109 Fun kids activities in summer: indoor and outdoor

/ / 109 Fun kids activities in summer: indoor and outdoor
Sledding on the sandhill can be one of your kids activities in summer

The summer holiday is just around the corner. For some people, they will plan for a family vacation months in advance. But for others —who don’t have enough budget to spend for a family vacation away—they have to settle with staying home with the kids at home. 

However, just because you don’t go away anywhere for a vacation, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your kids in a fun and memorable way. 

How do I entertain my kids in the summer?

There are tons of ideas for fun activities that you can do with your children during their summer holidays, without spending loads of money. 

I promise your kids will always remember those times you spend with them. The key is you give them your full attention and love. That’s how you can entertain your children and yourself. And you’ll have a quality-bonding-time with them. Plus, you’ll keep them away from the device screen as a bonus.

Spoil alerts: the fun activities ideas that I’m sharing with you here are suitable for children 5-14 years old, but many of them are good and enjoyable for little toddlers too. Also, some games, you can play them in more than one place, i.e. outdoors at home, on the beach, in the forest, etc. I let you be the judge 😄.

Walking in the forest is one fun kids activities you can do in the summer

What are some fun summer activities outdoors?

There are so many ideas you can choose. Here, I divide them into four-main options according to the places. If you have enough space in the backyard/ garden, the activities below are always fun. I include the olden-day games too.

Outdoor activities at home (backyard/ back garden and around the neighborhood)

1. Have a walk around the neighborhood or to the neighbor village

I used to go for a walk with my sons quite religiously almost every week, in all seasons. They used to complain and tried to refuse the idea. But once they were out, they loved it. We would walk at least an hour which equals about 3 miles in distance. Now the boys realized that this walking routine has made them fitter and stronger compared to their peers’ friends. 

2. Picnic in the garden

This activity is so simple, but both my kids love doing it providing the weather is nice. You can keep the kids busy in preparing the picnic, having the picnic, and tidying up the picnic. So you have many activities to keep your kids occupied. 

Top tip: set a theme for your picnic. For example, a holiday in Spain. So you can prepare Spanish food for your picnic, at the same time you tell your kids everything possible about Spain. This way, you can teach the kids about geography as well.

You can also do some of the activities below during your picnic to create more fun.

3. Blind man’s bluff

4. Hopscotch

5. Ring a ring o roses

6. Freeze tag

7. Duck duck goose

8. Piggy in the middle

9. Tig game

10. Capture the flag

11. Simon says

12. Red light, green light

13. Sly fox

14. Skipping rope

15. Hula hoop

16. Badminton

17. Catch the ball

18. Scavenger hunt

A classic game that my two boys always love. Especially if the prize is something that they like such as sweets or chocolates. Kids! 😃.

19. Blowing the bubbles

20. Water-gun fighting

21. Water balloons

22. Kick the goal 

Honestly, I’m not a very sporty mommy. But I always enjoy my kicking-to-the-goalie sessions with my boys.

23. Skittles game

This one is my favorite ??. We used to make our own skittles by using empty plastic bottles. No extra spending needed. Only a bit of creativity and willingness to spend more time with the kids.

24. Splashing the water in the pool

When the temperature is too hot, the kids love splashing and playing with the water. So the inflatable pool will come handy.

25. Fish in the pool

26. Duck fishing game

27. Blowing bubbles

28. Hopscotch

29. Toss the ring in the skittles

You can use the same ‘homemade’ skittles for this game, just get the cheap rings to play with

30. Barbecue

We always have a barbecue in the summer. With only the four of us, or with extended family, and even with friends. Our kids always look forward to their barbecue 😉.

31. Gardening

It’s not quite like doing proper gardening. But I can always use extra pairs of hands to help me cut the overgrown hedges and flower bush. Or even just getting rid of the weeds and watering the plants. 

32. Camping

My little one loves camping in our back garden. So, we do this free activity at least a few nights during the dry summer. 

33. Go to a park 

34. Go out for a meal at a restaurant

An attractive happy, laughing family of mother, father, son and daughter outside active having fun on summer vacation, cycling, beach, park, fishing and driving

Things to do with the kids on the beach

35. Build the sandcastle 

36. Dig the sand

37. Play frisbee

38. Throw and catch the beach ball

39. Volleyball

40. Play cricket

41. Fly a kite

42. Hide and seek

43. Collect the seashells

44. Paddle in the water

45. Swim in the sea

46. Walk barefoot along the shore

47. Sled down the sandhill using a snow sled

48. Play football

49. Play soccer

50. Look for a crab to catch

51. Write a nature journal

52. Watch the moving clouds

Fun things you can do with the kids in the forest

53. Walking and orienteering (this one is good to teach the kids about navigation as well)

54. Learn about the trees and plants

55. Bird watching

56. Run and race

57. Ride a bike

58. If there is a running stream or river, play pooh sticks

59. Find the minibeasts, bugs, and butterflies

60. Keep a botanical journal

Best ideas to do during the summer holiday in a lake

61. Walk and explore the lake

62. Kayaking

63. Canoeing

64. Boat trip

65. Fishing

My husband is a mad fly-fisherman, so he always tries to convert our sons into fishermen like him. Every now and then he would take the boys fishing to a lake.

