107 Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained and Survive the Summer

Summer’s almost here, mamas!

And that means it’s time to get your summer plans in place now, so you’re not feeling overwhelmed when school’s officially out!

If all your kids are school-aged and you work from home, summer can feel like a major source of anxiety. Suddenly, all your kids are home and looking for fun and entertainment.

No need to worry, this list has you covered!

There are more than enough fun activities for every day of your summer break.

There is a mixture of child independent and parent-involved activities that are perfect for both sunny and rainy days.

I believe summer should be filled with fun and relaxation.

It’s not necessary to turn your home into a full-on summer camp. Kids need rest on their summer break too.

And don’t feel the pressure of checking off every activity on this list.

Just use it as inspiration so you never have to hear the phrase, “I’m bored” for the entire summer! And that’s what we call winning!

Make sure to grab the FREE summer bucket list of this post so you can do all of these activities this summer!

You can offer these activities up like candy to your kids when they come looking to you for fun and you’re all tied up.

Also, please note this list is about surviving the summer while the kids are out of school, so I’ve only included activities that are suited to school-aged children.

No toddler-focused fun here unless you’re really brave, of course!

But for specific activities for toddlers, make sure to check out our post on 50 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Toddler.

107 Activities to Create Your Family’s Summer Fun Plan

1. Create your own book reading contest

Make a roster to track each book your child has read over the summer.

Offer great prizes for the winning child. If you have one child, give them a goal and if they meet the goal, they get the prize.

2. Buy school subject workbooks

We all know why learning during the summer is a good thing. But kids actually like working through learning activities as long as it doesn’t “feel” like work.

3. Go on craft supply binge

Many craft stores have a clearance section where you can find crafting supplies for really cheap.

Store all your finds in a big plastic tub and pull them out easily when it’s craft making time!

4. Turn your backyard into a water park

Use sprinkler heads, a slip n’ slide, and a kiddie pool to create a super fun obstacle course! They’ll never want to come inside.

5. Turn your backyard or living room into a pet show

If you have pets, dogs work best, make an obstacle course that resembles a fancy dog show or have your kids teach your dog fun new tricks.

6. Let them earn chore cash

Give them extra chores around the house to earn summer spending cash!

7. Take a trip to the library

Most local libraries have tons of activities lined up for summer fun.

Just check your child in and find a comfy spot and get some precious quiet and work done!

8. Create a scavenger hunt

You can make one for inside the house, at the park, in the backyard, and even at the grocery store. Creativity is a must!

9. Let them have screen time

I’m firmly in the camp of moms who think it’s perfectly OK to allow your kids to watch TV or play games on their tablet.

Just set timeframes for usage so they don’t spend their entire summer staring at a screen.

10. Take a trip to the pool

Swimming is great exercise and wipes out the kiddos like nothing else. And that means quiet for mom, later!

11. Visit a farmer’s market

This is a great place to pick up fresh produce at a great price, but there are usually fun and educational activities for your kids to enjoy too!

12. Bake cookies

Turn those yummy cookies into even yummier ice cream sandwiches! You can make extra and wrap them in plastic wrap for a cool treat later.

13. Paint a landscape with watercolors

Go outside and find a pretty spot to paint.

14. Go on a nature walk

Kids need lots of fresh air and so do you! Go outside and find a walking trail to explore nature.

15. Go to a new park

This one doesn’t involve any planning… just let them freely play until they whine it’s too hot, I’ve gotta go potty, or I’m hungry!

16. Have a sidewalk chalk art show

Buy some cheap sidewalk chalk and let your kids decorate your driveway with their masterpieces.

17. Fill up water balloons and have a mini-war

They make filling water balloon so easy now, so no excuses. Fill them up and get in on the action!

It’s perfectly acceptable to throw things at your child as long as it’s filled with water. 😉

18. Have a picnic outside

Make a healthy bagged lunch and bring a giant blanket to your local park, or even your own backyard.

19. Make homemade chocolates

All you need is some simple food molds.

Melt chocolate and a little cream in a double-boiler.

