Explore tons of fun summer activities for kids of all ages! We've even included ideas that are free and low cost - from book swaps to making nature-inspired art. As well as activities that don't require any supplies. And quite a few will not only help children develop their scientific and mathematical skills, but also foster their curiosity, problem-solving abilities, and technological literacy. As always, be sure to adapt the activities to your child's age, interests, and abilities to ensure an engaging and enriching experience.
Learn computer science and make cool games! Join our fun award-winning live online beginner-friendly coding classes led by experts: Scratch Ninja class (grades 2-5); Scratch Junior (grades k-2); Accelerated Scratch (grades 5-9). The curriculum is designed by Google, Stanford, and MIT professionals for kids.
Discover Fun Summer Activities For Kids
- Outdoor Scavenger Hunt: Engage in a nature-inspired treasure hunt. Create a list of items for children to find, such as specific leaves, rocks, or insects. Here are four different outdoor hunts to choose from: Younger kids will love the open-ended scavenger hunt (find something thin, something brown, something brittle, something rough). Older kids can participate in more advanced hunt, too! This particular set of clues focuses on challenging finds, such as onion grass and five different types of leaves.
- DIY Science Experiments: Conduct fascinating experiments at home using household items. Here are 100 ideas. Light refraction magic and rainbow celery are two popular picks. They might also be interested in live online science classes: NASA Science and Quantum Physics.
- Outdoor Water Games: Is there anything better than playing water games on a hot summer day? Beat the heat with water-based activities like water balloon toss, slip 'n slide, and sponge relay races.
- Nature Photography: Encourage kids to explore their surroundings and capture the beauty of nature through photography. Teach them basic techniques and help them create a mini-portfolio. From a landscape challenge to a nature map, check out six nature-photography projects from Audubon.
- Coding: Introduce children to the world of coding and programming through interactive online platforms such as Scratch and Code.org or free coding classes and summer camps with Create & Learn. Students can learn the basics of coding by creating their own animations, games, and interactive stories led live by an expert.
- STEM Challenges: Engage kids with some of the best STEM challenges that require problem-solving and critical thinking skills. From the Congressional App Challenge to the New York Times STEM Writing Contest, explore a list of fun STEM contests here.
- Robotics and Engineering Kits: Provide kids with robotics or engineering kits that allow them to build and program their own robots or structures. LEGO Mindstorms offers a range of kits suitable for different ages and skill levels. There are also online robotics classes that can provide guidance and instruction for your child.
- Virtual Field Trips: Take advantage of virtual field trips to explore museums, national parks, and scientific institutions around the world. Websites like Google Arts & Culture and National Geographic Kids provide virtual tours and educational resources. Or visit local museums, gardens, aquariums, and zoos.
- Paint with Nature: Use leaves, flowers, and twigs as paintbrushes to create unique artworks. Children can experiment with different textures and colors. Mother Natured has a tutorial here.
- Indoor Obstacle Course: Design a challenging obstacle course using cushions, hula hoops, and furniture. Time the kids as they navigate through it and encourage friendly competition.
- DIY Musical Instruments: Help children create their own musical instruments using recycled materials, like a water bottle xylophone or a rubber band guitar. Here are 52 ideas.
- DIY Bird Feeders: Build bird feeders using pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Hang them outside and observe the different bird species that visit. Similarly you can make fairy houses. Use moss, bark, and leaves to create adorable dwellings.
- Yoga for Kids: Introduce children to yoga and help them learn various poses through fun and interactive sessions. Cosmic Kids offers kid-friendly yoga videos and resources.
- Gardening: Teach children the joy of gardening by helping them plant and care for their own herbs, vegetables, or flowers. Kids Gardening provides useful resources for gardening with kids.
- Paper Airplane Competition: Encourage kids to design and test different paper airplane models. Measure the distance or time in the air to determine the winner. Here are some ideas for paper airplanes.
- DIY Tie-Dye: Let kids express their creativity by tie-dyeing plain t-shirts, socks, or bandanas. Experiment with different colors and techniques. Here are some tie-dye tips.
- Indoor Fort Building: Provide blankets, pillows, and furniture to help kids construct their own cozy forts. Encourage imaginative play and create a reading nook inside.
- Bike or Scooter Adventures: Go on bike or scooter rides to explore new routes, parks, or nature trails. Encourage kids to practice safe riding habits and enjoy the scenery.
- Learn Magic Tricks: Teach kids a few simple magic tricks using household objects. They can surprise and entertain their friends and family with their newfound skills. Here are 20 ideas from Mommy Poppins.
