50 Fun Summer Activities For Kids - Pretty Real

50 Fun Summer Activities For Kids

8:13 PM

50 ideas for summer fun
I've been keeping a running list of things to do with the kids this summer. I go a little stir crazy if we sit around the house all day. On day 2 of summer break, I was all "We've gotta get out of here!" Also it's super tempting to turn on Netflix or hand them my iPad if I don't have a game plan. Some of these activities are basics (bubble fun!) while others are more unique (the world explorer game!). Plus I'm a box checker and I love the idea of printing out a list and checking off each little activity as we do it--even the simple ones. Who's with me? So here goes. Oh and leave a comment with any of your go-tos that I missed!

50 FUN summer activities for kids

1.  Have a silly string fight. 
We get ours from the dollar tree but how cool are these?!

2. Blow Bubbles.
Use large bubble wands, bubble guns, bubble machines, or DIY big bubbles. I love Fubbles, because without fail every time I hand my kid a bottle of bubbles, she spills it.

3. Sparklers.
Kids love 'em. 
summer fun ideas for kids

4. Make a Father's Day craft. 
Get on this one quickly! I love this simple idea I did for Joe a few years ago.

5. Visit a Pet store.
Cuddle all the puppies without bringing one home.

6. Water Balloon Toss. 
You know- the game where you toss the water balloon, step back and keep going until someone drops it. Genevieve and I played this today and she was so adorably into it! Also, in case you're wondering, this thing really works!

7. Water Balloon/Water Gun Fight. Dax would LOVE this one!
inexpensive summer activities for kids

8. Sidewalk chalk. 
You could make it, buy it, or get cute with it like this!

9. Play dress up. 
The girls and I have always been into dress up but they go crazy when I don my "Tiana" dress- a horrid green taffeta dress from the 80s. :) I recently discovered the cutest dresses with the highest quality at the best price here.
fun summer activities for kids

10. Bake.
Make a big deal out of baking together. Today it was banana bread--even Dax "helped."  Genevieve has this cookbook and loves it!

11. Do a reading and/or math workbook with them.
The girls have workbooks we plan to use daily. Last year I bought Nadia this one and Genevieve this one and they enjoyed 'playing school.'

12. Go to a petting zoo.

13. Go to a real zoo.

14. Pick blueberries.
Up north the season was in July. Such a fun activity and makes for great photos.
go blueberry picking this summer!

15. Visit a regular farm or an interactive farm.
summer activities for kids

16. Do Crafts.
There are lots of ideas on my Pinterest board and I tend to pin easy crafts with a few supplies (like this cute fruit loops one).

17. Visit a kids' museum.
Most towns/cities have at least one museum that caters to kids within a reasonable driving distance. Check one out!

18. Put together care packages for your car.
I've been intending to do this and then today this showed up in my inbox. I love the idea of helping someone who needs it.

19. Put together "quiet boxes" with the kids.
Involve them in what goes into the boxes and they'll be more into it!

20. Play hide and seek inside and outside.

21. Make a streamer maze
This was SO fun! I have an embarrassing video I should share... ;)

22. Have a movie night during the day.
But don't just throw a movie in and then surf Facebook on your phone (#guilty). Rent a special/new movie, darken the room, and make popcorn and snacks!

23. Storytime at Barnes or the Library. Swap storytime for activities at the library for older kids.

24. Have them write a story or act it out.
You can cater this to their ages. Get involved. Be silly with it! Make sure to set up the camcorder (do people still have those?) because this could get cute.

25. Buy foam craft kits.
These are like legos but easier and cheap. You can get them from Michael's or from here. Genevieve loves them. Warning: they take awhile with little kids (Genevieve is 6) and can't do them alone. 

26. Color with them. 
The fact that you're doing it alongside them makes it more special. You can even print out free grown-up coloring pages and grab some gel pens to make it more fun.

27. Go to the movies.
Many theaters have special rates for families of small children during the summer. 

28. Play board games.
Or this fun game that the kids can't get enough of.

29. Go to the beach or the lake.
free summer activities for kids

30. Nature Walk.

31. Explore your downtown.

32. Go to a Butterfly Sanctuary. 

33. Visit the airport observation deck. 
We recently went and the kids played and watched planes for hours.

34. Go to the pool/use a kiddie pool/run through the sprinklers.

35. Go to a splash pad.
free summer activities for kids

36. Roast Marshmallows.
Use a fire pit or even your grill. (Bonus if you can have a bonfire in your backyard).

37. Make a sweet summertime treat. 
We just made these and they were so yummy.

38. Embark on a "free summer adventure" using Focus on the Family's World Explorer Kit.
An excerpt from Focus on the Family's website: "Take an epic journey around the world! Without ever leaving your home, your family will have the opportunity to explore countries on six different continents and pray for the people who live there. To make this journey a bit more interesting, we're going to send your family on your way with a challenge--to figure out where you are..."
Visit the site to learn more and to download the game pieces. This looks like a fun activity that the girls (ok, the girls and I) will love!
free summer activities for kids

39. Get fun fashion plates or action plates.
My kids will use these for hours. ok, one hour. ;) It's one of those simple toys that doesn't add clutter but adds a lot of entertainment.

40. Have a photo booth session. 
Buy or make props, hang up a .97 tablecloth as a backdrop, whip out your smartphone, and take pictures of the kids being silly. Make sure to let them take pictures of you being silly too.

41. Fly a kite. This one is adorable.

42. Play outdoor games.
kickball, dodge ball, mother may I, Simon says, duck duck goose. Change up the rules to suit your little ones' ages.

43. Jump Rope.

44. VBS/Kids' Camp.
Our old church put on an amazing VBS that was open to the community and FREE. It included singing, dancing, science experiments, skits, and so. much. fun. If your church doesn't host one or even if you don't go to church, Vacation Bible School (or Kids' Camp) is a fun way to meet others in the community and learn about God. I'm sad that I'll be missing our old one this year but we are planning to attend a local one here in Raleigh. The kids can't wait!
FREE summer activities for kids

45. Tour a local fire station. 
We did that this spring and Nadia says "Mom, I thought it was going to be boring, but it was fun!"

46. Make Tie Dye Tees.

47. Plant herbs with the kids.
Or make your mom do it. Which is happening as I type. ;) (but if your mom isn't, this kit makes it seem easy!).

48. Dollar Store Shopping Spree.

49. Read a chapter book with/to them. 
The girls love these, these, and this classic.

50. Explore a new park (or several).
Even if you've lived in a place forever, there are probably a few parks you haven't visited or don't frequent. If you're local (Raleigh, NC), this blog reviews parks and kid-focused entertainment in the area.

Seriously, no one should be claiming to be bored with all these fun ideas at your fingertips.  What did I miss?!

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  1. This is an awesome post, I will have to check out the splash pad!

    1. That splash pad pictured was in NH but we went to a small one at waverly place in Cary today!