Boredom Busters! The Ultimate List of 38 Summer Activities for Kids

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38 Summer Activities for Kids | Looking for ideas to keep your kids busy at home this summer that are fun and educational? Whether you have toddlers, kids in preschool or kindergarten, or older kids, there are tons of things to do that are inexpensive and easy to setup. Check out our favorite indoor and outdoor summer activities, as well as summer group games for kids and summer science experiments designed for the mad scientists in your life! #summeractivities #summercrafts #summergames

If you’re looking for ideas to keep you kids entertained at home this summer that are both fun and educational, we’ve got you covered! Whether you have toddlers, kids in preschool or kindergarten, or older kids, there are tons of fun things to do that are inexpensive and easy to setup. Check out our favorite indoor and outdoor summer activities, group games and ice breakers, as well as some super fun science experiments to keep your kids engaged and learning this summer!

9 Indoor Summer Activities

Rainy days can be a real drag in the summer months, but if you have the right materials on hand, there are tons of great indoor activities you can setup to keep your little ones from climbing the walls. From arts and crafts, to indoor scavenger hunts and obstacle courses, to no fuss science experiments, these ideas are sure to beat cabin fever!

1) Fun with Masking Tape
If you’re looking for indoor activities for bad weather days, you’ll be amazed at what you can do with a little masking tape and imagination. From tightrope walking to creating complex obstacle courses, the possibilities are endless!

2) Rainy Day Scavenger Hunt | Mom Dot
Scavenger hunts are a great way to keep entertained and moving when you’re stuck indoors, and the internet is filled with ideas to keep you inspired. This rainy day scavenger hunt is a great no fuss option, and I love that it comes with a free printable!

3) Button Bracelets | Red Ted Art
This is a simple, wearable craft for kids to do. This project will walk you through how to use string to make a two-layer button bracelet. It’s completely customizable in terms of size and color, making it a great gift idea to boot!

4) Frozen Oobleck Sensory Play | Learning and Exploring Through Play
Frozen oobleck can be made from cornstarch, water and food coloring (or without the food coloring) and provides endless hours of melty, gooey, messy fun. Oobleck is based on the Caldecott Award winning book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess and feels like gooey playdough. Your kids will love it!

5) Obstacle Courses
If you’re feeling really inspired (and desperate, LOL), setting up several gross motor activities into an obstacle course can be a lot of fun when you’re stuck inside. Get creative with pillows, masking tape, an exercise ball, hula hoops, jumping rope, an indoor tunnel, and any other props you have lying around the house.

6) Jigsaw Puzzle Hunt
If you have jigsaw puzzles around your home, use them to create a fun game. Hide the parts of the puzzle around a room or parts of your house and give clues as to where to find the pieces. Just make sure you keep track! Once all the pieces are found, you can build the puzzle together.

7) Clothespin and Button Cars | Crafts by Amanda
This clothespin and button car is sure to be a hit with your little ones, and you can add a little extra bling with paints, glue, glitter, and sequins!

8) Dictionary Scavenger Hunt | Hunter’s Teaching Tales
If you’re looking for educational activities to keep your kids learning this summer, this is the perfect way to give your kids extra practice with their dictionary skills. Grab your dictionary and keep this idea in your back pocket for rainy days.

9) Board Games
Board games are another staple for bad weather days when you’re stuck inside, and they offer a great way to spend quality time with your little ones. Here are some of our favorites!

  • Learning Resources Lil’ Lemonade Stand-Off. I’ve never met a Learning Resources game or toy that has disappointed me throughout my career as a mom, and this game is no exception. It’s a memory building game designed for kids aged 5 and older, and while the premise of the game is simple enough for kids to grasp and play without adult supervision, the cards can be quite challenging!
  • Operation. This is a great game to help kids work on their fine motor skills! Players take turns removing wacky ailments from the game board using a set of tweezers, and have to be careful to remove each piece with precision so as not to set off the buzzer. This is an oldie but goodie your kids will love!
  • Scrabble. Scrabble is a great game for kids who struggle with planning and organization. As the game progresses, they must strategize and anticipate how they can build their own words off of those already played by others. This is also a great game for kids who struggle with spelling and/or vocabulary!
  • HedBanz. If you’ve never played HedBanz, you’re in for a REAL treat. Not only is this game fun, the question and answer premise behind this game will also challenge your child’s critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills. This is definitely high on my list of indoor activities to enjoy with your kids this summer!
  • Stare! Junior. This game will challenge your child’s memory, concentration, and imagination all at the same time. Players are given 30 seconds to stare at an image on a card, and then the card is flipped over and another player asks them a series of questions about the image to see how much they can remember. It’s heaps of fun!

9 Outdoor Summer Activities

Looking for backyard ideas to keep your children busy this summer? From games and obstacle courses, to scavenger hunts and water activities, to nature crafts and super fun science experiments, these ideas will not disappoint!

