20 Fun Summer Activity Ideas for Kids

Summer days stretch out before you, waiting to be filled with memory-making activities and games. But some days creative play ideas can be hard to come by. If you are drawing a blank when trying to come up with ideas, here are 20 easy-to-implement activities sure to make your summer day a fun one!

  1. Make a Daisy Necklace -Use your thumbnail to create a slit in the stem of a daisy, just below the head of the flower. Pull another daisy stem through the slit. Repeat until you have a chain the length that you want. Connect the last daisy to the first.
  2. Pet Rocks -Use acrylic paints and googly eyes to turn ordinary rocks into custom creations.
  3. Create a Mural -Attach an old sheet to a wall and let your kids create a mural with tempera paint and large brushes.
  4. Sand Sculptures -Create sand sculptures by hand, or buy a sand sculpture kit for more intense projects.
  5. Draw with Sidewalk Chalk -Kids can practice skills like writing their names or drawing shapes, or just get creative.
  6. Stick Art -Gather small sticks and glue them to cardboard or thick paper to create works of art. Craft glue is recommended.
  7. Natural Mobile -Use string or yarn to attach leaves, pinecones, stones, etc. to a large branch, creating a natural mobile.
  8. Custom Shades -Use puffy paint to turn some cheap sunglasses into works of art!
  9. Sprinkler Fun -Turn on the sprinkler and let kids run through on a baking hot day. Try a game of Simon says, sprinkler-style, to up the fun.
  10. Homemade Birdfeeders - Tie a string to a pinecone. Cover pinecones with peanut butter and roll in birdseed. Hang in a tree and watch for feathered visitors.
  11. Nature Scavenger Hunt - Make a list of things that your kids will be able to find in your yard, and set them loose.
  12. Flower Art Book - Collect several typesof wildflowers and identify them using a wildflower guide. Place a flower on a sheet of paper and cover it with a sheet of paper towel. Use a hammer to lightly tap on the paper towel, being sure to tap the entire area where the flower is. Peel back the paper towel and discard the paper towel and smashed flowers. Write the name of the flower next to the "painting". Repeat with several more flowers on different sheets of paper. Create a cover, and staple the whole book together.
  13. Color Search - Hunt for colors around the yard. Try to find the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  14. Create a Mini Terrarium - Fill a glass jar with 1" of stones. Add 3" of potting soil. Add some small plants from around your yard (moss, dandelions, etc.). Spritz with water and cover securely with a lid. Store inside on a sunny windowsill, opening to mist with water only if it looks dry.
  15. Casting Animal Tracks - Find a nice clear animal track in mud or sand. Cut a 3" x 22" strip of poster board and create a circle, securing with paper clips or staples. Place the circle around the animal track, pressing the poster board slightly into the ground to make a secure edge so that the plaster does not escape. Mix up plaster of Paris according to package directions. Slowly pour the plaster into the poster board circle, being sure not to pour directly on top of the track. Let the plaster harden according to package directions, then remove your cast, take off the poster board mold, and brush to remove excess dirt. Back at home, use an animal track identification guide to determine what type of animal made the print.
  16. Grow a Sunflower House -Plant sunflowers in a large circle. When they grow, your kids will have a great time playing in their sunflower house!
  17. Blow a Gazillion Bubbles - Seriously, what kid doesn't like bubbles? Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
  18. Go Fly A Kite - Go to the beach or somewhere where there are few trees or overhead wires and enjoy a summer breeze.
  19. Ice Block Treasure Hunt- Freeze small dollar-store toys into a large block of ice (an old milk or juice jug works well to freeze them in). Give kids a few child-safe tools (child-sized hammers, toy screwdriver, etc.), and watch them excavate the frozen goodies.
  20. Photo Hunt- Take up-close photos of things around the yard on your phone or a tablet. Let kids see the pictures and hunt to find the matching objects.

These fun summer activities give you some great fallback options for when the kids get bored. Be creative and adjust the activity ideas to suit your family. And enjoy your summer!

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