That’s just a glass bowl that sits on top of a pot of simmering water. Stir the chocolate until it’s melted and pour the chocolate in the molds.

Place in the freezer to set, and enjoy!

If your child doesn’t like chocolate, check out these fun homemade candy recipes:

20. Have a blind-folded food challenge

Open cans of veggies, beans, and other canned food items. Have your kids taste each one and see if they can guess what the food is.

21. Make it rain!

Have fun mom, and spray your kids with the water hose. Trust me, they’ll love it and you’ll be secretly getting back at them for leaving the bathroom a mess all week!

22. Dust off those board games and play them

Bring your board games out of the back of your closet and put them out front during the summer. When they say they’re bored, simply point in the direction of their games. Don’t forget to play too!

23. Go fly a kite

On a windy day, flying kites is really fun. You can buy kites at the dollar store for just a dollar too!

24. Make your own ball pit!

Use a kiddie pool and fill it up with plastic balls. You’d be surprised how much this is for elementary aged kids!

25. Plant herbs and flowers

This can be done inside using simple pots or out in the backyard. Choose easy to grow and take care of plant varieties and let your kids watch their new seedlings grow tall over the summer.

26. Make healthy snacks for the week

Chop up fruits and veggies, make homemade granola and power balls, yummy popsicles, and even create kid-friendly smoothie bags to make cool smoothies in a snap.

27. Find the animals

Plan a visit to your local zoo, farm, or animal sanctuary. Keep a lookout for deals and kid discount days.

28. Visit an art museum

Museums are fun for kids and are obviously educational. Our local art museum has a wonderful kid play center that they are happy to spend hours in.

29. Take an early morning walk

Wake up your kiddos as the sun comes up and take a walk. It’s much cooler and quieter in the morning.

Plus, you’ll probably see more wildlife action because no one’s out there but you!

30. Make paper airplanes and have a flying contest

Buy a cheap ream of paper and let them make endless paper airplanes to see which ones fly the best!

31. Invite their friends to a playdate at the park

Playing at the park means zero planning on your part, mom! And the best part is you can catch up with your friends too.

32. Put on a play

Have your kids act out scenes from one of the books they read this summer and put on real performance. Encourage them to get creative and make their own costumes and makeup using what’s already in the house.

33. Give each child a summer journal

Encourage them to write down all their summer fun!

34. Go to the beach or the lake

We live in Florida so we’re pretty close to the ocean. If you live near a lake or river, go there!

35. Build paper boats

Use that ream of paper you already bought and let them make paper boats to see which ones actually float. This is perfect for the kiddie pool or even the bathtub. Be sure this activity is supervised.

36. Have a garage sale

Your kids can decide to sell some of their forgotten toys and earn some extra summer-fun cash!

37. Make driveway board games

Use their sidewalk chalk to create fun games like a bullseye game. Make giant circles to form a bullseye and add scores to each circle layer.

Let your kids throw bean bags from a distance to land in the highest scoring circles. Also, hopscotch or some other variation is fun too!

38. Have a bubble blowing contest

Get plenty of bubble soap and wands and see who can blow the longest string of bubbles.

39. Do a family relay race

Get the kids outside and invite the neighborhood kids and have an old-fashioned three-legged, sack, and egg on a spoon race.

40. Paint rocks

Make creative designs on all the smooth, flat rocks you can find.

41. Make origami creations

Youtube is full of kid-friendly videos showing how to make cool origami creations. Check out this awesome creation:

42. Get your color on!

Coloring books are all the rage now… even for adults. Find a beautiful and challenging coloring book to keep your artsy kids busy for hours.

43. Go on a bug hunt

Find an area of moist soil in your yard and let your kids start digging.

44. Play charades

You don’t need a fancy game for this. Just write down some simple scenarios and let the kids act them out.

45. Become a jump rope champion

Get a couple jump ropes and let your kids practice tricks like the pros do.

46. Have a movie marathon

Rent a few dollar movies, close the shades, and butter the popcorn. This is perfect when you’ve got tons of work to do and they’ll love the treat!

