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100 Fun Summer Activities for Kids to Do at Home

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If your child is anything like the rest of us, they’ve been counting down the days until summer vacation for months. 

But now that it’s finally here, what’s there to do? How do you keep your child occupied and having fun, even at home?

We have some ideas for you! With help from our Prodigy Champions, we put together a list of 100 awesome summer activities for kids.

Keep scrolling for cheap — or completely free— activities that will keep your child from getting bored and make their summer memorable. 

Educational summer activities for kids

Summer doesn’t mean your child has to stop learning, and learning doesn’t have to be boring.

Educational summer activities for kids are a great way to:

Check out our favorite educational summer activities below!

1. Join a virtual summer camp

Want to bring the summer camp experience to your living room? Join a virtual summer camp experience your child can enjoy anywhere!

Camp Prodigy gives kids an awesome summer camp experience with fun virtual activities made for kids!

Our virtual summer camp gives you access to free, on-demand videos you can watch any time. Your child will love learning all summer with fun, interactive videos from our expert Prodigy camp counselors.

Illustration of Prodigy's mascot, Ed and a child sitting in a tent together and holding tablet devices.
Join Camp Prodigy now!

And if your child wants some more math practice at home, encourage them to log in and play Prodigy Math!

While they explore online worlds, complete fun quests and battle friends to win awesome rewards, they'll also answer math questions aligned with their grade level and curriculum, so they can return to school all caught up and ready to learn more.

Want to incentivize math practice even more throughout the summer? The optional Premium Membership gives players extra in-game rewards and full access to all game areas! Plus, parents like you get exclusive tools and features to support them where it counts.

Want to make math an adventure this summer?

Get a Premium Membership now!

2. Follow a summer activity calendar

Use a daily summer calendar and let your child try a new activity every day! This will add a bit of structure to your summer days and give your child something new to look forward to each morning.

And you're in luck, because we've already made one for you!

Illustration of Prodigy's summer activity calendar.

With our printable 31-day summer advent calendar, your child can enjoy a surprise activity every day for the whole month. From math to fitness to science and more, you'll find lots of new ways to add some fun into your summer days!

Download the free calendar now!

2. Play a beanbag toss game

Make your own math beanbag toss game to help your kids get active and practice math! 

3. Make a vision board

Spend the summer gathering materials to create a vision board, filled with everything your child wants to achieve in the school year ahead.

4. Practice writing

Give your child fun ways to brush up on their writing abilities. Try having them write out all the things they want to do this summer, or hold a summer-themed spelling bee at home!

“I have my kindergarten son practice writing skills. He takes a pad of post-it notes and writes the name of everything before sticking it on the object.” — Laura B. 

5. Try new recipes

Cooking is a great way to teach kids useful skills. Plus, the results are delicious!

Cooking and baking — lots of fractions and measuring.” – Brooke D. 

Try one of these easy summer recipes:

Image of 3 stacked S'mores from Domestic Mommyhood.

7. Write a book

Have your child write a summer-themed story or essay (or write one together) then add illustrations! Try these writing prompts for inspiration

8. Make an at-home museum

Have your child collect and organize objects (ex. pinecones, pebbles, shells). Then, write about them and display them for family and friends at home.

9. Play online learning games

Try one of these: 

10. Play outdoor learning games

Try one of these:

11. Do around-the-house activities

Give your child some home learning activities. Have them look around the house to answer different questions. For example, how many of each object is in our house

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Image source: Natalie Lynn Kindergarten

12. Read and watch

Read a book together, discuss, write some notes. Compare the book to the movie version.” — Amanda W. Try one of the books on this summer reading list

13. Go on a learning walk

Each learning walk encourages your child to focus on different subjects and build their knowledge!

15. Make a sidewalk word ladder

This fun, easy activity can help boost your child’s sight reading and fluency. 

16. Build a summer budget together

Create a budget based on online grocery shopping.” — Monica L. 

Give your child productive math practice and get some help planning your summer purchases. Win-win! 

17. Go on a virtual field trip

Virtual field trips, scavenger hunts, STEM projects.” – Kelli S. 

Try one of these:

18. Design an escape room

“Create your own Escape Room.Mike B.

Use this guide to plan and execute an at-home escape room with your child. 

