Summer is one of those seasons where we languish in the days we will have to enjoy our children and the endless stretch of nice weather. We moms always start out the break with grandiose ideas of all of the fun things that we will do, but somehow a few weeks in and we run out of creative ideas. The kids get restless and before you know it, we are scrambling on Pinterest to try to come up with some kind of activity to do with our little dears.
30 Quick Ideas To Do With Your Kids This Summer
Have no fear, with the use of a creative jar and a little bit of foresight, you can create memories for at least the next 30 days before having to search again.
Simply grab the printable, cut out the slips, and mix them up in a daily idea jar. Each day let your children pick a slip of paper out and then you have a creative task to enjoy together. Are you ready? Let’s get started with our list of 30 quick ideas to do with your kids this summer:
1. Paint Chip Bookmarks.
Fun and free but be sure to visit your local Lowes or Home Depot before starting your idea jar. You simply allow your children to pick a paint chip color set that they love or even a few, and then keep them stashed. When the day comes punch a hole in the top for a ribbon and allow your child to doodle with a sharpie, stamp on or put stickers on the newly created bookmark. (these make great gifts too!) Bonus points for reading a chapter and then immediately using the new bookmark to mark the spot.
2. Alphabet animal game.
With no prep, you simply go through the alphabet with the members of your family and try to come up with an animal for each letter. If you have several children, have them each come up with an animal for each letter, example “A” child one: Aardvark, child two: Antelope, mom: Anaconda, then move on to the next letter.
3. Learn a baton trick.
Without a baton on hand, a dowel rod or small PVC pipe will work. Simply YouTube search “baton hand tricks” and see what you can do! This is a fantastic way to work on dexterity and fine motor skills without your children even realizing it.
4. Shaving cream balloons.
This one is fun, messy, and sure to need mom there with a camera. Keep in mind, it’s just soap. Fill your balloons with some old school Barbasol shaving cream (available at most dollar stores for $1) and then let the kids have at it. They can sit on them, bounce them, intentionally pop them, you name it, just have fun!
5. Color a daisy.
Part science, part craft, this one is a lesson in itself. A white carnation will work as well as a daisy does. Fill a glass full of water and add a generous amount of food coloring (any color will work) then place your freshly trimmed flower in the water glass. Come back to check
6. Pinecone bird feeder.
Find a couple of pinecones, the bigger the better, and then have your child smear peanut butter all over the pinecone (for nut allergies use Crisco or coconut oil instead). Once the pinecone is sufficiently covered, roll it several times in birdseed and then hang in a tree with a string. Watch to see what types of birds gather and record your favorites.
7. Lemon challenge.
If you don’t have multiple children, you may have to join in this one, mom. Take a lemon and slice it into wedges and then set a timer. You can either see who can hold it on their tongue the longest, or who can avoid making faces, first one to make a sour face loses.
8. Homemade orange juice.
If you’ve never made fresh-squeezed, you are missing out. A whole bag of oranges is required for this one as 1 orange will usually yield less than ¼ cup of juice. Cut your oranges into wedges and start squeezing, you may never take that juice for granted again!9. Hunt Roly-poly bugs
9. Hunt Roly-poly bugs.
Some call them Roly-Poly bugs, others call them potato bugs, whichever you refer to them as you can often find them under rocks and beneath dead foliage at the bottom of trees. These have long been the curiosity of little ones as they roll into balls when touched. See how many you can find.
10. Practice grass whistling.
A rite of passage for every child is learning to whistle grass. You need an extra long piece which you lay flat along the insides of your two thumbs (youtube again will yield some video explanations). See who can whistle the loudest, try out different widths of grass, make a musical ensemble.
11. Homemade brownies.
If you are guilty of always buying a boxed mix, now is the chance to try something new. It isn’t hard and the taste difference is phenomenal. Here is a fantastic dark chocolate fudge brownie recipe.
12. Have a lemonade stand.
Help your little ones participate in this generations-old tradition. Make it simple by purchasing some Country time Lemonade mix and then set those cuties to work with a card table and a sign.
13. Have a paper airplane contest.
All you need is a stack of paper and some mad folding skills, see whose can fly the furthest, whose is most aerodynamic, what folds make the best flight, etc.
14. Draw constellations.
You can find lists of constellations online and discuss which ones you can see where you are. Begin drawing and don’t be discouraged by little ones, even they can draw the Big and little dippers. This is fun to do with black construction paper and white chalk. At night you will want to be sure and take the drawings out to compare to the night sky.
15. Melted crayon craft.
Comb through your broken and dull crayons and then remove the paper coverings. Put bits of the broken crayons all together in a small oven-safe container that you will no longer use for food. (silicone muffin liners or old Altoid tins work great) place container of broken crayon bits on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven at 200 degrees for 10-20 minutes. Enjoy your masterpiece and draw a picture for the refrigerator.
