I am always looking for things to keep my kids busy, learning and NOT fighting during the summer months. I love when we can find fun projects and games using things we already have around the house. Not only is it good for my budget but good for the earth and good for my sanity because it saves me a trip to the store with 5 kids in tow. So here is a list of my favorite 26 summer activities for kids using things you have around your house.
Pool Noodle Wall
This is such a fun pool noodle wall by Teaching Mama. Love the use of the peg board. If you don't have all of these supplies around the house they are all very inexpensive to buy at the dollar store.
Tie Dye Milk
Tie Dye Milk is something that one of my kids learned to do at school. Just pour a small amount of milk into a shallow dish. Drop a few individual drops of food coloring in milk and then dip a Q-Tip in dish soap and then dip it into the milk. The milk comes alive and moves in the most beautiful designs.
Build A Fancy Clubhouse
Loving this adorable clubhouse put together by Kate Mefford Photography.
Ice Cream in a Bag
Drive in Movie and Cardboard Cars
Making these adorable cars will keep the kids busy for hours and make family movie night even more special. See Stacy at Not Just a Housewife for directions.
No Mess Finger Painting
This is brilliant! Squirt paint into a large plastic zippered bag. Press out as much air as possible and tape down. We loved it. You can even put the bag away and bring it out another day.
Air Pressure Experiment
I bet you have all of the things needed to try this cool air pressure experiment found on Kids Activities Blog.
Toothpick and Gum Drop Creations
Kids can really use their imaginations while building with toothpicks and gumdrops (or marshmallows). Go to Simple Simon and Co for more details.
Rock Tic Tac Toe
Thrive 360 Living has some adorable ideas for decorating rocks to become tic tac toe games.
Build a Dragon Castle
Now this is a great reason to stock up on paper towels and toilet paper! This dragon castle is so versatile that it could be a Frozen castle next time.
What a fun twist on regular side walk chalk. Check it out at Clever Pink Pirate.
Pipe Cleaner Weaving
Such a great idea for the younger crowd and it helps to develop fine motor skills. JDaniel4sMom.
FrugalFun4Boys has the best idea for a marble bowling game using pencil top erasures. So fun!
Super Spy Obstacle Course
Create your very own obstacle course with crepe paper or yarn and tape and let the kids pretend to be super spies.
Painting with Bubbles
Colorful Crafts has this great tutorial for painting with bubbles. (This is one you'll want to do outside.)
Racing Pom Poms
I love this tape race track by FrugalFun4Boys. Blowing the pom pom along the race track is harder than it looks!
Pass the Water Game
I have played this fun game from A Girl and a Glue Gun. Kids love it!
Paper and Straw Rockets
These paper and straw rockets are a favorite with our cub scout troop. Just loosely roll a small rectangle piece of paper around the straw. Tape the roll of paper together. Then fold down the top twice and secure with a piece of tape. Place the paper rocket over the straw and let the kids have a competition to see who can blow their rocket the furthest.
Cut PVC in 12 inch pieces and decorate with tape and stickers. Then set them up for bowling. Warning, you'll want to supervise this activity. PVC pipe is pretty hard.
Salt Art Painting is a fun, inexpensive art project for the kids that uses household items you probably already have. See our tutorial here.
Nature Treasure Hunt
There are so many fun ways to do a backyard scavenger hunt. I like how I am Momma Hear Me Roar used an egg carton to help her kids gather their treasures.
Balloon Ping Pong
This super simple balloon ping pong set that will take just minutes to put together but will provide hours of fun. It was a big hit with my 5 and 7 year olds! You just need 2 paper plates (mine were desert size), 2 craft sticks, duct tape and a balloon and let them use their imaginations and make up their own rules as they try to keep the balloon from falling to the ground.
DIY Balancing Scale
This DIY balancing scale is so fun for kids but also teaches kids a lot about balance as they compare the weights of various objects. Inspired by Relentlessly Fun, Exceptionally Educational.
My kids had a blast with Frisbee Golf. Who knew a laundry basket and a couple of frisbees could entertain them for hours. If you want to be more organized you can find some amazing Frisbee Golf printables at My Computer Is My Canvas.
My kids love cup stacking games. We have a set of red plastic cups that are only for cup stacking. For more details go to Housing a Forest.
And last, here's a little video that peeked my interest from Handimania. I think this would be a fun experiment to try with the kids and then serve up the eggs for lunch.
So there you go. Let the summer fun begin. Oh, and don't feel bad if you want to send them back to school after the first few weeks. You're not alone!