50 Ways to Entertain the Kids this Summer

Are you ready to make this summer the most memorable yet for the kids? As the sunny days approach, it's time to start planning ways to keep everyone occupied and happy. So here are 50 different ideas:

1. Bird Watching - Explore bird watching and learn about native bird species in the area with informative books (and don’t forget binoculars to get an up-close look)! Bird watching collection available HERE.

2. Nurture Nature with Fresh Herb Gardening - Discover the joy of growing herbs in containers with planters and herb kits.

3. Craft a Butterfly House Together - Create lasting memories with bird and butterfly feeders you can watch daily, and make it your own with some custom crafty touches.

4. Build Fairy Houses - There is no shortage of places you can tuck away a fairy house. Build with wood, plastic, bits and pieces you find around the house, etc. The possibilities are endless and this is a craft that truly exercises your little one’s creativity.

5. Pick some edible plants - Dive into local mushroom hunting or gathering edible foods, but don’t go in blind of course. Do some prior research with informative books and make it a learning experience.

6. Construct Cozy Forts - Fuel their creativity with crafting materials for fort building, perfect for indoor activities on rainy days.

7. Camp in Your Backyard - Make backyard camping unforgettable with snacks, camping books, mugs, some prepared scary stories, and fun activities. Turn it into a sleepover with their friends and make a deal with other parents in your network to share the load and rotate houses to swap nights off from childcare when needed. Supplies available HERE.

8. Fold Origami on Rainy Days - Keep boredom at bay with origami books and colorful paper for endless rainy day fun.

9. Enjoy Quality Time with Board Games and Puzzles - Bond over family game nights with a variety of board games and puzzles.

10. Create and Illustrate Comic Books - Unleash their creativity with materials for comic book writing and illustrations.

11. Capture Summer Memories with Journaling - Encourage reflection with journals and diaries for documenting summer adventures.

12. Turn Rocks into Art - Explore creativity with paint, glitter, googly eyes and other supplies for rock painting.

13. Design a Family Summer Mural - Foster collaboration with a large piece of craft paper for a family mural that you can either complete all at once, or chip away at over the course of the summer when new adventures are completed!

14. Sidewalk Chalk - Transform your walkways with sidewalk chalk and don’t forget that chalk makes for a great way to design an obstacle course or short race track in the driveway. If there’s a basketball hoop, chalk makes for a great way to gamify it even more by drawing out shooting areas for some added difficulty or a new point system.

15. Sketch Summer Scenes Along the Way - Inspire artistic expression with sketchbooks, pencils, and markers. Have them jot down illustrations of what they see over the Summer.

16. Mold with Clay- Encourage tactile exploration with clay and sculpting tools.

17. Preserve Summer Blooms with Flower Pressing - Create lasting keepsakes with flower pressing kits and crafting accessories.

18. Craft Beaded Creations - Explore endless possibilities with beads, wire, and diamond art supplies. This is a great crafty activity that can be done outdoors in the sunshine or inside on a rainy day.

19. Kite Flying - Experience the thrill of kite flying together.

20. Embark on Nature Hikes - Discover local trails with informative hiking books suitable for all skill levels.

21. Master the Art of Stone Skipping - Teach them the timeless skill of skipping stones across water. It’s free, only requires some flat rocks and patience, and gives everyone a great excuse to go to the lake/ river/ or ocean!

22. Bake Cookies Together - Create sweet memories in the kitchen!

23. Organize Treasure Hunts - Create unforgettable adventures with hidden treasures and trinkets.

24. Craft and Bake Homemade Pizzas - Engage their culinary creativity with homemade pizza making.
25. Add Color to Wardrobes with Tie-Dye Shirts - Explore vibrant expression with tie-dye kits.

26. Learn Something New Together - Dive into family-friendly skill-building books. Whether it’s knot-tying, juggling, playing an instrument, or learning a new language, time-off means there’s time to learn something new!

27. Conquer Summer Homework - Equip them with educational resources to ace their summer studies. It might not be their first choice of activity but knock it out early and the rest of the summer will be worry-free.

28. Explore the World of Books at the Library - Foster a love for reading with library visits.

29. Discover the Wonders of Science with Experiments - Inspire curiosity with science experiment kits.

30. Reach for the Stars with Rocket Launches - Experience the thrill of launching rockets together with a rocket-building kit!

31. Race Remote Control Cars - Have fun with RC racing and rock-crawling while exploring local hotspots in Central Washington.

32. Craft Homemade Play-Doh - Create endless possibilities with the simplest of ingredients: vegetable oil, iodized salt, flour, cream of tartar, food coloring and water.

33. Build Milk Carton Boats - Take something simple like a milk carton and quickly turn it into a boat, complete with a sail, paint and decorations.

34. Explore Farmer's Markets - Discover local produce and community events by wandering down to the local farmers market, or make it more of an adventure by taking a morning road trip to the market in the next town over!

35. Cool off with Sprinkler Fun - Beat the heat with backyard sprinkler play. Something as simple as running through the sprinkler on a hot Summer’s day can be all it takes to keep the kiddos entertain for hours.

36. Create Color Changing Flowers - Search for the perfect flowers together, come up with the colors that could transform it into something entirely new, and soak the flower in water and dye until the vision comes to life.

37. Craft with Pipe Cleaners - Get creative with pipe cleaner crafts! Anything is possible with pipe cleaners if you just put your mind to it. Try tasking them with making a bouquet of flowers made entirely out of pipe cleaners. Or if they want something a little more difficult, another challenge to think about is making a car.

38. Make Personalized Popsicle Bookmarks - Create adorable bookmarks with popsicle sticks and craft supplies. All it takes is some paint, some glitter, string, glue and maybe some googly eyes... Googly eyes are always a plus.

39. Design Paper Chain Wall Hangings - Add a touch of artistry to your home with colorful construction paper, adhesives, and find a stick to hang them from for a nice touch.

40. Embark on a Flight School Adventure - Challenge their skills with paper airplanes and a fun scoring game. One idea is to cut out some different sized holes in a big piece of cardboard, paint the perimeter of the holes in different colors and write points (10, 20, 30, etc.) just below them. Create a game out of it and let the high-scorer bask in the victory.

41. Race Soap Boats in DIY Tracks - Let their imaginations sail with soap boat races! If you have something that could be used as a track laying around (like some rain gutters), take it outside, use the hose to supply some running water, have the kids craft a mast and sail for their bar of soap boats to see whose is fastest.

42. Craft Photo Frames - Preserve precious memories with DIY photo frames.

43. Learn Kitchen Skills Together - Bond over cooking with cookbooks, recipe cards, and seasonings. Summer could be the perfect time to pass down some of your favorite recipes.

44. Decorate Flower Pots - Add a personal touch to your garden with blank pots, and some basic craft supplies.

45. Host a Backyard Movie Night - Create magical memories with outdoor movie screenings complete with snacks.

46. Learn the Art of Crochet - Discover a new hobby together with crochet kits and yarn.

47. Unleash Creativity with Paint by Numbers - Explore artistic expression with paint by numbers kits.

48. Create a Mini Golf Course - Turn your driveway into a fun-filled mini-golf adventure with DIY obstacles. All it takes is something as simple as cups turned on their side but you can go as big and elaborate as you’d like. Half the fun is going to be setting the course up in the first place.

49. Give Back with Park Cleanup - Teach valuable lessons in environmental responsibility with local park cleanup.

50. Engage in Nature Observation Bingo - Foster appreciation for the natural world with fun scorecards and observation bingo.