102 Things To Do This Summer

Things seem to be slowly trending back toward normal, but with Covid-19 still a concerning issue, those looking for socially distanced activities to do with children this summer need to look no further! With the abounding resources available on the internet, the sunny days of summer, and a little creativity, your kids will have a summer filled with fun memories.

The following list of summer activities will help your family take full advantage of summer learning fun and help spark your creativity to make the summer all that it should be!  Kids can choose any activity they are interested in and complete them in any order they like (most children enjoy checking them off as they complete them). Some items require parental permission (such as adopting a pet) but others are suitable for kids to complete on their own. Some can even be done with the entire family!

Take a moment to review the list, visit the websites, and see which activities best suit your family. With these 102 things for your summer bucket list, you may just escape the “I’m bored” doldrums this summer!

 

  1. Make a “smash book” of everything you do this summer – Smash books are great for children to use to document creatively because there are no rules! Find inspiration for your book here!
  2. Have a picnic – Nothing screams “Summer!” quite like a nice shade tree, a blanket on the ground, and food from a basket. Here are 24 picnic ideas kids will love!
  3. Write a letter to a Pen Pal – This is almost a lost art, and many of our children may not even know what a Pen Pal is. Help your child find a Pen Pal and get great tips on writing here!
  4. Build a Fairy Garden – Whether you want to get fancy and go shopping, or just use items you have on hand, this list will definitely provide inspiration for you and your child to build your own little fairy garden!
  5. Summer Learning Resource Guide – Looking for ideas to keep the learning going this summer? Check out our Summer Learning Resource Guide for some great ideas!
  6. Visit the “Night Zoo” – virtually of course! – Night zookeeper is a fun literary adventure for kids. Here, they can create animals, write stories, and have a go at the 1000+ curriculum-aligned educational challenges focused on improving literacy skills.
  7. Join the Workforce – If you have a teenager looking to make a little extra money this summer, check out Teens 4 Hire!
  8. Become a photographer – Photography has become such a popular hobby and is a skill that can even potentially be used to build a career. If this is something that may interest your child, check out these tips!
  9. Make dinner for your family – There may be extra mess involved, but letting your kids join you in the kitchen makes for some great childhood memories. If you have older children, this collection of recipes requires minimal parental involvement so you can kick back and let them take the reins!
  10. Teen summer reading and movie challenge – Check out this list to help your teen combine their love for books with their love for movies!
  11. Write a poem – Unsure where to begin? Take the challenge and let these 30 poetry prompts get you started!
  12. Take a virtual tour – Dreaming of far-away places? Explore the hidden worlds of some of our National Parks here!
  13. Bake some cookies – Let your little ones help whip up some dessert with these cookie baking tips!
  14. Take a boat ride – Spend a day out on the lake safely with these boating safety tips!
  15. Sketch a picture of your house from the outside – Learn about perspective drawing here!
  16. Go to coding camp – Looking for a virtual camp experience? Take a FREE coding class trial and see if you like it!
  17. Visit a farm – Visiting a working farm can be a wonderful family activity. Visit this website to find a farm near you!
  18. Take a walk and record the sounds – There are so many benefits to being out in nature. Check out this page with tips to help you and your children capitalize on those benefits!
  19. Hold your own soccer camp – Do you have a budding soccer player? Get some of their friends together and practice Drills, Skills, Rules, and Tips!
  20. Visit another country…online – With all the limitations of pandemic living, travel may not be possible…or is it? With Lonely Planet Destination Guides, your child can choose a country, learn facts, and take a tour!
  21. Cut up an old greeting card picture and make a puzzle – Do you have any old greeting cards lying around? Watch this short video that shows your child how to use them to make puzzles!
  22. Learn a musical instrument – Have you or your child been wanting to learn to play an instrument? Summer is the perfect time to pick one up and get to work! Check out this article to find amazing options for virtual or in-person lessons!
  23. Make a new kind of sandwich – Here is another great way to get your kids in the kitchen for a memorable lunch! Grab some bread and ingredients, and invent a new sandwich! It may taste great…or it may not. Either way, it will be fun! Find some inspiration here!
  24. Social distancing activities for kids of all ages – The past year has been hard on us all, with perhaps the hardest hit being our children. They need socialization and connection with others, and they need fun! Check out these creative social distancing activities!
  25. Go backpacking – Getting outside and wandering around in the mountains or the wilderness may sound amazing, but it may also sound daunting if you aren’t sure where to begin. Find out everything you need to know for a successful and safe trip here!
