49 Free Summer Activities for Kids


School’s only been out for two weeks, and here it comes, the dreaded whine of, “I’m bored.” Your children aren’t conspiring to make you crazy, although it sometimes feels that way. Children are still limited in their cognitive development in many ways, and quite frankly they do believe the world revolves around them. It’s our jobs as parents to teach them that the world does not and help them learn the skills of empathy and patience.   

Summer can be an essential time to support this development. Rather than giving in to your children’s every demand and whim, feeling pressure to spend money entertaining them every minute of every day, encourage them to do some things by themselves, boosting their creativity and development and saving your pocketbook from summertime demise. 

Fun Summer Activities for Kids

  1.   Shoot funny home videos singing, dancing or just acting goofy. 
  2.   Write and act out a play. 
  3.   Read.
  4.   Write a story. Illustrate it.  
  5.   Listen to music. 
  6.   Dance. 
  7.   Create a scavenger hunt. 
  8.   Play a board game. 
  9.   Make a homemade board game. 
  10.   Write letters to friends or relatives. 
  11.   Make homemade cards. 
  12.   Play hide-and-go-seek.
  13.   Camp out in the backyard. 
  14.   Make snow cones out of crushed ice. 
  15.   Take a walk…or better yet, walk the dog.
  16.   Ride a bike. 
  17.   Make a mud pie. 
  18.   Learn to make origami. 
  19.   Learn almost any new skill…YouTube has an infinite supply of do-it-yourself videos. 
  20.   Run through the sprinkler. 
  21.   Paint with water on the patio or deck. 
  22.   Paint rocks. 
  23.   Set up a backyard obstacle course. 
  24.   Make crafts out of paper. 
  25.   Play hopscotch. 
  26.   Create shadow puppets
  27.   Rearrange your room.
  28.   Learn string games like Cats in the Cradle
  29.   Watch old home movies
  30.   Build a fort
  31.   Make a necklace out of pasta or cereal. 
  32.   Climb a tree.
  33.   Solve a crossword or word search.
  34.   Play free online games. 
  35.   Make a pet rock. 
  36.   Learn to speak Pig Latin. 
  37.   Have a fashion show. 
  38.   Research careers. 
  39.   Jump rope. 
  40.   Blow bubbles. 
  41.   Make your own Play-doh or slime. 
  42.   Finger paint.
  43.   Decorate a T-shirt.
  44.   Watch the clouds roll by. 
  45.   Wash the car. 
  46.   Wash the dog. 
  47.   Collect bugs. 
  48.   Play with sidewalk chalk. 
  49.   Bake a cake.

Make time to do some of these activities together as well. While it’s crucial we teach children empathy, it’s also important we balance that by giving our time and attention to our children. And any of these free activities will be lots of fun to do together.