Fun Things for Kids To Do At Home This Summer

Summer activities are different this year while families are following shelter-in-place guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak. However, kids can still enjoy a summer of fun from home. Whether you have an active child who loves the outdoors or a creative kid who adores arts and crafts, there are endless opportunities for fun things to do home this summer. Take this time at home to bond with your little ones, explore their interests, and showcase their creative talents with this list of summer activities for kids.

Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids

There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. From backyard field days to family picnics, take advantage of the warm weather with our list of fun outdoor activities that will keep your kids smiling all summer long.

Plant A Garden

girl and dad gardening flowers

Do your kids like to play in the dirt? Start a garden and let the kids do the planting, watering, and weeding. Gardening with kids is not only fun but an amazing educational experience for the whole family.  Let them pick out their favorite flowers, plants, fruits, or vegetables that they will love watching flourish. Not long after you start gardening, if everything goes well, you’ll get the satisfaction of eating your results.

Go Exploring On A Nature Walk

young girl looking at plants in nature

Summer is the perfect season to explore nature with the kids, whether it’s at a local park or right in your backyard. Bring a jar (with holes poked in the lid) or a pen and paper to help your child to make observations about the bugs and other interesting bits of nature they collect or see.

Host An Ice Cream Social

Kids eating ice cream in the summer

Celebrate the season and kick off summer with an ice cream social with the kids. Make homemade ice cream as a family — or buy ice cream and sundae toppings — and invite kids from the neighborhood over to mingle and play. Make sure to follow the social distancing guidelines for your area and keep your meetup small.

Make Tie-Dye Shirts

Tie-dye is a fun thing for both kids and adults to do in the summertime. Tie-dying is a perfect activity for kids because it involves creative expression, a little messiness, and doesn’t require perfection. You can either dye an old stained white t-shirt of theirs or pick out something new for them to experiment with. Make sure to always supervise your kids throughout the entire tie-dying process. Tie-dye can get messy, so everyone should wear protective gear and cover their work area to guard against spills.

Plan A Neighborhood Bike Parade

little girl with decorated bike

Create a special day for the kids in your neighborhood with a bike parade. Encourage your kids to dress up in festive attire and decorate their bikes with flags, streamers, stickers, and more. Let them cruise around the neighborhood to show off their creation while the neighbors watch. To add an extra special touch to their bike ride attire, make them a personalized water bottle or drawstring backpack that matches your kid’s sense of style.

Play With Chalk

Playing with sidewalk chalk is a fun activity perfect for a warm sunny day. Whether they set up hopscotch, outline the family, or create an artistic masterpiece, let your and your children’s imagination run wild with all the chalk colors of the rainbow. If you don’t have a cement area at your home, you can put up an easel chalkboard outside for the kids to draw on.

Turn Your Backyard Into A Water Park

Family Running Through Garden Sprinkler

For hot days when you’re looking for activities to do in the backyard, set up a DIY water park for a fun way to cool off. Turn your humble lawn into a water park by setting up cheap sprinklers, a slip n’ slide, and water guns. Your kids will have a blast playing in the sunshine while they’re home for the summer. Don’t forget the SPF — and the water balloons.

Host A Backyard Field Day

A backyard field day is one of the most fun things to do with kids at home and is a great summer activity for kids of all ages, from pre-schoolers to teenagers. Split your family into teams and play games like tug o’ war, red rover, sack races, horseshoes, kickball, wiffle ball, and capture the flag. Set up a backyard obstacle course with items that you already own like hula hoops, jump ropes, lawn chairs, balloons, and more. Your kids and can take turns completing it, and the person with the best time wins a prize!

Plan A Picnic

What better way to take advantage of a summer day than with an outdoor picnic? Pack up your family’s favorite meal, grab the kids, and head to your backyard or any open outdoor space. It can be tempting to create a picture-perfect meal that requires a lot of preparation, but simple is best when it comes to a successful picnic. To give yourself more time to enjoy your summer activities, pack foods that are low-prep yet full of nutrients to energize your kids for their day of fun.

Camp In The Backyard

A free and fun thing to do with kids in the summer is backyard camping. Hitch a tent, make some s’mores, and spend the night beneath the stars for a memorable family adventure. No yard? Set up camp in your living room, unplug from technology, and spend the night sharing stories with the whole family.

Decorate Rocks

little girl is painting rocks

Painting rocks is one of the easiest and most inexpensive activities kids can do this summer. Start by collecting rocks on a nature walk and let them show their creative side by turning their rocks into decorative items. They can use paint, markers, glitter, googly eyes, stickers, and more. Display the finished products around the house, gift them to friends and family, or use them as paper weights!

Fun Activities For Kids To Do Indoors

The summer fun doesn’t have to stop when you go indoors. There are plenty of indoor summer activities for kids that don’t involve plopping in front of the television. Prepare for some indoor fun for the hottest days of the summer with this list of fun things to do with the kids. These activities are not only exciting but are a great way to make some incredible keepsakes and memories.

