Summer With Kids

I have to confess! I LOVE SUMMER!! You get so much more time with the kiddies, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom. On the other end of the stick though, you get SO MUCH MORE time with your kiddies! It can be especially draining if you don’t have plans to keep them busy. You know those days, Moms and Dads! The ones where you’re a jack-of-all-trades. Nurse, referee, cook, maid, teacher, baby wrangling days!

I think I speak for most parents here. We all want to spend as much time as we can with our kids. But, with nothing to do, your house turns into a giant wrestling ring! Well, mine does. I have five boys though! It looks like a hurricane blew through. 😀 No one wants to deal with all that mess.  And they can only do so much in your back yard or at a park. So I’ve tried to compile some ideas and resources on things to do with your kids this summer.

I’m lucky enough to be a part of a parenting support group! I’ve gotten a lot of information from the hosts as well as the other parents! If you have the chance, I highly recommend getting involved in groups like this. There is so much valuable information on anything that has to do with kids. I LOVE my parenting support group! I’ve also made a few great friends! This is a long list but SOOO worth it! Leave a comment and let me know how you spend your summer days and which one is your favorite! Print this list out below↓↓

  1. Amusement Park – Take your family to an amusement park
  2. Animal Sounds – Head into nature and listen to the sounds of the animals. See how many you can identify.
  3. Basketball – Get the family out to shoot some hoops. Play a half-court game, around the world, or h-o-r-s-e.
  4. Bike Ride – Take your family on a bike ride. Try out biking trails if you can to avoid traffic. Always prioritize safety.
  5. Boat Ride – Go canoeing, rafting or ride on a foot-peddling boat. Other fun boating activities are riding a chartered boat, water skiing, jet skis, or white water rafting. Some of these boats can be rented at reasonable costs but always remember water safety!
  6. Bowling – Take your family bowling. Bowling is always as fun as you make it. Let the little ones send the ball down the late too. Don’t take any game too seriously. Make it fun for everyone
  7. Broom Hockey – Use old brooms for sticks and a squishy ball for a puck. Wrap the broom bristles with duct tape to make the broom stiff enough to hit the ball. Set up some upside down buckets in your yard for makeshift goal posts and you’re ready to go. Be careful where you swing the brooms as to not take an eye out!
  8. Bubble Catching contest – Get a small bottle of bubbles for each family member. Let everyone blow bubbles until they fill the sky. Now let everyone try to catch them with the bubble blowing stick. this makes a lot of bubbles which equals a lot of fun.
  9. Build a Family Scrapbook – Get together as a family to build a decorative scrapbook filled with memories (Make sure Dad participates too!).
  10. Bury Family Treasure – Fill a box or sealable bottle with special personal items. Seal up the container well with plastic and bury it for someone to dig up in the future. Wether you dig it up later or someone else finds it, it will assure that your family history is passed on to the future.
  11. Camping at home – Put up a small tent indoors or out in the backyard. Cook your food on the barbecue and simulate all of the experiences of a real campout.
  12. Camping Trip – Take your family out on a camping trip and rough it as much as you can (unless you prefer the “house on wheels”). Let your family experience the wonders and splendor of the great outdoors. Camping can be a blast for everyone and remember, no electronics!
  13. Captured Sounds – Use a tape recorder or digital audio recorder to capture several unusual sounds. Then play them back for your family to hear and see if anybody can guess where the sounds came from. Capturing sounds is a fun thing to do when you are bored.
  14. Collage – Use old magazines, leaves, construction paper, and anything pretty to build a work of art composed of small pieces. Add family pictures and memoirs signifying family achievements to the collage
  15. Compass Excursions  – If you need fun things to do when bored, pick a destination on a map. Drive the car while the rest of the family uses a compass and the map to direct you to the location. Have your family direct you where to turn by telling you to head north, east, south, or west. Make them point to the correct direction. This can help your kids learn their directions and get them familiar with a map and a compass.
  16. Compliment Night – Sometimes it’s easy to forget to compliment on another in a family. Give everyone in the family a piece of paper and have them write 3 nice things about everyone in the family. When the compliment writing is finished, take turns reading the compliments about each other.