16. Indoor s’mores.
What child doesn’t like the deliciousness of s’mores? You don’t need a campfire to enjoy this summer treat. Use a baking dish and layer your graham crackers, chocolate squares and marshmallows then bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. When you remove from the oven, top with graham crackers and enjoy the melty, oooey goodness. Or try this delicious Dark Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Ice Cream recipe.
17. Draw a shadow.
Early morning or late afternoon works best for a nice long shadow, but this is a two person deal. One stands in a funny position while the other one draws an outline of the shadow with chalk. Bonus points for the one who can make the funniest shadow.
18. Catch fireflies.
Every child should experience a firefly lantern. All that is required is a deft hand at firefly catching and an old jar with a covering to entrance your children on a midsummer night’s eve. You can pretend that you are in a forest and the only light available is that of your homemade lantern.
19. Build fairy houses.
Imagine that the mythical woodland creatures known as fairies were coming to live at the base of your tree, or in a flower pot. You would need twig chairs, leaf beds, maybe an acorn table, you get the picture. Hours can be spent on this project, and if you have boys, simply call them troll houses.
20. Leaf rubbings.
Gather leaves from a nature walk and when you return home use crayons and a sheet of blank paper to make a beautiful leaf rubbing art. Overlap the colors, shapes, and textures for a beautiful arrangement.
21. Ice cream cookie sandwiches.
Make some fresh cookies and then scoop a slab of ice cream between two of those delicious cookies. Refreeze for a few hours and then when the ice cream truck makes its rounds; simply pull the goodies out of the refrigerator for your crew and save tons of cash.
22. TP binoculars.
Keep some empty rolls handy so that your little nature explorer can easily make some binoculars like a champ. Take two rolls, a bit of duct tape to keep them securely together and viola! Be sure to send your explorer on a mission afterward.
23. 3 legged race.
It’s really all about cooperation, and coordination, of course. This can be done by two people both putting a leg into a pillow case, tying legs together with a bandana, or even just securing the ankles. The hilarity that ensues will definitely be a photo op.
24. Make teddy bear pancakes.
Who knew that pancake batter could easily be transformed into circus animal? All you need is a round pancake, complete with two round drops atop for ears (or Mickey Mouse if you prefer). Once cooked completely on both sides add chocolate chip eyes, nose and, of course, a grin.
25. Write a letter.
Snail mail is fast becoming a lost art, yet all of us still joy in receiving something in the mail with hand lettering and a stamp. Make a relative’s day by asking your child to draw a picture and include a small note to be mailed to a relative, even one that lives one town over.
26. Outdoor baker.
This one requires a sacrifice or a trip to the local dollar store. Use some old, or cheap, boxed mixes (Jiffy mix works well) and for under $2 you can likely keep the kiddos occupied for quite a while. Give them some kitchen utensils, pans, and the mix as well as a small bit of water and then watch what your pint-sized chefs come up with. (NOTE- this is best done in the grass)
27. Make an obstacle course.
The sky is the limit for creativity on this one, and anything can be part of the course. Create an obstacle course for the kids, run through it once or twice so they get the hang of it, then set them loose and time them for speed.
28. Garage sale contest.
Give your children each a small budget ($1-$3) and then hit the garage sales that are plentiful this time of year. The game is on to see who can come up with the coolest treasure with their budget, and then you can compare shopping and bargaining tips.
29. Have an ant race.
First, you have to find them, and then it's part science, part skill. Once you have located a few sidewalk ants take some water with a tablespoon of dissolved sugar and make a small puddle. If more than one child, you can have the children each have their own puddle and wait to count whose puddle gains the most ants. If you have just one child playing, use a timer to see how many ants they can attract in a certain period of time.
30. Marshmallow towers.
This requires mom to have mini marshmallows and toothpicks on hand, but the fun can last for as long as the pint-sized engineers can imagine. Start by helping your child make a cube with marshmallows at each corner connecting the toothpicks, from there, begin the tower structure and see how intricate and tall you can make them.
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Summertime is all too fleeting and the memories you make with your children now will indeed last a lifetime. It isn’t the amount of money we spend on our children, but the time that we spend enjoying them, teaching them, and creating memories with them. Use the ideas above, and add some of your own on the blank slips included making some amazing memories. Enjoy your summer.
Don't miss these other articles with fun activities for your kids:
- This Summer's Top 5 Games to DIY
- Summer Bucket List for Kids
- 76 Summer Activites for Kids
- DIY Tic Tac Toe Game
- Best Water Slide Parks in California
- Top Roller Coasters in California
- DIY Pool Noodle Race Track
Do you have fun activities you do with your kids? Share them in the comments below. Don't forget to pin this list to share with family and friends.