Spending time together in the summer can seem like something that just comes naturally. But, unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Between busy summer activities, taking care of the home, and managing kids during summer break, moms can actually become even more frazzled than usual.
Kids can also lose inspiration as they get into a more relaxed summer schedule.
If you’re running low on inspiration for summer activities as a family, this list of 10 simple ways to have a fun summer can help!
We have tried all of these with summer ideas with our kids over the years. And we loved every single one.
If you decide to plan your summer using any of these, let me know which ones were the biggest hits with your family!
Keep reading to see the full list. Plus, score a free summer bingo activity you can complete with the kids!
Looking for more summer fun? Take a look at our list of 50 summer books to share with early readers!
10 Easy Ways to Have a Fun Summer with Kids
1. Get outside.
We live in the Deep South, so if you’re in a hot climate, I can understand why you might be a little hesitant to go outdoors in summer.
It’s hot. Hot beyond all belief.
But spending time outside is one of the simplest ways to have a fun summer with the kids.
We usually go outside early in the morning – right after breakfast. That way, we get some outside time without melting.
2. Have a backyard campout.
Summer nights are just perfect for camping out. If you have a decent-sized backyard, pitch a tent or two and sleep outside with the kids.
You get the experience of camping out – with the convenience of using your own bathroom.
Be sure to grill something for dinner and start a campfire for s’mores!
3. Plan a quick getaway.
You might not have the time (or funds) for a long summer vacation.
But if you have a free weekend, taking a getaway to a nearby destination can be an awesome way to reset with the kids.
We’ve found some beautiful spots within a few hours’ drive of our town. And, even when we didn’t plan to do anything “special”, we still had a great time.
4. Hold an indoor movie marathon.
This is one of our favorite ways to have a fun summer. We literally do this every year.
Since we have four children, each one gets to choose a movie and we watch each one together. To make it into an event, we bring sleeping bags into the living room and have snacks the whole time.
5. Try a local summer camp.
I don’t like to have the kids scheduled for the entire summer, but spending a week at a summer camp is an annual highlight for us.
We’ve tried several with each of the kids, including computer engineering, swimming, and tennis. Once we find a camp they like, that becomes a regular for us.
If you’re new to summer camps, take a look at seven ways to help your kids get ready!
6. Add water play activities.
I would love to have a pool in our backyard. But we just don’t have the space.
We still plan water play with the kids, though. We just keep it very simple.
Running through the sprinkler, water balloon fights, and water painting are some of our regular summer activities.
And those are perfect for summer afternoons when it’s too hot to do anything else.
7. Try a “staycation”.
Take a week or two and live like a tourist in your own town with a “staycation”. We’ve done this a few times also and the kids loved it.
When you live in a city that has attractions for tourists, it’s easy to get so busy that you never actually visit them.
Let the kids pick a few places they’ve always wanted to go and get tickets to as many as possible.
8. Make DIY summer treats.
When you’re planning ways to have a fun summer with kids, you don’t have to look much further than ice cream and popsicles, right?
We don’t have an ice cream maker, but thankfully you can make plenty of no churn ice cream recipes. And the kids can help!
If you’re in the mood for something a little easier, try making some simple popsicle recipes and take them outside to eat!
9. Play a few classic childhood games.
How many classic games can you remember from your childhood?
I remember playing hopscotch, keep away, four square, freeze tag, dodgeball, and duck duck goose. (I learned most of those in elementary P.E. class.)
Kids don’t get a chance to play as many of these games now as we did growing up. But our kids have loved learning to play them all.
Actually, I think I might have had a little more fun playing those games with them than they did.
10. Slow it down.
And, finally, when you’re planning your fun summer, remember to slow it down as much as you can.
Overscheduling makes for a miserable break and that’s the opposite of what we want for our kids.
To help with planning a fun, relaxed summer, try this printable Slow Summer Bingo activity board!
It has several activities that are low-prep and perfect for spending time with the kids over the summer.
Plus, there’s a pretty summer-themed wall art printable you can hang on the wall!
To get your free copy of this Slow Summer Bingo Activity board and wall art, click the image or the link below to have it sent directly to your inbox!
You’ll also get our weekly newsletter – coming this Sunday!
Don’t miss these other fun summer ideas for kids!