Over 80 Wondrous and Fun Summer Activities for Kids

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Summer is almost here and you are likely looking for summer activities for kids that are affordable and will not break the bank.

Far too often we over-look the simpler things that children find entertaining.

I have a list of over 80 free or inexpensive things you can do with your kids this summer. All of these activities are perfect for the entire family and can be done with just one child or a larger family of children. These ideas are also perfect if you want to pull in a group of friends to join in on the fun!

There is a list of places to go, things you can make and places to play.

Ready, set, go!

over 80 summer activities for kids


Activities for Kids Who Love to Go:

  1. Go to the library once a week.  Check out books, join story time, see if there is a reading club you can participate in.
  2. Go camping. Front yard, back yard, in the living room, or make it a weekend trip in another town. Here are 30 recipes for your next camping trip.
  3. Go to your local recreation center in your city and see what activities or classes they offer for super cheap!
  4. Go to the park.   Hello, that is hours of free entertainment. And at my favorite park, they have trails that we all love to walk after playing at the playground.
  5. Going on a road trip? Check out these road trip printables.
  6. Go on a worm hunt.
  7. Go fishing.
  8. Go on a factory/plant tour.
  9. Go to Vacation Bible School (VBS).
  10. Go to your local home supply store or craft store and see if they are offering any free children’s clinics this summer.
  11. Go walk at the mall.
  12. Go to the lake-  swim or fish.
  13. Go to the local sno cone stand.summer crafts for kids


Activities for Kids Who Love to Make:

  1. Make your own kite. Here are 27 different kites you can make.
  2. Make things out of cardboard.   Check out this awesome idea- filled- post on  cardboard creativity 101. Then, hop over and check out Tip Junkie’s list of  32 things you can make with cardboard.
  3. Make your own slime using this recipe, which glows in the dark!
  4. Make homemade play dough.
  5. Make goop.
  6. Make S’Mores- go traditional or make these Owl S’Mores. So cute!
  7. Make homemade marshmallows.
  8. Make soap on a rope.
  9. Make these bird treats and hang them in a tree near a window so you can watch the birds enjoy.
  10. Make bathtub puff paint.
  11. Bake these Mommy Cookies together.
  12. Make this cherry cake recipe together.
  13. Make an obsticle course (or hold an olympics)  in your backyard. So fun! You can make first place, second place, third place ribbons using construction paper and yarn.
  14. Make a sensory tub. Great for toddlers and preschoolers.
  15. Make a time capsule.
  16. Make homemade ice cream. Here is a list of tips as well as five recipes you can make!
  17. Make homemade bubbles.
  18. Make  homemade sidewalk chalk
  19. Make a pet rock.
  20. Make homemade finger paint.
  21. Make your own felt play mat.
  22. Make a busy tray. Super smart and practical.
  23. Re-purpose broken crayons into your favorite mold shape and print some free color sheets.
  24. Make a lemonade stand.
  25. Make homemade pizza together. Here is a list of ways to make pizza un-boring.
  26. Make your own board game.
  27. Make sock puppets and have a sock puppet play.
  28. Make finger puppets. Here is a free download.
  29. Make your own stick horse.
  30. Make homemade popsicle. Here is a great list of popsicle recipes.
  31. Make something origami. Here is a site with a bunch of  kid friendly origami ideas.
  32. Make an assortment of muffins together. Here are 28 muffin recipes you can indulge in.
  33. For your little toddler guys who want to be crafty, make ice paint. Pretty cool.

activities for kids (1)



Activities for Kids Who Love to Play and Do:

