You’ll never hear “I’m bored” again! Here are 100 fabulous and fun activities for kids to do at home this summer! Whether you have toddlers, preschoolers or 5-10 year olds, you’ll find tons of easy, inexpensive and creative ideas here for kids to do in the backyard (and in the house on rainy days). BRING ON SUMMER!
Summer break, summer holidays, summer vacation… call it what you will, for kids, there are no sweeter words. As a parent, while you may be thrilled to have your child at home (and to be done with packing lunches for a while), you also may be waiting on pins and needles for those two dreaded words: I’m bored.
It’s inevitable. It’s gonna happen. Probably on day 2 of summer break.
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! I’ve put together a huge list of fantastic summer crafts, activities and recipes that will keep your kids entertained and learning all summer long.
And I’ve put them all in a printable checklist for you to stick your fridge.
The list is a collection of the hooligans’ favourite warm-weather activities. They’re all easy to set up, they’re inexpensive, and can be done at home in your backyard, kitchen or craft room.
Your kids’ best summer memories are waiting to be made in your own backyard.
Remember how magical and memorable the summer holidays were when we were kids?
We made lemonade stands, put on plays, made mud-pies and daisy chains, and set up great games of pretend-play that could last for days. And we did it all in our own backyards without spending a dime.
It’s the same here in my daycare. We do summer the good-old-fashioned way, because in my opinion, simple, imaginative activities that teach and entertain the kids are much more fun and beneficial than sitting inside in front of a t.v. or iPad screen.
You don’t have to spend money to provide amazing activities for your kids:
If you know me, you know I operate my daycare on a shoe-string budget.
The crafts and activities that we do are inexpensive and often, cost-free because we use things that we already have around the house for our crafts, sensory bins, water activities and even for the play features in our backyard.
Keeping the kids entertained during summer is easier than you think.
Here’s the boredom busting strategy that I use every day:
I’ve also rigged up some really cool play features (included in the list below) in our yard, like our bucket & rope contraption and our tight-rope, which captivate the children and encourage hours of imaginative play. The kids come and go from these freely as well.
We also do a craft every day, either on the deck or under the shade of a tree in the backyard.
Throw in a walk to the park, or through the forest or the neighbourhood and you’ll have the recipe for a perfect summer day – every day! Your kids will be so busy learning, experimenting and exploring that I can almost guarantee they’ll never complain of being bored.
Be sure to print off the checklist for all of these activities! You can put it up on your fridge, and work your way through the list this summer!
100 Fun Activities For Kids To Do At Home This Summer!
- Make the best homemade GIANT bubbles with this easy homemade bubble solution. Great for all ages!
- Make art in the sunshine with frozen, colourful paint pops.
- A homemade water wall provides hours of fun and learning for preschoolers.
- Make nature faces with goodies from the garden.
- Set up a backyard waterslide.
- Set up a bath station for the dolls! It will keep toddlers and preschoolers busy for hours!
- Make ribbon twirling sticks, and dance!
- Set up a bucket and rope “pulley” contraption. So great for gross motor development!
- Make healthy homemade creamsicles with just 2 ingredients! They taste like real creamsicles!
- Make God’s Eye ornaments. A classic kids’ craft for 5-10 year olds.
- Make marbled paper and turn it into wrapping paper or greeting cards.
- Make garden “soup”. This is such a fun sensory/water play activity for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Dig for frozen treasures with this DIY Ice Age activity bin. It will keep kids busy for a good long time.
- Paint the driveway with this easy 3-Ingredient sidewalk paint.
- Make tin-can stilts. Remember this classic from your own childhood?
- Set up an awesome “car wash” activity with shaving cream and water and hot wheels cars.
- A batch of 2-ingredient cloud dough keeps forever, and will keep kids entertained for ages.
- You can colour your cloud dough to make it even more exciting.
- Concoct a batch of Fairy Soup to go along with some mud pies.
- Make art with WET sidewalk chalk.
- Hang a doll clothes line in the yard and wash the doll’s laundry.
- Make musical instruments for a “marching band” walk around the neighbourhood!
- Make a batch of ghost mud with toilet paper, soap and water. It’s an amazing sensory experience!
- Make melted art with crayons and sunshine.
- Paint shaving cream clouds on a mirror.
- Make one-ingredient banana ice cream. It’s so good and so healthy!
