80 Things to Do in Summer when Kids say “There’s NOTHING to do!!”

By S. Standish – Teacher, Mother of 3 Crazy Fabulous Boys, Entrepreneur and NEW Blogger!

Here is a good list of things that you can present, when you get the infamous roll of the eyes and, “There’s nothing to do!”

  1. Water Balloon Baseball – water balloons and kids foam bats…..tons of giggles and wet clothes.
  2. Golf Frisbee competition. Pick a target that is an appropriate distance away, then keep track of how many Frisbee throws it takes for you to hit the target. Make a course throughout a large area of land and keep track of your score on a piece of paper. It is like golf(hence the name) but way more creative and fun!
  3. Make your own face paint. Ingredients: Equal parts Cornstarch & Face lotion, 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil, Washable paints(check ingredients for safety) …..Make mixture with corn starch/face lotion and vegetable oil so it won’t be cakey, and then colour the mix.  Avoid using all face paint around eyes!
  4. Grab a magnifying glass and a jar and go on a backyard bug hunt. You can even take pictures and document your adventure. Having kids go further and identify the bugs is always a good time.
  5. Sun Yoga – Moving and playing together as a family is awesome in any weather, but the summer heat is really enjoyable for warm-weather inspired yoga poses for kids. Sun Salute (Mountain Pose) – Flamingo (Tree Pose) – Surfer (Warrior pose) – Starfish (Star Pose) – Read a book (chair pose) – Bride over water (Downward Dog) – Belly surfer (Locust pose) – Back Float (Lie on your back and relax).
  6. Try a new activity for the whole family, a modern treasure-hunting game that’s popular everywhere, aka geocaching! Go to: geocaching.com for more information.
  7. Skipping Rocks at a pond/body of water. Make sure no one is swimming in the line of fire!!
  8. Create a small water feature for the front or back yard.
  9. Ice Cream Taste Test!!! Always a winner for kids and adults.
  10. Sponge Jenga Game – sponges from the dollar store cut up into jenga-sized pieces….add water and bubbles for added fun and a guaranteed water fight.
  11. Observe the sun rise/set together as one big happy family at least once this summer season — ideally on a beach. A front porch or deck would work well also. Added task…..have family members paint the sunset and compare paintings afterward.
  12. Hula Hoop Contest – Ready to go? Play some background music, and have the kids keep their hoops moving as long as possible without touching the ground.
  13. Tie dye t-shirts
  14. When it is super hot…..get WET!!! Lots of city parks have free splash pads, and city pools are often free of charge or charge very little for admission.
  15. Organize a Kazoo band.
  16. Backyard drive-in.
  17. Make a sundial.
  18. S’Mores bar.
  19. Water Balloon fight……make sure to make all the balloons before hand and put them in plastic containers (laundry baskets work well). Make a boundary, as there will be tons of plastic balloon pieces all over the places that need to be picked up after.
  20. Balloon Volleyball
  21. Paint the Driveway. I like to challenge the kids to a theme. Like make the driveway look like an ocean scene/amusement park/sport centres.
  22. Backyard dusk dance party
  23. Nature Walk with scavenger hunt list.
  24. Redesign the backyard as an amusement park. Have them draw up the new design or do a prototype (using lego for example).
  25. Fruit Kabobs – sticks & and Kabob sized pieces of fruit. Great for rainbows, patterns and taste preferences.
  26. Water Pinata……so awesome. Tie a sturdy line between two points at a good height for the participants and fill balloons with water (adding glitter is fun as long as they are wearing eye protection…glitter in eyes does not feel so good). Tie them to the line and have kids whack them with a stick…if they aren’t breaking add a pinhole leak and let the good times SPLOOSH!
  27. Play with a Chinese jumprope. You can buy them, or make one from skinny elastic.  Remember—”In! Out! Side to side! In! Out!
  28. Octopus Tag
  29. Go fishing. Or if you are against the whole fishing thing, go to ponds and lakes with mason jars and see all the tiny little life that is swimming around in the water.
  30. Clay sculptures (sand is a good substitute)
  31. Ukulele Lessons
  32. Wash the car or toy cars
  33. Shark Jaw Comparison Lab
  34. Lemonade Stand
  35. Dart game with water balloons attached to a board by an adult (ADULT supervision needed).
  36. Bulls Eye Bowling
  37. Suncatchers Craft
  38. Learn some camp songs!!
  39. Create a summer soundtrack….kid-friendly version. Play it on all family events.
  40. Kids host a garage sale!
  41. Bubble Wand Lab
  42. Head out to the great outdoors with a local hike…..trying to end up at a secret waterfall will give you parent/guardian bonus points.
  43. Hamburger Sliders
  44. Duck, Duck, SPLOOSH!
  45. Red Light, Green Light a classic favourite game.
  46. Cheerios/plate bird feeder.
  47. Blanket Volleyball, each team has a blanket held like a parachute and volleys a ball (or object) back and forth in a specified area using the blanket as the propulsion.
  48. Inflatable Water Park Party. We have one of these babies and it comes out at every function at our house. Such a fun time!
  49. Water Slide Design Lab
  50. Get a STRIKE!!! Bowling alleys across the country (Canada) participate in a summer-long Kids Bowl Free program. Kids can play two free games a day!!
  51. Go Berry Picking – YUMMY! Bring wipes and extra clothes, as most berries leave a nice stain on skin and clothes.
  52. Delectable One-step HEALTHY Banana Ice Cream
  53. Hot Potato ……. With water balloons!
  54. Backyard Tic Tac Toe with a shower curtain, tape and frisbees.
  55. Summer Journal
  56. Sponge “Cool-Down” necklaces
  57. Airplane design then a distance race
  58. Yogurt Popsicles
  59. Take a tour of the best playgrounds in your area. Have the kids rank them, listing pros and cons.
  60. Backyard Luau
  61. Wet Noggin’s – Buy two colanders from the dollar store, and have two people face off trying to catch as many water balloons as they can in the colander being thrown by a partner.
  62. Ice cream sandwiches
  63. Edible Slime
  64. Super bubbles using a hula hoop
  65. Volunteer at a nature centre. We are lucky to have one close to our home “Heartland Forest”. They have a lot of great programs and opportunities.
  66. Constellation Craft
  67. Outdoor GIANT Dry-erase Mat….use a white shower curtain from the dollar store.
  68. Fireworks Lab
  69. Build a Sandbox…..sounds easy…..can be, depending on what your plan is. Our version — plastic kids pool left on the side of the road…add sand…toys…then the kids.
  70. Visit the beach and collect shells
  71. Ice eggs…..freeze small dollar-store toys and trinkets in water to make them.
  72. Canoeing or Kayaking
  73. Bottle Cap Sailboats Race – Create mini sailboats using bottle caps from water bottle, straw pieces for the mast and foam sheet sails. Everyone gets a numbered boat and you race them in a designated area.
  74. Make homemade pizza on the barbecue.
  75. Build a sandbox.
  76. Musical Kid Toy Popular Song Interpretation. Love Jimmy Fallon….giving credit where credit is due. Our kids love trying to recreate a popular song using the various instruments received through birthday and holidays.
  77. Go to the local farmer’s market.
  78. Bookmark reading competition – Have the kids make a bookmark with space to write a set number of books on. When they are done reading all of the books (parental monitoring might be needed) they get a prize (day at amusement park, new book, etc.).
  79. Fun Music Festivals. Check local listings for areas that you want to visit during the summer, or in the town you live in. There are a ton of great offerings during the summer season.
  80. Try a NEW summer sport…..surfing. Look up what is available in your area and come up with a plan to get out of the athletic comfort zone that you or your kids might be in.

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