75 Things to do over the Summer with the Kids

75things to do for the summer with the kidsI can’t believe that school is out for the summer- it seems like just yesterday we were taking first day of school photos.  Time flies by so fast.  If we don’t pay attention we’ll miss it.  If you are like me you have kids that have had their minds filled with math and reading and science for the past 9 months and 2 days into summer the: Mom, I’m bored syndrome hits.

I remember the feeling of Summer when I was younger.  I loved the freedom that I felt that my day was mine and I could do whatever I wanted to do.  I had a creative mind and my friends and I would come up with fun things to keep us busy all day.

hello summer

I often read that parents are looking for things for their children to do to keep them busy for the summer.  This thinking bothers me a little.  I like to think of it as things for me to do WITH my children for the summer.  I want to have as much fun as they do, and I want to enjoy it along with them.  So, after a bit of brainstorming we came up with a list of 75 things to do with your children for the summer.  Be involved and have fun!

With a little bit of planning and creativity summer can be filled with fun activities and you may be able to sneak a little learning into their day as well.

May Your Days Be Long, For Time Flies By Too Fast…  I Hope your Summer is One of Joy!

  1. Bake Cookies: Take a cooking day and bake 3-4 different types of cookies.  Freeze them for enjoyment later, or share your baked goods with neighbors or widows/widowers in your local community.
  2. Take a Picnic at a Park: Pack sandwiches, fruits, cheese sticks, a blanket and a couple of your cookies and find a shady spot at a local park.  Enjoy your lunch and play on the playground…. Can you still do the monkey bars?
  3. Take a Camping Trip: Some of my favorite memories are of camping. Most people think of camping as a long expensive trip.  It doesn’t have to be.  Find a tent at a local yard sale.  Pack simple foods into a cooler that are easy to prepare.  The internet is full of ideas on foods to prepare in a fire.  Try something new.  Cook an egg in a ziplock bag for breakfast.  Canned meats like tuna, chunked chicken or deviled ham make quick sandwiches for lunch that are easy to pack and take on the go.  Make tin foil dinners in the fire.  Don’t forget the S’mores.  The important part of camping is to enjoy nature, enjoy time spent and explore somewhere new.  There are even places you can camp at for free.  A little research before you go can lead to an enjoyable time in the great outdoors.
  4. Go Camping in the back yard with campfire and S’mores: If the great outdoors is not something you find enjoyable camp in the back yard.  Set up a tent, roast a hot dog in a fire pit.  Make s’mores and find a new star constellation.
  5. Find a lake or pond and feed the ducks: Tips for feeding Ducks: Although ducks LOVE to eat bread, popcorn and chips they need grains in their diets.  Try feeding them things such as: Cracked Corn, Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Birdseed, Grapes (cut them in ½), Frozen peas or corn.  Remember that birds can choke easily so keep the food you offer them in small bite-sized pieces.  Feeding ducks, swans and geese can be an exciting experience for kids of all ages.  Remember to check local laws to ensure that feeding is not prohibited in your area.
  6. Go Swimming: This one is an all time summer favorite. Switch it up a little bit.  If you go swimming at the local pool most of the time try a new pool in a neighboring community or try swimming at the lake.  Summer+ Water = fun; wherever you are.
  7. Have a water fight: Kids love water.  Find water guns, water balloons, water bombs and other fun water toys at a local dollar store.  Set up a command water center and just have fun.  One of my favorites is water balloon volleyball.  Use towels and try not to break the water balloons.
  8. Fly a Kite: Kite flying can be a fun family activity without a lot of planning.  Local dollar stores often sell inexpensive kites.  Or, add to the fun and build and decorate your own kite and plan a day to fly them.
  9. Host a chalk the block/ sidewalk chalk art contest: Involve the neighborhood and color all the sidewalks in your block.  Give each person their own “piece” of the sidewalk and get creative.  Give away Prizes to the most colorful, most creative, funniest, most animated…. Make up your categories to fit your participants.
  10. Set up a lemonade stand: Teach children how to make the lemonade, how to count back change, how to create a sign for “advertising” and involve them in the cost of materials and pricing.  Help them understand how much they spent vs. how much they brought in and see if they made a profitable business venture.