Creative summer activities for kids

Get crafty with these DIY summer activities kids will have a blast with.

1. DIY animals

Research a specific animal and then make it out of things you have at home. I did this with my class during our online lessons, and they loved it!” — Ashleigh O. 

2. Make a summer scrapbook

Come up with creative ways to remember all the summer activities you do this year! 

3. Tie dye an outfit. 

You can even make matching ones for the whole family! Try one of these fun techniques

4. Make art with shapes

Create geometric artwork.” — Lindsay G. 

This activity is great for math practice, too. Try this geometric art project for kids

5. Build a musical instrument

Make a musical instrument.” — Aimee B. 

Use materials around your house to create an instrument your child can play over and over! Here are some options to choose from

6. Play with playdough

Use a recipe to make homemade playdough together, then let your child explore with it! 

7. Make your own calendar or timetable

Make a calendar!” — Mark P.  

Use one of these cute calendar crafts for kids to create a calendar for the upcoming year.

8. Build your own boat

Then use it to have boat races outside! Try one of these designs

9. Make homemade greeting cards

“Make cards for the sick, elderly or lonely.” — Rebecca K. 

random act of kindness like this one can make someone’s day!

10. Make jewelry

Make beaded necklaces.” — Brooke D. 

Try one of these unique necklace crafts for kids

11. Build a fort

“Build tents or forts with sheets.” — Jacob D. 

Add pillows, blankets and anything else you can find to make your fort extra comfy. Then use it to read, nap or play Prodigy in!

12. Build a birdhouse

Try this kid-friendly option you can make in about an hour. 

13. Make a DIY calming jar

“Make glitter jars.” — Elizabeth B. 

Not only are they super fun to put together, they’re also an effective stress reliever for kids to use when they need it. Use these instructions to guide you.

Pink glitter jar from Fireflies and Mud Pies.

14. Build a bird feeder

DIY bird feeders.” — Dana S. 

Here are 6 easy options to try

15. DIY accessories

“Make your own funky sunglasses.” — Abigail K. 

Let them choose one of these cute DIY options. Then make some for yourself, too! 

16. Make paper planes

Paper plane races.” — Glenn T.

Use these step-by-step instructions to make your paper planes. Then have your child decorate their plane however they want.

17. Create art that makes someone's day

Paint a rock with a positive message and leave it for someone else to find.” — Susan P

18. Make a mess

“Make a hot mess canvas. Seriously, it’s so much fun. With younger kids, put it in a gallon Ziploc bag and there’s no mess!” – Katelyn K. 

Here’s how to make one

A "hot mess canvas" painting with popsicles on it from Hey, Let’s Make Stuff

19. Make friendship bracelets

Lanyard or friendship bracelets.” – Patricia B. 

Here are some adorable bracelets for kids to make. 

20. Make an entire outfit

“Create a new ‘fashionable’ outfit out of newspaper and masking tape or duct tape.” – Sandra M. 

Outdoor summer activities for kids

Bring summer camp home with these fun activities that get kids outside and enjoying the fresh air while they play.

1. Play hula hoop games

Not only is hula hooping fun, but hula hoop games are also great exercise that strengthens core muscles and balance! 

2. Explore the outdoors

Explore the backyard, plants and bugs.” — Grit W. 

This is a great way to connect with nature and learn more about what’s in your own backyard. 

3. Make an outdoor obstacle course

Then get the whole family to compete in it! Use these 25 low prep obstacle courses for inspiration. 

Image of an outdoor obstacle course from Learn Play Imagine

4. Have a scavenger hunt

Do an ABC scavenger hunt.” – Brooke M.

In this scavenger hunt, kids have to search for something that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Get started with this how-to guide. 

Or, try one of these 25 scavenger hunt ideas.

5. Blow bubbles

Then make bubble art or play games with bubbles. There are tons of possibilities! Try one of these

6. Play with chalk

Chalk games like hopscotch and chalk art.” — Susan C. 

This is the perfect way to encourage creativity while your child plays outside. 

7.  Make a pool noodle ring toss

With this unique ring toss game, kids can practice themselves or the whole family can have a competition!

8. Read outside

Read a book in a shady space.” — Amber M.

This is a relaxing and easy way to spend more time outdoors! 

