Get Outside: 29 Things to Do With The Kids This Summer

Get Outside: 29 Things to Do With The Kids |

Water play

On a hot day there's nothing better than getting outside and getting some nice cool water over your skin. I live in perennially drought-ridden California and this summer we would only be allowed to enjoy water play in the early evening, but for those of you in wetter places, some of these ideas will be great for the hottest parts of your summer days.

  •  I don't think its going to happen this summer, but I'd love to build one of these water play walls for my Bean. She'd love it!
  • Just a step up from running a sprinkler on your lawn for the kids to run through, check out this homemade PVC shower arch.
  • Here's an even simpler idea: Take a 2 liter soda bottle and poke holes in it in the lower half of it. Attach it to a garden hose via a male to male adapter (find these for a few dollars at the hardware store). Toss the hose over a tree branch and let it hang where the kids can run and play under it.
  • This one would be fun when you have a gaggle of school-age kids around at a BBQ or birthday party: Soap bar boat races.
  • While of course fun for kids, this homemade slip and slide is awesome for adults, too. I remember building one of these for a friend's birthday party when we were all still relatively young and childless. Just know that if you set this up on a lawn the grass may get overheated and die back where the plastic was!
  • Here's another water play roundup that includes the soap boats and a different version of a PVC shower. I love the water balloon piñata and the kiddie car wash!
  • If you are entertaining toddlers, here is a simple way to cool down. I know when Bean was small she would have been entertained for an hour just taking all the balls out and putting them all back in again.


Even if you go no further than your own backyard or your local park, a picnic changes the whole tenor of the meal from mundane to laid-back party.

  • Peruse this list from Martha Stewart for menu ideas for a perfect picnic meal.
  • I love this idea from Simplify 101 to create a picnic mini zone to make impromptu picnics a no-brainer.
  • Do you love those lavish picnics on Downton Abbey that are more like a multi-course outdoor meal? Here are 12 tips for a fancy (if not THAT fancy) picnic from Design Mom. Check this one out just for the beautiful photos!
  • If you are picnicking in your your own backyard, you might want to set up this sweet and oh-s0-simple teepee for just a little more glamour.

Outdoor activities

Do you have some rough-and-tumble kids that are tearing up your house and you just need to kick them out the door for a while?  Here are some outdoor activities for the energetic set.

Outdoor Crafts

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice is take the crafting outdoors. It is so freeing to make a huge mess and then just get out the hose and spray everyone down when we are done. Here are some of our favorite messy crafty fun activities.

  • This one is fun and messy and also cooling! Make paint-laced ice cubes and then finger paint with them. For little ones, fill a tub with shaving cream and just let them play with the different textures. This was a big hit with my toddler playgroup last summer.
  • If you have an expanse of concrete you can decorate, try making your own sidewalk paint, chalk or chalk spray and let the kids explore their artistic side.
  • I couldn't possibly close an outdoor play post without a recipe for making giant bubbles..
  • While not so much messy, we are so much enjoying building (and rebuilding and rearranging our little fairy garden this summer. I'll do a more detailed post on our garden soon, but for some inspiration, check out my Pinterest board of fairy garden ideas.

Want more ideas? heck out the Welcome To Summer resources and printables pack, on sale now. It includes calendars, planners, lists of recipes, ideas and life hacks for mom, because you deserve a vacation, too.Do you have other favorite outdoor activities or links to outdoor fun or crafts?  Please add them in the comments!

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