[Updated for 2018]
It’s ice cream melting, swimsuit wearing, kid entertaining season! As school days fade into distant memories and the choruses of “I’m booored” begin, make sure your young ones aren’t lazing into excessive screen time indoors. Get unplugged and into the wild outdoors for endless entertainment. Even a tame backyard or cozy & compact patio will do the trick for refreshing summer crafts, stimulating activities and fun outdoor games for kids.
We’ve collected some lively activities that your kids can enjoy in the fresh breeze with warm sun rays kissing their skin. Inspire excitement to enjoy summer outside with this fun outdoor summer bucket list!
Little Kids’ Activities
- Lemonade stand: A cup of ice-cold lemonade may be worth a bit more than ten cents these days, but we’ll leave the price up to your kiddos. Let them draw a sign and hang it up to start their mini business.
- DIY giant bubbles: Get poppin’ with an easy DIY activity that involves only sticks, string and a three-ingredient bubble mixture from Laura Novobilsky on PBS Parents.
- Paint rocks with faces: Step to it on a refreshing nature walk while the kids pick out pine cones or rocks to take home, paint faces, glue some décor on and use as characters to act out a story.
- DIY sidewalk chalk: Sidewalk chalk is entertaining enough, but add the DIY factor and you’ve entered a whole new realm of fun. Sweet Paul has a colorful recipe.
- Bug catching: Assuming you’re not afraid of whatever they catch, punch some holes in a plastic container and let the kids explore the insect world.
- Finger painting: Give in to green thumbs, blue fingers and orange pinkies with your artistic young ones. And don’t stress about a mouthful of paint with an edible, three-ingredient finger paint recipe from Krystal on My Life of Travels and Adventures.
Big Kids’ Activities
- Obstacle course: Get your Mission Impossible soundtrack ready and build your kids a challenging obstacle course to complete.
- Piñatas: There doesn’t have to be a birthday to have an exciting, hung up container of joy. Here are simple instructions for this beloved party addition from Pretty Little Party Shop.
- Slip ‘n’ slide: For kids or adult-sized kids at heart, this an activity as fun to participate in as it is to watch. Just make sure you have your camera ready for those water-sprayed faces.
- Kites: Go old-school with a classic outdoor entertainment activity: kite-building and flying. Grab some dowel sticks, string, a few newspapers and tape to build some high-flying fun.
- Soapy trampoline: It entertains kids for hours and if you have a trampoline, the only supplies needed are dish soap and water.
- Painted tree with sidewalk chalk: Get creative with your artistic materials by watering down some sidewalk chalk and painting a tree trunk. (via Dilly Dali Art)
- Outdoor movie: Throw a big outdoor rug on the ground for a relaxing outdoor screening. Just make sure you’ve got your bug-repelling candles!
- Scavenger hunt: Something with seeds, a reflective object and grass longer than your arm are great additions to a challenging scavenger hunt. Have your teens either bring back all their objects or take photos and share on their phones.
- Water balloons or color powder fun: Create a cool outdoor activity by setting up a water balloon war or challenging the teens to a color powder fight.
- Lawn twister: Get twisted by spraying colored circles on your lawn or mix it up with a Twister mat that has washable paint on each colored circle.
- DIY teepee: Stimulate the kinesthetic side by having the teens create their own teepee. Here are easy instructions from Hani on Craftionary.
- Geocaching: Let the teens tap into their inner Indiana Jones and go on an adventurous expedition for hidden treasures with the geocaching phone app.
- S’mores: Provide sticky-fingered deliciousness that appeals to any age. Just make sure to save one or two for yourself.
What kind of kids’ activities do you have up your sleeve this summer? Show us on Twitter or Instagram and we might share your post on our profile! If you want even more outdoor inspiration, check out these 6 outdoor party ideas to get excited about.
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