Summer is full of lazy days without schedules and obligations — it’s a great time to be a child.
Parents, though, often wonder: What in the world can we do this summer? After all, it doesn’t take too long for boredom to set in with children. That happens at my house, so I know that nothing is more annoying than hearing, “Mom! I’m bored!” from a whiny child.
That’s why I created this great list of 101 fun things to do in the summer. You’ll find ideas that entertain toddlers, kids, and teens alike.
Most of them are things to do at home when your kids are bored, and most of these ideas are free, making for budget-friendly planning. All of them are simple activities to do when your children are bored in the summer.
101 cheap things to do with kids in the summer
1. Catch fireflies.
2. Blow bubbles.
3. Make s’mores.
4. Eat popsicles.
5. Camp in the backyard.
6. Draw with sidewalk chalk.
7. Go on a walk and do a nature scavenger hunt.
9. Go for a bike ride.
10. Go on a hike.
11. Grow a garden.
12. Read a book (or two or three).
13. Make a movie day (perfect for a rainy day).
14. Go to the park or playground.
15. Make homemade popcorn on the stove (kids love the popping noise).
16. Watch a baseball game on TV and learn how to score it.
17. Make mud pies.
18. Splash in puddles.
19. Go fishing.
20. Surprise your neighbor by mowing their lawn.
21. Play board games.
22. Have a backyard picnic lunch.
23. Hoola Hoop and jump rope.
24. Play hopscotch.
25. Bake a pie or tart with fresh fruit.
26. Make your own lemonade (this is the most incredible recipe for strawberry lemonade)
27. Sing silly songs.
28. Have a family dance party — let everyone pick a few songs.
29. Find cloud animals.
31. Play catch.
32. Build an indoor (or outdoor!) fort.
33. Have a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt around your house and yard.
34. Have a “random acts of kindness” contest.
35. Find a craft (we’ve got LOTS of ideas HERE)
36. Watch the birds.
37. Watch the sunset (or sunrise).
38. Enjoy fireworks.
39. Have an ice cream party.
40. Go fishing.
41. Learn about a new country.
42. Hunt for bugs outside.
43. Run through the sprinkler.
44. Play school.
45. Make a puppet show.
46. Play hide and seek.
47. Horseback riding.
48. Pick wildflowers.
49. Go berry picking.
50. Bake cookies.
51. Make your own popsicles.
52. Eat fresh cherries and have a pit-spitting contest.
53. Grill out for dinner.
54. Watch a spider spin its web.
55. Take photos.
56. Weed the flower bed.
57. Pick peaches.
58. Eat watermelon (you can also make these watermelon cookies)
59. Unleash your creativity with fingerpaint or play dough.
60. Have a tea party. Invite the stuffed animals!
61. Have a water balloon or water gun fight.
62. Put together a puzzle.
63. Make a card and mail it to a loved one.
64. Slip and slide!
65. Climb a tree.
66. Fly a kite.
67. Play cards.
68. Make a banana split or sundae.
69. Have a pillow fight.
70. Plant an herb garden in container pots.
71. Set up an obstacle course.
72. Roll down a hill.
73. Draw your own comics.
74. Make homemade ice cream (try this Skittles Ice Cream).
75. Eat corn on the cob — have a contest to see who can get the most kernels out of the cob.
76. Have breakfast for dinner.
77. Play tic-tac-toe with sidewalk chalk.
78. Play tennis or badminton.
79. Play horseshoes.
80. Play kickball.
81. Go boating.
82. Make your own miniature golf holes.
83. Play classic indoor games like charades and Pictionary.
84. Look at baby books.
85. Play video games (set up a tournament).
86. Color in a coloring book.
87. Make a birdhouse or birdfeeder.
88. Paint a picture.
89. Have a lazy jammies day.
90. Junkfood for breakfast!
91. Play dress up / make a fashion show.
92. Have a paper-airplane contest.
93. Make jam.
94. Catch frogs.
95. Tie-dye a shirt.
96. Make a campfire (inside with flashlights) and tell ghost stories.
97. Keep a summer journal.
99. Wash the car by hand.
100. Play bingo.
101. Create a dino (or army man) dig in the sandbox.
What ideas do you have to add to this list?