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Summer Activities for Kids - What are Your Suggestions?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 



When school is out and kids have a lot of free time on their hands parents everywhere are looking for things for them to do at home that don't cost much and don't require being driven somewhere. What are your best tips for keeping kids busy during the summer? Share your best ideas and we'll enter your post into a draw for $25 Amazon Gift Card. You may post more than once if you wish but your post should share some good ideas, resources, or how-to's. thumb.gif

post #2 of 41

Picnics in the park/forest preserve

backyard picnics


nature walks/treasure hunt walks

Lemonade stand

obstacle courses in the yard

post #3 of 41

- Story time, reading a book series or longer book with an older DC

- cooking together, theme cooking is fun too, example: plan a whole day around a certain culture, make a dish, read a story, watch a video, play music related to that theme

- Dancing, using music or instruments, dressing in a costume

- Make homemade icecream or other frozen treats

- Firefly catching

- Planting a garden/watching it grow/harvesting

- Neighborhood play time with other kids: planned games, moms hang out,etc

-Have a parade

- Sidewalk chalk coloring

- Bubble blowing


post #4 of 41

We love to plan a backyard camping trip. We set up a tent for the weekend, and cook our food on the grill. 


During the day, we learn about nature with various activities.


At night, we use flashlights and plan activities like star gazing. We always buy plenty of glow sticks and sometimes we hide them around the yard and go on a "hunt".


It's fun, and it brings us closer together. We also save on utilities!

post #5 of 41

Here are some things my babes and I love (they are younger) 


Eat meals outside (breakfast at 6am in the yard is fun) 

Street fairs! The ones near us have crafts for kids, bands playing, yummy food 


Finding a stream to splash in 

Looking for water holes 


Parks! Tons of parks, esp in the evening before dinner to wear them out

BBQ potlucks with friends

Summer festivals!

Riding the NYC ferry 


post #6 of 41

Free Concerts at the Park 

Shakespeare in the Park

Summer reading programs 

Mud Runs - yes my kids love any excuse to get dirty

Free Family days at local Museums 

Drive In Movies with friends


For more summer ideas I have a list here. 



post #7 of 41

We're definitely having fun with our Lil' learning to ride his bicycle.  Also trips to the park playing chase and all kinds of tag ~ freeze, stick-in-the-mud, and cartoon.  Water guns are loads of fun on hot days.  We might try doing tie dye later in this summer.  Relay races are fun when friends are around, bean bag toss, too.  O and we love, love, love to garden and see all our wonderful vegetables growing.  He loves to help me bake, too. :O)

post #8 of 41

Water, water, and more water!  My one year old loves the kiddie pool, his water table, and playing with ice cubes. 

post #9 of 41

summer fun= creating a shady story time tent with a huge cloth over a low branch of a tree.


                     making campfire shadow puppet stages with an embroidery hoop and white cloth and cutting out poster board figures to move on a wooden stick


                      wet felting a big rug with soapy wet feet in a kiddy pool.


                     Suzanne Down



                      sign up for the free story newsletter online and enjoy monthly stories for young children and a puppet making activity.

post #10 of 41

Go to the Farmers Market or Harvest your own fruits and veggies from home. 

Then, prepare a light summery meal together incorporating all of your harvested goodies.

Fresh fruit and veggie salads, veggie pizza, grilled veggies, smoothies, popsicles, etc

Once everything is made, sit outside with friends and family and share the goodness!

post #11 of 41

Be sure to check out your local library!   I'm a librarian and we have tons of activities (free!) for kids and teens this summer.  Some of them are kind of passive, like our summer reading program, but a lot of them are classes, workshops, and activities.

post #12 of 41

Playing with COLD!


Have had loads of fun making popsicles of a huge variety of liquids ranging from juice, to fruit puree, to coconut and almond milk. Best to have a few sets so that it isn't too hard to wait for them to freeze!


Making homemade ice creams and sorbets and inventing new flavour combos


Taking as many shapes and sizes of tupperware containers as will fit in the freezer and fill them with different coloured water (and glitter if you're daring).  Take them outside and begin to experiment with stacking, sculpting, shaping.  Bring along some salt and watch what happens and how it helps blocks stick together


Find a big container and fill it with water and throw in some small items and stick it in the freezer. Pull it out and set the kiddies loose with a variety of objects with which to excavate and release the treasures.  With multiple kids, have them make surprises for each other

post #13 of 41

wii and cartoons?  ;)


Obviously, I'm here looking for ideas. 

post #14 of 41

Definitely summer reading at the public library!

Planting a garden

Playing outside with neighbors

Building a fort

Visiting family

Rearranging rooms so all seems new again

Board games and card games

Visiting cheap/free parks and museums in our area (playing tourist in our city)




Suggestion: If your kids are old enough to write (or dictate to you) let them make a list of things they'd like to do. If they are school-aged, have them also figure out the cheap/free things.

post #15 of 41

That cracked me up. I totally know where you're coming from!

post #16 of 41
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

wii and cartoons?  ;)


Obviously, I'm here looking for ideas. 

That cracked me up. I totally know where you're coming from!


post #17 of 41

Get a big pail full of water and a couple foam paint brushes.  Let the kids "paint" the driveway or the deck with water.

post #18 of 41

Long hikes and camping trips

Smoking salmon

Berry picking and preserving

Huge neighborhood picnics 

Avoiding bears


Are we just too Alaskan for words, or what?

post #19 of 41
Every summer we have some sort of framework around our activities. One year we did Hogwarts Summer School. We had herbology (gardening), transfiguration (cleaning), potions (sciencey stuff), Muggle Studies (summer bridge books), care of magical creatures (pets), etc. Another year we did Olympian Day Camp. We did a lot with Greek mythology that year and modeled it after the Percy Jackson books. This summer we are The Red Herring Detective Agency and are reading lots of mysteries. We're working together through a book called The Fallacy Detective and got a crime scene science book from the library. We do 2 Minute Mysteries every day and go on "neighborhood spy walks". We are listening to a Sisters Grimm book on CD (also from the library) which has opened the door to fairy tale activities. Our read alouds have been Blue Balliet's books (Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, and The Calder Game) which have led to lots of explorations of art. We get most of what we need from the library and use what we have at home.
post #20 of 41

-Visit the park

-Swim (lake, pool, splash park - mix it up)

-walk everywhere we can (we live in a small city)

-Ride bikes (my kids are 4 and 2, so I either let the 4yo ride and push/wear the baby or put them both in the bike trailer and I ride)

-Ice cream at the ice cream shop (we usually bike or walk there, and we mix up which one we go to)

-Small amusment park (its super laid back, we brign a picnic lunc hand dinner and make a day out of kiddie rides and the splash portion of the water park)

-Hike (kids friendly hikes, short so I can wear 2yo or smoothish path so I can take the jogger, bring lunch and stop to play/eat - ideally at a creek)

-Library - especially storytime!

-Picnics everywhere lol (park, backyard, etc)

-Watch storms from front porch (or just inside the door if its bad)

-Catch fireflies

-Catch other bugs/reptiles etc

-Farmers market (my kids love this because they always get free samples lol!)

-Pick your own anything...we especially seem to enjoy pick your own blueberries though - its easy for them!

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