  17. Create Family Holidays & Tradition for Significant Family Events – In addition to the normal holidays we celebrate, it can be fun to add a few holidays into the mix. Celebrate accomplishments, happy times, and other remarkable family occasions. Mark these family holidays on your calendar and celebrate them as you would other holidays. Add your own traditions to make them unique and memorable.
  18. Home Dinner and Movie Night (Pizza, Popcorn, & Soda) – Pick one night out of the week to watch movies and eat favorite movie snacks. This is a fun tradition that the kids will especially love. If you are daring enough, set a blanket out on the floor and allow the kids to eat dinner and snacks in the family room while watching the movie. The blanket will offer the floor some protection and can be picked up quickly if someone has a spill.
  19. Dollar Store or Yard Sale Treasure Hunt – Blow a few bucks once in a while, and take the family on an inexpensive treasure hunt. You will be surprised at the treasures you can bring back from dollar stores and yard sales. The kids will feel rewarded and everyone will bring home something new.
  20. Emergency Plan Drill – Prepare an emergency plan for your household that includes what to do and where everyone should meet in an emergency should happen. Practicing the emergency plan will offer your family something entertaining and it will show you how well your plan works, and what may need improvement. Try this at least one every six months.
  21. Evolving Picture – This activity is best done at a table or by using a clipboard and passing it around. Have someone in your family draw a few lines or curves on a piece of paper. Then pass the paper on to the next person to add to the drawing. Continue this process until the picture evolves into a finished drawing, but don’t criticize what anyone adds. Let the art become what everyone makes it.
  22. Evolving Story – This activity is best done with a clipboard to hold several pieces of paper. Have someone in your family begin a story with a single sentence. Pass the clipboard to another member of the family to write another sentence and pass the clipboard around and create a story sentence by sentence until the story is completed. It is sometimes funny to see how the story turns out and all of the personal touches everyone adds.
  23. Family Funathon – A funathon is a marathon of fun. This is a day when the family must put aside any daily cares and worries, because it is a day ONLY for fun, not for stress. Plan several events that will fill the day with  as much family fun as possible.
  24. Family Run – Running or jogging should be considered as part of a family exercise program. You may find it difficult to keep everyone running the whole time, but breaks are not a bad thing. Work only as a team and don’t let anyone behind, stay at a comfortable pace.
  25. Family walk – Family walks are usually not for the purpose of exercise but more for sight-seeing. Take your family out to an interesting part of town and tell them some back story or go exploring, just remember to be safe.
  26. Fast Food Night – This is an indulgence that for the calories should not be done all of the time, but for the reward should be allowed once in a while. Allow each member of your family to pick a favorite fast food restaurant to where they would like to have dinner. You may want to have your family write their favorite restaurants on a small piece of paper and place the papers into a hat to decide where to eat for that day.
  27. Feed Ducks – There is something calming and rewarding about feeding ducks. Although they are likely to find food of their own if you don’t feed them, it is somehow rewarding to feel like you have made their lives just a bit easier by providing them a meal. A good thing to know is that bread is not good for ducks, go to your closest pet store and purchase some duck food consisting of smalls grains and corn.
  28. Fishing – Whether it is from a boat or from shore and even if you don’t catch anything at all, fishing is a lot of fun for the whole family.
  29. Frisbee (Golf, Horseshoe, etc.) – Frisbee isn’t just a game of catch anymore. There are new, fun games you can play with a frisbee when you use your imagination. Frisbee golf is a lot of fun too.
  30. Game Night – Board games can be a lot of fun if the whole family gets involved.
  31. Get a Birdfeeder and/or Birdhouse (see how many birds you get) – If you like watching birds, set up a bird house and/ or a bird feeder in the backyard. Hanging these from a tree or pole can provide birds with an easy lunch while providing the family an excellent view of flying visitors. See how many of the birds you can identify and maybe even use a bird book if there is one handy.
  32. Go see a play in a theatre – Find out what plays are going on at your local theatre. Take your family to enjoy a play, musical, or other theatrical show.
