108 Simple Ways to Have Fun at Home This Summer

One summer when I was 8 years old, my friend Betsy and I organized an outdoor theater performance in our backyard. (Just one example of simple ways to have fun at home this summer.)

Our play was called The Lemonade Stand. We practiced in the shade of a tree for weeks leading up to the big performance complete with lawn chairs set up for the audience. And ice cold glasses of lemonade, of course. 😊

Another summer, my Dad got a group of families together to build a playhouse out of plywood. We built it, painted it, and even added curtains to the cut-out windows. Each year, that playhouse moved to a different neighbor’s backyard for continued fun.

Do you recall special summer moments from your childhood?

When time seems to stand still and you’re lost in the moment, filled with an expansive sense of freedom and simple joy? 

These are what Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting calls, “Golden Moments” ~ when we feel sweet connections with each other and ourselves.

My team and I have put together a list of 108 old-fashioned and simple activities to do with children of all ages – right at home. So you can create some golden moments of your own. 

This does not have to be a boring summer! It can be fun and wholesome.

Peruse through this list of indoor, yard, and neighborhood activities… Choose some to take into your summer for simple ways to have fun at home.

And, if you create a rhythm for your summer days, it will support your children to know what to expect while supporting you to pace yourself and schedule in your own needs, too. Rhythm always soothes the chaos!

Here we go, let’s take a look at:

108 Simple Ways to Have Fun At Home This Summer

 

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Simple Ways to Have Fun at Home This Summer

Fun Indoors

  1. Make up a dance to a song
  2. Create plays or little dramatic scenes
  3. Make music
  4. Read great books
  5. Make a tin can telephone
  6. Make a blanket fort
  7. Play Simon Says
  8. Play red light green light
  9. Play musical chairs
  10. Make a cardboard box fort
  11. Check out some wholesome media choices (movies, shows, stories, and podcasts)
  12. Create homemade marble runs with tubes and tape on a wall
  13. Do a word search or puzzle
  14. Play boardgames and have a family game night
  15. Paint with watercolors or draw pictures
  16. Make woven potholders with a little loom
  17. Weave friendship bracelets
  18. Create a fundraiser, volunteer, or donate food
  19. Take bubble baths
  20. Mix up some watermelon-lime-mint slushies (so refreshing!)
  21. Make homemade ice cream
  22. Make rainbow popsicles
  23. Play jacks
  24. Paint pet rocks and glue on googly eyes
  25. Make homemade paper
  26. Join the summer reading program at your local library
  27. Join this online reading program: Traveling Through the Pages Summer Reading Adventure
  28. Make frozen dinosaur or frog eggs
  29. Make honey popcorn for Friday Family Movie Night
  30. Join an online art class (this one is so sweet!)
  31. Join an online music program (love these for flute and piano)
  32. Put on a shadow puppet show
  33. Make sun prints with special paper from a Sunprint Kit
  34. Make a bird mobile 
  35. Listen to Sparkle Stories (here’s one called Animal Day Camp)
  36. Make this rhubarb dream treat with fresh strawberries on top
  37. Dye yarn or silk with onion skins 
  38. Learn to juggle with this video 
  39. Draw mandalas
  40. Make sock puppets

    In the Yard

  41. Set up a tent and sleep out in the backyard
  42. Play kick the can
  43. Cook dinner over a campfire (and roast marshmallows!)
  44. Set up an obstacle course or relay race
  45. Build a simple treehouse
  46. Braid weeds
  47. Make a dandelion crown
  48. Make a wreath out of vines
  49. Make mud pies
  50. Catch bugs
  51. Create a caterpillar habitat
  52. Grow food in your yard or in containers on your patio
  53. Play frisbee
  54. Play in the sprinkler or kiddie pool
  55. Fill up a sandbox
  56. Hang up some hammocks and nap in the shade
  57. Play hide and seek
  58. Make a slip and slide
  59. Make stilts
  60. Dig holes in the dirt
  61. Have a water balloon fight
  62. Play hopscotch
  63. Learn to hula hoop
  64. Have a picnic
  65. Sign up for Camp Tinkergarten (8 weeks of free fun activities!)
  66. Play tag
  67. Make a rope or tire swing
  68. Add water to the sandbox to create drip castles, ponds, or construction sites
  69. Water the plants outside
  70. Collect rain water into buckets from the roof
  71. Wash the car, bikes, or scooters with soap, sponges, and the hose
  72. Create an earth oven to bake bread and pizzas in 
  73. Plant a sunflower house
  74. Freeze blocks of ice and chisel them outdoors
  75. Create potions with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring
  76. Blow giant bubbles
  77. Make ice boats
  78. Make bottle rockets
  79. Make herbal salve with herbs from your yard
  80. Trace each other with sidewalk chalk on the driveway or pavement and decorate
  81. Make a worm jar
  82. Press flowers and leaves, laminate, and cut into bookmarks
  83. Eat breakfast outside
  84. Build a birdhouse out of scrap wood
  85. Build a bug hotel
  86. Have a movie night in your backyard
  87. Build a teepee out of bamboo sticks
  88. Make an outdoor book nook for cozy reading
  89. Host a garden party
  90. Set up a mud kitchen in your backyard
  91. Do some Earth Learning projects
  92. Play tug of war
  93. Get a big refrigerator box to play with

    Around the Neighborhood

  94. Have a yard sale
  95. Make a lemonade stand
  96. Have a bake sale
  97. Go for an early morning or nighttime walk
  98. Go for a scavenger hunt
  99. Ride bikes, scooters, or roller skates
  100. Climb trees
  101. Pick fruit or flowers
  102. Hunt for rocks
  103. Make and fly a kite
  104. Visit neighbors (bring gifts!)
  105. Roll or cardboard-slide down a hill
  106. Play hopscotch with chalk in the road
  107. Pick up garbage with a trash picker and a bucket 
  108. Play in the rain!

Ah. So there you have it! Simple ways to have fun at home this summer.

Are you beginning to imagine some fun nourishing times?

I sure hope so. Your family deserves it! ☀️

About Jean

Hi, I'm Jean. And I'm here to help you overcome the overwhelm!

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