  11. Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles: mix 1 cup distilled water, 2 Tbsp Dawn dish soap and 1 Tbsp glycerin
  12. Have a bubble blowing contest: After you make your bubbles see who can blow the most bubbles, who can blow the biggest bubble, whose bubble lives the longest?
  13. Have a craft day: Let your imagination run wild. Pull out pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, craft glue, foam, glitter, pom-poms, toilet paper and paper towel tubes and anything and everything that is stashed away for crafting let your creativity flow.
  14. Have a photography contest: Purchase disposable 35 mm cameras and shoot away. Set up contest parameters: a photograph of a bird, a flower.  For older children teach them about light and shadows and how to capture details.  Take them in for a one hour processing.
  15. Find a cave to explore: There are many wondrous things you can find in caves.  Research a little about the cave you are exploring.  Learn about what made the cave and what is inside.  This can be a fun geology project.
  16. Visit a ghost town: 100 years ago towns popped up all over the place for mining.  What makes it a ghost town?  Is it really haunted?  Learn the history of what it was like in its productive years and why it stands as a ghost now.  What happened to the people who lived there and why did they leave?
  17. Go on a Scavenger Hunt: There are many things that you can hunt for. Pick a theme and 10 items to search for.  Shells, rocks, flowers, birds, wildlife etc… See what you can find
  18. Go on a photography Scavenger Hunt: A fun way to “keep” items that are too big to take along, or to leave things where you found them is to go on a photograph hunt.  Pick 10 things to find and take a picture of.  Find 10 different colored flowers or find 10 animals or 10 different styles of buildings.  Have fun and be creative.   Use a digital camera and the images are easy to save with no cost.
  19. Make a photo book: Maybe you want to create a scavenger hunt photo book with the images you “hunted” for.  Or just take your top 10 pictures from your summer activities and create a fun photo book as a fond memory of your summer of fun or activity.
  20. Go for an early morning hike: It’s easy to sleep in and miss the sunrise. At our house mornings start early during the school days.  We are often hurried to get ready for our day.  Why not keep that early morning schedule and go for a hike and watch the sun rise.  The colors of the morning sunshine can be just as beautiful as those at sunset. Or just go for a hike early in the morning as a fun jump-start to the day ahead.
  21. Have a Luau in the backyard: Make paper leis, grass skirts and serve pineapple and use umbrellas in your drinks.  Have a hula hoop contest, limbo stick and pinata.  Don’t forget the flip-flops.
  22. Collect Shells at the Beach: Take an evening stroll along the beach and see what wondrous shells you can find.
  23. Collect Rocks from the Mountain: Maybe you don’t live by the beach.  Take a short hike and collect rocks.
  24. Build Cardboard Box Cars: Collect a few large boxes (furniture stores may save you a fridge or washer/dryer box) use paper plates for the wheels and steering wheel.  Get out the paints or markers and create your own box car.  Have box car races or take them to the drive-in movie.
  25. Have a Drive-In Movie Night: Find your favorite movie and project it onto a sheet or your garage door and have a drive-in movie night. Some libraries loan projectors if you don’t have access to one.  Take your cardboard box car and have a treat stand with popcorn and your favorite movie treats.
  26. Visit a Farmers Market: Farmers Market’s are popping up all over the place in my area. Everything from local honey and fresh produce to handmade items can be found.  Find one and see what you can fun stuff you can snag.  Supporting a local farmer supports their family directly.  No middleman and often a fresher item for you.
  27. Visit a Local Farm: Find a dairy or local farm and schedule a tour.
  28. Make Ice Cream: If you have an ice-cream maker, dig it out and try a new flavor. If you don’t try making it in a Ziploc bag using my recipe.
  29. Go Fishing: Check your local state for Free Fishing Day.
  30. Make Paper Boats and Race them in a kiddie pool: Take scrap paper and learn how to make a paper boat here.  Fill a small pool with water and see who can get their boat to the other side the fastest just by blowing on it, no hands allowed!
  31. Find a new Bike Trail: Get out the bike helmets and find a new trail.  Take a backpack with water and snacks and go on a sight-seeing ride.