  33. Go to a beach or a lake – Sometimes it is fun to hit the beach or set down by a lake as a family. Bring a blanket, a cooler full of goodies, and a few outdoor toys to throw around so you don’t get bored.
  34. Go to a circus – Get out the circus when it comes to town. A circus is an event that your kids will remember for a long time.
  35. Go to the County Fair – Take the family to the County Fair. Check out the exhibits, see animals, and maybe even catch a pony ride.
  36. Go to  a Professional Sports Game (or not so professional) – Support your local teams and go see a sports event. Buy a hotdog and root for your home team.
  37. Hiking – Hiking is always an opportunity to get your family out to experience the beauty of nature.
  38. Holiday Fun Facts – Learn facts about the history and traditions of the holidays you celebrate and share them with your family to make the holidays more meaningful.
  39. Ice Block Rides – Buy some large ice blocks from a grocery store and head for the hills. Put a towel on top of the ice block to sit on and sled down the hill. You can have races and lots of laughs with this activity. Be sure the area you sled down is clear of trees or anything that can get in the way
  40. Ice Skating – Ice skating is one of the funnest things you can do on ice. It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at it. The idea is just to have fun. Help your kids if they are a bit teetery on the ice.
  41. Indoor Blanket Tents – Go crazy with the furniture! Bring all of the chairs you can find into one room. Set chairs next to one another as walls of your tent. Drape large blankets over the chairs as the roof of the tent. Try different arrangements for variety. Make tunnels, hideouts, and more. Mom and Dad need to get down in the tent too. With a little imagination this activity is tons of fun.
  42. Kickball – Get the family out in the yard for kickball. Line up 3 sides of the yard and kick the ball to each other. You can make the game similar to catch where you kick the ball as close to the person on the other side as you can, or you make the game to try to kick the ball past each other. Make your own rules and have lots of fun.
  43. Kids’ 15 Minute Activity Picks – Make a committment to share at least 15 minutes a day doing an activity of your kids’ choice. It is so wasy to get caught up in the busyness of life that we end up not doing anything with our kids. Don’t let this happen. Let your kids be in charge of planning a simply short daily activity. You will be surprised with what they come up with.
  44. Kite, Plane, and Rocket Day – Get your flying gizmos and send them flying upward. Whether it’s a simple kite or a combination or several flying toys, it can be a blast to take flight as a family.
  45. Laser Tag – Go to a facility that offers laser tag. Make family teams for each session and do some stealthy laser shooting. Change up the teams every few games to make it fair and to shake things up.
  46. Library – Encourage your family to read by going to the library and checking out some books of their interest.
  47. Listen to Music – Everyone in the family should pick their favorite song. Sit together as a family and take turns playing your favorite songs. Encourage the kids to dance and have fun.
  48. Family Cookbook – Experiment as a family in the kitchen by making new foods. Try family recipes and make a few new creations. Let the kids tell you what they like and what you can make better (Their opinions, although brutal, are generally honest and will make everyone happier come dinner time knowing they helped). Most importantly, write them down.
  49. Make a Movie – It’s fun to make home videos of your family doing cute things, but it can also be made to make a home movie. Write a short script and consider the setting and camera angles. Do everything as a family and enjoy the process of making a movie.
  50. Make Dinner Together – Make the family a part of your everyday dinners. Let the kids participate in setting the table and help you gather ingredients. This will help your kids learn how to cook and will also make it easier for you!
  51. Mini Golf – Miniature golf is always a fun outing for the whole family
  52. Movie or TV Show Marathon – Gather the family together chose a series you all can agree on.
  53. Movie Trivia Game – Watch a movie as a family. As the movie is playing write some questions and afterwards, ask the “contestants” those questions, whoever gets the most right win!
  54. Museum Day – Go to a local museum with your family. There are many types of museums with a variety of different interests. Some museums offer close up hands-on displays that can offer a lot of fun.
  55. Play Music and/or Sing Songs – For the musically inclined, get the family together and play songs with musical instruments or if you don’t have any, just sing!
