The Big Summer Activity List For Kids

A little planning can go a long way in creating a fun summer and great family memories.

Summer is a time for fun activities and exploration, but sometimes kids get bored. Here are a few ideas for combating boredom during the summer months.

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Summer should be full of fun, exciting activity options, yet we often hear "I'm bored" escape the lips of our nearest and dearest. 

The good news is that, with a little planning and creativity, we can set the stage for a lot of summer fun and great family memories.

I've put together a collection of ideas that you can adapt to your kids' ages. As the mother of a teen, I tend to think along the lines of teen life, but as a grandmother, I still have little ones in mind.
Here are ten fun summer activities the entire family can enjoy.

First, let's talk about themed weeks.

Water Week

This is a simple theme week to plan for hot summer days

- Play backyard water games

- Go to a pool
- Head to the beach
- Have a backyard water day with water balloons and squirt guns. 

If you can come up with a water game, you and your kids can make it happen. You could even make swimsuits mandatory attire for the week!

I found this How to Make a Water Blob tutorial. Depending on the ages of your kids, you could make two - one for older kids, and one for younger. They actually last all summer with a few minor repairs.

Popsicle/ Ice Cream Week

Do you know how many types, flavors, and shapes of popsicles and ice cream recipes you can find? Seriously. It's not hard to pull off this theme, and even the grownups enjoy it.

For this theme, the focus is a week of flavors - creating, making, and experimenting go a long way in making this summer theme work

You can make ice cream in a shaker, in a machine and with the blender. You could invent popsicle flavors with fruit, yogurt, pudding, sprinkles and herbs. At the end of the week plan an ice cream sundae bar for the family, or even make it an ice cream party.

Here are 25 ice cream pie recipes to inspire you.

Photo Shoot Week

You could get photos of the kids around town, visiting historical monuments, or local attractions. But don't make it strictly about taking photos of the kids.

Let the kids take photos, too.

Even better, if you have a camera, teach the children how to use it. This would also be a great opportunity to share photo-taking tips.

In fact, each day of the week, give them a new tip and let them practice. To make it more fun, bring props and clothing along so you can have a 'real' photo shoot!

Movie Week

What about when it's just too hot to be outdoors? That's where movies come in. You can pull off a fun movie week in three easy steps.

1. Create a lineup of favorite summer movies to watch for the week. (One per day is good.)

2. Each person should dress up as their favorite character in the movie, then wear it during the movie time.
3. Set up a chili bar, taco bar, or popcorn bar for everyone to enjoy a great snack while enjoying the movie. 

This DIY Popcorn Bar is a terrific blend of sweet and salty snacks.

Grilling Week

If you love grilling during the summer, why not plan a week of it? Not only do you get to eat delicious foods, but you don't heat up the house cooking them. Win-win!

Just browse around Pinterest looking for grilling ideas. Ask each member of your family to choose a meal or two until you've filled the week with dinners. Be sure to let the kids help you prep side dishes during the day. This will cut down your kitchen time, and allow the entire family to get outside during the actual grilling.then you'll have more outdoor time while the grilling actually happens. 

I've even pulled together a few recipes to get your started.

- Loaded Nachos On the Grill

- Chicken Fajita Kabobs 
- Grilled Surf and Turf
- This fruit bowl looks pretty amazing, too.

Now we've covered what themed weeks look like, let's move on to other summer fun ideas.

Summer Camps

Summer camps are popular, of course. There are a bazillion summer camps available to choose from locally, or out of state. Spend time exploring the options, then begin that conversation early with your children. 

Summer camp is definitely something every member of the family should be comfortable with, and have input on.

What type of camp does your child want to attend? Some options include a sport camp that will allow them to build their skills, a science or math camp, or maybe arts and crafts. 

There are also cooking camps and yoga camps so explore with your children and be creative.

Do you have an adventurous teen who would love to travel abroad to a camp? Spain has a summer camp for language exchange, where English-speaking teens interact with Spanish-speaking teens. Best of all it's FREE for your child.

It's easy to start with your local Parks and Recreation and go from there.

Fun Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have a teen who would enjoy volunteering and learning about a particular vocation? It can be a fun learning experience and, if you're a homeschooler, this can go on your teen's transcript.

Check around. You'll be surprised at how many places will let your teen volunteer: hospitals, doctors offices, veterinarians, stables , summer schools, universities, day care facilities, and camp programs are good places to start.

It might not be the top job that your child starts out doing, but bathing dogs and delivering hospital mail is a learning experience. There are also teenage volunteer options abroad for at Cross Cultural Experiences.

Take a Road Trip

Plan a day road trip to a nearby destination. We try to pick a few road trips a year to nearby cities or national parks.

Select a destination, plan car games, stops along the way, places to eat, snacks, and sightseeing stops. Involve your kids in the planning process. At times piling everybody in the car sounds daunting, but stress-free road trips are possible.

Take the Ultimate Summer Vacation

Much like road tripping, planning is half the fun! We always look for new activities, places to try new food, and places to sightsee. 

A great way to eliminate some vacation stress is by visiting an all inclusive resort. (It might even save you some money, too!)


This is one of my personal favorites. Not only can it be a fun adventure for the family, but you can do it just about anywhere! Any time we're out and about, I turn on my geocache app to see if there's a treasure nearby. 

If you're unfamiliar with geocaching, it's basically an advanced treasure hunt game using a GPS app. You could plan an entire weekend adventure around this activity. 

Summer is a time for fun activities and exploration, but sometimes kids get bored. Here are a few ideas for combating boredom during the summer months.

What are some of your family's favorite summer activities?

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  1. Geocaching is something I've always wanted to try! Great ideas!

  2. These are great ideas! Love the geocaching suggestion! We are going to have to try that soon! My boys would love it! Thanks!


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