  26. Go outside and find 10 different kinds of flowers – There are so many different kinds of plants, and most of us can’t immediately identify them all. Thanks to smartphones, now we can. Here are the 9 best free plant identification apps!
  27. Create a website – Interested in web design? This website teaches children how to create their own web page!
  28. Go camping – Looking to hit the road this summer? Find some inspiration here for great ways to take learning with you!
  29. Invent a new dance – If dancing or choreography is something your child is interested in, check out the Elements of Dance for tips on creating their own dance!
  30. Help an elderly person with house or yard work – Is there someone in your community who could use a helping hand? Could your children pitch in and help? Here are 20 Great Reasons to Volunteer!
  31. Get creative – If you have an older child in your family, you’ve likely moved past the days of construction paper and markers, and the very words “art project” may be met with groans. Don’t despair! Here is an excellent list of more challenging art projects for the teen in your home!
  32. Learn a foreign language – Whether you are planning for an amazing vacation, just wanting to expand your skill set, or something in between, here are 5 free foreign language tools to help you become bilingual!
  33. Make an obstacle course in your backyard – Instantly become the coolest family in the neighborhood by building this American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course!
  34. Make a scavenger hunt – The great thing about scavenger hunts is that they can be tailored to any age. Whether you have little ones or older children, this list has a hunt for everyone!
  35. Read a story to someone – Sometimes our children don’t want to stop playing to read a story. When that happens, suggest one of these great locations for afternoon reading!
  36. Celebrate Christmas in July – What better way to beat the heat in the middle of the summer than to have a Christmas party?! Pull out those holiday pajamas and have a celebration your little ones will never forget! Draw some inspiration here!
  37. Create an art project using recycled materials – Teach your children about the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), and create some art using those recycled materials! Also, listen to this fun song by Jack Johnson about the 3 Rs!
  38. Clean up a nature trail – Another place your family can volunteer is at a park! Speak to a park official and spend some time sprucing up a trail! Read more here!
  39. Build a treehouse – A great way to spend some time this summer is building a treehouse your children can enjoy for years to come! Learn how here!
  40. Take a Dive – Experience the ocean from the comfort of your own home! Thanks to our National Marine Sanctuaries, you can explore these underwater areas on a virtual dive!
  41. Set up a lemonade stand – Take part in the great American pastime of having a summertime lemonade stand! Learn how to set up your stand here! While experiencing downtime, your kids can play this fun Lemonade Stand Game and practice their math skills!
  42. Learn a new sport – Summer is a great time for your children to either learn a new sport or hone their skills on one they already enjoy. Check out this list of the best age-appropriate sports for kids!
  43. Watch a concert online – Everybody loves a great concert, but not everybody loves a crowd. Get your family together and choose one of these family-friendly concerts to watch from the comfort of your own home!
  44. Have a family game night – Spending an evening with the whole family together learning a new game are nights that can become happy childhood memories. Choose a game from this list for your next game night!
  45. Make a movie – Do you have a child who loves movies and dreams of Hollywood? Let this guide teach them how to make their own movies and start chasing their dreams!!
  46. Make a collage from magazine words and pictures – Remember that big stack of magazines on a shelf you keep meaning to recycle? Pull some out on a rainy day and get creative! Get some collage inspiration here!
  47. Create a terrarium – It’s one thing to hear about or read books on the water cycle, but building a terrarium is a great way for your children to see and experience it for themselves! Learn how to create one here!
  48. Go canoeing – Getting out on the lake can be an exciting experience for your family, but only if done safely. Read here to learn tips for canoeing with children!
  49. Discover a new favorite author or book series – As parents, it’s pretty safe to say that we all love to see our children reading. If you have a teen in your home, have them take this quiz to discover which series they should read next!
  50. Tour a virtual museum – There are so many museums in the world filled with amazing pieces of art from our history. Though it may not be feasible for your family to visit the Palace at Versailles in France, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, or the MoMA in New York, you can visit all of them and more with a click of a button!
  51. Make a fire safety plan – With all the fun activities of summer, don’t forget some necessary safety measures. Visit the Red Cross website for info on how to protect your home and family should the unthinkable occur.