9. Go for a walk

“Go on neighbourhood walks.”  — Nancy D.N. 

Learn and explore your neighborhood together while getting some sun. Try making a list of things you want to find on your walk before you go!

10. Play cornhole

You can even build your own set. This game is great for kids and adults to play over and over! 

11. Plant flowers

Plant sunflowers and a garden. It’s so fun to watch it grow.”  — Laney P. 

Photo of sunflowers by Brett Sayles

12. Play frisbee games

Grab a frisbee and try one of these fun games!

13. Watch a movie outside

“Make a backyard ‘drive-in’ with a movie on a sheet that acts as a screen.” — Lesley P. 

Check out this list of the best outdoor projectors to use. 

14. Play outdoor scrabble

Work on spelling and vocabulary while enjoying those sunny days with a giant outdoor scrabble gameHere’s how

15. Plant a mini garden

“Grow quick seeds like lettuce, radish or peas.” — Christina W. 

This is an easy way for your child to start developing their green thumb! 

16. Play beach ball games

Have fun in the yard with a beach ball or balloons. Try one of these super fun games

17. Go on a hike

"Hiking is a great way to see your area and stay active.” – Denise R. 

Find local hiking trails near you that you haven’t explored yet. 

Summer activities for kids to stay cool

Getting outside in summer is great, but let’s face it — summer can get hot. Save these activities for those scorching days, so you can help your child have fun while they cool off!

1. Build a water table

“Use a water table.” – Alicia K.

Water tables are a useful sensory activity, but they also keep kids cool. Win-win! 

2. Duck, duck, splash

Kids will love this cooler version of duck, duck, goose. Here's how to play.

3. Play in a sprinkler or pool.

If you don’t have one already, try making a DIY sprinkler

4. Make a BIG sprinkler

Take sprinklers to the next level and build your own backyard sprinkler park.  

5. Have a cool treat

“Make homemade popsicles.” — Kierstin S.

Try one of these yummy recipes

6. Make an ice sensory tray

“Freeze small toys and glitter in a tub of ice and give the kids a butter knife to chip away at it.” — Christina W

7. Make your own waterfall. 

Here’s how to make a “water wall” at home

8. Start a lemonade stand

Here’s how to have the ultimate lemonade stand to share with close friends and family. 

9. Play water balloon games

Have a blast with water balloon basketball or any other water balloon games

10. Make an ice cube painting

It's a perfect way to get creative and keep cool.

11. Make ice cream

“Make ice cream together.” — Abigail K.

Try this recipe you can make in just five minutes!

12. Go to a splash pad

Visit a local one or make one to use at home.

13. Play water gun games

Compete with the whole family in these exciting games

14. Make your own dunk tank. 

Then take turns trying to make each other fall in. Here’s how to make one.

15. Make sponge bombs 

This is a great alternative to water balloons that kids love.

Summer activities for kids and families

Summer vacation is a great opportunity to bond and make memories with your child. Use these activities together as a family. We promise you’ll have just as much fun!

1. Go on an outdoor treasure hunt

Try geocaching so you can track what you find!

2. Talk about your day

“Have dinner every night together to discuss your highs and lows.” — Laura B

3. Solve puzzles or riddles together

Try some of these:

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4. Have a picnic 

Head to a nearby park or set it up in your backyard. These perfect picnic tips will help you make a delicious basket. 

5. Play tennis

It’s fun to play as a family and has tons of great health benefits for your kids. 

6. Host a family talent show

Everyone can get involved and show off something they love to do. Or if talent shows aren't your thing, try a family show and tell!

7. Wash the car

Wash the cars in the driveway.” — Jennifer H. This task won’t feel like a chore when your family can have fun doing it together! 

8. Make art together

“Have a family paint night.” — Jessica P. Don’t forget all your supplies!

9. Have a themed family dinner

Vote on your favorite theme and give everyone a job to do. To make it even more fun, decorate and wear costumes that match your theme! 

10. Have a family game night

“Play cards, dice and board games.” – Kimberly M. 

Try one of these fun board games for kids.

11. Have a family movie night

Movie night. Popcorn, candy, sodas and a great family film!” — Andrea G.

Choose from one of these kids movies on Netflix

12. Play four corners

Four corners is always a hit!”  – Arpie M. 

