Are you wondering what to do this summer to keep your children busy and out of your hair? It can be hard to think of exciting things to do during summer. We came up with this list of things to do for free or inexpensive in the summer to help you have a memorable summer.
We have divided the list into four categories: activities geared towards younger children, activities geared toward older children, thrifty ideas for the whole family, and fun places to go with the whole family. Today we will be discussing activities that are geared toward young children. Check back for our thoughts on the other three categories in the next coming days.
Summer Fun Ideas that are Geared Towards Younger Children (Around Ages 2 – 10)
- Play in the sandbox: Children can play in the sand for hours if you let them! If you are lucky and live close to a beach you can go to the beach and play in the sand but for those of you who are not so lucky, either a sandbox in your backyard or at a park works just great. Building a sand castle is always a fun activity. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Set up a tent: This is a very fun thing to do with your children. If it is too hard to go on a camp out and bother with all the work that comes with it, no worries, you can simply set up a tent in your backyard or in your house for a day of fun! One night I wanted something fun to do with the kids but it was late and we just had a little time. I didn’t want to be lame and just have them go to sleep after reading them some books like normal. So what we did was we borrowed my sister’s tent and we set it up and read books. It wasn’t much more work besides putting up the tent but ended up being a lot of fun! The kids who were to young to sleep in it slept in there own beds.
- Draw with sidewalk chalk: It is a lot of fun to create artwork with the whole family. It is nice to be in the sun and work together to create an art piece. There are so many things you can do with chalk. You can trace each others outlines or you could even make it look like a crime scene and have fun making a sidewalk chalk story. You can play tick-tack-toe, make a hopscotch board, play marbles, or many other fun games. That is just a few ideas to get you started! You could also go to a friends or family members home and leave them a cool art work on their sidewalk for when they get home!
- Go to a playground: Sometimes the simple things are the best! Take your children and go to a park and let them play on the playground. If you really want them to like you play with them on the playground too and it can be really fun for everyone involved. You could always go with some neighborhood children and their mothers. This could give you some adult time to socialize with other mothers who are in a similar situation. It can be hard to find time to spend with your girlfriends this is an easy solution for that!
- Make some play dough: Play dough is a lot of fun to play with. It can entertain a child for several hours and it is even better when the parents take the time to play with their child. It can also be a lot of fun to make your own play dough and choose the colors you would like.
- Build a fort: It is always a good time when building a fort is involved. Use sheets, blankets, couch cushions, pillows, table, chairs, couches, cardboard boxes, etc. Once you have the fort built you can do whatever you want; read books, take a nap, watch a movie, play a game, etc.
- Make cheerio / fruit loop necklaces: Anything that has to do with cereal is a great activity! You can make some right before going to a church meeting, grocery shopping and then the kids will have something simple to munch on!
- Have some relay races: There are many relay races that can be done with the little kiddos. You can do the egg relay, three legged race, a water relay, etc. Also, the nice thing with relay races is you can make it up and do whatever you want and can usually do a relay with things you already have.
- Play hangman: Hangman is a simple game and is a fun way to learn letters and how to spell. Spice it up by instead of just using paper you could use sidewalk chalk or a whiteboard!
- Create a painting/ finger painting:You can get a canvas if you want it to be nice or just use a regular paper to create a painting and then you hang it up on the wall in your home. Everyone could do their own or the family could work together to create one large painting. There is also finger painting that can be really fun for the children. It can get messy but is manageable just make sure to use washable paints with the younger children.
- Play tag: It seems like all of the children I know really enjoy playing tag. It doesn’t require any props or toys, it is just you and your kiddos running around getting energy out. There are also many different versions of tag such as freeze tag, lava tag (play on a playground and you can’t touch the ground aka the lava unless you are it), missionary tag, etc.
- Make sock puppets and put on a play:Making puppets is a creative way to spend your time but you could always use some puppets you already have to put on a play. Get everyone in the family involved; even if they are just in the audience. It could be fun to put on a puppet show for some friends in your neighborhood or for the grandparents.
- Run through the sprinklers:Turn on the sprinklers in the front or backyard and run n’ jump over the sprinkler to enjoy a refreshing and exciting experience. Repeat as many times as desired. 🙂 I have some fond memories doing this with my siblings it was always fun on extra hot day that we couldn’t go to a swimming pool!
- Make and fly a kite:With your children you could make some kites to fly and that would be really cool to have custom made kites made with love. If you worried about the kite flying properly and are more excited to fly the kite than skip making your own and fly a kite. It works best on a somewhat windy day and so this activity can end up being somewhat spontaneous which is fun sometimes!
- Play dress up:Most children love to dress up and pretend they are someone else but imagine how much fun they would have if you played dress up with them!
- Make a craft:There are so many crafts that can be done for young children for fun and also for educational purposes but I can’t even begin to suggest ideas in this post or you will be reading for days. If you are having a hard time thinking of good crafts I would stay tuned because we have some good posts planned for crafts! Also you can find all sorts of good ideas for crafts on Pintrest!
- Play with bubbles:Outside or stay inside whatever your preference and blow bubbles with each other. It is fun to see the children having fun and laughing with one another!
- Color in a color booking:Pull out the crayons or markers and a coloring book and color with your children.
- Do a science experiment:Not only are science experiments a great way to teach your children something new during the summer they can also be very fun. They will enjoy it and probably learn more of the hands on experience than giving them a worksheet to do.
- Play with Legos:Legos are a classic toy that is very fun and versatile. There are so many things that can be built with Legos. Your new challenge is to see how many different things you can make with Legos!
- Sing songs together:Singing songs can be a fun and exciting thing, educational, or calming. You could also write your own song with your children if you want!
- Get down and play on the floor:Let’s forget all the bells and whistles. Just get on the ground with your children and you might be surprised how much fun you can have just by getting down at there level on the floor.
- Play with dolls or action figures:Remember the days when we didn’t need any extravagant plans? Playing with dolls or action figures with your children is a great way to use your imagination and creativity.
- Make bean bags and play with them:Bean bags are really simple and easy to make. All you have to do is get two pieces of fabric that are the same size that you want your bags to be (have fun picking the scraps of fabric you want to use!) sew three sides of the bag with the two pieces aligned, put the beans or even rice or corn in the bag and sew up the fourth side and you are done! You can play all sorts of games, use a box or bin to toss them in, have a relay, etc. Have fun with it!
- Play with a ball:Find a ball and get with your child/children and roll it around, throw back and forth, kick it, hide it, etc. This is a fun way to do something simple and fun for the children.