Summer Activities for Kids – Our summer bucket list is filled with fun summer activities. Inside, you will find classic summer activities for kids, and a few new and unique fun things to do with kids in the summer, too.
Use this list of fun summer activities for kids to help guide your children through the summertime “I’m bored, mom!” blues.
Invite your children to get outside, enjoy classic family fun, and spend time playing and exploring with friends with this list of fun things to do with kids in the summer!
Summer Bucket List of Fun Things to do with kids in the Summer
This summer bucket list is filled with the best summer activities for kids.
There are only 30 summer activities for kids listed on this summer bucket list, but there are hundreds of fun summer activities to enjoy… dare to try something new this summer!
With that being said, I like to think of this summer activity guide as a childhood “summers” bucket list.
You may not be able to do all of these activities in one summer, but I’ll bet you can help your children check each one of these summer activities for kids off their summer bucket list by the time they reach adulthood.
We hope you enjoy this list of fun activities to do in the summer with kids!
30 Fun Summer Activities for Kids
1. Celebrate the Summer Solstice
The summer solstice is said to mark the beginning of summer in some areas, while other parts of the world call it “midsummer.” The summer solstice usually falls between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs between December 20 and December 22. Learn more about the solstice and welcome the summer with these fun summer solstice celebration ideas!
2. Build a sandcastle
Make a sandcastle and check it off your summer bucket list!
Whether at the beach or in the backyard, building a sandcastle is a classic summer activity for kids young and old alike. Making sand castles with my brothers is one of my all-time favorite summertime memories.
3. Help a garden grow
Our spring bucket list includes “plant flowers” and “start a garden” so we decided a fun bucket list idea for summer would be to help a garden grow. No sense planting flowers, fruits, and vegetables without tending them, right?
Another fun idea is to teach kids how to plant tomatoes. Click on the links to read our gardening with kids tutorials and learn how to help a garden grow.
One of the easiest ways to help a garden grow is by watering it. Our little helper loves to water the plants in our home and garden so much she doesn’t even know it’s a chore. Read how to raise a helper for more information.
4. Collect and paint rocks
5. Go on a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a classic summer activity for kids of all ages. We created a nature scavenger hunt with a sensory card to make it super easy to hunt for items commonly found in your area.
Using a nature sensory card also makes it a lot easier for toddlers to go on a scavenger hunt. Another fun thing to do with kids in the summer is to go on a heart shape nature scavenger hunt.
You may also enjoy sending the kids out on a nature sensory bin scavenger hunt. Use the natural items that they find to make a nature sensory bin or basket. Click on the links to learn more!
6. Run barefoot through the sprinklers
Summer vacation just wouldn’t be complete without playing in the sprinklers. We have put together a collection of water-wise sprinkler play tips to help you conserve water while having fun with this classic summer activity for kids.
Run barefoot through the sprinklers and allow your kids to play outside barefoot whenever possible. Click on the link to learn about barefoot health benefits!
7. Enjoy outdoor summer sports, fun summer activities, and local summer events
Spend as much time as you can at a beach, lake, creek and/or pool. If you like to go to the beach, check out our beach and ocean swimming safety tips.
Get outside and join a softball or soccer league or any other team summer activity offered in your area. Ultimate frisbee has always been one of my personal favorites!
Another fun idea is to attend a summer sporting event. Being a spectator at a sporting event is a classic outdoor summer activity for kids and adults!
Take the whole family to at least one summer sporting event, such as a swimming event or a baseball game this year.
8. Create a summer nature table and sensory bin
Collecting items in nature is a fun summer activity for kids. Encourage the kids to use what they find to make a summer nature table. There are many items waiting for you and your child to discover right outside your door, but we encourage you to look in other areas too.
Making a nature sensory bin for your nature table is another fantastic summer activity for sensory development. It’s also an easy way to help children learn about the region or area that they live in.
Another fun tabletop sensory play bin with a summer theme is a beach fairy garden filled with play sand!
9. Go camping more than once
Getting outdoors with the family, and using that all of that expensive gear, should be something we all do more than once per year.
We encourage you to get out there and enjoy your city, county, state, and national parks as many times as you can with the kids this summer.
10. Paint with summer colors
Invite the kids to paint with summer colors as a process art activity. Use watercolors, tempera paints, or chalk paint in a combination of summer colors as a way to encourage your children to play with art materials and painting techniques.
11. Visit an amusement park
Visiting an amusement park is a fun summer activity for kids and families. Take the kids to an amusement park near or far, big or small over the summer break.
12. Keep a nature journal
Make and keep a nature journal or notebook throughout the year. A nature journal is a place to record your thoughts, observations, and experiences with nature. Keeping one provides a rich opportunity to study the natural world.
If you have a budding naturalist at home, you may also like our favorite nature study supplies.
13. Play outdoor summer games
Playing games in the backyard, or at your local park, is another fun summer activity for kids. Gathering family and friends to play outdoor summer games is a fun thing to do with kids in the summer. Some of our family favorites can be found below.
- Ladder Toss
- Jumbo wooden stacking tower
- Bocce ball
- Giant wooden yard dice
- Jumbo pick up sticks
- Ring toss
14. Create outdoor art
Getting outside with the kids to create outdoor art is a fun summer activity. One of our favorite summer art activities is making shadow art. We even have an easy recycled chalk paint hack that you can use to make your own homemade chalk paint out of small broken pieces of chalk.
