55 Summer Activities for the Kiddos – NO SCREEN TIME!

The month of July is always a busy one here at the cabin.  I like to keep a list of activities for us to do to keep us busy and structured.

Last year, well, I’ll be honest…I don’t remember last year.  I remember a lot of painting projects, but nothing really stuck in my memory.  I remembered we traveled a lot and saw family.  In my defense, I did have a new baby…remember her?  Yeah, I’m still sleep deprived.

I’m making a calendar too for certain events that she may want to go see and do…I don’t want to miss an opportunity for our family to do something fun…but also inexpensive.

Image by justmakestuff.com

This year, I thought I would share a list of ideas gathered from my own little brain and a few Pinterest ideas that may help you entertain your kiddos too this summer.  I’m trying to make sure we have as little screen time as possible.  I don’t want them in front of the tv all day…I want them active…so they will go to bed sooner!  LOL.  The zoo is frequented by J (the 5 year old)…along with the beach and museums with her mom.  These ideas are not included but you could certainly do them.  I’m looking for ideas that are outside her norm and are new and hopefully, exciting!

Here’s the list I’ve come up with and I really had my kiddos in mind when I made it.  I hope it gives you some ideas too.

  1. Local pool/Splash pad/or even a sprinkler in the yard
  2. Picnic at the park or even the backyard
  3. Explore at the deer camp or nature park.  Watch the animals.  
  4. Build a fort or shelter outside.  
  5. Camp outside in a tent. (Might be too hot in Texas for this one…)
  6. Host a hot dog summer party for family and friends.  Let the kiddos make the guest list and invites or have them make the phone calls to invite to the party.  Kids love to decorate too!  
  7. Go to events at your local library
  8. Make homemade cookies – not using a premade mix.  
  9. Musical lessons.  Little ones may only want to try a new instrument or voice lessons for a few times before they really know if they like something enough to continue.  
  10. Work in the flowerbeds, garden…Let the child have creative control over an area of the garden/flowerbeds.
  11. Daily bible study/devotions with breakfast.  Give your child a scripture to think about all day or a kind thought.  See if they can remember it throughout the day.  I also found some great websites where you can print off Bible verse coloring pages.  
  12. Painting projects.  The dollar store has a ton of painting projects that little ones love.  They even come with paint and a paintbrush.  You could also paint rocks for your garden.  There are lots of examples of what to paint on Pinterest: ladybugs, bugs, words to identify your plants…  You could also paint with your fingers or even your feet! 
  13. Rainbow Fish Craft idea
  14. Paint in the Shadows painting project 
  15. Make Unicorn Poop Slime 
  16. Roadtrip Scavenger Hunt  I think I may even use this to trick the kiddos into a nap!  LOL.  
  17. Empty box coloring project  
  18. OR even Make a Box Car for the kids  I’ll have the kiddos make their own.  Bailey will need some help but J can do it!  Afterwards, the kiddos can watch a movie and be in their very own drive-in theatre!
  19. Make Soap Clouds 
  20. Have a tea party with cookies! Get dressed up in a fancy dress too.  
  21. Mani/Pedi party.  J loves to get her nails painted.  It’s also calming for her.  
  22. Reading exploration day!  Go to the library and find fun new books to read over the weekend.  
  23. Explore one book/story in depth.  If the character makes a recipe, have fun and make the recipe together with the story.  If the character goes somewhere like the grocery store or zoo, go to the grocery store or zoo.  Take a picture or finish reading the story there!  
  24. Make an obstacle course in your yard.  Toddler Obstacle Course
  25. Play hide and seek!
  26. Make a cake and let your kiddos decorate it for your spouse!  Surprise them when they get home.  
  27. Learn about a historical location near your home and go visit with the kids.  You can take a picnic or learn about a special meal or food they enjoyed to eat during that time and try eating it at the historical landmark.  
  28. Sewing projects.  Kiddos can easily make a blanket for themselves or their favorite doll!  Maybe a winter scarf?  J loves to quilt so she has a quilt top that has been basted and she just needs to quilt it and bind it.  (I’ll actually bind it.)  Maybe kids sewing classes?  There is a place in Houston that offers sewing classes to kiddos! Find a local fabric store and ask around.  If there isn’t a business that does it, maybe there is someone who does it on the side as a business.  Sewing School Idea