- Make some homemade bird feeders to hang in the yard.
- Set up a “mobile” mud-pit in your wheelbarrow for some contained muddy fun.
- Make beautiful garden ornaments to hang in the yard or to give as gifts.
- Set up an ocean sensory bin like this, this or this.
- Hold a backyard pretend tea party with items found in nature.
- Make window art on the sliding glass door with water and foam shapes.
- Paint with water on the driveway, deck or patio! They never get tired of this!
- Set up a coloured water laboratory.
- Make homemade pizza in minutes with this quick and easy pizza dough recipe!
- Round up some scrap fabric, ribbon and buttons and make paper dolls.
- Make good luck charms or worry dolls ( great for kids who are anxious).
- Set up a dolly diaper station. Preschoolers LOVE this one!
- Hold a backyard art party!
- Make fridge magnets.
- Make a set of bottle babies.
- Add some artificial flowers to your play area! They provide hours of open-ended fun.
- Attach funnels and hoses to the fence and make a corn run.
- Make some wind chimes. (8 ideas here!)
- Paint the sliding glass door with shaving cream.
- Strengthen spreading and stacking skills with blocks and shaving cream.
- Teach the kids how to braid with this easy, homemade braiding board.
- Play with coloured ice and water.
- Set up a pretend coffee shop.
- Make binoculars and go on a nature hunt.
- Set up a simple balance beam in your outdoor play area.
- Do a fun and easy water displacement experiment.
- Practice weaving.
- Collect some stones, and make lots of cool stuff with them.
- Put on a magic show.
- Test all your markers and make paper towel art.
- Turn rocks into crystallized paperweights.
- Make homemade butter. This is SUCH a fun science activity!
- Create a nature collage from findings in the yard and garden.
- Teach your kids how to weave on a cardboard loom or a round loom.
- Add some ramps and fun accessories to your sand box!
- Make homemade watercolour disks for painting.
- Make homemade liquid watercolours too!
- Set up a “water-works” activity bin.
- Paint some rocks like this or this or like this.
- Make popsicle stick dolls.
- Make paint stick dolls.
- Turn a cardboard box into a construction site small world.
- Play with 2-Ingredient GOOP.
- Set up a “cutting station” like this or this to strengthen scissor skills.
- Make an ocean in a bottle.
- Build ice sculptures (Yes! Even in summertime!)
- Craft with paper plates. (Tons of ideas here!)
- Set up a lemonade stand! Here’s a great recipe for old-fashioned, homemade lemonade.
- Decorate some glass jars to put flowers in or to hold pens and pencils.
- Make a name puzzle for your preschooler to practice spelling his name.
- Do your kids like science? These simple science experiments are great for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Grab a paper bag and make a princess tiara like this or an even easier tiara like this.
- Create a captivating dinosaur activity bin.
- Make a bouquet of colourful paper towel roses.
- Set up an activity on a mirrored surface.
- Collect sticks and make these cool garden ornaments.
- Grab an old camping jug and add “running water” to your backyard play area.
- Let the kids play “mad scientist” mixing colours and making perfume.
- Set up a muddy car wash.
- Make a pool noodle abacus for your play area.
- Wash the toys.This is great to do every couple of months to get rid of germs.
- Set up a stryrofoam construction station. So fun for preschoolers to develop their engineering skills.
- Fill a container with water and hold a Polly Pocket pool party.
- Finger paint with shaving cream on an old, outdoor table.
- Make Mud Pies just like we used to when we were kids.
- 5-10 year olds will adore this simple paper plate self-portrait craft.
- Make a tight-rope for your backyard play space. It will be the most popular play feature in your yard!
- Make coffee can ice cream.
- Try squirt painting with water-guns.
- Make cereal box self-portraits.
- Teach them about chemistry with these 3 easy chemical reaction experiments.
- Hold an outdoor scavenger hunt. (free printables)
- Set up a backyard obstacle course. So great for improving balance and gross-motor skills.
- Tie Dye a tee-shirt with Sharpies.
To download and print the Checklist for all 100 Fun Activities for your kids to do at home this summer, CLICK HERE!
Backyard games for kids:
If you’re looking for outdoor games for your kids to play in the backyard check out this collection! They’re all great for family fun, backyard gatherings and neighbourhood parties!
Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!
25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, plus links to 50 additional crafts and activities all for $8.99!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.