  1. Download some books to listen to. Here is a $5, 30 day membership you can try.
  2. Skip rocks. Simple, free, fun, lost art.
  3. Have  a bike parade.
  4. Have a day of watching movies. You can get a songs to listen to while you drive.
  5. Visit the nearest beach.
  6. Have a yard sale. Have your children help and learn the value of a dollar.
  7. Have a bon fire and make smores. Or, make homemade smores ice cream.
  8. Play in the water (sprinkler, slip and slide, kiddy pool, water balloons)
  9. Welcome the troops at the airport. I have been wanting to take the kids to do this for a long, long time.
  10. Play I Spy.
  11. Look into summer camps in your area. If you live in the DFW area (North Texas) here is a great 2011 summer camp list!
  12. Host your own summer camp. Here is an  e-book with practical ideas and suggestions for surviving the summer.
  13. Play frisbee.
  14. Volunteer some where as a family.
  15. Invent a new recipe together.
  16. Catch lightning bugs.
  17. Have a scavenger hunt.
  18. Play Mad Libs and share your stories. So fun!
  19. Play kickball.
  20. Play dodgeball.
  21. Play tug-of-war.
  22. Put a puzzle together as a family.
  23. Play hide and go seek in the dark.
  24. Call local theatres and see if they offer free showings of kiddy movies in the summer. Some do- I promise.
  25. Build a clubhouse or a fort.
  26. Plant something.
  27. Become pen pals with someone.
  28. Start reading a classic as a family read 20-30 minutes of it out loud a day. Huck Finn, Little Women, etc.
  29. Put on a magic show. Click the link for five easy and fun tricks your kids can do.
  30. Play dress up. (My boys love to play in old Halloween costumes.)summer activities for kids and preschoolers

What is your favorite summer activities for kids? 

More Activities for Kids:

25 super fun road trip activities for kids

25 Road Trip Activities for Kids of all Ages 

10 lemonade stand ideas you can make for your kids

10 Lemonade Stands You Can Make 

homemade bubble recipe from crystalandcomp.com

Homemade Bubble Recipe 

paper flower crafts

Make Paper Flowers


  1. Those are great idea! Thanks for sharing! I am going to pass your link along to my friends that have kids so they can go over all these awesome ideas for the summer!

    1. Awesome, Shanna! Thank you so much for sharing with your friends. I am so glad you find it helpful. 🙂

  2. Kim Idell says:

    Thank you!! Sharing the list with the family on our way back from lunch……Skylar and Blake are all over making a pet rock. They want to buy one at Walmart. I had to explain you have to find it. That’s what makes it special.
    Going have fun with your list! 🙂

  3. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries says:

    What a GREAT post! Wow! Thank you so much!

    1. Felicia- you’re right, caregivers and nannys could totally use this list, too! 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

  4. This is a wonderful list! It is so great that the list is made up entirely of suggestions for the type of activities that growing brains need most!! I can see lots of parents and kids are going to benefit from this!!! —

    Thanks for creating and sharing something so valuable!

  5. Thanks for mentioning my ice painting! I’m a new follower!

    1. Justine- the ice painting is such a great idea for little ones! And anything ice related in the summer-time rocks! 🙂

      So glad you’re following!

  6. Oh my gosh, I think you just became my new best friend! Thank you so much for all of the awesome ideas.

    1. Cori- so glad you find it helpful. Thanks for the kind words.

  7. Hey! Thanks for including the She is Dallas summer camp list! I really appreciate it. Now I am looking into all the OTHER ideas :).

    1. Holly- you have so many awesome ideas shared over on the She Is Dallas site. Why reinvent the wheel when I can just share yours? 🙂

  8. Rebecca D. says:

    I love this BLOG ! I have two boys and I was just telling my husband I needed things to do with them. SO thanks for posting 🙂
    I am new to the blog scene and really am enjoying it because of blogs like yours !
    Rebecca D.

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Glad you found my site and can use some of the information that is here! 🙂

  9. I love you – I think you’ve just made our entire summer! XOXO

    1. You just made my day Anna! Thanks so much and I am glad the list is something you can use!

  10. Wow! That is a wonderful list of great ideas! Do you happen to have a list for inexpensive cheap date ideas for summer? I mean I’m a college student who has a 3 year anniversary with my boyfriend this summer. I need some ideas for dates/gifts! 😀

    1. Lindsay, let me see what I can find in regard to date night ideas. Great topic.

  11. We planted a butterfly garden last summer. So we count the dragonflies and butterflies it brings to our yard. 🙂

  12. I am always looking for things to do with my son. I would love it if you shared it at Workshop Wednesday

  13. i am totally using the kite website, thanks!