  56. Explore – Take the family out and go exploring. It doesn’t matter where just as long as you have no idea where you’re going!
  57. Movie Theatre – Once in a while it’s fun to see a movie on the big screens. Ig you don’t go to the movies often, it can be fun as a new activity. Get the big bucket of popcorn and some drinks. Make it a fun experience for the whole family.
  58. Paper Mache – Gather up some old newspaper and a tray of water. Make a frame of chicken wire or some other type of framework and see what you can create. Add some paint to your creation when it dries. Everyone can work on a single project or do one of their own.
  59. Park for Play – Get the family out to the park just for the purpose of playtime. It’s always good to get a break sometimes to relieve the house of some stress.
  60. Pasta Art – Using several different types of some pasta and some glue, create works of art. See what you are your kids can create with pasta. When you are done, paint your creation.
  61. Picnic – Take a picnic to the park. Bring your lunch from home. Bring a blanket and all of your food. Don’t forget napkins and a bag for your trash.
  62. Picnic at Home – Pick a spot outside to set up your blanket and food. Let the kids help out with preparing the food and the eating area.
  63. Planetarium – Take your family to the planetarium, a great place to learn about the planets and constellations in a controlled environment.
  64. Start a Garden – Turn the soil and plant some vegetables. This can be a great opportunity for kids to learn about edible plants. It is also a good feeling to see your hard work turn into a beautiful garden.
  65. Charades – See how effectively your family can express themselves without talking.
  66. Hide and Seek – Hide and seek is a fun game that can be played indoors or out. As a twist you can have just one person hide and everybody else be seekers.
  67. Puppet Shows – Use hand puppets you make have or make some of your own. Paper lunch bags are the easiest hand puppets to make. Use a few markers and come yarn for hair and you will soon be able to put on a hilarious show.
  68. Old Family Pictures – Go through old family photo albums or get photos you may have on a CD slide show. Alternatively you may gather around the computer and look at many of the pictures you have stored over time. This is a lot of fun to do especially after some time has passed since you have seen the pictures.
  69. Road Trip barbeque – Get on the road with a small barbecue. Head out to somewhere your family enjoys or even find a new place. Taking your barbeque with you makes almost any place a good place to have lunch.
  70. Roller Blade – Take your family out to roller skate. Look for a safe place with a patch or boardwalk. If you prefer, you may want to go to a roller rink.
  71. Room Decorating – From time to time it’s good to spice things up, let the kids pick what paint they want for their room or where they want their furniture and have at it.
  72. Surprise Treasure Hunt – Hide treats with clues on them within the house, each clue should lead them to the next. Have a big surprise at the end as the last reward everyone can share and enjoy.
  73. Scenic Drive – Every state has roads for scenic driving. Research state maps and determine what scenic drives would be ideal for your family. Don’t rush, take your time and plan it out.
  74. Seasons In Pictures – Find a scenic location or several that you can return to without difficulty. Take a picture of that location each month in the same spot. Watch how the seasons change the environment.
  75. Plays – Create short skits as a family. Give everyone a part or assign someone to do special effects for the show (Lighting, Sounds, etc.).
  76. Sledding – Even if you don’t have any hills in your area, you can still have a sled mountain in your backyard (as long as you have plenty of snow). If you work together as a family, you can all enjoy a sled mountain that is a blast for the family.
  77. Snow Shoeing – Here is a way to go for a walk as a family even with deep snow. Snow shoes come in sizes that even fit small children. When snow shoeing, remember safety comes first.
  78. Snowball Fights – Set up shields and duck behind them for cover and throw your snowballs at your family!
  79. Soccer – Have a good game of soccer in the backyard, just try not to get hurt.
  80. Soft Foam Disc Gun Fight – Put on safety glasses and shoot it out with soft foam discs. Soft foam disc guns can provide great fun. Never aim for the face and always wear eye protection.
  81. Special Kid Activity – This gives each child their own special day of their choosing, just be sure not to leave anyone out!
  82. Spontaneous Surprise Activity – Once in a while it’s good to surprise the family with a fun activity you have planned.
  83. Star Watching Night – If you are able to keep you family awake long enough it can be fun to lie under the stars observing the constellations and watching for shooting stars. This is especially fun on a night with a meteor shower or an eclipse.
