Here are 40+ summer activities for kids! Summer crafts, outdoor games, water games, popsicle recipes, and more.

Are you planning your summer bucket list?  After the hectic pace of the school year, summer is always the perfect time get outside, play in the pool, play games, and make some great family memories.  Here’s a collection of classic must-try activities that will make this summer the best ever!


Nothing says summer like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and outdoor games! It’s a fun time to do messy activities because you can just hose off the mess. It’s also a great time to do active games while the weather is warm.

outdoor summer activities for kids

GIANT BUBBLES – Everyone loves making Giant Bubbles – even big kids too! Mix up the bubble solution with just three ingredients and our simple recipe.

GLOWING BUBBLES – Take bubbles to a whole new level with this Glowing Bubbles activity! This is also an easy homemade recipe. Please note that you will need a UV flashlight for the glowing part, but it’s SO worth it.

OUTDOOR GAMES – Here’s a collection of classic outdoor games that kids will love from Teach Beside Me. Capture the Flag, four square, and lots more.

NERF GAMES – Make a Nerf War Battlefield – this would make a great birthday party idea!  From Steam Powered Family.

These Nerf Science Experiments are also lots of fun. Test how weight and wind affect how far a Nerf dart with travel.

SIDEWALK CHALK – Here are some sidewalk chalk activities to try from The Pinterested Parent.


Kids LOVE to test their skills on an obstacle course, and basically any course you set up will appeal to a wide range of ages. I am always amazed at how much fun my kids have with an obstacle course and how long they stick with it!

summer activities for kids

We love our DIY American Ninja Warrior obstacle course!  You can set it up differently every time, which is fun.

If you have some woodworking skills, you’ll definitely want to check out this AMAZING ninja warrior course – it has climbing and hanging elements and is just overall awesome. I’d love to build this for our kids.

You don’t need special materials to create an obstacle course, however!  Here’s a backyard obstacle course from the blog 5 to Fifteen that is made out of materials you likely already have.

This fun obstacle course from Teach Me Mommy also makes creative use of what you already have.

Another fantastic material to use for an obstacle course is pool noodles!  Get them at the dollar store!  Here’s some inspiration for a pool noodle obstacle course from Raising Dragons.


Summer afternoons are perfect for crafting! When it’s too hot to be outside, hang out in the air conditioning and make painted rocks, slime, seashell crafts, and more.

summer crafts for kids

ROCK PAINTING – Try some rock painting!  It’s fun and relaxing for all ages, including parents too.  Here are 50+ Awesome Rock Painting Ideas to get you started. There should be ideas for everyone here!

SHELL CRAFTS – Or try some seashell painting.  Such a fun idea from Mama Papa Bubba.

SLIME RECIPES – Make some slime!  This lemonade scented slime is awesome for summer, and you can mix it up with glue, liquid starch and lemon essential oil.

MAKE BOATS – Make some cork boats to float in a kiddie pool or tin foil river. Another idea from Mama Papa Bubba.

Here are some ideas for boats made from recycled materials. Also fun to float in a kiddie pool!

summer crafts for kids

POOL NOODLE ROCKET FLINGER – Grab some pool noodles and make Pool Noodle Rocket Flingers! This is a SUPER fun homemade toy, and it’s a great project to do with a group because the supplies are so cheap.

TIN CAN CRAFTS – Save a few tin cans and make these Tin Can + Rope Utensil Holders. These will look great at a backyard BBQ.

Or, use your cans to make these Patriotic Star Tin Can Lanterns. Kids will really enjoy the process of using a hammer and nail to poke the holes!

ANIMAL CRAFTS – These Salt Dough Snakes are one of our favorite kids crafts. Always a hit!


If you make your own popsicles, then it’s a snack AND an activity! Summer is a great time for kids to learn some kitchen skills.

The kids will love making some ice cream – and you don’t even have to have an ice cream maker!  Here’s how to make ice cream in a tin can from Happy Hooligans.

Or use a ziplock bag!  Here’s a recipe for chocolate ice cream in a bag from Simple Play Ideas.

I am totally going to try making these watermelon berry popsicles from Fireflies and Mudpies. They look super refreshing.

If your kids love fudgesicles, they’ll love this homemade version! From Cincy Shopper.


Cool off on a hot day with some awesome water games.

This water balloon bash game looks right up our alley for sure.

Launch water balloons great distances with this awesome DIY water balloon launcher.  SO FUN!  We’re on our third season with this, and the kids still love it.

Have some water gun cup races – love this idea from All for the Boys.

Younger kids (maybe up to age 7?) will enjoy these water table play ideas.  The LEGO boats are a must!

Add water to your marble maze – this is a BRILLIANT idea from Housing a Forest.

Make some sponge water bombs – I love this idea because they can be used over and over, unlike water balloons. And they don’t create a mess either!

Use a 2 liter soda bottle to make a fun Soda Bottle Water Fountain! This is such fun water play, and also a great way to learn about air pressure.

Have an awesome summer!


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  1. Sachin Shah Jul 13, 2018

    Sarah, it was really a great joy reading your blog. I never knew summer could be such fun with kids around. Now, your blog inspires me to try some of these listed activities myself. These could be entertaining options while running a summer camp too. Thanks for sharing the blog.

  2. Naresh Patel Dec 19, 2018

    Summer time is the best time most parents get with their kids. The pictures you have shared here say it all. Playing with kids help us understand more about them and how they think and develop skills. A very well written blog. Keep sharing such beautiful posts.

  3. Nana May 29, 2019

    I love your ideas! I have two grandsons, 7 and 4 this summer. Love to keep them busy and excited for Nana camp!
    Any good ideas for science experiments? Thanks for you great activities! Nana Eastwood


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