  52. Make your own bubble solution – Kids of all ages love bubbles. Even if you have cool, older children, they can join in the fun by having a contest to see who can make the biggest bubble! Get a recipe for giant bubbles here!
  53. Fun and free stay-at-home activities for kids – Looking for a few ideas for slow, rainy days? Look no further than this list of 50 stay-at-home activities!
  54. Plant something – Some people are blessed with green thumbs, while some of our thumbs tend toward brown, but no matter! Playing in the dirt has excellent benefits for our little ones. Whether you’re looking to plant flowers or vegetables, check out these tips for gardening with children!
  55. Visit a tourist spot near your home – Many of us tend to avoid tourist attractions in our area because of crowds, but they draw crowds for a reason! Visit this website to find local attractions in your area and plan a visit!
  56. Weekend ideas for family fun – Family weekend activities can be some of the best opportunities for creating cherished memories together. This list offers some great ideas for weekend fun!
  57. Build a sandcastle – Whether you’re on a beach or in a sandbox, learn tips for building a sandcastle to be proud of here!
  58. Donate some of the toys and clothes you no longer use – If you find yourself with too much clutter and need to downsize, check out some of these places to donate toys, and clothes and shoes to children who need them!
  59. Research your family tree – It’s always fun to learn more about who and where we came from. Get your kids involved in researching your family tree with these fun activities!
  60. Fly a kite – There’s never a shortage of things to do on beautiful, sunny days in the summer, but select a free day, grab a kite, pack a picnic lunch, pull out the Mary Poppins soundtrack, and sing with the Banks family, “Let’s go fly a kite!” Here are 6 easy steps to fly a kite with your kids!
  61. Invent your own board game – If you have a child who loves board games and has a creative mind, check out this website which guides them through designing their own game!
  62. Use a compass or GPS to map your neighborhood – Because we rely so heavily on our smartphones these days, many children don’t know how to use a compass or understand latitude and longitude. A fun way to teach these skills would be getting out and making a map of your neighborhood. For tips on teaching these life skills, read more here!
  63. Build a time capsule – This last year was definitely a year to remember…or forget, depending on your take, but it’s safe to say anytime is a good time to store our children’s memories for the future. Take an afternoon and use this guide to put together a time capsule!
  64. Act in a play – Do you have a budding thespian in your home? Here is some advice for arranging an evening at the theatre…at your home. No matter the age of your child, there is something here for them!
  65. Cook a new meal from another culture – Sometimes we get so bogged down in our lives, we can forget how big the world is. A good way to learn about other cultures with your children is with food! Get some great ideas for kid-friendly international meals here!
  66. Make a bird feeder – It’s always fun to watch different birds flitting about in the yard. Make a bird feeder with your children, and give the birds a reason to hang around!
  67. Have a taste test – Discover how important our other senses become when eating. Do things still taste the same without using our senses of sight and smell? Watch this quick video and do your own taste test to find out!
  68. Connect with grandparents – Whether you’re still social distancing or you’re literally distanced by geography, use some of these activities to keep your children connected with their grandparents!
  69. Emergency First Aid Chart – Summer is a great time for the adults and teens in the home to refresh their memories on life-saving skills. Register for a class with the Red Cross or download an emergency first aid chart here!
  70. Become a Paleontologist – Do you have a child with a dinosaur obsession? If you are vigorously shaking your head yes, check out this really cool page from the American Museum of Natural History for some games, stories, videos, and hands-on activities!
  71. Write a song – If you have a child who loves music and has a story to tell, encourage them to channel that into songwriting! If it seems too daunting a task, here is a step-by-step guide to writing a song!
  72. Tie-dye some t-shirts – If you’re looking for a fun, messy, outdoor activity, try your hand at tie-dyeing! Your kids are sure to love making their shirts, and then proudly wearing their creations for all to see! Check out these 8 Tie-dye patterns with simple instructions!
  73. Take a dog for a walk – If you have a furry friend, check out these tips for enjoying a walk with your playful pooch!
  74. Have a paper airplane contest – Paper isn’t just for writing! Get your family together and have a paper airplane contest! Read the rules here and have fun learning about aerodynamics!
  75. Go without TV for a day (or longer!) – It’s hard to admit, but many of us spend more time than we should in front of a television screen. This can be especially true of our children. Try unplugging the tv for a day or two and see if it makes a difference in your family like it did in this family!
