my area. Take some time to look up local events coming up in the summer months. This might include things like:
- Farmers markets
- Hot air balloon events. Last summer our local park held a hot air balloon lighting at night. It was one of our kids favorite events of the whole summer!
- Free swimming days at the local pool
- Fireworks shows
- Fun runs
- Outdoor concerts
These ideas are just a starting point to help you and your family make the most of your summer together. Remember to always prioritize safety and to adapt the activities to suit the interests and age of your kids. With a bit of creativity and effort, you’ll create an unforgettable summer filled with fun and adventure.