100 Things to do Outside with Your Kids This Summer
Summer is a great time of year for both spending time with your family AND spending time outside.
But what to do?
I’ve come up with a list of 100 things you can do outside with your kids this summer, most of which are free or very inexpensive. Summer plans don’t have to be complicated or expensive to be enjoyable!
My Great Big List of Things to do Outside With Your Kids This Summer
Slap on a hat, slather the sunscreen, grab your kids, and head outside to make some great summer memories!
- Make a bird feeder – this is a great way to attract birds to your yard. Depending on how handy you are, can make them out of wood, pop bottles, or milk cartons. Check out these easy to make bird feeders over on The Homeschool Scientist.
2. Do some star gazing
3. Listen to the birds – Go on a nature walk, or try it out in your own backyard. How many different birds can you hear? Can you identify any of them?
4. Plant a vegetable garden
5. Draw with sidewalk chalk
6. Go on a pond study – Have you got a pond nearby to explore? If so, you and your children can have a lot of fun learning all about what is living and growing in it! My Little Poppies has a nice list of equipment to bring along, as well as instructions on how to have a simple pond study with your children.
7. Go to the beach
8. Build a sandcastle – While you are at the beach, don’t forget to build a sandcastle! Or build one in your own sandbox at home or at a park.
9. Build a dam -This was always one of my favourite beach activities as a child. It usually started with a moat around a sandcastle, and ended with a complicated network of waterways leading back to the lake. We had so much fun dumping the water into the moat, watching it’s return path to the lake, and experimenting with dams and detours.
10. Jump over waves
11. Bury yourself in the sand
12. Skip rocks -I keep practicing this one, hoping to get better at it! My kids are always fascinated with the activity and love to try their hand at it.
14. Press flowers -Pick some flowers from your garden, or gather some wildflowers to preserve using a flower press, a heavy book, or you can even make your own flower press using only paper, cardboard & elastics.
15. Start a nature journal – Don’t be intimidated by all the beautiful and complicated nature journals you see out there! Getting started with nature notebooks can be as simple as grabbing a notebook and a pencil and recording your own observations about what you see, feel, and smell in nature.
16. Compost – This is a great activity for teaching kids about garbage and gardening! If you don’t already compost your kitchen waste, you can invest in one of the many types of composters available, or even compost in an old soda bottle!
17. Have a lemonade stand
18. Go berry picking
19. Make a rainbow – Use your garden hose on a sunny day to make a rainbow!
20. Start a rock collection
21. Plant a tree
22. Paint rocks/make a pet rock
23. Make crayon rubbings (leaves, sidewalks, bricks, etc)
24. Pick up trash
25. Build a fort
26. Go on a family biker ride
27. Have a yard sale
28. Play in the sprinkler or slip & slide
29. Have a nature scavenger hunt
30. Make a sun dial
31. Go bird watching – Take along some binoculars and a field guide, and go bird watching. Check out your own backyard, neighbourhood, or a local nature trail, and see who you can find. Bring along some birdseed if you want to be sure to get a closer look.
32. Go camping
33. Have a campfire
34. Go on a hike
35. Go canoeing
36. Have a backyard campout – Not up to a real camping trip with your kids this summer? Why not try a mini campout in the backyard instead? If it ends badly, you can always retreat to the house!
37. Fill and throw water balloons
38. Have a water fight – Kids LOVE to play in the water, and they love to compete agains their siblings and parents, so gather the water guns, water balloons, DIY sponge bombs, and use the garden hose and have a BIG water fight!
39. Fly a kite/make a kite
40. Go walking in the rain
41. Go fishing
42. Visit a local farmer’s market
43. Make a fairy garden/fairy houses
44. Organize a neighbourhood baseball/soccer game
45. Attend a local festival
46. Plant a butterfly garden – Attract butterflies to your yard this summer by planting the flowers that they love!
48. Climb a tree
49. Have a car/bicycle/toy wash
50. Build an obstacle course
51. Paint the sidewalk with water
52. Have a piñata
54. Make mud pies
56. Play “Pooh Sticks” – Ever since we read The House at Pooh Corner, we’ve been playing Pooh Sticks when we cross over a bridge. Drop a stick on the upstream side of the bridge, and wait for it to appear on the other. Everyone can drop their own stick, and have a race!
57. Swing in a hammock
58. Play hopscotch
59. Make a volcano – Make your volcano out of play-dough or paper mache, and have fun with your kids (who will want to erupt it over and over again)!
60. Watch a sunset
61. Play miniature golf
62. Watch fireworks
63. Go geocaching
64. Attend an outdoor concert
65. Feed the ducks
67. Lie on a large blanket and watch the clouds
69. Visit a zoo
70. Organize a neighbourhood triathlon
73. Gather wildflowers
74. Photograph nature
75. Search for a four-leaf clover
76. Make bird nests
77. Build and walk on tin can stilts
78. Make a scarecrow
79. Make plaster casts of animal tracks
80. Go spelunking/ caving
81. Build a stick structure
82. Go owling
83. Catch insects in a net
84. Go boating
85. Visit a nature preserve/conservation park
86. Have a picnic
87. Catch fireflies
88. Blow bubbles
89. Paint outside
90. Make wind chimes
91. Build a bird bath
92. Go to the park
93. Splatter paint
94. Host an outdoor art show
95. Host a neighbourhood play or talent show
96. Have a backyard movie night
97. Host an old-fashioned strawberry social
98. Play kick-the-can
99. Skip/jump rope
100. Have a bicycle parade