47. Catch fireflies

We don’t have fireflies down in the south, but I remember catching fireflies when I lived up north as a kid. So much fun!

48. Have a dance party

Turn up the kids’ favorite dance music and let them go wild!

50. Visit your local Home Depot and complete their free kid’s project

51. Climb trees

I used to climb trees as a kid, and sit there reading books for hours!

52. Enroll in a summer camp program

There are many safe and fun summer camps that help kids learn new skills like art, dancing, and sports camps.

53. Go see a dollar movie

Many theaters feature older movies during the summer for a dollar.

54. Have a makeover party

If your girls love makeup, let them play in your makeup or buy cheaper versions at the drugstore.

55. Collect pinecones

Go on a hunt for pinecones and take them home to decorate.

56. String beads and make jewelry

This activity is perfect for boys and girls if you use plain beads without the frills for the boys.

57. Have an ice cream sundae bar

Fill up little bowls of toppings and let them go to town!

58. Make fun tutorial videos

If you have outgoing kids who like to share their creativity with others.

Let them produce their own videos for kids. And you don’t have to actually publish them if you don’t want to.

59. Make slime

Yes, I know this one has been overdone, but my kids are still not over their own slime and putty addiction. Here’s a super simple 3-ingredient slime recipe.

60. Take a bubble bath outside

Fill up a kiddie pool with water and bubbles. Don’t forget the bath toys! That kiddie pool is really coming in handy, right?

61. Set up a backyard campsite

Pitch a tent complete with all their favorite camping equipment. For dinner roast marshmallows and hotdogs. And try these easy s’more brownies to go with the roasted marshmallows!

62. Visit your local Michael’s and complete their free kid’s craft

63. Visit a fire station

Firefighters love to show kids around and take out the big fire engines.

64. Plant a vegetable garden

And eat the yummy results!

65. Make a splatter paint creation

Buy a cheap poster board and lay it on the grass outside. Let the kids splatter paint on their canvas until their heart’s content.

66. Play tag

I’m serious this game never gets old!

67. Play hide n’ seek

This game also never gets old.

68. Go on a bike ride

This is perfect for the whole family to get some fresh air and exercise.

69. Forget real dinner, have a giant baked potato bar

Simply bake the potatoes in the oven until done, then let the kids top their potato with their favorite toppings.

70. Do a fun research project

Let them choose to learn about any topic they want, and go online or to the library to complete their research.

71. Have a cupcake wars competition

Make a batch of yummy cupcakes and decorate them like a fancy bakery and judge the winning cupcakes.

72. Go star gazing

Wait until dark and go outside and look at the stars.

73. Put together a challenging and fun puzzle

This activity can go on for days!

74. Put on an exercise video

Many cable providers have streaming exercise programs.

75. Find a fun dance video one and let the kids enjoy

The dance ones are really fun!

76. Turn dinner time into a cooking class

Let your little chef help and learn while you’re making dinner.

77. Go bowling

Many bowling alleys have a kids night or discounted day for family fun. Some are even free.

78. Visit the grandparents

Drop them off for a sleepover for a few days, even.

79. Go to your local bookstore

Attend the free story reading.

80. Watch birds

Get some binoculars and go bird watching.

81. Volunteer

Find a way to help others in your community.

82. Dry flowers

Pick wildflowers and let them dry upside down in the sun.

83. Make a cardboard fort

Find a giant box and let your kids decorate it and play inside.

84. Set up a lemonade stand

Make fresh lemonade and offer it for sale to the neighborhood.

85. Learn tech skills at an Apple Store

They offer classes to teach kids new tech and computer skills.

86. Take an online course for kids

Many online courses teach kids skills like drawing or computer coding.

87. Play soccer

Practice soccer drills outside at the park or even in the living room.

88. Put on a fashion show

Let them dress up from your closet and put on a real fashion show.

89. Have a make your own pizza night

90. Play Name that Song

Offer prizes for the winner.

91. Have a sleepover in the living room

Part of the fun of summer is not getting up early. Let them camp out downstairs or in the living room.

