These 10 FREE Summer Activities for Kids take me back to my childhood! You don’t need to go on a vacation to have a memorable summer. These fun things to do during the summer will help save you trips to the store. Yay!
Summer mornings are weird. Sometimes frustrating!
The routine goes out the window. Late nights call for late mornings. Heck! The kids still wake up at the same time no matter what time they went to bed. Lord help us all!
So, what do you do with the kids? They aren’t going to school for 3 months! Aaaaaaaaaggggghhhhh!
I did do a post of 25 Awesome Summer Activities you can pull from. But, what if you forget to plan for those for the week (you forget to draw the summer bucket list cards and go shopping for any supplies you don’t have laying around the house)?
Stuff happens. Life happens. Mom brain happens.
Don’t stress, Mama.
I have made another awesome summer activities list that doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t require a trip to the store. It simply uses what you have already.
Whoo hoo! Am I right?!
Free and simple are the best.
As a kid, we didn’t have much. So, my brother and I had to get creative alot. Especially during the summer time when we were bored out of our heads. But, those games and activities we made up are some of the best memories I have.
So, don’t go thinking, that even though you don’t go on some fancy vacation, your kids are missing out on a fun summer.
Sure vacations are nice. But, you can make the most memorable summer for your kids with simple things. Just be totally 100% present; and, they will love it!
So, here are the free summer activities for kids:
Free Summer Activities for Kids in the Backyard
#1 Run through the sprinklers
We have a pool. So, we swim a lot. But, growing up as a kid, I didn’t have a pool. So, we ran through the sprinklers. It was so fun! And, I do this with my kiddos all the time. They have way more fun doing this with me. Yes. I join in! That’s what makes it so fun and creates memories.
Here are a few ideas to make it more fun:
- Who can jump over the sprinklers the highest?
- Who can jump through the water the fastest?
- Let’s do dance moves through the sprinklers!
- How about ninja moves?
- Just make it up as you go along (the sillier the better).
#2 Build a Dirt/Sand Castle
We don’t all have a sandbox in our backyard. But, there sure is dirt!
In our backyard, we have an empty flower bed. I don’t have a green thumb, y’all. So, it has become my kids “sandbox.” They love using their beach toys to build castles.
Don’t have a beach set? No problemo. Have your kiddos use plastic cups to build castles.
Here are more ideas to play in the dirt/sand:
- Bring out the construction trucks and play construction site.
- Bring out the pirate toys and pretend the pirates are looking for treasure on an island.
- Have your kids gather some leaves and rocks, set them around the dirt, bring out their dinosaur toys and play dinosaurs.
- Don’t have these toys? Let your kiddos’ imaginations run. My kids’ imaginations turn rocks into superheroes, combs into a telephones, cardboard tubes into telescopes. It might seem silly to us, maybe even embarrassing; but, don’t let it bother you. Let the kids play.
#3 Go on a treasure hunt
For this activity, you need: a paper shopping bag, crayons, a box, rocks and scissors.
Gather rocks (you and your kiddos can paint the rocks jewel tones the night before, if you’d like), put them in a box, and hide them in the backyard.
Next, cut a map shape out of the paper bag and have your kiddos draw a treasure map on it. Then, go find the treasure in the backyard.
For added fun:
- sing pirate songs
- pretend a giant cardboard box is your pirate ship
- use cardboard tubes as telescopes
- practice pirate talk (Argh Mateys!)
- read a pirate story
#4 Play toy wash
Fill a large bucket with soapy water and have your kiddos wash their toys.
Warning: your kiddos might end up sitting in the bucket of soapy water. My kids do all the time. But, it’s summer. And it’s hot. So, no worries.
Things they can wash:
- play food (like we did in this Veggie and Fruit Sort and Wash)
- outdoor toys
- toy cars
- plastic blocks
- plastic dishes
#5 Do watermelon volcanoes
Well, of course you cut the watermelon in half and eat it first! Then, the watermelon volcano action happens!
All, you need to add to this fun science experiment is baking soda, vinegar and food coloring! To see how to do it, visit Natural Beach Living’s post: Watermelon Science Activities.
Free Summer Activities for Kids in the House
#6 Make up stories and illustrate them
The other day, I shared on my Instastories a story my son illustrated and wrote. Well, I wrote the words down as he told me the story.
It was the most fun thing ever!
And he loves to pick his book for story time at our house! It’s hilarious! SO MUCH POOP TALK!
What you need: white cardstock, crayons, pen and a stapler.
Have your kid draw one page at at time. Ask him to tell you what is happening in the picture. Write down what he says on the drawing. Keep going until the story is complete. Next, have him draw a cover and title it. Then, Staple it together.
Other ways to make up stories:
- make a comic book
- make paper bag puppets and use them for story time
- make a flip book, like this:
#7 Pretend Play
We pretend play all the time at our house. It’s one of our favorite things to do here.
We play Taco Party, Donut Shop, and Tea Party
But, my daughter’s favorite is to gather all her play food into a bowl, stir them up with my kitchen spoons and make me a “cake.”
Other pretend play ideas:
- Tie a sheet on as a cape and play superheroes.
- Play astronauts and moon walk on some pillows.
- Go sailing in a laundry basket that’s on top of a blue blanket.
- Climb Mount Stuffy. Pile all your stuffed animals and “climb” it.
#8 Play Hide and Seek
Play regular hide and seek whenever you want. It’s a fun and simple thing to do.
But, why not at night?
Hand out flashlights (or at least a flashlight to the seeker). Turn off all the lights in the house and have the hiders go hide. Next, have the seeker count to 10. Then, he goes to find the hiders with his flashlight.
To make it more fun:
- Put up glow in the dark stickers in hallways (I saw some for $1 at Target – I know that makes it not free anymore, but splurging a dollar sounds ok to me).
- Make it a safari. Have the hiders make different safari animal noises to give clues as to where they’re hiding.
#9 Build a Living Room Fort
Move your coffee table out of the way for this one.
Gather clothes pins, safety pins, string, scissors, really large sheets and pillows.
Then, hop on over to Say Yes for how to make a DIY living room fort! It’s so easy and fun!
Here are some ideas on how to use your fort:
- play toys
- eat dinner under it
- tell stories
- take a nap
- read a book
#10 Put on a Concert
My kids love pretending they are playing in a band.
They gather all their musical toys, plastic bowls, and spoons. Then, they flip the bowls upside down to bang the spoons on them as if they were drums.
They sing and dance. It’s fun to watch!
More ideas to make it more like a concert:
- assign roles (drummer, guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, etc.)
- pick your favorite songs to play and sing
- setup a stage (clear a corner of a room and setup the instruments)
- set out stuffed animals as the audience
I really hope these free summer activities for kids help your family have a memorable summer.
And don’t forget there are 25 more summer activities to pull from.
There are printables, backyard activities, crafts, watermelon and slime ideas!
Visit the post HERE.
And get the FREE bucket list printable that goes along with the 25 activities as a thank you for signing up for our newsletter.
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