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Everyday Summer Activities for Kids

Build some happy memories with these summer activities.


Summer is the time when kids build memories. Of course, kids will look back at vacations, day trips, picnics and other outings with nostalgia. But that's not all they'll remember. They'll remember the bad (e.g., being bored at home because mom was busy).

So while these everyday summer activities may not necessarily inspire idyllic childhood memories of summer, they will happily fill those long summer days spent at home. Work-at-home moms, in particular, need ideas for enjoyable summer activities that school-age kids can do on their own.

Summer Fun

Water play kids
Getty/Brand X

Of course, moms also may want to add in more special activities, like vacations, summer camp or these free summer fun ideas, to build those fond memories. Kids can blow through summer activities pretty quickly, so I find it helpful to have several options at the ready. And so, try some of these 100 summer fun ideas for kids and parents.


Outside Time

Toddlers With Play Dough
Getty Marilyn Conway
When you're working at home, playing outside is probably not the first activity that comes to mind. But kids that are cooped up inside all day only get rowdier and rowdier. If they are little spending a little outdoor time with them can allow them blow off some steam and nap later. When they are a little older you may be able to watch from a window while they play outside.

Art: Summer Crafts for Kids

Summer Activities - Art

Setting up an art space--with paper, coloring books, glue, scissors, colored pencils and crayons are all readily available--will encourage kids to make art part of their daily routine. But even if you have an art space, you might have to provide some inspiration in the way of ideas and easy summer craft projects.


Imaginarium Train Set With Roundhouse and Train Table
Typically, kids get new toys during the holiday season, right in the middle of the school year when they often don't have time to play with them. By the time summer rolls around, they are forgotten or, worse, broken. But if you choose your children's toys wisely this does not have to be the case. Toys can provide lasting enjoyment all summer. These good toys for WAHMs' kids have something for every age and interest.


Kids Cooking
You've got to eat, right? Cooking is a chore to many adults, but kids often see it as a fun summer activity. You'll have to lay some age-appropriate ground rules and give some instruction in advance. Kids who can read and who have a little cooking know-how can follow the directions on a cake or brownie mix. Even kindergarten kids can make a sandwich and put some cut fruit or veggies on the plate.

Depending on their ages, kids may need mom to oversee the use of the oven and/or do some chopping in advance. (Of course, buying pre-cut fruits and veggies saves you time.) But the summer--when there are fewer time pressures added by homework and other activities--is a good time to get kids cooking.

Play Dates

Summer Activities - Play Dates

OK, this is probably not for every day but make time with friends part of your child's regular summer activities. School is an extremely social environment, and so summer, by contrast, can feel isolating to children who've become accustomed to the constant companionship of friends. Hosting a play date, especially if your child is school-age, doesn't mean you can't work. In fact, often you can get more accomplished when your child is happily playing with a friend.


Summer Activities
Getty/Digital Vision

Good old-fashioned board games and cards keep kids busy while you work. Of course, for some games you'll need to have more than one kid in the house to play. (Think play date!) However, there are some games for one and brainteaser games that can keep one child occupied this summer. Games for kids, however, let mom work when kids know how to be good sports. Otherwise, you'll end up as referee. And if your kids are old enough to play outside unattended, don't overlook outdoor fun like shooting a game of HORSE at the driveway basketball hoop or sending them out to play tag.


Summer Activities - reading
Getty/Martial Colomb

Reading for enjoyment every day is a great habit to teach your kids. And summer--without the fatigued of homework and school activities--is the time to instill the reading bug. And reading is a summer activity that's good for just one kid.

Join the local library summer reading club. Check out summer reading lists to find books that will keep kids' interest. Try wordless books for new or struggling readers. Buy comics or magazines for your kids. Setting aside a certain time every day for reading helps get kids in the habit. Join a summer reading program or start your own.


Summer Activities - Audio Books for Kids
Listening to audio books promotes a love of literature while it keeps kids engages for hours. And it's just easier for some kids than reading a book. And while you want to promote reading, summer is a time for kids to relax too. And, of course, audiobooks are great for summer car trips too.

Keeping a Journal

Summer Activities
Getty/Digital Vision

Spending 15 minutes a day writing (or drawing) in a journal will give your child a head start on the old back-to-school question: What did you do on your summer vacation? Writing in a journal will not keep a child occupied for long periods while you work, but it's a good way to start the day or transition from one activity to another.

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