This time of year many of us moms get a little worried about summer boredom. How are we going to keep the kids entertained for the next three months until school starts again? I actually think boredom is a great thing – it gives kids a chance to use their imaginations. Of course, their imaginations can always use a little prompting, and that’s what today’s post is all about. I’ve compiled a list of 101 fun games, crafts, and activities for kids to do over the summer. They’re all easy ideas that can be done at home, making them perfect for those lazy days when you don’t want to be running around.
I created a list like this one a few years ago, but this year I wanted to update it and print it out so I can hang it up on the wall and my kids can look through it. That way they can decide what looks interesting and even check activities off as they do them.
You can download the list in two different formats. First, click here to download a 16×20 .jpg file which you can upload to a photo processor to have printed out ($7 at Costco).
Or, if you prefer to print the list out at home, click here to download a 4 page .pdf. Print the pages at 100%, then trim white border off the top of pages 2, 3, and 4, and tape or glue the pages together.
About half of the ideas on the list have an asterisk after them. That means these ideas have a blog post or web page that gives more information and instructions, and all of those are linked in the list below. You can bookmark this page, or http://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/summerfun so your kids can easily find the instructions for any activity on the list that has an asterisk.
Finally, please leave me any great summer fun ideas you and your kids enjoy in the comments so I can make this list even bigger next year!
101 summer fun ideas that kids can do at home
1. Hunt for bugs.
2. Use water to “paint” the house, sidewalk, patio, etc.
3. Set up a backyard obstacle course and time each other.
4. Leave notes for neighbors in chalk one the sidewalk.
9. Play balloon ball: hit balloons back and forth with hands or rackets.
10. Hide “treasure” and then make clues for someone to find it.
12. Use a long piece of aluminum foil to make a river.
13. Wash dishes + play with water in the sink or tub.
14. Dump out all your crayons and sort them by color.
16. Use a piece of cardboard to make a ramp to race cars down.
17. Use masking tape to create roads on the floor.
20. Take turns telling a silly story, each person adding a sentence.
21. Water all the plants. Ask permission to water neighbor’s plants.
22. Decorate a cardboard box to look like a car. Go for a drive.
23. Build a tent with blankets.
24. Set up an actual tent inside and have a sleepover w/toys.
26. Invite neighborhood kids over for a bike rodeo.
27. Spread butcher paper out and draw a city.
28. Glue cardboard boxes together to make buildings. Paint them.
29. Make lightsabers.
31. Attach ribbons to a stick and the dance with it.
32. Thread macaroni on yarn to make a necklace. Paint it.
33. Use toothpicks and mini marshmallows to build skyscrapers.
34. Draw chalk outlines of each other, then color them in.
35. Hunt for smooth rocks and then paint them.
36. Try to take pictures of things that are every color of the rainbow.
40. Search online for dot-to-dots and print them out to finish.
44. Decorate dollar store t-shirts with puffy paint.
46. Have a creating contest with playdough.
47. Make puppets out of brown paper bags.
50. Play two square or four square. Draw squares w/chalk.
51. Write a letter or email.
52. Listen to songs from your favorite movie and sing along.
54. Put hula hoops out in the yard and play frisbee golf.
55. Make a toy car wash with a little water in a bin and wash your toys.
56. See how high you can stack plastic cups.
58. Glue seashells on a dollar store photo frame to decorate it.
60. Make tin can stilts.
61. Set up indoor bowling with water bottles and a ball.
62. Cut up small pieces of colored paper and make a design with them.
65. Have a lego building contest.
66. Have an A-Z scavenger hunt (find things that start with each letter).
68. Draw a giant hopscotch on the driveway with chalk.
69. Create your own summer Olympics games.
71. Use washable paint to paint each others’ faces.
73. Play Charades.
75. Take a family nap. Get pillows and snuggle and listen to music.
76. Work on a puzzle (or get out two easy puzzles and race to finish).
77. Have a picnic in the backyard.
80. Skype or FaceTime with grandparents or cousins.
82. Write and illustrate a comic book.
83. Play toilet tag or TV tag.
85. Make a bird feeder.
88. Watch family movies.
89. Look at scrapbooks (or check out your parents old yearbooks).
91. Play dress up. Visit Mom + Dad’s closets.
92. Wash the car.
93. Collect leaves.
97. Color or paint paper doilies from the dollar store.
98. Collect sticks and leaves and use them as a paintbrush.
99. Play Duck Duck Goose.
100. Draw a target on the driveway and toss balls/sponges at it.