- DIY Slime Making: Engage kids in the exciting world of slime-making. They can experiment with different textures, colors, and add-ins. Check out Elmers for slime recipes.
- Indoor Puppet Theater: Create a puppet theater using a large cardboard box. Encourage kids to write scripts, design puppets, and put on their own puppet shows.
- DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar: Set up a DIY ice cream sundae station with various toppings, sauces, and flavors. Let kids unleash their creativity and enjoy their customized treats.
- Reading Challenge: Encourage children to participate in a summer reading challenge. Set a goal for them to read a certain number of books over the summer and provide incentives or rewards for achieving milestones. Check with your local library to see if they have any reading challenges during the summer.
- Volunteer or Community Service: Involve children in age-appropriate volunteer or community service activities. This could include helping at a local food bank, participating in beach cleanups, or assisting at an animal shelter.
- Cultural Immersion: Introduce kids to different cultures and traditions by organizing cultural immersion activities. This could include trying new cuisines, learning about traditional music and dances, or even visiting museums or cultural festivals.
- Gain Digital Skills: Help your child learn improve their typing, learn how to work with Google Apps, or Windows office. There are even tutors who can help.
- Lighthouse Immersive: Check out interactive light exhibits that are fun for kids and adults. There's an Immersive Van Gogh, Immersive Disney Animation, and much more, incorporating art, music and state-of-the-art technology.
- Play with Chalk: Draw a bulls eye and toss bean bags or water balloons. Inspire kindness with a sidewalk of encouraging words. Or even create a dot to dot. Here are even more chalk ideas.
- Cook Together: From summer rolls with dipping sauce to sweet blueberry hand pies, explore delicious recipes your child can make. Kids are sure to feel proud eating the final product. You could even check out the I'm The Chef Too cooking kit for kids.
- Interview a relative: Encourage your student to write out their family history.
Summer Activities For Kids That Require No Supplies
As an added bonus for those looking to save a little this summer, here are five things kids can play this summer without using any equipment or supplies:
- Hide and Seek: A classic game that requires no equipment. Kids can take turns hiding and seeking each other in a designated area like a backyard or park.
- Simon Says: A fun game where one person acts as "Simon" and gives commands for others to follow. Players must listen carefully and only perform actions if the command is prefaced with "Simon says."
- Tag: A timeless game of tag where one person is "it" and tries to catch and tag the other players. Kids can enjoy running around and playing in open spaces.
- Duck, Duck, Goose: Children sit in a circle, and one child walks around tapping others' heads, saying "duck." When they say "goose," the tagged child must chase them to avoid becoming the next "it."
- I Spy: A game where one player says "I spy with my little eye, something that is..." and provides a clue about the object's color, shape, or location. Other players take turns guessing the object.
Free Summer Activities For Kids
Here are five free or low-cost activities that kids will love to do in the summer, including some creative and original ideas:
- DIY Mini Golf: Create a homemade mini-golf course in your backyard or even inside your house using everyday objects like plastic cups, cardboard boxes, and household items. Kids can design and build their own holes and enjoy a round of mini-golf.
- Neighborhood Olympics: Organize a neighborhood Olympics event where kids can participate in various fun and friendly competitions like relay races, sack races, hula-hooping contests, or even homemade obstacle courses. Provide ribbons or certificates or fun snacks to celebrate everyone's participation.
- Nature Journaling: Provide your kids with notebooks (or paper) and pencils to create their nature journals. Take them on nature walks or hikes, and encourage them to observe and document the plants, animals, or interesting things they encounter. They can sketch, write descriptions, or even press flowers in their journals.
- Make Homemade Ice Cream: Beat the summer heat by making homemade ice cream with your kids. You can find simple recipes online that require basic ingredients like milk, sugar, and flavorings. Let them get involved in the process of mixing and freezing, and enjoy the delicious treat together.
- Book Swaps: Organize a book swap with friends, neighbors, or fellow parents. Each child can bring a few books they've already read and exchange them with others. It's a great way to introduce new books into their reading repertoire and foster a sense of community around reading.
Try Summer Activities For Kids
Remember to supervise children during activities that require adult guidance and ensure the safety of all participants. Enjoy a summer full of creativity, learning, and fun!
Keep in mind, it's also OK for your student to have some down time this summer. It is important for kids to experience boredom at times as it fosters creativity, resilience, and self-reliance. When children are bored, they are prompted to explore their surroundings, tap into their imagination, and come up with their own entertainment. This stimulates their creativity and problem-solving skills, allowing them to think outside the box and develop a sense of independence. Boredom also teaches children to cope with and overcome moments of discomfort, promoting resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.
Check out summer learning activities for kids next.