10 Fun Things for Kids To Do This Summer

Source: sxc.hu Photo: strev
Source: sxc.hu Photo: strev

The school year is coming to an end, and that means that it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the kids for the summer. Kids need a bit of variety, and they need activities that can stimulate mind and body. And, while we will have daily reading time and I bought a big activity book to keep my son’s learning mind-set intact, there’s more to summer time than just trying to stay sharp for school in the fall. Here 10 fun (and sometimes educational) summer activities for kids to do:

  1. Go swimming. Most municipal pools offer swimming lessons. Take your younger children to the pool, and have them learn how to swim. For older kids, who may already know how to swim, buy a swim pass to the pool. That way they can go and enjoy themselves. Family outings to the pool can be a fun (and cool) summer activity. For another water related activity, consider buying cheap squirt guns. These are a lot of fun, and they last long (and make less mess) than water balloons.

    Source: sxc.hu Photo: clix
    Source: sxc.hu Photo: clix
  2. Parks and Recreation neighborhood activities. In my town, Parks and Recreation offers an afternoon program in neighborhood parks. Children can meet, with city-provided adult supervision, at the park to learn to play games, do crafts and participate in social play. In my town, this service is offered free for four hours every afternoon. Even in areas where these programs cost money,ย  the fee is usually small.
  3. Sports programs. There are a number of sports programs offered over the summer. My son is doing T-ball. Baseball, soccer, tennis, flag football, golf and basketball are all offered in many localities. While you don’t have to go through your city to participate in these programs, it is often less expensive if you do. Find out what’s available, and then sign your child up for something he or she will enjoy.
  4. Amusement parks and fun centers. Not everyone lives near an amusement park. But there might be a smaller fun center nearby. While we don’t have an amusement park, we have a center with a kids’ go cart track, mini-golf and small rides. Find out if you can get a discount season pass to nearby fun centers and amusement parks. You’ll save a little money, and have someplace for your kids to go.
  5. Nature walks and outdoor experiences. One of my favorite things to do with my son is go for nature walks. You can even do this in a local park — you don’t have to get out of town. Talk about trees and rocks, bushes and flowers, and see if you can spot wildlife. Many towns also have nature centers. You can check for planned nature walks, as well as day camps aimed at children. As a family, you can go camping, take day trips to picnic areas, go hiking or biking, or even visit the lake (or the ocean). Spending time outdoors is a great way to connect with your child — it’s one of the best family summer time activities.
  6. The public library. Many libraries have summer time activities. Story time is a perennial childhood favorite. Many libraries also include craft days and book fairs. But, even if your library doesn’t have any of these things, it’s nice to go and pick out books. My son gets his books, and then I let him play on computers or read children’s magazines in the kid’s section while I get my books. It’s a great way to enjoy a little quiet “me” time while he is amused. Plus, you can check out movies as well, to spice up the summer rotation for little to no cost (depending on the cost of a library card in your city).
  7. Zoos, aquariums and museums. Educational, fun and physically engaging! Many zoos, aquariums and museums have special children’s days and activities during the summer. You can get a season pass, and visit more than once. Check around town for national or regional historical sites and heritage centers. These types of outings also make great family memories.

    Source: sxc.hu Photo: hortongrou
    Source: sxc.hu Photo: hortongrou
  8. Youth programs. I was a happily involved in 4-H growing up. There are a number of programs available for children ages 5 and up (younger children, ages 5-8, are actually Cloverbuds). Children meet in clubs and complete projects. My favorite projects included rocketry, geology, forestry and money management. And for older kids, there are conferences, retreats and activities. Other youth programs, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts also offer low-cost, fun opportunities for kids of various ages and interests. And they’ll learn something, too!
  9. Summer camp. Youth programs can take care of the summer camp thing, but if you just want a a good summer camp, you can check with the American Camp Association. This is something for kids who are a little older, though. Perhaps wait until your child is 8 or 9 before sending him or her off to summer camp. Shorter camps — one or two weeks — are a good choice, since it gives the kids the chance to do something fun for a reasonably length of time, but it doesn’t feel like you are trying to get rid of them.
  10. Day camp. If overnight summer camp isn’t your thing, consider a day camp. These are normally fairly inexpensive, and provide a range of educational and fun activities for children of all ages. I’m sending my son to a day camp for four hours, three days a week for a month this summer. He can’t wait. It is something that keeps him busy and lets him interact with other children.

15 Responses to 10 Fun Things for Kids To Do This Summer

  1. Great selection! I’ve done all that when I was a kid. Too bad I don’t have the time right now to enjoy these little things in life ๐Ÿ™ …

  2. Thanks for the great tips. One thing you should add is taking pictures as much as you can, I’m sure nobody wants these great moments to be forgotten. The other one is backing up your pics, because trust me you don’t want to lose those priceless pictures. I use Safecopy backup, www.safecopybackup.com, to backup all my pics and data files automatically. I can also back up from my digital camera and other USB drives. I’m very happy with it and it’s worth checking it out. Good Luck!!

  3. Thanks! I agree @FFB, that many of these youth camps offer a great deal for the money. And, like @Costin, I wish that I had more time to enjoy the summer. Maybe that will by my goal this summer. Good luck Mihaela! Happily, though, walking and swimming are both great activities for adults, too.

  4. Great list! We’re opting for a local swim club that gives the kids swim lessons all summer for about the same price as a 2 week camp — and the whole family can use the facilities.

  5. hey thanks1 one thing is that im a kid and i have done most of these things last summer and they were pretty fun it’s just that i don’t have time to go to museums or educational places that would be fun. other than that i can go do all these other thing on this list.
    – thanks!!!!!
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Picnics are simply fun. On the current economic status, saving money is a thing every family would like to do. Picnics are a cool way to to this.. What’s so great about a picnic is that children typically like them just as much as adults. Hey, grab your picnic baskets and have fun.

  7. My kids are just getting old enough to be sent to a summer or day camp. I went to a horse camp when I was very early teens. We got our horse buddy, and he was our responsibility. We learned a bunch of great things, and most importantly, we had fun. It was fantastic.

  8. I am a singer-songwriter Tally Koren and I have a great idea for keeping the kids entertained over summer!

    I invite you/ your children to show your talents or creative idea and to record a 72 second film. The film can be recorded by mobile phone or professional camera – as the most important aspect is the idea and how it grabs us. It can be from a funny video of your children, to a beautiful view.

    You have 3 weeks to upload your film.

    Each video that will be posted on the walls of my sites will get a free download. To claim it go to http://www.tallykoren.com and enter the competition.

    First prize – I will sing for your birthday.

    Second prize – invite to the launch of my single 72 Names (Hallelujah)

    Third prize – signed copy of my CD.

    Good luck & have fun with it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v4fEkMFKg4

    I have just launched my new single 72 Names (Hallelujah) which will last for 72 days. Over the campaign Iโ€™m exploring the significance of the number 72 in lots of different situations and I would like you to be part of it!

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