Ahhh… summer! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the kids are…bored. Sound familiar? Keeping the kiddos occupied and active (and away from the TV, video games, or iPad) can be a challenge!
Never fear – we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of 50 screen-free activities to keep kids of all ages busy throughout the summer months. Bonus – most of these activities are either free or close to it. Share this list with your kids and have them pick their favorites, then create a family summer bucket list!
50 inexpensive (or free!) ideas to keep kids busy during summer vacation
1. Plan a scavenger hunt
2. Get outside on a hot day and enjoy a good ol’ fashioned water balloon fight!
3. Make DIY homemade cards for friends and family (and even your favorite dentist!)
4. Build a fort.
5. Go on a nature walk at a local park or nature preserve.
6. Visit your local library branch for free events, story time, and to check out summer reading books.
7. Sign your kids up for FREE bowling on kidsbowlfree.com.
8. Visit your park district’s website to find free summer events and activities.
10. Buy inexpensive craft kits and let your kids’ creativity soar.
11. Armed with a trusty magnifying glass, go on a bug hunt in the backyard.
12. Let your kids’ inner artists come out with sidewalk chalk.
13. Bake cookies together to deliver to a friend or family member.
14. Volunteer together for a good cause in the community.
15. Plant a garden together (and while you’re at it, create and decorate your own DIY plant markers with popsicle sticks!)
16. Go for a swim at the community pool.
18. Pack a picnic and take it to the local park.
19. Blow bubbles.
20. Visit a local museum. (If you’re a Bank of America cardholder, enjoy free admission at select museums on specific dates.)
21. Visit a local farm or petting zoo.
22. Give your kids a dollar and take them to the dollar store to pick out any toy they want!
23. Go for a bike ride.
24. Introduce your kids to classic card games and board games you loved as a kid.
25. Make s’mores.
26. Create an obstacle course.
27. Keep kids’ skills sharp with math and vocabulary flashcards.
28. Make puppets and host a puppet show.
29. Blow up balloons and play balloon tennis.
30. Try learning a few phrases in another language together.
31. Teach your kids how to make a simple recipe and film your own mini cooking show.
32. Set up a tent and go “camping” in your own backyard.
33. Make a treasure map and send the kids on a treasure hunt.
34. Fly a kite.
35. Make your own DIY slime.
36. Spread out sleeping bags at the park or in your backyard and do some stargazing.
37. Go fishing.
38. Make homemade ice cream and let kids build their own sundaes.
39. Have a movie day! Make popcorn, invite friends over, and spread out blankets and pillows for a movie marathon.
40. Clean out the playroom and have your kids choose toys to donate.
41. Make fun costumes out of fabric scraps, old clothes, and other craft supplies.
42. Play flashlight tag.
43. Have kids help out with yard work, washing the car, and other chores.
44. Make your own pizzas and let kids go wild with the toppings.
45. Collect rocks, seashells, or interesting leaves and build your own “nature museum.”
46. Create a mini racetrack for toy cars.
47. Spend the day at the beach.
48. Go to a major or minor league baseball game.
49. Make a birdhouse.
50. Finally, remember to book your kids’ dental appointments early to beat the back-to-school rush.
Head on over to our Facebook page and share what you and your family are up to this summer!
How do you keep kids busy during summer vacation? Comment below and share your ideas!