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101 Free Active Things To Do With the Kids During The Summer To Entertain You Both

Danyel Mira Brisk's picture
Summer fun water fight

Are you prepared for summer activites? The kids are home and while you may have activities or camps for part of the summer, you are probably looking for things to do with them while they are home. This is such a valuable time, take advantage of it. With these free things to with kids, you can both learn, bond and discover a new favorite hobby or even perhaps something even greater.


Try these activities out, see what works for your family. Share your favorite kids activities with us below. Here's to great Summer.

Who’s counting. There are endless possibilities once you get started. Look closely at these fun, useful and free things to do with the kids during the Summer. You will discover new twists that can add millage and tune-up some old favorites or ones otherwise dismissed as ‘boring’. The point is to get yourself, and help get your kids into the mindset of openness and possibility. The rest will flow.

Remember that they follow your lead. Not the other way around. Don’t be bothered by the ‘no’s’ or the ‘I’m bored’. Go ahead and give something a good try all the way through. Give it some time, without pushing. It may even take a few tried before you can fairly say whether it was something worth doing again or not. If you don’t try, they and you will never have the opportunity to discover something that may end up becoming a new favorite.

Ideas for free activities for kids during the Summer - look closely

Enjoy The Great Outdoors
Neighborhood and city parks: get a map of all the parks in your area and explore as many as you can, discover your favorites that you can keep going back to. Making at least one new friend and contact at each park, both with the parents and kids. Use the opportunities to meet new people that you may enjoy doing other summer activities with.

Take a hike with or without a purpose: find a good hiking or walking trail, bring some snacks and water bottles in a bag and go as long as you can; see what you can find along that way; have a scavenger hunt or play “I spy”; bring a birding or native plants book and try to identify what you see along the way.

Team games: get a group of kids together for a casual sport game going; give them a ball or two, sit back and enjoy.

Swimming and water fun: enjoy your local public pool, Y, or even a lake or ocean beach; also simple water parks (public parks with water play areas) are great fun and again, great places to meet others to connect with; play games; let the kids come up with idea like variations on the tag game or take turns doing fun tricks or racing to get a certain changing point. Water balloons or bucket fights as always great on a hot day.

Right outside your door: what can you discover that you have never seen before; look more carefully with a different ‘lens’; collect some ideas that look interesting, learn about them, look them up and draw or write about them.

Use The Library
Libraries have so much more than just books, although they are great too.

First, check out the calendar and mark any important activities you want to be a part of.

Check the community board for activities other places as well.

Pick out new movies and music to enjoy.

Look through the subjects within the isles and pick one you either want to learn more about or know nothing about and want to explore, take a seat and look around.

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You never know how long this can keep you and the kids entertained. You will likely come away with new project or exploration idea galore.

Cook and Bake Together
Pick out an interesting receipt book (remember you can always get one at the library) and pick out some receipts you want to try out.

Plan it out, shop for the ingredients and make it together. Practice making a few new dishes that you can make together throughout the year. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to empower them to make a few things themselves as well.

Once you get your favorites, have them put the receipts in their own words with pictures on note cards and create their own receipt file or booklet to use.

Create Together

  • A story, joke or comic book - try writing one together by alternating who writes the next paragraph, page or chapter. It will be fun to see where it goes.
  • Painting or clay creations
  • Paper airplane and other paper creations
  • Endless list of possibilities (see the library idea)

Grow Together
Plant some seeds, starter plants or tend to a garden in some way. Being a part of helping and watching something else grow is a real gift and learning experience. It can be very rewarding, teach responsibility and help foster a sense of pride and respect.

Campout - Indoors and Outdoors
If literally going away for camping isn’t an option, how about camping out in the yard or even on the porch. You can make it as real an experience as you want - bring a flashlight, pack an overnight back and everything.

Create a tent or fort in the house to play and “campout” in.

Entrepreneurial and Give-Back Projects
There may be a need you, your child or family has. Can they help come up with a creative solution to that? Can you help create it in a marketable way? There are mentors available that could mold the idea into something viable. Think way beyond the lemonade stand. Kids these days are doing things beyond our dreams. Some examples I am aware of are programs to bring the unused food from school cafeterias to the food pantries, their own clothing line, baked goods to sell (it could be possible to find a commercial kitchen to let you use some time / space if you are bold enough to get the goods into retail setting), or showing other people how to make or do something they are good at.

Find a senior either you know or don’t know yet that needs some company and make it a routine to visit them. Make a baked good to bring them if you can.

Find a street or riverway that is littered and bring solid gloves, bags and tongs and go to town. Take before and after pictures to share with others. Do a contest to see who can get the more trash. Making things a contest or game is a great way to build up the energy for it and inspire others to get involved.

Household Projects: Entertaining, Maybe; Useful, Definitely
Have them help you with some project that they can be a part of. Allow them to take ownership over some minor project or area and create something on their own. Kids love having ownership over something.

Organization projects: pick one area at a time that you will work on together and see how you can come up with creative ways to make it more user friendly, accessible and pleasant to look at so it works for the whole family. Think the closets or drawers where everything gets stuffed, the shoe area, the sports equipment area, etc.

Clean out time: see how much you are done with that can be recycled, reused, upcycled (turned into something new, re-purposed) or donated. Out with the old makes room for the new, or possibly just makes room period. If you find yours space getting too cluttered with not enough room to create new things, it may be time for a good clearing. Leaving some empty space and room in the closet not only simplifies things it can also allow for more creativity and possibilities for fresh things to come in. Make this a game, contest or opportunity to create new things out of the old.

See which ones call out to you and start there. We look forward to hearing about your experiences. Let us know if you have a favorite that is not on this list as well. Enjoy.



Great ideas!
Thanks, Jen. Enjoy your Summer with the kids whatever you do.