66. Throw a stone to the water and decide who can throw the farthest

An attractive happy, laughing family of mother, father, son and daughter outside active having fun on summer vacation, cycling, beach, park, fishing and driving

Family days out with your kids during summer vacation

67. A fun-filled day at a theme park

68. Watch a new-released children movie at a cinema

69. Learn some history at a museum

70. Go to an aquarium park

Introduce the marine world to your kids through the aquarium

71. Get to know more about science at a science museum

72. Do a ‘learn about the animals’ challenge and go to a safari park 

I personally will be very careful in choosing which park to go to. Because some safari parks that let monkeys free are a no-way-to-go option for me. I heard too many stories about how the monkeys destroyed the car and created problems after a visit to the park 😃.

73. Another ‘learn about the animals’ challenge at a zoo

74. Bouncing at a trampoline park

75. Bowling

76. Indoor play

77. Go Karting

78. Watch a play at a theatre

79. Watch the planes take-off and landing

We used to take our sons, in almost every school holiday, to the ‘runway watchers spot’ near our local airport. It only costs us a parking fee for a few hours. And the boys would go home feeling excited about the planes.

80. Go to a local library

Digging the sand on the beach can be one of the fun kids' activities in the summer

Things to do in the summer holiday with your kids at home (indoors)

At times you just want to stay home. Especially when the weather is not very friendly for outdoor activities, or you simply can’t be bothered to stay outside 😊. Yet, you need to keep your children busy and entertained. So, here’s the list of things that I would do with my kids at home to have fun that can last for hours.

Fun stuff you can do with your kids at home

81. Play charades

82. I spy with my little eyes

83. Monopoly

84. Scrabbles

85. Bananagrams

86. Puzzles (we do at least 1000-piece puzzles)

87. Yo-yo competition

88. Play snap 

You can make your own cards to give your kids more activities to do if you want to. Copy and paste pictures that you want to use in the same size. Print on card papers and cut them. Ta daaa…..you have your very own snap cards.

89. Cross and naughts

90. Watch a movie on the TV and have homemade popcorn together

91. Reading challenge

Ask your kids to read a certain book, and make them retell the story. You can also ask questions about the stories/ the book.

92. Play riddles

My husband and I like to set the topic for the riddles, e.g. geography, general knowledge, etc. We find this game as a good way to build up the kids’ knowledge.

93. Play video games

My husband can play loads of different video games with the kids. I can’t. Because I’ve never been into video games ever since I was young. But I’m quite good at Wii sport. So, we do a competition on Wii, i.e. tennis, bowling, etc. When we do it, we can play for hours and have a laugh.

94. Visit family and friends

95. Having family/ friends over

We always invite family and friends during the school holidays. Because we find it good to catch up with them as during school time we don’t see them very often. I try to involve the kids in tidying up and getting the food ready for the guests. I think this encourages the kids to be generous as well.

96. Dart game

We use the one with the balls and play in a competition against each other. Whoever wins will get to choose the movie we watch later on the TV.

Creative things to do with your kids at home

97. Lego building

98. Bake a cake, cupcakes, or cookies

99. Make milkshakes, smoothies, and/or ice lollies

100. Try to cook a new recipe

101. Paper mache craft

102. Draw or paint

103. Word search 

I normally buy one book, and distribute the pages among the four of us (oops…..did I say I rip the pages? 😆). We set the timer, and do a word-search competition. If you prefer, you can print the word-search-printables here. I personally find it cheaper to just buy one book.

104. Paper airplane race

Use the old newspaper, or magazines to make paper planes, and do flying-the-plane competitions. My 13-year-old still loves this game 😄.

105. Act of charity

Sort and clear out the old toys, then go to a local charity shop to donate the unwanted toys

Sporty games that you can do with your kids 

Sometimes we would book a court at our local leisure center.

106. Indoor badminton

107. Indoor tennis

108. Indoor swimming

109. Indoor basketball

Last notes on super-fun summer activities for the kids

Spending quality time with our kids is definitely important. In a long summer vacation, things can be a little bit boring for our kids if they don’t get entertained. 

And with the temptation of using electronic devices such as tablets, video games, and smartphones, the kids these days can end up spending most of their free time on the screen IF we don’t encourage them to do other things.

So with a little bit of planning and knowing some ideas (you have more than 100 here 😉), your kids shouldn’t feel bored. 

Top tips to have fun with your kids:

  • Planning
  • Set a budget
  • Distraction-free and full attention for them. Be fully present for them.

I must say that even though we don’t go away for a vacation (i.e. abroad or domestic) every summer school holiday, our kids always look forward to the summer. Simply because they can do loads of activities with us as a family even if we don’t go away for vacation. 

So go on, pick some of the ideas above and get planning. Surprise your kids with memorable fun together. Do let me know in the comment box how you find the list ideas above and if you know different ideas to share.  

Thank you and enjoy your summer.

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  1. So many great ideas here! I like how you’ve grouped them by type, too. We love to go camping as well, but we usually choose a state or national park for a weekend several times per summer (though my girls also like to pitch a tent in our yard and camp out there…)

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