‘I’m bored.’ That’s the phrase every grow-up dreads when their little darlings are off school for the long summer break.
Heck, I’m a doting auntie in the enviable position of being able to give the kids back at the end of the day/weekend/whenever I want, but even I dread those words.
‘I’m bored.’ Kiddie code for ‘ You’re the adult. You’re job is to unbore me and I will not let up until you do.’
Good thing there are a ton of fun activities to do with kids during those long summer days.
I’ve found a bunch of them for you below; stuff you can do on the cheap or for free in most cases.
Generally, I’ve avoided indoor activities because, hello, we’re talking summer here. If the weather’s nice, I say let them fill their lungs with good old fashioned fresh air.
Are you with me? Good. Let the fun commence.
Over 40 Fun Activities to Do With Kids During the Long Summer Months
1. Play a game of frozen marbles: Clearly it depends how hot the ground is, but the kids should be able to get a good run at this marble game.
2. Storytelling with clouds: I need to make a confession here. I still do this as an adult. It’s a surprisingly fun activity for kids that encourages free association and creative thinking. The stories your kids will come up with… totally priceless.
3. Create giant bubbles: Forget those piddly little blow bubbles you get at the store. The kids can create their own ginormous bubbles at home. Way cool.
4. Outdoor checkers (draughts in the UK): You don’t need a board as such; some chalk and a bunch of wood chips will do the trick.
5. Make a magic tree: Keep the kids busy this summer by having them make a magical tree all of their own.
6. Grow fruit and vegetables: This is something the whole family can get involved with. Kids can get stuck into activities such as pulling weeds and planting crops. You get to maintain a nice looking garden stocked with fresh fruit and veg. Happy days all round.
7. Organize a scavenger hunt in the woods: Or on a beach or even the backyard. Wherever you host the hunt it’s sure to be a big hit with kids of all ages.
8. Hold a garage sale: A creative way for the kids to make extra pocket money while having a summer clear out at the same time.
9. Catch fireflies/lightning bugs [VIDEO]: Apart from having the ‘aww’ factor when you watch the awe in your adorable kids faces, firefly chasing is a great summer activity for wearing them out right before bedtime. 🙂
10. Go fly a kite: Save money on a store bought kite. Make it yourself! Or should I say get the kids to make it. That way they’ll get even more satisfaction when it comes to launching their kite in the great outdoors.
11. Ice block treasure hunt: Think excavation but instead of digging for fossils, your kids are digging for buried ‘modern day treasure’ frozen in a big block of ice.
12. Play water games (12 cool water games): You don’t necessarily need a pool to cool off on a hot summers day. Kids can blow off steam by loading up water balloons or playing with the water sprinkler.
13. Play a game of tag: Nice and easy way to get the kids running around and thinking tactically about how NOT to get tagged.
14. Marble run: Turn simple pool noodles into a marble racing track. Ready. Steady. Go!
15. Make music with an Outdoor sound wall: After the kids make their own instruments from recycled household items, they get to perform in their own outdoor summer concert.
16. Walk on homemade stilts: Slit walking takes some getting used to but once the kids master their new found skill, they’ll want to practice all day long.
17. Water gun target practice: If your kids already have water guns, then this cheap, simple summer activity is a total no-brainer.
18. Garden tic tac toe: Use rocks from the garden to add a twist to a classic childhood game.
19. Play a game of renewable or not: Kids learn about the environment while having fun in the local neighborhood at the same time.
20. Play a game of chalk twister: No need to splash out on the game when little ones can easily make their own and play it on the sidewalk right outside the house.
21. Learn how to juggle [VIDEO]: Juggling is an ultra cool skill to have and this video breaks the learning down into really easy steps.
22. Play a game of ring toss: Always a fun game to play with the kids. Have your kids make their own ring toss so you can keep costs down.
23. Make a fairy garden: Do your kids believe in fairies? Then they’ll love the idea of building their tiny fairy guests a home at the bottom of the garden.
24. Hold a fence painting party: Kids summer activities that rally up the neighborhood are great for building community spirit. Do you have any weather beaten fences on your street that are in need of a lick of paint?
25. Start a rock collection: Gathering up the rocks is just the start of this fun summer activity. You can have the kids classify and sort the rocks before exhibiting them in their very own rock museum.
26. Take part in a charity run: My 5 year old niece ran and completed her first charity run recently (proud auntie here). 1.65km and she loved every minute of it – from preparing for the run (multiple training sessions) to crossing the finishing line and receiving a medal.
27. Create a butterfly garden [VIDEO]: Kids will have a ton of fun counting the number of butterflies they manage to attract to the garden. They’ll also learn about pollination and the important role butterflies and bees play in the natural habitat.
28. Ball splat painting: Oh this looks like sooo much fun. Kids can go all out and get seriously messy with paint (clearly water soluble paint).
29. Have a flour bomb battle: Like having a water fight except with flour.
30. Pick your own strawberries: Or any other fruits or veggies that take your fancy. There are several farms that will let you and the kids indulge. Visit here for a list of pick your own farms locations from all over the world.
31. Build a sand sculpture: You’re down at the beach and what better way to keep the kids amused than to get them building sand sculptures. They’ll be at it for hours.
32. Outdoor chalk road: This is the only time you’ll want your child to play in the road. Well play ON the road – a road they created themselves from chalk.
33. Driveway graffiti: Another fun activity for kids to get stuck into in a spot of messy play.
34. Painting with water: OK, so you DON’T love the idea of the kids splattering paint all over the driveway. Who says they even need paint to paint? If you get my drift.
35. Enjoy a game of homemade bowling: Bowling is tons of fun and even more so when you let the kids make their own bowling set.
36. Shaving foam slide: A really simple outdoor summer activity that your little ones will love.
37. Build something big out of cardboard: Like this cardboard greengrocer. If you just happen to have an oversize cardboard box lying around this summer, don’t throw it out. Get the kids to transform it into something pretty cool.
38. Build an obstacle course: Get the kids running, jumping, crawling and balancing their way across an obstacle course especially designed for them.
39. Nature weaving looms: Get the kids to make pretty nature weaves from things they find down the bottom of the garden or at the park.
40. Make a yarn maze thingy: Ahh, the things you can do with a simple ball of wool.
41. Shaving foam car wash: Have the kids set up a mini car wash for their toy cars, dolls, LEGOs or whatever else they want to throw into the mix.
42. Spend the day at the beach: What? You don’t think that’s creative enough? Sure it is, check out these kids beach activities.
And there we have it. Over 40 fun activities to do with kids this summer. These are bound to ‘unbore’ your brood. Right?
Over to You
What other fun, free, outdoorsy type kids activities have I missed from the list? I’d love you to share your ideas in the comments section below.