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50 Summer Fun Activities for Kids & Families

Are you looking for some fun summer activities that encourage creativity through screen-free do-it-yourself (DIY) projects? We’re rounding up the 50 best activities to fill every day of summer vacation.

Discover projects for nature, outdoors, camping, rainy days, arts and crafts, brain games, and nighttime activities. 

50 Summer Fun Activities for Kids & Families

Nature Activities

  • Create woodland fairy houses out of interesting twigs and colorful leaves
  • Play “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”: Using a copy of the poem, head outside and look for different natural zones that can be imagined as long, wavy grass, a big dark forest, and a deep dark cave. For the bear, hide their new favorite teddy bear for a fun discovery!
  • Have a nature scavenger hunt with a drawstring backpack and a list of things to find.
  • Play hide-and-seek using tree trunks, large rocks, and bushes to hide behind!
  • Create colorful leaf rubbings with crayons, paper, and interesting leaves. Add more color by layering the leaves for a leaf-rubbing collage!
  • Build acorn friends: Using acorns, felt-tip markers, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners, recycle nature’s gifts to build your own acorn friends. 
  • Have a leaf race: After a sun shower, place leaves in water and see who makes it to the other side first! For an extra challenge, build sails onto your leaf boats before racing.

Outdoor Activities

  • Create a twister game in the great outdoors using spray chalk and a homemade spinner.
  • Have a relay race using cones to mark the start and finish lines, hula hoops, jump ropes, pool noodles, and whatever else you have on hand.
  • Play Find the Crocodile using a stuffed crocodile toy and kitchen timer.
  • Tie-Dye old T-shirts for a fun new look! Check out this kid-friendly tie-dye tip guide
  • Play Sharks and Mermaids in the community pool or at a neighborhood block party pool.
  • Have a balloon fight in the backyard. This is an especially great summer activity for the dog days.
  • Have a sandcastle-building contest and give awards for the largest, smallest, and most creative. Afterwards, store tools in a nylon drawstring backpack for their next beach outing.
  • Host a “Build Your Own Boat Race”: Use household items, recyclables, and leftover fabric remnants for a classical twist on an age-old game. 
  • Have a dog spa party! Gather your favorite four-legged friends, order matching T-shirts, and prepare for good clean fun! Fill a wading pool with water, grab your favorite dog shampoo, and have plenty of water bowls and treats.
  • Craft colorful butterfly suncatchers to encourage outdoor play and exploration using some simple household items.

Camping Activities

Family at a campsite enjoying a meal together
  • Host a Chopped camping-edition challenge: Gather savory ingredients (including one that’s not like the others), your favorite tote bags, and get ready for a fun camping game that everyone will love! For little ones, use ingredients that can be assembled sans cooking or chopping, like fruit parfaits or sandwiches.
  • Have a movie and smores night: Gather together a family favorite and smores ingredients, and you have the recipe for a fun camping night under the stars! Don’t forget their next favorite pillow and blanket to get cozy.
  • Play camping bingo with free printable cards and rocks. Don’t forget a customizable drawstring bag to store everything easily.
  • Have a pirate scavenger hunt by having kids look for sticks that look like natural swords and pirate hooks, leaves that look like eye patches, and a place to bury treasure.
  • Play water cup races for a fun summer camping adventure! Carefully drill holes in the bottom of plastic cups before heading to the campsite, and gather string, duct tape, scissors, and plastic cups together to set it up. 

Rainy Day Activities

  • Charades is a classic game for a good reason! You can have a full night of laughter, joy, and creativity with little more than a notebook and pencil.
  • Play pictionary for an artistic take on the game of charades. Use these instructions as a starting place and add your own creative spin.
  • Play card games: From Go Fish to Crazy Eights to Old Maid and much more, kids will love playing card games that their parents and grandparents grew up playing.
  • Have an ABC Scavenger Hunt! Have kids check around the house for items starting with every letter of the alphabet. They’re bound to find some funny and creative ones.
  • Host an ice cream sundae bar: Set out Neapolitan ice cream and all their favorite toppings for a fun rainy-day activity!
  • Have a DIY Pizza Night. Everybody loves pizza! Buy (or make) personal pizzas and put all their favorite toppings in small bowls. Kids can create happy faces with olives for the eyes, broccoli for the nose, pepper slices for the mouth, and onions for the eyebrows. 
  • Amaze your kids with 13 fun science experiments: Make growing gummy bears, shaving cream rain clouds, a Skittles rainbow, and much more with these fun games!
Kids making pizzas

Art & Craft Activities

  • Encourage smiles and giggles with a fun floating jellyfish craft activity! And the best part? You may already have all the supplies in your pantry.
  • Create a hot air balloon paper project with a recycled paper towel tube, craft paper, and string.
  • Skip the store-bought clay! Make your own playdough using pantry staples. For a fun addition, add about 1/4 cup glitter to the bag and knead it in. 
  • Make a homemade kite to fly at the beach, in the park, or even just in the backyard.
  • Create a family time capsule! Find a plastic container, add stickers, and you’ve got yourself the beginning of a family time capsule. Fill with letters to your future self, family photos, artwork, toy figurines, facts about the current year, and much more!
  • Paint rocks and hide them around town for a fun treat to bring smiles all around. Jot down the locations of each rock in a special journal and check back and see if someone has picked each one.
  • Make a homemade kaleidoscope with some household crafting supplies. Use a variety of colored beads to add some fun variety.

Brain Games Activities

  • Add a few math skills with sticky note haircut math. Older kids can practice subtraction, and younger kids can practice learning numbers with this easy DIY activity!
  • Play a few rounds of What’s Missing? Put ten items in front of your kid, have them memorize them for ten seconds, have them cover their eyes, and hide one to three items. Have them guess what’s missing!
  • Play engineer by creating constructions with marshmallows or grapes and toothpicks.
  • Try a few rounds of Human Thesaurus. One person thinks of a simple word, and the other tries to add as many similar words as they can think of. Take turns trading off.
  • Play dots-and-boxes using nothing more than two markers and a piece of paper.
  • Tell a story with magazine clippings. Have your child cut out photos or words out of recycled magazines and newspapers. Gather them in a container (a little lunchbox works great!), shuffle them, and pick them out one at a time, telling a story as you go.
Kid holding an Rubik cube

Nighttime Activities

Kids sillouettes in front of a sunset
  • Try a new twist on hide-and-seek with glow sticks: Wear glow-in-the-dark bracelets or necklaces, turn out the lights, and get ready for a night of fun!
  • Travel abroad without leaving home! Read about another culture and try some of their suppertime cuisines from a few international recipes.
  • Have an indoor camping night: Not a great night for outdoor camping? No problem! Set up a tent in the living room, break out the flashlights, and ready the oven for campfire banana boats and sheet pan S’mores.
  • Play glow-in-the-dark bowling! Fill recycled plastic bottles with water and drop two glowsticks in each. Add another few glow sticks to a hamster ball, and you’re ready for glow-in-the-dark bowling!
  • Have a backward dinner. Start with dessert and work your way backward to appetizers. Continue the theme with a backward bedtime routine!
  • Practice fine motor skills by crafting a starlit night foam craft to use as a nightlight for at home or on a fun caming adventure.
  • Create glowing pasta necklaces for a fun sleepover party activity that all the kids can get in on.
  • Make glow-in-the-dark bubbles and encourage creativity through different ways of play. Paint, layer, and blow bubble for a fun activity they’ll love!

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