Build your kids an outdoor art table or mud kitchen to make outdoor art easy. Making mud pies and creating mud sculptures of all kinds is a great summer activity for kids that also has a lot of sensory benefits.
An outdoor chalkboard provides an easy space for children to create art outdoors in the summertime. Click on the link to learn two easy ways to make your own DIY outdoor chalkboard.
Another fun summer activity is rock balancing. Stack and balance rocks and stones and create other types of land art. Using natural materials to create mandalas is another fun summer activity to try whether you are on the beach or out in the woods.
15. Explore a shore
Spending time exploring shores near and far is a fun summer activity for kids. Children can spend hours playing and learning on the shores of beaches and lakes. From large bodies of water to small tidepools and creeks with small nooks and crannies there is always something new to explore.
16. Go on picnics
During the warmer months, my daughter and I eat a picnic lunch, even when we are still at home. Whether in the backyard, at the park, or on the beach take the time to enjoy a few picnics as a fun summer activity.
17. Climb a tree
Climbing trees is a fun activity to do in the summer. Tree climbing is a risky play activity that has many benefits for the developing child. Kids love the challenge of climbing trees.
Click on the link to learn 15 reasons to climb a tree and more about the benefits of risky play activities for kids!
18. Enjoy a fair
Local city, state, and county fairs are another fun outdoor summer activity for the whole family. Check your local listings for a summer fair in your area.
19. Pick berries
One of my all-time favorite summer activities, when I was young, was berry picking with my brothers. Click on the link to learn our berry foraging tips and how to find a berry picking farm near you this summer!
20. Build a fort outside
I can remember spending hours building forts with my brothers both inside during the colder months and outside during the warmer months.
Use fallen limbs, salvaged wood, and old sheets to build a fort in a tree or on land. Or, get creative and build a sturdy tree house made to last with the whole family.
21. Fly a Kite
Flying a kite is a classic summer activity for kids. Learn how to launch a kite, use it as an opportunity to learn, and teach kids to fly a kite safely with our simple kite flying tips and tutorials.
22. Make Summer Crafts
Making summer crafts is a classic summer activity for kids. Enjoy a few of the summer crafts below with your children over summer break!
- Felt flower lei necklace
- Real flower nature crafts
- Rainbow suncatcher ideas
- Easy felt flowers
- Sea glass suncatcher
- Fingerprint art magnets
- Mermaid Tail Sensory Bottle
- Beaded necklace or bracelet
- Popsicle stick boat
- Shell daisy
- Fairy houses
- Shell frames with handprint art
- Monarch butterfly peg dolls
- Butterfly sensory bottle
- DIY butterfly tree
23. Play with water
There are so many fun ways to play with water in the summertime. A few summer water activities and ideas can be found below:
- Play in the sprinklers.
- If it rains in the summer where you live… play in the rain!
- Have a water balloon fight or water soaker war.
- Sand and water table ideas for kids.
- Visit a splash pad.
- Go to a pool.
- Play in a creek, lake, ocean or pool.
24. Go on a family vacation
Vacations are a fun summer activity for the whole family. Every summer break should have at least one planned vacation, even if it’s a “staycation.”
25. Read a Book
Reading books is a classic summer activity for kids. Visit your local library to search for your next favorite children’s book, or, check out some of our popular booklists below.
- Books That Teach Kids Important Life Lessons
- Magical Alphabet Books for Kids
- Books That Help Kids Understand Their Feelings
- Best Fairy Tales for Children
A great chapter book series for both first-time readers, or, reading aloud to your child is the Magic Tree House Chapter Book Series. For more ideas check out our favorite read aloud and chapter books for kids HERE.
26. Try science, STEM and STEAM activities at home
Kitchen counter and backyard summer science activities can keep the kids busy learning through play over the summer break. A few of our favorite summer science ideas for kids can be found below are:
- Rock balancing
- Shadow art
- Rainbow science
- Human sundial
- Popsicle stick catapult
- Classifying rocks
- Homemade ice cream
- Making sun prints
- Color-changing flowers
- See-through rainstick
- Watercolor resist
27. Have a neighborhood block party
Get out the BBQ’s, make some potluck dishes, and throw a block party with your neighbors this summer.
Many towns and cities will give you permission to block off residential streets for a few hours if you contact the right people and jump through the proper hoops.
Contact your local city hall for more information.
28. Enjoy summer camp
Send your children off to camp or enjoy summer camp at home. Click on the link to learn more.
29. Watch a Sunrise and/or a Sunset
Take time out of your busy summer to enjoy at least one sunrise and at least one sunset. You may even want to try staying up all night. Every time my brothers and I tried it we learned it wasn’t such a great idea the next day, but it sure was fun!
30. Go stargazing
Take the kids to an observatory or spend a summer night backyard stargazing. Another great time to spend time looking up at the stars is on a family camping trip.
Summer Bucket List of Fun Summer Activities
Get outside and enjoy classic family fun with any of these fun summer activities for kids. This list of classic summer activities and new and unique fun things to do in the summer with kids can keep children busy all summer long.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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