Read A Story

mom and daughter reading personalized story book

Reading is a summer activity for kids you can feel good about, so keep them engaged by putting together a summer reading list. Whether they love superhero stories or adventure tales, fill your growing reader’s summer with great stories that will keep them entertained and thinking creatively. To get your little one excited about reading, make a personalized story book that integrates their name right into the story.

Journaling And Scrapbooking

Get your kids a new custom journal and some art supplies like crayons and colored pencils and encourage them to write about their summer days. What did they do today? Did they miss their friends from school? How was the weather? If you want to take it a step further, get your kids supplies to keep a scrapbook or help them make a photo book to share their best summer memories.

Decorate The Kids’ Bedrooms

custom kids decor in kid's bedroom

Since the kids will be spending much of their summer at home, refresh their space with upgraded custom kids room decor. Your little one can personalize bean bags, wall art, pillows, blankets, and more to showcase their personality and match their style. Help them customize each item to feature their name, a photo they love, and a design in the color or pattern of their choice. They’ll enjoy spending time in their newly decorated bedroom while cooling down on a hot summer day.

Plan A Summer Staycation

If your summer plans are canceled, have a staycation at home for a relaxing and affordable weekend of fun. Take a few days off work, unplug, and dedicate a couple of days to spending quality time with your family. Spend your time playing board games, camping in the backyard, or holding a family film festival day to keep the kids entertained. If the coronavirus pandemic altered an already-scheduled trip, decorate your home like that destination — like Disneyland or a tropical getaway to set the mood.

Create An Exciting Scavenger Hunt

Get your kids excited and moving indoors or outdoors with a creative scavenger hunt. You can download free printable scavenger hunt ideas online to keep the kids entertained, busy, and running off any excess energy. Kids will have a blast digging up all kinds of things around the house and yard. Whether they’re looking for treasure, snapping selfies, collecting household items, a scavenger hunt is a fun summer activity that’s free and easy to plan.

DIY Crafts And Projects

Toddlers creating with paper and markers

Keep the kids entertained with DIY crafts that spark their creativity. Whether they enjoy origami, science experiments, or making bird feeders, tackling a DIY project is the perfect way to keep kids occupied and busy. For inspiration, check out Shutterfly’s list of fun crafts and easy art projects for kids

Interview The Grandparents

If your kids are older, encourage them to learn more about their family history by interviewing their grandparents to explore their life stories. Grab your phone, iPad, or a cheap microphone to audio record and have your questions ready.

Questions to ask the grandparents:

  • What was your first job?
  • Tell me about where you grew up.
  • How did you meet grandma or grandpa?
  • What would you tell your younger self?
  • What did you do for fun as a child?
  • How did your family spend time together when you were young?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Where have you traveled? Do you have a favorite family vacation memory?
  • What were your grandparents like?
  • Tell me about the day my mom/dad was born.
  • What is the earliest memory that you have?

You’re likely to hear fascinating stories that teach you more about your family history. To help the grandparents preserve their best memories and stories, consider making them a custom photo book with their favorite pictures and including quotes from their interview as the captions.

Start A Movie Night Tradition

Movie nights are perfect for families who need a night off from their busy lives. Start a summer family tradition by hosting a weekly movie night and take turns each week with a different family member getting to pick a movie. Have everyone dress in their favorite pajamas, make plenty of movie snacks, and snuggle up on the couch. If you have a projector, take your movie night outside with lounge chairs, blankets, and plenty of popcorn.

Plan And Prepare Meals Together

young girl and dad baking cupcakes

When searching for fun summer activities to do with the kids, consider teaching them how to make their favorite meals. Choose a favorite food — such as grilled cheese or cupcakes. Making meals together is a great way to bond with your kids, and they’ll feel proud as they’re eating the finished product.

Tips For Keeping Your Kids Entertained At Home

When you’re working from home, finding things to keep the kids busy and entertained can be tricky. It’s important to set priorities, maintain a routine, and take time to relax in order to make this stay-at-home period more productive. Follow these tips to keep the kids entertained while the family spends the summer at home together.

  • Limit screen time The kids have likely been exposed to a lot more screen time during shelter-in-place orders. Make sure to balance their screen time with outdoor activities and hands-on, creative projects.
  • Maintain a routine: Plan out what each day’s schedule should look like. Find fun activities the kids can do throughout the day and have them choose what they want to do. Work together as a family to communicate and maintain this schedule so the kids can stay busy, and the parents can get their work done. To get the kids involved, decorate a schedule together, and hang it where it can easily be seen and followed.
  • Stay connected with friends and family: Take the time for both you and your kids to reach out to loved ones this summer. You can stay connected with friends and family with virtual playdates, drive-by visits, and plenty of FaceTime calls.
  • Incorporate academic time: Infuse fun academic activities like virtual museum tours, reading books, and online learning games to prevent summer learning loss.
  • Reinforce the positives: Reward the kids for their good behavior with small prizes and positive phrases like, “I’m so proud of you for cleaning your room all by yourself” to continue to motivate them.

Related Resources On Fun Activities For Kids

For even more inspiration on fun summer activities for kids, make sure to visit our related resources below: