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The summertime is a chance for kids to relax, explore, play, and best of all – spend time outside in warm sunny weather.
Research shows that having kids spend time outdoors has many benefits for kids. Time outdoors:
- encourages exercise
- reduces anxiety
- improves focus
- raises kids’ interest in the environment
But sometimes, finding outside activities for kids can be challenging.
Letting kids experience a bit of boredom can be beneficial for kids since it can push kids to think creatively.
Fun outside activities kids can do by themselves in the summer
The majority of the fun outdoor activities on this list are designed to only use common items found in most family homes. They’re also activities that older kids ages 6+ should generally be able to do independently, with minimal help or guidance from you.
Click on the links below to see suggestions, resources, and ideas for each activity.
- Create an obstacle course
- Plan a nature scavenger hunt (or use one of these printable scavenger hunts)
- Catch and release butterflies and bugs
- Have a 3-legged race
- Camp in the backyard (pretend play)
- Run through sprinklers
- Slide down a slip and slide
- Blow bubbles
- Jump rope
- Play hopscotch
- Play freeze tag
- Play hide and go seek
- Play capture the flag
- Play red light green light
- Play charades
- Play truth or dare
- Play Simon Says
- Have a picnic in your yard
- Build a fort
- Make mud pies in a mud kitchen
- Have a water fight
- Ride bikes
- Ride scooters
- Ride skateboards
- Do bird watching in your own backyard
- Roller skate or rollerblade
- Play frisbee
- Set up a lemonade stand
- Do a leaf rubbing
- Make wildflower seed bomb
- Do a wildflower pressing craft
- Take photos outdoors
- Record a video outdoors
- Climb trees
- Fly kites
- Create a small fort with sticks, pine cones, and rocks
- Make a dandelion chain
- Play soccer
- Play catch
- Create your own outdoor game
- Go on a treasure hunt
- Have a water balloon fight (try these biodegradable balloons)
- Draw a picture of something in nature
- Make sidewalk chalk art
- Play on the playset
- Dig in dirt
- Plant a garden
- Finger paint outside
- Do squirt gun painting
- Play freeze tag, red light green light, or red rover
Tired of hearing your kids say “There’s nothing to do!”? These printable 101+ Boredom Buster Cards can help. Each card contains a suggested activity kids ages 6+ can do with little or no guidance from you. And they use materials found in most family homes. Click here to learn more and get your own.
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What to do next…
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3. Get your kids started on chores.
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About Kerry Flatley
Hi! I’m Kerry, the mother of two girls and a certified parent educator. I believe it is possible for parents to have a supportive, loving, and warm relationship with their kids while raising them to be independent and ultimately self-sufficient. Over the years, I’ve read numerous books and articles that support this belief and I’ve put these ideas into practice with my own kids. Read more about me and Self-Sufficient Kids here.