  32. Go Ice Blocking: Ice Blocking is best suited for older children.  Find a large hill, buy a block of ice and bring along a towel.  Sit the ice on the ground at the top of the hill, sit the towel on top, sit on the towel and slide down the hill.  Watch out below!
  33. Have an Outdoor Painting Party: Give each person a plastic apron, large piece of cardboard and paints (hand paints are the best)  Create your own work of art.
  34. Visit a Fish Hatchery: Find a nearby fish hatchery and schedule a time that you can come watch them feed the fish.
  35. Plant a Flower: Kids love to get their hands dirty. This is a good way to teach them how to plant and care for a seed.  A sunflower seed in a paper cup is a fun way to start.
  36. Have a Pirate Day: Plan a day that has everything pirate.
  37. Have a Princess Day: Plan a day that has everything princess.
  38. Host a Neighborhood Carnival:  Do face painting, play games like bean bag toss, plunking, balloon darts…
  39. Visit a Museum: Take a day and find a local museum.  Find out what artifacts they have and why they are there.
  40. Make Beaded Jewelry: Buy some perler beads and create necklaces, key chain animals or other fun pieces of jewelry.
  41. Find a Fireworks Show: With Independence Day right around the corner there are many opportunities to watch fireworks.  Find a fun location and enjoy the show.
  42. Learn a Leather craft:  Leather crafts can be a lot of fun.  See if your local 4-H group has a leather craft day that you can participate in.
  43. Visit the Local Fire Station: Set up a tour of the local fire station. Let them know how many kids will be there.  Before you go, discuss any specific rules and what the role of your local fire fighters are.
  44. Go Roller Skating: Pull out the old skates and roller skate down the sidewalk. Some activity centers rent roller skates and some areas have roller skating rinks that you can test out your skills on wheels.
  45. Visit a Zoo or Aquarium: Visit a local zoo or aquarium. Learn about the animals that live there and what their natural habitats are like.  Look for hands-on experiences for your children.
  46. Run Through the Sprinklers: Simple yet fun, put on that swimming suit and get wet!
  47. Create a Backyard Obstacle Course: Ride your bike around the swing set 5 times, jump on the trampoline for 30 seconds, swing back and forth 10 times, jump rope 20 times, hula hoop for 15 seconds or 15 times around, make 2 baskets at the basketball hoop.  Time it and if you have enough participants put together 2 teams and see which team can get through the fastest.
  48. Host a Car Wash Day: Find a spot that you can wash cars. If you aren’t too savvy with the idea of hosting it yourself, many organizations host car wash fundraisers, volunteer at their fundraiser and help them make a difference.
  49. Put Together a Family Favorite’s Cookbook and Publish it as a Christmas Gift: Spend a month cooking and putting together your favorite family recipes.  Have the kids draw pictures or take a picture of the meal after they prepared it.  Put it together in a 3- ring binder and let them give away their favorite cook book as a Christmas Gift.
  50. Go for a horseback ride: If you haven’t been on a horse find an outfitter or somewhere that gives riding lessons.  Spend a day learning about horses and how to ride them and enjoy learning about the animal.
  51. Volunteer at an Animal Adoption Center: Many animal adoption centers allow volunteers to come in and spend a few minutes with their animals. Kids love to play with a dog and a dog loves spending time with a child.  It’s a great way to teach older children that an animal needs to be loved and how to care for them.
  52. Learn a Song and Put on a Performance for a Senior Citizen Center or Take a Book and Read Stories: I have a cousin who works at a senior citizen center and she always talks about how lonely some of the residents are. Their family lives out-of-town or doesn’t visit often.  Find a time that your family can go visit with some of the residents and prepare a song performance or take along a book.
  53. Find an Outdoor Festival or Concert: Art in the park is a fun activity one of our local communities host during the summer.  They have band concerts Sunday evenings and present local artists and their artwork on Saturday mornings.  It’s a free fun outing.
  54. Visit a nearby State or Federal Park or Historical Site (Learn why it is there): There are historical sites all over our country.  You can do a simple web search for parks near your location or historical sites in your city/town and see what you can find.  Learn all you can about why it is there then visit it.
  55. Earn your Junior Ranger Badge at a National Park: My daughter loves to earn her Junior Ranger Badge.  Every time we visit a National Park we always stop by the visitors’ center first and get the information she will need to fulfill the requirements.  It’s a good learning experience for the whole family.
