133 Simple Summer Ideas for Young Children


These are a lot of ideas I sat down and threw down on paper that we’ve either tried or wanted to try, along with some other little ideas I found here and there online.  If you’re like me, I feel like I spend half the day sometimes staring into space as I mop or sweep or do dishes, wracking my brain for an idea of something to do with the kids to keep them from getting into trouble or killing each other.  I hope this helps!  I plan to print this out, and cut out each idea into a slip of paper and fold it and put them in a jar, so when the kids get bored, they can pull one out and do whatever it says!  Keeps things exciting! Happy Summer Vacation!!

Activity ideas for the kids.

1. Have an indoor picnic.
2. Build a fort out of blankets (use chairs, couches, yarn- anything to hold up the blankets!).
3. Make sock puppets
4. Finger paint with pudding.
5. Playdough- use rolling pins and cookie cutters.
6. Dance PARTY–dance to your favorite songs.
7. Have a tea party.
8. Read nursery rhymes.
9. Make your own indoor hopscotch with masking tape on carpet/wood.
10. Pedicures.
11. Play school–have the child be the teacher.
12. Make a letter book. Let the kids take a picture of something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
13. Look at photo albums.
14. Make a movie of yourselves, then watch it.
15. Paint with water colors.

16. play with super hero figurines. (barbies/dolls for girls)
17. Play with matchbox cars
18. Play board games (my kids love Candy Land!).
19. Color with crayons. Take off the wrapper and see the different ways you can color with them.
20. Make paper bag puppets.
21. Watch a movie and eat popcorn.
22. Go on a treasure hunt.
23. Bake cookies.  Share some with a neighbor or leave as a surprise for someone.
24. Play dress-up.
25. Make paper hats.
26. Make a healthy snack and enjoy it outside.
27. Make a relay race or obstacle course in your house–be creative!
28. Play hide and seek.
29. Indoor snowball fight with socks (or large marshmallows).
30. Build a fort out of cardboard boxes and duct tape.
31. Make plans and invitations for a party.
32. Play tic-tac-toe.
33. Make your own puzzle out of poster board or cardstock, color and cut it out.
34. Make your own matching game.
35. Swim in the kitchen–put down a tarp, fill up a little kiddie pool with warm water and let them play for hours!
36. Make holiday décor.
37. Make a car track all around your house with masking tape.
38. Play “Monster in the Middle.” Pillows are “safe” the carpet is the “lava.” Jump from pillow to pillow and if the monster touches you, you are in the middle.
39. Apple stamps. Cut an apple in half horizontal and use it as a stamp using washable paint.
40. Make lacing cards with their favorite cereal boxes.
41. Learn a new song. (youtube: days, months, seasons, manners, verses, etc)
42. Create a giant dot-to-dot with poster board.
43. Make craft for upcoming holiday

44. Make a necklace with yarn, beads or Fruit Loops.
45. Have a talent show.
46. Cut paper snowflakes.
47. Make a paper countdown chain to next holiday or an upcoming birthday by cutting strips of paper and stapling them together.
48. Hard noodles, Elmer’s glue, and paper… need I say more?
49. Marble racing. Take 2 of your swimming pool water noodles and prop them on the stairs. Race marbles down the middle of them. The hole is a perfect size for a marble.
50. Sculpt clay, let it dry, then paint.
51. Play Gun war w nerf dart guns or water guns.
52. Write letters to Grandma and Grandpa.
53. Play with magnets. Cut up colorful pipe cleaners into 1 inch pieces, put them in a glass jar, put a magnet to the jar and see what happens!
54. Make an advent calendar for Valentine’s Day or an upcoming holiday.
55. Make princess/king crowns.
56. Manicures.
57. Take silly pictures and e-mail them to Dad/Mom at work or other relatives.
58. Make big cars out of a cardboard box. Have the kids sit inside the boxes, cut holes for their legs and let them use their feet as wheels to move around.
59. Play red-light, green-light. Play this with #58. It is so fun!
60. play manners game (demonstrate various behaviors, ask if its good or bad manners.  If bad, ask them how to make it good manners.)

61. Make a super hero costume out of household items.
62. Pillow pile. Collect all the pillows in your house and jump into them.
63. Dress up in Mom or Dad’s clothes.
64. Plan a date for your child and you (or spouse) that makes them feel special.
65. Cream painting. Put shaving cream and drops of food coloring in a cookie tray and then mix it all around with a paint brush.
66. Make a story book out of paper. Have them make it up and draw the pictures.
67. Watch old family videos.
68. Make and frost sugar cookies.
69. Make paper airplanes.
70. Watch an Educational video
71. Read their favorite book to them.
72. Start a journal. If the child can’t write, have them tell you what to write.
73. Make a time capsule of their favorite things and open it next January.
74. Do flash cards (letters, sounds, addition, etc.).
75. make sock puppets
76. Make cupcakes and let them do everything themselves.
77. Plan a family vacation or make a dream vacation pages using pictures in magazines.
78. Teach them to sew.
79. Do an exercise video with them.
80. Rearrange the furniture in their room.
81. Hot cocoa bar. Chocolate covered spoons, marshmallows, whipped cream, Andes mints. Get creative! What do you put in your hot cocoa?
82. Make a bird feeder with toilet paper rolls. Put peanut butter on it and roll it in bird seed. Hang it with yarn outside and watch the birds come.
83. Make little pizzas. Use English muffins, tomato sauce, cheese and any toppings you want. Cook at 350 degrees. Watch until cheese melts.
84. Put on a play.
85. Make an Ice Sun Catcher. Take a pie tin and fill it with water, leaves, pine cones, and yarn so it can hang. Then put it in the freezer and let it freeze. When it is frozen, take it out and hang it on a tree.
86. Shaving cream fight.  Fill pie pans with cream, drip dye in it, and let them make a pretty design, then let them fight it out with it.  Then hose them off for more fun.