  84. Swimming – Everybody loves a good swim. Go to a local pool or just jump into your backyard pool. Always remember water safety when swimming in water of any depth. Never let a child leave adult supervision.
  85. Tag Football – Depending on the age of your children you might want a soft football or a real football for your game. Football is a fun activity and also a great exercise for the whole family. The reason it is tag football is because to get somebody down, you don’t need to tackle them you just need to tag them.
  86. Train Ride – Find a place with a small train for you kids. Alternatively take a ride on a nearby railroad. Riding any train is a lot of fun. See the world without traffic jams and gridlock. Find an exciting destination where the train stops. It is easy to make and adventure out of a train ride.
  87. Treasure in a Dark Room – This activity is best done at night. Choose the darkest room in your house and clear it of any hazards that you can step on or accidentally poke you. Get some small treats such as candy and scatter them throughout the room, invite your family and see who can find the most within a set amount of time!
  88. Throw a Boomerang – Go to a large field or park to throw a boomerang. It is always amazing to see a boomerang turn around and come back.
  89. T-Shirt Paint or Dye – Make specially designed shirts for holidays or just any occasion. You can use fabric paints or dyes to crate fancy designs. The personalized shirts you make will bring back memories of your family occasion for a long time to come.
  90. Video Game Night – Sit down and play some of your kids’ favorite video games.
  91. Visit a Flower Garden – Take your family to see the beautiful flowers and plants at a flower garden. Here you will see a variety of beautiful plants that you will wish you could have at home. It is nice to see what the right conditions and care can do to plant life.
  92. Visit a Large Aquarium or Marine Life Museum – Get a view of the ocean life and creatures that live beneath the sea. There are some amazingly beautiful fish and some ugly ones too. Large aquariums offer the best view of fish that is possible without getting wet.
  93. Visit relatives – Of all the activities here, this one is the most important. Get out and visit your relatives and loved ones as much as you can. Try to invite them to some of these activities as well.
  94. Walk Dog or Play with Pet – It is fun to get your dog or pet out of the house (or yard). Take your dog for regular walks as a family or plan activities that you can do with your pet. Pets are often considered a part of the family so don’t forget to include them too!
  95. Watch Family Videos – Gather around the TV to watch some old family videos. It is a blast to see a former version of yourself and to see how much you all have grown.
  96. Watch a Sunset – Keep an eye on the setting sun. Watching the sunset can be a very fond memory and sometimes can be very interesting but is always beautiful. Don’t forget to take pictures.
  97. Watch the Sunrise – Drag your family out of bed if you can and get out to watch the sun come up. From experience, I would have to say it is best to give them a warning in advance, or they might just give you grumpy moans as you try to wake them up.
  98. Water Day – Get out and enjoy a hot summer day by cooling off with some water. Get water balloons, water guns, etc. to make it even more of a fun experience.
  99. Wiffle Ball Golf – Pick a Target in the yard and take turns trying to hit it with a with a wiffle ball golf club or a wiffle ball bat works well too. Whoever gets closest wins!
  100. Zoo Day – Everybody loves animals. So very once in a while it is great to take the family out ant enjoy something we all love. It could also be fun to buy a few disposable cameras and let your kids take pictures.

This list is super long,I know! But…also super useful. I hope this helps ease some of  the stressors that come with summer break! I love to hear stories and ideas from other parents and families! Let me know if you try any of these ideas. Leave a comment and let me know how it went, what you’d do different, your favorite moment..etc! Don’t forget to click the follow button and sign up for emails so you don’t miss anything!

You can print the list HERE

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5 Comments

  1. sarah9188

    I’m not a parent, but this was a fun list and I might try some anyway. With the library trip, check out what activities your local library has, not just checking out books. I work at a library and we have everything from free craft times to magic shows and other performers. Yesterday, we even had a preschool yoga class which was the cutest. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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