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15 Summer Activities for Kids to Keep Them Entertained

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Summer is officially here, and along with rising temperatures and sunnier days comes a ton of free time for the littlest members of your home. Whether your kids are off from school for the summer or you have a few free weekends penciled into your calendar, summer is the perfect time to turn up the dial on fun and creativity. Sure, you may have a vacation planned here, a pool day there, or a summer camp scheduled in-between, but we’re willing to bet that for the majority of the summer, your kids will be coming to you begging for something to do. But you might be left scratching your brain wondering the best summer activities for kids.

The good news? Ensuring your kids have a great time this summer doesn’t have to be complicated—or cost a ton of money. That’s why we put together some creative activities to help keep your kids entertained through every lazy afternoon, rainy day, and bout of boredom. From free coloring pages and at-home popsicles to a bike parade, these ideas will help your little ones channel their energy, engage their creativity, and make lots of memories. Say “hello” to weeks of summer fun!

1. Download Our Free Printable Coloring Pages

Rainy days are inevitable, even during summer. If you’re looking for an easy, mess-free activity to entertain your kids during an afternoon storm, look no further than our (free!) coloring pages. With illustrations based on different themes, there’s something that will inspire every little artist.

2. Go On a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Ignite a love for the great outdoors in your little explorers by organizing a nature scavenger hunt. The concept is easy: Make a list of items commonly found in a nearby forest or park (think acorns, pinecones, dandelions, or a four-leaf clover), then encourage your kids to work their way through the list until they’ve found them all.

3. Plant a Mini Garden

It’s never too early to start working a green thumb! If your kiddos have shown interest in gardening, this summer could be the perfect time to help them grow their passion. Start small with a few terracotta pots and easy-to-grow plants, like herbs, tomatoes, or flowers.

4. Set Up an Outdoor Movie Night

Itching to watch the latest Netflix release? Instead of cuddling up together on the couch, take your next movie night outdoors under the stars. All you need is a white sheet (hung from the side of your house or between two trees) and a projector—plus a few pillows and blankets to make things comfy. (And don’t forget some bug spray!)

5. Make a Fairy House

Who says Christmas gets all the magic? This summer, bring a bit of enchantment to your own backyard by making a fairy house with your kids. Simply pick up any wooden home at your local craft store, paint it pretty (make sure to add lots of glitter!), and add woodland accessories like tiny mushrooms, moss, and small accessories.

6. Create a “Car” Wash

Kids love an excuse to play with water, especially during the summer. To help them cool down—and keep them busy!—set up a “car” wash for their toys. Fill up a bucket with cool water, a few sponges, and some baby shampoo; mud optional (but encouraged!)

7. Paint With Sidewalk Chalk

Ever wonder what to do with all those broken pieces of sidewalk chalk? Turn them into paint! By pulverizing them down further using a hammer and mixing them with water, you’ll end up with a mud-like mixture that’s easy to paint with using brushes. (Just be careful when using the hammer and make sure to never leave your little ones alone with dangerous tools.) Get ready for your sidewalks and driveway to get much more colorful!

8. Build a Backyard Obstacle Course

Staying active is incredibly important for children, but there are only so many backyard games of tag they can play. For something a little different, set up a backyard obstacle course for them to work their way through, complete with fun challenges like hula hooping, jumping rope, and more.

9. Tie-Dye T-Shirts

Tie-dye is basically the unofficial uniform of summer (along with bug spray and sunscreen, of course!), so making your own tees is a great way to kick off the season. Invite kids to choose the colors and twirl their own designs for a look that is as unique as they are.

10. Camp Close to Home

Vacations are fun, but they’re also a lot of work for the adults in the group (hi, it’s us!) This summer, take some of the pressure off and keep things close to home with a campout in the backyard. Set up a tent, start a fire, toast some s’mores, and go inside to use the bathroom whenever you need.

11. Plan a Bike Parade

Take inspiration from Memorial Day and the Fourth of July and host your own parade through the streets of your neighborhood. Start by encouraging your kiddos (and any neighborhood children) to deck out their bikes with balloons, bells, streamers, and other accessories. From there, they can pedal through the neighborhood to enjoy their moment in the spotlight.

12. Make Homemade Popsicles

If your children are anything like most, they’re probably downing popsicles left and right come summer. Instead of making multiple runs a week to the grocery store, why not make your own? From fruity yogurt pops to zesty citrus, coming up with winning flavor combinations will be half the fun.

13. Go On a Playground Tour

It’s easy to fall into a routine once summer rolls around, so any opportunity to mix things up a bit will certainly excite your little ones. Instead of heading to your usual haunt, take your kiddos on a tour of local playgrounds, trying a new spot every few days as a fun way to switch up your routine and meet new friends.

14. Rock the Block With Kindness

As a parent, there are many traits we hope to instill in our children, kindness chief among them. This summer, help your kids spread good vibes by painting rocks with fun designs and leave them as a fun surprise in the yards of your neighbors, local parks, or nearby businesses.

15. Hunt for Constellations

There’s nothing more magical than spending a warm summer night under the stars—and it’s also a great learning opportunity for children. The next time there’s a clear, warm night, take your kids outside for a constellation hunt. You can search the skies for easy-to-find constellations like the Little and Big Dipper, Orion, and Ursa Minor.

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