87. Let them use your makeup to give you a makeover–this one is HILARIOUS!
88. Let them pick and print out coloring pages online–there are TONS!
89. Make a piñata and fill it with yummy (or healthy) treats.
90. Have a campout in the front room… tent and all.
91. Play doctor.
92. Mummy wrap. Have your kids work together to wrap you, or another child, up in toilet paper.
93. Practice your fire drill. Stop, drop, and roll. What is your plan and your meeting place?
94. Ball toss. Have a few different sized buckets and have kids throw balls into them. For
older kids, fill the buckets with water almost to the top. It is a lot harder than it seems.
95. play hide and go seek..
96. Read a book then act out the story.
97. Indoor bowling. Stuff socks into toilet paper rolls and line them up. Roll a ball into them and you have your own bowling alley!
98. Fill up the sink! Add some dish soap, cups, spoons, bowls and anything else that isn’t breakable. Just make sure there are a couple of towels under their chairs.
99. Take fun pictures in random places
100. Take a bath! Put in toys you usually don’t let go in the tub (that are still waterproof) and they will play forever!
101. Chores. Kids don’t always have to LOVE what they are doing, but I think it is very important to teach what chores are at a young age.

102. play with legos/blocks

103. puzzles

104.  have a candle-lit dinner together.

105. Play in the pool/sprinkler outside

106. Outdoor free play

107. Free play in bedroom

108. go on a walk

109. hunt for pieces of nature outside and bring them home to make a pretty display by gluing them to paper.

110. Have them each help plan a dinner for that week and help make it too.  Give them ideas on pinterest.

111. plant some herbs together in little pots, teaching them about gardening and watch them grow over the weeks.  Use them when they cook their dinner!

112. Gardening/weed picking- they like this more than you’d think!

113. Swinging outside

114. Play “Simon says”

115. bake together (cookies or a treat) and share with a neighbor.

116. Do a random act of kindness.

117. Make a phone call to someone special to tell them hello and we are thinking of you.

118. Write a note/card for someone, or draw a picture.

119. Painting with water (get brushes and bucket of water and paint with water!) on concrete outside

120. Wax paper collage with nature findings.  (put leaves, and flowers between two pieces of wax paper and iron them together.)

121. Find an activity on www.playcreateexplore.com

122. color on the marker board easel.  Have them pretend to be a French artist.  Draw a little mustache on them too!

123.  pick something they want to learn about (fave animal, lighthouses, a career, etc) and do some simple research online.  Have them make little fact cards and compile into a flip book or try out what they’ve learned.

124. Make a slip-n-slide outside with a tarp, hose and soap and let the kids have fun!

125.  Make homemade bouncy balls, crayons, gummies, etc. Look on pinterest for links.

126. Make smore’s in the microwave and eat outside after dark/dinner while telling stories.

127.  Join the library reading program for the summer.  Go to the library to check out a bunch of books and start reading!

128.  Have a waterballoon fight, or play waterballoon volleyball by filling waterballoons, and have two teams each holding a towel, or half-folded bedsheet, and fling the waterballoon to each other, back and forth using the fabric only.  Lots of fun and teaches team work!

129. Make your own trail mix for a snack using things the kids pick.  Options: nuts, m&m’s, skittles, chocolate chips, corn candy, raisins, pretzels, bugle chips, dried fruit, animal crackers, gummies, etc.

130.  Play shop: Get/make some play money, set out items for “sale” making price stickers for them, and have the kids “shop” for a specific suggested event, and have them calculate and budget their spending based on how much money they have to work with.

131. Make tye-died shirts, bandanas, etc.  Look up unique ideas on pinterest.

132.  Have a color-themed meal. (this may take a little preparation)

133.  Let them play online learning games, great for reading help and other skills.  Some good resources are “starfall” and “fisher-price“.

134.Room for more… write your ideas!!

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5 thoughts on “133 Simple Summer Ideas for Young Children

  1. Stephanie Bush says:

    Wow, friend! You’re famous…. You have your own post! Lol! Good info! You’re such a good momma!!!

  2. Hey there, I really wish I had a good answer but it seems WordPress filters it for me. I am very basic skill level when it comes to the technical side of blogging!! Sorry!! Wish I could be more help…

  3. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this site needs much more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!

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