  76. Sign up for a Summer Reading Program – Looking to get your child reading more? Many kids thrive with friendly competition. Get them enrolled in one of these summer reading programs and watch them devour books!
  77. Learn some new outdoor games – Sometimes we can play a game enough times that suddenly it’s no longer fun. If that happens to your children this summer, take a look at this list and choose some new games to get out and play!
  78. Make something from recyclables – Maybe you’ve been saving your recyclables but haven’t made it to the drop-off center yet. Use some to create some recycled art! Get some inspiration here!
  79. 30 best movies on Netflix this summer – Looking for a new movie for a family movie night? Check out this list of the best family-friendly movies on Netflix this summer and find a new favorite!
  80. Make homemade ice cream – What is summer without homemade ice cream?! If your family doesn’t have an ice cream maker, fret not! Learn here how to make ice cream in a bag!
  81. Jump on a trampoline – I’ve never met a kid who didn’t love a trampoline. It’s great fun and great exercise! Make sure your child is having fun safely with these 10 trampoline safety rules.
  82. Get a magazine subscription  – Another way to get your child reading is to mix up the method. Lay down the book for a day and pick up a magazine! Here is a list of age-appropriate magazines from which to choose!
  83. Turn TV time into learning time – Entertainment can also educate! Here are some great ideas to help make tv time work for your children!
  84. Go swimming – Swimming is one of the most popular summer activities, and while it is a great way to spend a hot day, it is so important to take proper safety precautions. Learn more about swimming safety here!
  85. Paint or draw a portrait of your best friend – Looking for ways to flex those creative muscles? Let your children get a group of friends together to be an artist and their muse! Read these tips on creating a portrait!
  86. Do some scientific experiments – Let your children unleash their inner mad scientist by doing some of these incredibly fun experiments!
  87. Write a fairy tale – Once upon a time, your children loved listening to a great story. There’s something timeless about fairy tales that even adults can appreciate. Let your child’s creative mind run wild with this how-to guide for writing fairy tales, and may you all live happily ever after!
  88. Travel in time – Do you have an older child who loves history? If so, this website is perfect for them! Begin in Ancient Egypt and progress through time to present-day America.
  89. Stargaze and track the moon phases – Warm, summer nights are ideal for stargazing! Grab a blanket and your kids, and spend an evening watching the sky! Before heading out, read more about astronomy here.
  90. Learn how to sew – Sewing is a skill that will serve your child all their life! Read here to teach them how to sew!
  91. Visit a National Park – There are few places in our land as beautiful as the untouched National Parks. Whether you’re looking to take a road trip or want to visit one close by, check out the National Parks website to find the perfect choice for your family and prepare for the experience of a lifetime!
  92. Watch a ballet – A great way to introduce your children to the beautiful art of ballet dancing is by watching one of these 3 best classical ballets for children! Bonus: all 3 are available to rent or stream on Amazon Prime!
  93. Roast marshmallows – Take a warm summer evening, build a campfire, and see who can make the most perfect s’more! This is a tasty experiment your children are sure to love!
  94. Watch the birds – Bird watching is a great outdoor activity that kids of all ages can enjoy. Read here for tips on bird watching with children!
  95. Arrange a bouquet of flowers – Arranging flowers is truly an art form, and it is one that even children can master. Read here to learn how to arrange a bouquet!
  96. Start a Blog – Is your child interested in starting a blog? Learn how to help them get started safely here!
  97. Re-decorate your room – Maybe your child is getting older and wants a more mature bedroom, or maybe they’re just looking to change things up. Either way, the summer is a great time to redecorate! Read here to get some bedroom design inspiration!
  98. Learn to play chess – Want to work those brain muscles and learn a new skill? Put down the checkers and pick up chess! Learn how to play here!
  99. Adopt a pet – Some of you are already shaking your heads no on this one, but the summertime is a great time to get a new pet! Your children have more free time to train and spend time with the new addition, and there are so many pets needing a home. This site will help you find the perfect pet in your area!
  100. Keep your brain going – Do your children love jokes and riddles? If so, they will love these 45 fun brain teasers for kids!
  101. Paint and hide rocks – Join the Kindness Rock Project! Spend some time with your children painting rocks, then hide them around your community for others to find! Read more about this project here!
  102. Celebrate a crazy holiday – Apparently, every day now has some wacky holiday attached to it. Check out this list of crazy, weird holidays, and pick some to celebrate this summer!

 

For more summer learning inspiration dive into our Summer Learning Podcasts!

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Summer Reading ChallengeHow to Avoid Summer Learning LossSummer Homeschool freebies