Summer is here and it’s time to have some family fun in the sun! Keep the fun going the whole season with these 20 fun summer activities for kids.
Summer Activities for Kids
With the kids out of school and the weather warming up fast, it’s time to break out the beach balls, ice cream, and sunglasses and have some fun!
There are so many benefits to your kids spending some quality time together, and summer vacation gives your family the perfect chance to do just that.
With the right activities, your family will leave the summer feeling more connected, communicating better, and wishing summer could last forever!
Since there are so many options for great activities, I’ve gathered of some of the best kids activities that are perfect for summertime.
How to Plan Great Summer Activities for Kids
Is it just me or does summer seem so relaxing until you realize that you are the one who has to plan all the activities?
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time and effort to plan a few great summer activities for kids! All you need is a few good ideas and a plan.
Whether you decide to plan a couple of activities each week, have an activity jar full of ideas to choose from, or make a summer bucket list with your kids, making a plan will help take all the stress away from summer activities.
Don’t be afraid to get your kids involved in the planning too! I love the idea of sitting down with your kids at the beginning of summer to brainstorm what fun things you should do to soak up the sun this year.
And I’ll give you a head start with this list of great summer activities for kids. All you need to do is pick your favorites and get ready for a great summer!
20 Fun Summer Activities for Kids
Look no further for your family’s best summer ever! Here’s 20 of the best summer activities for kids.
I used to love washing our cars as a kid! We may not have left the cars looking perfectly clean, but we sure did have fun. All you need is a few sponges, some soap, and a bucket to have an afternoon of clothes-soaking entertainment together.
Plus, if they do end up doing a good job, you’ll have a nice clean car too!
When your kids need to burn a bit of energy with a fun competition, a chalk relay is a great way to go!
Depending on your kids’ ages, you can incorporate activities like hopping on one foot, spinning in a circle, running to another chalk line, jumping jacks, etc. and mark them on the floor with chalk. Think of it like extreme hopscotch!
Frisbee is a fun activity when you play the traditional way, but if you haven’t played glow frisbee before you need to add this to your list for sure!
All you need is a frisbee that glows or has lights. Our family loves this LED disk because it’s so bright and comes in lots of colors.
Go to a park, field, lot, or wherever there is space after the sun goes down and have fun playing with your glowing frisbee!
Drive-in theatres or other outdoor movie events in your community are so much fun for kids. The warm evening weather, some treats, and a good film make for a great summer night.
And even though drive-in movie theatres are hard to find these days, your kids can still enjoy the thrill of an outdoor movie right at home!
Use a projector to display a movie on a large sheet or a wall of your home and enjoy.
Go to an arcade
Arcades are like magic to kids, but with so much technology at home, I sometimes forget how fun they can be!
Taking your kids to the arcade will create hours of fun together. This would be a great activity to invite some friends to so you can get some mom-friend time in while the kids play.
Water balloon fight
Some of the best summer activities for kids are ones where they get soaked! Enjoy that summer weather with a water balloon fight.
I wish I had something like Bunch-O-Balloons when I was a kid to save me hours of filling balloons in our bathroom sink! Now your kids will be ready for an epic water fight in just minutes!
Ice sensory bucket
Sensory buckets of any kind are a great independent play activity for your kids. They can work on their sensory-motor skills, creativity, and control.
No matter what age, your kids will love playing with an ice sensory bucket. All you need is a shallow bucket, some ice, and a few toys. I like to add to my sensory buckets a few spoons or scoops, measuring cups, or anything else that they can move the ice around with.
Take a beach trip
Every family needs a good beach vacation during the summer! Your kids can play in the sand, splash in the water, and have hours of fun.
Whether you visit a nearby lake or travel to the ocean, some beach time needs to be on your kids’ list this summer!
Sponge water fight
Separate your kids into teams or go every man for themself in this exciting wet summer activity! Sponge water fights are another almost-no-prep activity for your kids that will make your life so much easier.
Be sure to stock up on supplies with a set of these colorful sponges and fill up a big bucket or bowl with water. All you need to do is throw in the sponges and watch your kids soak each other!
Write to pen pals
Have your kids gotten mail before? I just love watching their eyes light up when they see something came just for them in the mailbox. Summer is a great time to bring back the ‘pen pal’ tradition!
You could organize with another parent at your kids’ school or even a friend who lives out of state! If your kids aren’t writing quite yet, you could send colored pictures back and forth. Pen pals are a great activity to keep your kids connected!
If your kids are getting bored with the same old coloring books, try leaf pressing!
Have your kids search for leaves from nearby trees and bring some paper and crayons along to make your tracings. Just put the leaf under a sheet of paper and rub the crayon over it to make a beautiful piece of art.
Summer Scavenger Hunt
This activity has always been a big hit for almost any age group. Turn your kids into explorers with a list of items to find around your yard or a nearby park. They could find rocks, sticks, flowers, or anything common to your area.
For extra fun, make some binoculars out of a couple of toilet paper rolls covered with fun paper and taped together!
Outdoor scavenger hunts are the best during the summer.
Most libraries and schools have reading challenges with prizes and rewards and they can be so much fun! If you don’t have a reading challenge, make up a family challenge, and see who can read the most books this summer.
If you haven’t read it yet, Summer Walk would be a great children’s book to kick off the summer with!
Ice cream in a bag
Summer and ice cream go together like peanut butter and jelly and having your kids make it themselves doubles the fun!
In the Kids Kitchen has a great tutorial for how to make ice cream in a bag. It’s a really simple activity with way less preparation than you think, and your kids will love making this delicious treat.
If your kids love being outside, ‘frozen toys’ are a great activity for this summer to keep them cool. Take some water-proof toys (animal figurines or cars work great) and freeze them in an ice cube tray with some water.
Bring the frozen toys outside and have your kids try to free all their toys from the ice! If you have older kids, they’ll love using a toolset to break the ice away from the trapped toys.
Okay, stick with me. I promise this one is worth the mess! Painting is a great creative activity for kids but it can always feel so scary indoors.
Take advantage of the good weather and do some painting outside. I always keep around some inexpensive mini canvases so it feels like a special occasion for my kids. Or you can put up a poster board or any paper you have lying around on a wall, tree, or fence to paint on!
Paper airplane contest
There’s nothing more classic than a good old paper airplane contest.
Have your kids create their own planes or help them while they fold, imagine, and create. There’s some great paper airplane tutorials online for older kids to watch to make some pretty awesome planes! Once everyone is ready, set up a starting line and see who’s plane can go the furthest!
Plant a garden
Depending on the climate where you live, summertime can be a great time to plant a garden!
I love grabbing some gardening books from the library and picking out a flower or food to try to grow in our yard with my kids. Let them take the lead and see if you can get something beautiful or delicious to grow this summer!
Do a science experiment
Grab your goggles and put on your thinking caps! Keep the summer learning going with a fun science experiment.
There’s some great independent projects your kids could do, like working with magnets or building something out of popsicle sticks. If you want to get really creative, try making slime, a volcano, or testing out a mentos and diet coke experiment!
Go berry picking
I have the fondest memories from my childhood of going berry picking each summer with my siblings. Your kids will learn so much about how things grow as they pick out the biggest berries they can find.
Many local farms have you-pick deals and you can grab a whole lot of berries for your family. Can you imagine this Strawberry Shortcake with your own hand-picked berries?! Yum!
I hope your children love these summer activities for kids! And if you are looking for even more summer fun, you can find more summer fun activities here!