1) Summer Scavenger Hunt | Toot’s Mom is Tired
This is a great scavenger hunt for toddlers, especially during the summer months when nature’s bounty abounds. Your little one will search for easy-to-spot objects such as leaves, dandelions and other outdoor goodies.

2) Paint with Water
This is one of my favorite summer water activities for kids as it requires next to no setup, but always keeps my daughter occupied longer than I expect it to! Fill up a bucket with water, give your kids a set of different-sized paint brushes and let them ‘paint’ your driveway, patio, or balcony. This activity works best on really hot days as the water dries quickly, allowing them to create new masterpieces over and over again.

3) Make Your Own Sprinkler
Did you know you can make your own sprinkler out of a plastic bottle? Housing a Forest has all the details HERE.

4) Outdoor Window Painting | Simple Fun for Kids
With the right paint kids can use large windows or sliding doors as a canvas to paint to their hearts content. The bright colors look amazing and cheerful on your windows, and it hoses right off when you’re done!

5) Water Blob | Clumsy Crafter
This DIY water blob by Clumsy Crafter is high on my list of outdoor summer activities for kids I’d like to try. It looks like heaps of fun, and she makes it look so easy to make! I especially love her idea of adding glitter as I think that would make it extra fun.

6) Pool Noodle Water Wall | Teaching Mama
There are so many ways you can have fun with pool noodles (we’ve written an entire blog post full of ideas HERE), and this pool noodle water wall by Teaching Mama is super easy to recreate. All you need is a peg board (you can buy one at any hardware store), some zip ties, pool noodles, and funnels, and your kids will have fun for hours. I also love the idea of taking this inside and using it as a marble run on bad weather days!

7) Nighttime Scavenger Hunt
If you have older kids, let them partake in a fun outdoor nighttime adventure. Give them a list of items that are in your backyard or the surrounding area and hand them a flashlight to get to work.

8) Super Soaker Sponge Balls | Natural Beach Living
Creating your own summer water activities for kids has never been easier than with this super soaker sponge ball idea by Natural Beach Living! All you need are a few sponges, some string, and a bucket of water, and your kids will be squealing with delight!

9) Trampoline Fun
If your backyard is big enough for a trampoline, there are HEAPS of ways the whole family can have fun together while simultaneously helping to develop your child’s gross motor skills. Family Days Tried and Tested has a ton of trampoline fun ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

11 Summer Group Games for Kids

Whether you’re looking for ice breakers and team building games for summer camp, or need fun group activities to keep kids entertained at this year’s family reunion, these ideas will inspire you. From backyard games and water activities, to minute to win it and gross motor activities, these ideas will not disappoint!

1) Spray Bottle Freeze Tag | Kid Activities Blog
If you’re looking for summer water activities for kids, Spray Bottle Freeze Tag is pure genius as it gets kids moving while also keeping them cool during the summer heat!

2) Wheelbarrow Races
If you’re looking for no mess summer group games for kids, this is a great one to try! Pair kids up in teams of 2, with one person lying tummy-side down on the ground. The person who is standing must hold their team member’s ankles and help them walk on their hands (hence the term ‘wheelbarrow race’) to the finish line. It’s surprisingly difficult to do, and a great way to encourage kids to work together as partners.

3) Water Balloon Pinatas
If you have a clothesline and clothespins (this clothesline set from Amazon is fairly inexpensive), water balloon pinatas is another one of my favorite summer group games for kids! I first saw this idea on Paging Fun Mums, and I think you and your little ones will love it.

4) Water Balloon Fights
Water balloons are definitely one of the best summer activities for kids, and Amazon sells ‘Bunch O Balloons’, which allow you to fill and tie 105 water balloons in less than 60 seconds. I’m serious! Invite your child’s BFFs over for a playdate, gather the neighborhood kids together, or setup a family water balloon fight at your next reunion. The possibilities are endless!

5) Water Balloon Pass
Speaking of water balloons, this is another one of my favorite summer group games for kids. You can obviously use regular balls, but water balloons make it extra fun and motivating in my opinion. Divide your group of kids into pairs of 2, and have everyone line up so they are facing their partner with a few feet between one another. Next, have one player toss a water balloon to his or her partner. Each time a player catches a water balloon without it breaking, the partners each take one step backwards, which obviously makes the game more challenging. The object of the game is to see which team reaches the end of the playing area first, although you will obviously continue the game until all teams have finished.

6) Water War | Fred Meyer
If you’re looking for ways to stay cool while spending time outdoors, this game of Water War I found on Fred Meyer is a great option. All you need is a couple decks of playing cards, a plastic water pitcher, and plastic cups.

7) Group Jump Rope
Did you ever do this as a kid? I did and it’s super fun and challenging! Divide players into teams of about 5 or 6 and challenge them to jump in tandem while 2 adults turn the rope. You’ll need a long jump rope like this one, and while this activity sounds easy, it really does require teamwork for everyone to jump at the same time. Give each team a trial run, and then setup a challenge to see which team can jump the longest.

8) Hula Hoop Pass
This is probably one of the most popular team building activities for kids, but for those who’ve never heard of it, it’s quite easy to replicate. Have your kids stand side-by-side in a line and ask them to hold hands. Place a hula hoop on the arm of the first person on one end of the line, and then challenge the kids to move the hula hoop to the other end of the line while continuing to hold hands. It’s fun and silly and a great way to get children to work as a team!

9) Fill the Bucket
If you’re looking for summer water activities for kids that can be enjoyed independently or as a group, ‘fill the bucket’ is a great option to consider. All you need is one big bucket of water as well as a sponge and small bucket for each player. The idea is for each child to run to the bucket of water, fill their sponge, and then race back to their own bucket to squeeze as much water out as possible. The first person to fill their bucket wins!

10) Relay Races
Relay races are a fabulous way to get kids to work collaboratively and there are so many different ideas you can try with your kids. Check out this list of 45 ideas over on Kid Activities for a little inspiration!

11) Balloon Walking
The last of my summer group games ideas for kids doubles as a great ice breaker. Ask everyone to line up side-by-side and hold hands before placing a balloon in between the shoulders of each child. The object of the activity is for the entire group to walk in a line without any of the balloons popping or falling to the ground. It’s heaps of fun!

9 Summer Science Experiments

Calling all mad scientists! If you’re looking for simple and fun ways to keep your kids entertained and learning this summer, these STEM-inspired science projects will not disappoint! With tons of sensory play options for little hands, you’ll be amazed what you can do with household items like baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring!

1) Leak-Proof Bag | Paging Fun Mum!
Grab some ziplock bags and pencils and make these awesome leak-proof bags with your kids! This makes an excellent outdoor activity for hot summer days, but you can also do it in the bathtub when you’re stuck indoors.

2) Oil and Water Experiment | Growing a Jeweled Rose
This is a great indoor activity for bad weather days, and it’s easy to setup and super fun for kids. All you need is a pie pan, food coloring, oil, and pipettes, and your kids will be occupied for hours as they learn that oil and water do not mix! This is a great way to help kids return to a state of zen after a busy day – watching the different colors and patterns form is extremely calming!

3) Tide Pool Science Experiment | Buggy and Buddy
This mimics the natural phenomenon of low and high tide, and can be done as a mini-science experiment. And it doubles as a sensory box to play with outside!

4) Erupting Watermelons | Learn Play Imagine
If you’ve got watermelon fans in your household, this is sure to be a hit. All you need is some Koolaid (watermelon flavor is recommended!), baking soda, dish soap, and squirt bottles, and you can re-create this experiment over and over again!

5) Blow up a Balloon with Vinegar and Baking Soda | Coupons are Great!
If you want to keep your kids engaged and learning this summer, this is a great science experiment for kids! It’s mess free and really easy to setup – all you need is some baking soda, vinegar, a balloon, a water bottle, and a funnel – and it’s always a hit with little ones.

6) Fireworks in a Glass | Paging Fun Mums!
If you’re looking for 4th of July or Canada Day Activities, this is a great one to consider! All you need is a glass, food coloring, water, and vinegar, and you can create all kinds of colors and patterns!

7) Walking on Eggs | Playdough to Plato
Ever wondered how hens can sit on their eggs without breaking them? This science experiment for kids is a great way to get little learners thinking, and it’s super fun to boot!

8) Plastic Bag Ice Cream | Teach Mama
My sweet girl has a dairy intolerance so we’ve been unable to try this one, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about plastic bag ice cream. It sounds like the perfect summer experiment to enjoy as a family, and rumor has it that it’s super delicious, too!

9) Exploding Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment | Tinkerlab
If you haven’t tried to explode Mentos in diet coke, are you even a parent? LOL. This is so much fun, and your kids will enjoy it over and over (and over!) again.

I hope this collection of summer activities for kids inspires you to find new and creative ways to connect with your kids and fight boredom this summer – and beyond!

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38 Summer Activities for Kids | Looking for ideas to keep your kids busy at home this summer that are fun and educational? Whether you have toddlers, kids in preschool or kindergarten, or older kids, there are tons of things to do that are inexpensive and easy to setup. Check out our favorite indoor and outdoor summer activities, as well as summer group games for kids and summer science experiments designed for the mad scientists in your life! #summeractivities #summercrafts #summergames

And if you’re looking for more ways to have fun at home with your children year-round, please follow our Kids bored where we share all kinds of great ideas we find each day!



Gwen
Gwen
Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 8-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.