13. Learn a new skill

Learn something new together like sign language or the constellations in your area.” — Katelyn K

14. Read together

Read a book together as a family, one chapter per day (maybe at lunch), and discuss what’s happening. Predict what might happen in the next chapter.” – Sandra M. 

15. Dance!

“Have a family dance off.”  — Glenn T. Make sure you have an awesome kid-friendly playlist first. 

16. Go on a family bike ride

To pass the time, play a game of “follow the leader.”

17. Go stargazing

Use a star finder, set up some blankets outside and look at the stars together. 

18. Have a backyard bonfire

Make s’mores, sing some fun campfire songs or play a game of camping charades while you're there.

Camp charades cards from The Crazy Outdoor Mama.

Summer activities for kids to do independently

When parents are busy, these summer activities are perfect for kids to do by themselves. Your child will have tons of fun and stay occupied, so you can get stuff done!

1. Make a treasure map

“Have your kids design a treasure map with step-by-step directions for another family member to follow.” — Sandra M

2. Design a bedroom

Encourage your child to practice their interior design skills and draw their dream bedroom. When they’re done, they can share the design with the whole family!

3. Learn from family members

“Have your kids ask their elders questions about their childhood, how they met each other, what life was like when they were young, etc.” – Fanny F.

Kids can write the answers down for a family book, or record videos and make a movie. 

4. Do fun activity sheets

Give kids some fun printable summer activity sheets to complete. 

5. Learn magic tricks

Kids can start with these easy tricks and work their way up to become expert magicians!

6. Make a summer journal

“Have kids make a digital journal of their summer holidays.” — Cassandra B.

Try one of these journal apps

7. Create a summer memory box.

Every day, set aside time for your child to write down something they want to remember from that day. They can add pictures, keepsakes or notes for each memory. 

8. Have fun with reading

Make reading fun. Read in a fort, read with a flashlight etc.” –– Jessica P.

Challenge your child to find a unique way to read every day!

9. Write a letter to a friend

Encourage your child to write letters telling friends or family about their summer plans.

10. Practice handwriting

"My niece is practicing cursive this summer, and I think it’s great!” — Rebecca K

11. Make a summer movie

Have your child take a short video (one to five seconds) every day, then edit it all together and experience the whole summer all over again, any time they want!

How to choose summer activities for your kids

With so many options for activities, you might wonder, “Where do I even begin?”   

We hear you! Here are some tips for choosing and prioritizing your summer activities, so you can easily fit them into your schedule. 

1. Choose your favorite activities

Look through the summer activities above with your child. Have them pick their favorites, then choose some favorites of your own. 

Think about how many activities you can realistically do during the summer. 

For example, if you want to try three new activities a week, you’ll probably want to save around 30 activities (but you’ll get major bonus points from us for trying all of them!)

Split up the list into three categories:

  1. Absolutely — These are must-do activities!
  2. Yes — These ones would be great to try. 
  3. Maybe — These ones can be saved for when you have extra time. 

2. Add the list of activities to your summer schedule

Once you make your list, add the items to your calendar. 

Then, add the activities to your summer schedule, so you and your child know what to expect each week. 

Choose an even number of top, medium and low priority items for each week, so your favorites are spaced out throughout the summer. 

3. Let your child help you choose

Make choosing your activities as fun as the activities themselves!

Ask your child to choose which activities they want to do in a given week (or day). They’ll be even more excited to try them when they play a part in the selection process. 

Or, add some extra excitement and make it a surprise! Write down your activities — split up by priority — on pieces of paper or popsicle sticks and keep them in a jar to pull out each week. 

Which of our activities are a must-try for your family? Share with us below.

And don’t forget to have a safe and fun summer! 

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Prepare for back-to-school with this fun summer activity

Every summer, children can lose around two weeks worth of learning from the previous year.

Luckily, you can use Prodigy to help you keep summer learning loss at bay — all while they have tons of fun exploring online worlds and battling friends!

Your free parent account lets you track progress to support your child as they have fun playing Prodigy Math. And with a Premium Membership, you'll get even more tools to support them, while they get extra in-game features that can help them love learning even more.

Ready to set your child up for a successful school year?

Get a Premium Membership now!