  56. Go Bowling in the backyard with pop bottles and a playground ball: Save those pop and water bottles.  Fill them with water or sand and set them up in the back yard.  Use a playground ball and see how many you can knock over.
  57. Write a play and act it out: The imagination of children amazes me.  Let their imaginations soar.  Let them write a play and give each person a part.  Pull out props and act it out.
  58. Go on a Dinosaur Hunt: A friend of mine saves all her chicken bones when she is baking.  She buries them in the backyard.  She has a dinosaur hunt to dig up all the “dinosaur” bones left in their yard.  They use hand shovels and shoe boxes on their archaeology dig.
  59. Have A Board Game Marathon: Pull out all your board games and have a board game marathon.  Stay in your pj’s… have finger foods for the day and just play all day.
  60. Go to a Free Kid’s Workshop at a store like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Pottery Barn: Several stores offer a Hands-on-learning workshop for kids.  They get to learn a new skill and make a fun craft.
  61. Make Paper Bag Puppets and have a Puppet Show: Print puppies, giraffes, cats, elephants and other fun faces onto paper.  Cut them out and glue to a paper bag.  Tell a story or have a puppet show with your new friends.
  62. Have a tea party and dress up: Plan a tea party complete with doilies and bonnets
  63. Make your own variation of S’mores:  There are a lot of fun variations.  Get creative.
  64. Make Bird Feeders with Pine cones: Roll in Peanut Butter and Bird Seed put where you can watch it from a shady spot and try to identify the birds that come by for a snack or learn something new about one of your new feathered friends.
  65. Find an antique shop and discover something that you “used to use” as a child: Antique stores are like a museum to children.  Browse the store and find something that you played with or remember from your childhood.  Take a stroll down memory lane and share those memories with your kids.
  66. Have a dance party: Make a disco ball out of aluminum foil.  Find some fun tunes and turn up the radio.  Let the kids show off their moves… don’t forget to share some of your own with them.
  67. Sing Karaoke: Find a Karaoke machine.  Google the words to your favorite songs and take turns singing karaoke.  Mix it up and do your karaoke and dance party together.
  68. Have a candlelight dinner: Dress in your favorite Sunday best, put out the nicest table-cloth and candlesticks.  Fix a fun dinner that you would order at your favorite restaurant.  Put on some classical music and enjoy your meal.
  69. Plan a mystery dinner: Create a menu complete with made-up names. Have members of your family order what they would like.  Make it interesting by having them use unusual utensils to eat such as a spatula or wooden stirring spoon.
  70. Have a progressive neighborhood dinner: Involve 4 families:  Start at one home for your appetizer, at the next home have a salad,  then go to another for your dinner and finally finish at the last home with dessert
  71. Have a cookie party: Have several friends each bring a dozen of their favorite cookies along with the recipe. Offer drinks and taste test each type of cookie.
  72. Make a giant slip-n-slide: With plastic and the garden hose a slip-n-slide can be made anywhere.
  73. Play night games: Use glow sticks and play hide-n-seek in the dark, plan out a mystery to discover.
  74. Take a local history tour: If your area or somewhere nearby has some interesting history or historical importance do some research and tour the area. One of my favorites is to find 5-10 pony express locations and follow them one to another.  By horse it generally took 1-2 days for 5 stops.  How long did it take you by car?
  75. Host your own Back-yard Summer Olympics: Archery, volleyball, football, basketball, weightlifting, sprints, relay races.  Make “gold” medals out of felt, glitter paper, cookies or even a doughnut.

Time Flies

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5 Responses to 75 Things to do over the Summer with the Kids

  1. I absolutely love this! Thanks for sharing it with us. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. We can’t wait to party with you! Lou Lou Girls

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Great list. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you stopping by to party with us. We hope to see you, tonight at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls


  3. veronica lee says:

    Gotta love summer! Great list, BTW!
    Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club.
    Have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

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