Summer is a magical time and I look forward to these warm long days of sunlight EVERY year. But a little voice in my head every spring starts to question. Without school, camps or activities, what are we going to do every single day this summer?
Having children has been one of my greatest joys, but I have to be honest. I’m not the kind of mom who can engage in pretend play for 8 hours a day. I’ve come to terms with this and embraced this fact.
It’s wonderful to play together as family, but it’s also wonderful to have independent play time.
When I need to get things done around the house or respond to emails it’s great having a backup list of easy activities for kids. Because I know some days I will hear the inevitable (whine) “Mom I’m bored. What can I do!?”
So I created this list of 30 EASY summer activities for kids.
The best part, little or no preparation is required for these easy kids activities!
Although I love a good Pinterest kid’s activity, I’m not always a Pinterest mom. These activities are simple pure fun without a lot of prep.
Sometimes as adults we tend to overcomplicate things. We think we need elaborate activities or expensive toys to engage our children in play. This just simply isn’t true.
My goal in this post is to share with you fun activities that may feel simple, but trust me. Try it and watch your kids experience the joy of childhood.
We don’t do play dough or sidewalk chalk every day so when I remember we have activities like this our kids are thrilled. It also keeps their attention because it is something “new.” I hope you find this list useful in your summer adventures!
My goal this summer?
To enjoy the fresh air and watch my kids explore every inch our yard, grass stains, dirt in the hair and all.
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Summer Activities for Kids With Little to No Prep
Draw with chalk. Bonus: Make a road to drive your race car, bike or cozy coupe on!
Blow bubbles (My kids LOVE this wand. It makes the biggest, best bubbles ever.)
Go on a nature walk (We recently bought a bird feeder and I can’t tell you how much entertainment this has brought us in the last few months)
Play in a water table (If you don’t have one this is a MUST for toddlers!!)
Dig in the sand or dirt (Our son loves searching for worms to put into our garden)
Play soccer in your backyard and kick the winning goal in the soccer net
Play with playdough at a picnic table
Roll down a hill
Do child-led water sensory play (from Life With Moore Babies)
Listen to music and dance outside
Buy toys from the dollar store and let the kids imagination take over!
Play with rubber ducks in a water bucket
Have your kids wash their bikes or play cars (This is always a hit!)
Use a spray bottle to spray the sidewalk or plants
Fill a bucket and give your child a paint brush to paint the sidewalk
Have a pretend tea party with real water
Fill balloons with water and pretend they are babies
Get super messy and let the kids paint a canvas outside
Make a mud kitchen (from Messy Little Monster)
Make ice balls: Fill up water in a balloon and freeze, cut off balloon and play!
Paint rocks you find in your backyard. Bonus: place them all around your neighborhood
Plant flower seeds and watch them grow every day!
The more elaborate:
Get a tray, fill it with shaving cream and a few drops food coloring, then paint with your hands.
Makeover your swing set or play house. Have your kids add their own decorations and special touches (use chalk to “decorate” the wood, use rocks or flowers for other decor, use what you have to make it fancy).
Make homemade popsicles
Pick some flower petals and place them in water. Do all of them float? What from nature sinks?
Have a picnic lunch outside with a blanket and basket
Natural finger painting with blackberries (from Kori at Home)
Create art with water pistol painting (from Messy Little Monster)
Connect with siblings by trying a sibling play activity
So there it is. Over 30 activities to help bring fun to your summer. I’ll be honest most of the time our one year old (and even our four year old) end up just wandering around in our backyard.
Kids know how to make their own fun. You just need to give them the space to do it. I’m not always great at setting boundaries and telling my kids to go play.
But when I do this, I often find they are SO creative and it’s in their DNA to find ways to have fun!
So what about you? What are your go-to EASY kid’s activities? I’d love to hear your ideas. Share in the comments below.
If you want to download our list to print and hang on your fridge download it here.