Baby, it’s hot outside! As the weather heats up, check out these fun summer activities for kids. Make a list of your favorites and keep the kids cool and entertained all summer long.
It is hot, I mean melting, dripping hot. Our temps soared this week to 107 and they’ll get even hotter in July. Even though the kids just got out of school they are probably begging for fun things to do. But don’t let them have all the fun you can join in on any of these activities to cool down and recapture your childhood too!
1. Sprinklers – Never underestimate the fun of a good old fashioned sprinkler in the yard. You can of course buy a cute kid sprinkler or make your own with a 2 liter bottle. Check out this list of 10 DIY Sprinklers from Fun, Fantastic, and Learning.
2. Water balloons: Cheap, cool, and super fun! Grab a couple bags, fill, and splash! Be sure to give them a sack to pick them all up later. Frugal Fun 4 Boys has a fun DIY Water Balloon Launcher and Fantastic Fun and Learning has a whole list of water balloon activities.
3. Ice blocks: Freeze toys in large or small blocks of ice, provide your child with tools (and supervision of course) watch them work to rescue their little plastic friends. The Imagination Tree has a great tutorial on how to Freeze and Melt Objects for fun.
4. Water guns: Simple childhood fun that has stood the test of time, we always keep half a dozen guns on hand for impromptu water gun fights. The ones from the dollar store work great, but a few big ones are fun for mom and dad.
5. Slip and Slide: Purchase a ready made slip and slide or you could make your own with plastic drop cloth or even a shower curtain liner. Happy Hooligans has a great tutorial on how to make your own slip and slide.
6. Dip in the pool: We have a community pool that is part of our neighborhood, but even if you don’t the kids will love splashing, jumping, and playing in a small backyard pool. Plus the dog loves to join in on the fun in the backyard, too!
7. Sensory pool: Use an inexpensive toddler pool to fill with shaving cream, jello, mud, homemade slime, etc.. for a fun, messy, and unique experience for little and big kids. Check out Housing A Forest’s Ocean Sensory Pool for inspiration.
8. Splash in the tub: After a hot day outside cool down with a cool bath and lots of fun toys! This is a great alternative if a backyard pool just isn’t a possibility, too. The Realistic Mama has a great list of 18 Bath Activities that will keep everyone entertained!
9. Frozen paint cubes: Fill inexpensive ice cube trays with children’s paint, add a wooden craft stick handle, then freeze. Place paper on the fence or bring out the easel. Use body paint and the kids can paint themselves! Check out this awesome glow in the dark body paint that would be great for these! Learn with Play at Home has a tutorial for Paintsicles!
10. Mud pies: Why do you think pigs like to wallow in the mud? It is very cooling! If you are not comfortable letting your child just dig in the ground soaked with water make a mud pie station but adding a bag of organic soil to a large plastic tub and saturating with water. Add pans, cups, and shovels too.
11. Make ice cream in a bag: Sweet, cold ice cream that doesn’t even need a churn! My kids LOVE making this and the bags actually get so cold that we usually need a towel so our hands don’t freeze.
12. Go Fishing: Find somewhere local, load up the kids and poles, head to a fishing spot for some summer fun.
13. Water pinatas: Fill water balloons, hang from the tree limbs, give one child at a time a toy bat and let them go crazy trying to pop the balloons. See how to do set up a fun water balloon pinata activity from Paging Fun Mums.
14. Float a boat: Fill a big tub, or your backyard pool, with water, make boats from various items leaves, tin foil, craft sticks, pool noodles and see what floats, watch the wind move them, have races. Or make these fun Pool Noodle Sail Boats and have a regatta right in your backyard!
15. Sponge Wars: Surely you have seen the fun sponge bombs? Cut inexpensive sponges into strips, rubber band together, soak in water, and toss like a ball. See this tutorial for Sponge Bombs from Inner Child Fun to see how to do it. Or if you are feeling super lazy you can just soak the sponge as is and toss it (avoid the ones with a scour side).
16. Toy Wash: Fill up a bucket of soapy water, toss in some sponges and have a “car wash”. Bikes, slides, buckets, and construction trucks can all be run through this kid run wash. They can even offer to wash the neighbors toys!
17. Decorate bikes: Provide your child with streamers, ribbons, and other items to decorate their bikes. Have a parade through the neighborhood then come home and splash in some cool water!
18. Bubbles: Pick up a gallon or make your own with this Homemade Bubble Recipe from Crystal and Co. Add a few drops of food coloring, essential oils for scent, and lots of different wands to make all kinds of shapes and sizes of bubbles.
19. Water blob: This is a must do activity this summer if you haven’t tried it yet…or even if you have. You basically need plastic, duck tape and water. Playtivities has a great list of 5 Different Homemade Water Blobs to try!
20. Play in the garden: Digging in the cool dirt and watering plants ( yourself as well) will help you keep cool and be productive at the same time. Not sure how to do it? Mama’s Happy Hive has a great post on Planning a Summer Garden for Kids.
21. Water relay races: Grab a couple colanders from the Dollar store, set buckets at either end of your relay area one full of water and one empty. Have your child scoop water from one end, run with the colander over their head to the other and dump whatever water is left in the empty container. Whoever gets the most in the bucket in 1 minute is the winner of that round.
22. Carnival games: Stack plastic cups, try to knock them down with water guns or sponges. The Joys of Boys has a ring toss and other fun carnival games she made for her kids – using pool noodles!
23. Science: Throw some summer enrichment into their lives. Fill a disposable pan with baking soda then give them a dropper and vinegar with food coloring. Watch the reaction that occurs. This keeps my kids busy for hours.
24. Water Obstacle Course: Set up an obstacle course with pool noodles, tires, balance beams, and whatever else you have on hand. Include LOTS of water on the course with sprinklers, homemade slip and slides, and kiddie pools. Check out this Ultimate DIY Splash Pad from The Joys of Boys for another great idea!
25. Make sun tea: one of the best ways to cool off on a hot day is with an ice cold glass of tea. All you need is a gallon jar with a lid (glass not plastic), 3 family size tea bags, water, and a couple hours in a sunny spot. Check out this Watermelon Sun Tea Recipe from The Pleasantest Thing for a fun twist on sun tea.This article may contain affiliate links.