92. Watch a Netflix series

This isn’t for every day but perfect for rainy or lazy days.

93. Go to a splash park

Many cities have free outdoor splash parks to enjoy in the summer months.

94. Watch an old-school movie from your childhood

95. Play miniature golf

96. Go night swimming

There’s nothing more fun than swimming after dark!

97. Make a summer scrapbook

The more creativity the better.

98. Create an obstacle course

This is great for inside or outside.

99. Do science experiments

There are lots of books in the library with simple and inexpensive experiments to do.

100. Have a lego challenge

See who can build the biggest, highest, or some other challenge.

101. Bake cookies for an elderly neighbor

102. Make a prayer list to pray for others as a family

103. Stay in your pajamas all day

Yes, that includes you mama!

104. Watch crafting videos on Youtube

Here’s a great YouTube channel full of craft ideas for kids. Then let the kids try them.

105. Have a superhero dress up day

106. Do a treasure hunt in the backyard

This is similar to an Easter egg hunt. Just hide whatever treasures you like.

107. Have a hula-hoop contest

There you have it, more than 100 activities that will carry you through every single day of summer break!

Just remember one thing, mama… enjoy the summer and have fun!

Is there anything I’ve missed on this list? What would you add?

And make sure to grab the FREE summer bucket list!

Please share your ideas in the comments below!

Brandi Michel is the creator of and when she's not spending time with her most favorite people on the planet – her family – you can find her drinking lukewarm coffee and sharing her best tips and advice on creating your best "Felicity" family life on her blog! Felicity means joys of heaven, prosperity, and blissfulness. Sounds awesome, right? To get even more ideas on how to have fun as a family, get her FREE checklist Family Time Made Simple! Plus, you'll get FREE access to her VIP vault full of printables and ebooks to help bring out all your amazingness in your life and home!

Leave a Reply


WOW! This is a great List! My kids will love all of these. And some of these we have tried! Love it.Reply to Nicole
Pretty sure this is a life saver!! Love the relay race idea!!Reply to Catrina
Life-saver… I love that Catrina! Thanks so much!Reply to Brandi
Wowzers, what an amazingly comprehensive checklist! I have two small boys and we’ll be using this as inspiration over the summer 🙂Reply to Caroline
Yeah, Caroline! So glad you’ll be using this list as inspiration. 🙂Reply to Brandi
I am definitely pinning this list! We come up with our own specific summer bucket list that focuses on attractions in our area, but I love your general ideas as well. Bring on summer!Reply to Amanda
Sounds like you’re ready for summer, Amanda! I’m slowly getting there myself. Lol With the weather getting warmer down here I’m definitely wanting to be outside more! Thanks for pinning and so glad you loved the post. 🙂Reply to Brandi
This is a great list! My kids are itty bitty (2 and almost 1) but still some of these work for me! TFS!Reply to Mallaury
Aw so sweet. I love that age. 🙂 Be sure to check out the toddler activities ideas link in this post!Reply to Brandi
These are all fun and great ideas for some fun times during the summer. We spend tons of time playing and working together outside.Reply to candy
That’s a great idea Candy! Working outside sounds like fun while the kids are running around. We live in a townhouse so we don’t have a backyard right now. 🙂Reply to Brandi
This is such a wonderful list of fun activities for all moms to do when the kids are off from school. It can be so taxing to plan their every moment but it’s just par for the course. Thanks for sharing.Reply to Aditi
You are so welcome, Aditi! Planning in advance and getting our minds prepared before school’s out is so helpful!Reply to Brandi
Brandi, What a fantastic list for school-aged children with moms who work at home. That’s me!!!! My twins will be home this summer and my business has grown so much since they started school that I need to make sure they are busy and having fun while I can squeeze in some work hours. But, of course, I love summer and will totally be enjoying many of these activities with my twins!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna! I know all about “fitting the work in” when the kiddos are home! The struggle is real. But I’m so glad you mentioned you were already planning to enjoy those activities together with your kids. As they say, the days are long but the years are short. These activities really help to create wonderful memories for both our kids and us moms!Reply to Brandi