Wednesday, May 30, 2012

101 Screen Free Activities To Keep Your Kids Busy This Summer

  1. Watch a parade
  2. Pick strawberries or your favorite local fruit.  Freeze the fruit or make jam out of it.
  3. Paint with water outside - give kids a paint brush and cup of water to paint with outside.  No clean up and No stains.  They can paint the house, sidewalk, fence, deck with water.
  4. Go to an Air Show
  5. Watch Fireworks
  6. Play in the sandbox
  7. Spend an afternoon with sidewalk chalk.  Hint: Soak the chalk in water to create vivid colors.
  8. Color in different shapes with chalk on the driveway.  Use different colors and ask your Toddler to find the shape or color that you ask for.
  9. Make a lemonade stand and have the kids sell lemonade.
  10. Decorate their bike, wagon or other ride on for a children's parade.
  11. Craft activities - you can buy kits at a craft store or check to see if you local library has a craft days.  Michael's and other craft stores have craft days for kids to attend.
  12. Visit the Library and sign up for the summer reading program.
  13. Go to storytime at the Library
  14. Visit the zoo
  15. Or visit zoos in other nearby cities
  16. Go swimming
  17. Go to a splash park or water park
  18. Or make your own sprinkler/water park in your back yard.
  19. Go to the beach
  20. Go for a hike
  21. Go to a nature center
  22. Visit the Fire Station - Call ahead to make an appointment
  23. Go to the park
  24. Or spend a day touring the parks in your community
  25. Or visit a new park.
  26. Play date - invite a friend over to play
  27. Volunteer at a pet shelter or food pantry
  28. Sign them up for a sports camp or day time summer camp
  29. Coordinate a summer camp week with other parents.  Each day a different parent plans the activity/craft and snack at their house.  A week of fun for your child, but you only have to plan one day.
  30. Camp in your backyard
  31. Catch lightening bugs
  32. Fly a kite
  33. Run through the sprinkler
  34. Visit a museum or children's museum
  35. Blow Bubbles
  36. Go on a bike ride
  37. Make homemade ice cream in a ziplock baggie.
  38. Attend Vacation Bible School.  They usually need volunteer parents for these great VBS programs.
  39. Go on a day trip to some place that you have never been.
  40. Go on a Picnic
  41. Plant a garden
  42. Raise Butterflies.  You can order them at:
  43. Practice math skills, so they don't forget over the summer
  44. Go to an indoor bounce center.  Some of these businesses offer summer specials.
  45. Go fishing
  46. Look for worms
  47. Visit a fish hatchery
  48. Go to a farmer's market
  49. Make S'mores
  50. Make an indoor fort.  Great rainy day activity
  51. Build a house out of boxes
  52. Play parachute activity with a sheet.
  53. Go to a carnival
  54. Go on a scavenger hunt  Pinned Image like this one from
  55. Make a pirate map for your little pirates to follow.  Let them find a treasure at the end.  A message for a special treat (like ice cream), costume jewelry or toys from the $ store.
  56. Bury "hidden" treasure in the sandbox and let them dig it up.  After they find it, I let them bury it and then come back to find it.
  57. Make Crystal Egg Geodes like these from Martha Stewart:
  58. Make Lava lamps like these from S.L. Smith Photography
  59. Make Elephant Toothpaste like this from Preschool Powol packets:
  60. Play Hopscotch
  61. Cloud watch. Lay a blanket down on the ground.  Lay down on the blanket and watch the clouds go by.
  62. Visit a planetarium and/or watch the stars.
  63. Build with items from the recycled bin.  One of my nephews loves to build towers and structures from the items found in the recycle bin.  For example: toilet paper rolls, plastic containers, water bottles.
  64. Make this "Days of the week" calendar.
  65. Go bowling
  66. Sign up for a kids project class at Home Depot or Lowe's
  67. Pajama Day - (Great for a rainy or sick days). make pancakes, read books, play games and puzzles.
  68. Go Putt-Putting
  69. Go to a county fair.  Go see the 4H displays and animals.
  70. Do a science experiment, like Growing Crystals
  71. Make mud pies and then hose the kids off outside.
  72. Go on a rock hunt.  Go for a walk in the yard, park, etc to look for rocks.  See what the look like when they are dry and wet.
  73. Go on a train, trolley or bus ride. 
  74. Attend a festival for a different culture.  We have an Italian and Greek festival here.  We enjoy the dclothing, signing, dancing and food of the festival.
  75. Walk through an art or craft festival. 
  76. Make cookies for a neighbor or sick friend.
  77. Help a disabled neighbor clean up their yard.
  78. Make a Birthday card for a friend or family member
  79. Create an obstacle course.  You can do this outdoors or indoors if it is rainy.  Have them make up their own for the whole family to go through.  Step 1: 10 jumping jack, step 2: go down the slide, Step 3: hop over a bucket
  80. Go horseback riding
  81. Rent a Kayak or canoe
  82. Make your own Popsicles.  Pour Kool-aid into paper cups, cover with saran wrap and stick a Popsicle stick through the saran.
  83. Make you own Sundae night.  Buy all of the items to have kids make their own Ice Cream Sundae.
  84. Go on a leaf hunt.  Have your child collect leaves or have older kids find matching leaves that you give them.
  85. Place little items in a bowl full of water.  Freeze the bowl of water and then let your kids work on getting them out.
  86. Make homemade lemonade. 
  87. Go on a bug hunt
  88. Make fruit kabobs 
  89. Visit a arboretum or botanical garden
  90. Visit a historical site, reenactment or village.
  91. Tie dye
  92. Go to a Drive in restaurant.
  93. Bike wash.  Kids love to wash their bikes, trikes and scooters.  Let them wear their swimsuits to have fun in the water too.
  94. Get dressed up and have a tea party. 
  95. Before the party: Have the kids wash the dishes for the tea party in the kitchen sink.
  96. Play board games on rainy or sick days.
  97. Make sock puppets and put on a puppet show.
  98. Put on a concert with toy or homemade instruments
  99. Have a water fight or water balloon toss
  100. Beauty Shop Day - the kids get to brush and style your hair.  Plus, let them put on your make-up and paint your nails.
  101. Roll down a hill
  102. Make fizzy exploding bags
These are great summer activities, even though they are screen time activites, I still had to add them to the end of the list.
  1. Free summer movies. Check you local movie theater, to see if they have a free summer movie program.
  2. Go to a Drive in or to an outdoor movie night.
Have Fun This Summer!

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