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  15. This list will keep the “I’m bored” woes away all year, never mind all summer.

  16. WOW this is a wonderful post just in time for summer! Thank you, Crystal for putting it together. I’m going to book mark this for those days when we are looking for something to do. Kelli

  17. Oh my goodness you are a lifesaver! Great idea’s thanks for the inspiration! I found you at the TT&J!


  18. Great ideas! I don’t have kids yet, but I think my husband and I would enjoy a lot of these ourselves!

  19. Great ideas – THANK YOU!!

  20. Sooo great! Thank you so much. I’m so going to
    Make use of this list ! I hope u have a great summer!

  21. Jacqueline says:

    Thanks for all the ideas! I don’t have kids of my own, but I’m saving this site for when my friends’ kids come over!
    (found this via TT and J)

  22. fabulous post! will be referring back to this one!!

  23. I love this!! We’d love to see you at our Monday Link Up over at http://www.dimpleprints.com!
    Our readers are mainly mommies who are planning parties and activities, so this would be a great post to get out to them!

  24. Brilliant list – you’ve saved everyone wracking their brains every day of the holidays!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  25. Pingback: 255 Summer Activities for Kids | CML - A Blog for Moms
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  27. Keep all of these in mind for when my baby is all grown up!

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  29. Tara@Tales of a Trophy WIfe says:

    Great list. I however found that I just sign up all my kids for swim team and all of our extra time evaporates:)

    1. We thought about doing swim lessons or activities at the recreation center, but with just starting homeschool I really did not want to spend my time running all over creation. I want simple and less stress. Know what I mean? Some of that running around gets tiring.

  30. What a great list of ideas! This will keep us busy for the next three summers. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this at the Weekly Kid’s Co-op.

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  32. This is an excellent resource. Pinned!

  33. I love this fabulous list! Thank you so much for this wonderful collection of great activities to do with the kiddos 🙂 I just pinned it and I need to print it out to get ready for summer! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

  34. One thing I did last summer with my 4 grandkids was to make sandcastings (from kits available at beachandnatureco.com). It was inexpensive and easy- and we had keepsakes of the day we spent together.

  35. I just pinned this and am totally going to be referring to this list this summer. Thanks for compiling such great ideas!

  36. Thanks for sharing this information. a museum our is also good activity..if you live close to an area with a museums, you may find that there is a summer program for kids to learn about subjects they display. Art museums may offer opportunities for hands on art work while natural history museums can lead kids to discover the world they live in and the cultures of other people. Local historical museums and societies may offer exploration of the history of your town or state through summer programs. Museums do normally charge a fee that covers materials and other costs.

  37. so many great ideas. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  38. What a great list of fantastic ideas for summer fun!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  39. Pingback: Easy Summer Organizing: Kids Activities Round Up - Scattered Squirrel
  40. You have some excellent ideas here for summer fun! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – we’re looking forward to what you have to share next week. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  41. I was just thinking about how I needed to start writing down some ideas of inexpensive stuff to do this summer with my kids to make a “home-made summer camp” I was already thinking about some of the ideas on your list but you’ve have just given me a ton more. Thanks and thanks for linking up to #BigTopBlogParty

  42. Will be incorporating some new ideas into our summer bucket list! Thank you for creating such an extensive list! One of our fun ideas is to try 21 different s’mores recipes this summer…. hope I don’t regret that one haha! Sugar overload.

  43. This is an excellent list. I love that they are inexpensive. Summer can seem so short, and I of course want to fill it with exciting fun, but it can get very expensive!! We’ll definitely have to incorporate some of these on our summer list!

    Thank you for sharing with Everything Kids!

  44. Wow – so many fun and exciting activities. Roll on Summer!
    I have pinned this to the #ToddlerFunFriday board.

  45. Great list! I’m going to print this out and stick it on our fridge!

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  47. This is the best! Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas!!

  48. I’m excited to try some of these with my granddaughter! Thanks for inspiring us at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home. –Jennifer

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