  29. Grow Borax Crystals 
  30. Make a fairy garden! 
  31. Make a Sun puppet from a paper plate 
  32. Sidwalk chalk.  I’ll clear out the garage and the front porch and let the girls chalk up the concrete.
  33. Have a dance contest between the kids and yourself. This is fun to do during their favorite movie…breaks up the time just sitting and watching something.  
  34. Horse riding lessons.  Same as musical instrument lessons…to see how much they really love it, not like at a fair where they walk in circle and that’s it.  Really learn what it takes to care for a horse!!  
  35. Volunteer for a charity.  Can you help a local charity with your kiddos?  Maybe help organize a fun run or Memorial run?  Volunteer at church?  Make a meal for a family in need or sick?  
  36. Create a summer packet of worksheets with activities to help remind your little ones of their school lessons so they don’t forget anything over the summer.  Add a few pages of math lessons, reading lessons, letters, numbers, etc.  Make it fun!  Custom print the pages you know your kiddos will love to do.  
  37. Build an inside fort and camp overnight inside it.  Complete it with a semi-scary or a silly story.  
  38. Write a story together.  Let your kids do the illustrations.  Have it published or bound into a real book to keep forever as a memory of your summer together!  
  39. Go for a walk in a new park.  
  40. Go to a playground.  Local schools may be closed if they are not hosting summer school or other camps.  Perhaps your playground is available for your kids to run around and play.  
  41. Have a playdate with some friends.  Invite them over for a fun activity or play a board game.  
  42. Fly a kite!
  43. Create a cooking class with your kiddos.  Ask them what they would like to cook and learn about the ingredients (how they grow or were raised) and how to make the dish.  Sort of like a farm to table lesson….Another idea would be to make jam and the kids will love smasking the fruit.  It’s very easy!  
  44. Make Moon Sand
  45. Paint with Circles 
  46. Make a Jelly Bean House (STEM Activity!)
  47. Iceblock Treasure Hunt  Freeze small toys into a large block of ice and watch your little one hammer them out like fossils or a treasure hunt! 
  48. Have a crazy hair contest.  Pick a person and style their hair with bows and ties and see who has the craziest hair design/style.  
  49. Paper Weaving Fish Craft  Complete with printables! 
  50. Make Recycled Paper Have a leftover cardboard egg carton?  Here’s an easy project to do! 
  51. Conduct a Garden Science Experiment 
  52. Make Oatmeal Playdough 
  53. Make popsicles out of fruit and juice.
  54. Daddy/Daughter or Daddy/son or Mommy/Daughter or Mommy/Son date!  Go to the movies or spend special one on one time with your child.  
  55. Make a journal of 30 (can make less or more depending on your child’s age) pages of blank paper.  Label each with a date at the bottom.  Let your child draw a picture of their favorite activity from that day.  Fun way to remember their summer!  This can also be made for the favorite activity or event from the week… 
Another exciting activity to do with your kiddos is to tour a place that makes food.  Blue Bell Creamery is not too far for a day trip and now I have been told that they have an aquatic center too!  What could be better than swimming and ice cream?  
There are also sausage making companies nearby that I will call and schedule a tour to learn about how to make sausage.  I’ve also heard that HEB will let you into the back and the kids can see how they stock the milk area and so forth.  
Hopefully this list can give you some ideas on activities to do with your entire family.  Above all, I hope it gives you at least one activity you can or will do and will really enjoy spending the time with your kids and family.  
Happy Summer Ya’ll!  


  1. Tonya Baccus on June 20, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Got the swim thing down. Not public. I live back in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Lol… So we improvise with what we can find. Like a 35 gal. Round Cattle trough about 3 ft high. LOL… grandbabies love it and they can't bust it. Wish I could send you a pic but don't know how to do that. Well I guess I can email you one.

  2. Sarah on June 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    We were thinking of doing the same with a cattle trough…my parents had that for us and we loved it.

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