I realize that there are probably countless lists out there of how to survive the Summer with your kids, especially as a stay-at-home mom, but when you have a child who bounces from one thing to the next, gets bored easily, and needs constant entertainment, these lists just don’t seem like enough. And when you’re on a tight budget, your options may seem even smaller.



So how do you make it through without losing your sanity or locking your children in a closet & winding up on the evening news?

I work from home, and while I enjoy spending time with my daughter, I also have to get work done or we won’t have a place to live. My daughter has been out of school for 13 days and my patience and sanity are already being tried. She wants me to entertain her every second and is constantly “hungry”. I feel like a kitchen warden, trying to keep her from eating herself into a blimp. Thankfully, with her energy, it would probably take a LOT of eating to get her there.

Here’s my list of things you can do this Summer to keep yourself out of the loony bin. Some of them can be done with your kids, some just need a bit of prep and they can do the rest, and some are quiet activities for your children to do on their own {Yay for a break!}.

  • Hula Hoop – They can do this alone, count how many times it goes around, even have a contest to see who can hula hoop longer! Mom/Dad vs. Kids!
  • Bubbles – You can’t go wrong with bubbles. Try this giant bubble recipe for loads of fun!
  • Play board games and card games
  • Bike Riding – When I was a kid we would pretend we were delivery people or have races!
  • Water – Just add water and it’s automatically better. Think sprinklers, hose, kiddie pool, water balloons, colored ice!
  • Have a scavenger hunt
  • Reading – Have them read for 30 minutes and then tell you what they read, or even have them draw or write what would come next in the story.
  • Make straw rockets – If this isn’t cool, I’m not sure what is.
  • Make a fizzy, underwater world
  • Make playdough
  • Have them help wash the car
  • Catch lightning bugs – Could even have a contest to see who could catch the most in 3 minutes.
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go for a hike and see what you can find
  • Go to the playground
  • Do some science experiments
  • Go to the lake and watch the ducks
  • Play putt putt golf
  • Find a festival or fair to go to
  • Fly a kite – Even make a kite!
  • Make a really easy, collapsible dollhouse
  • Make s’mores
  • Visit a museum – Children’s Museums are especially fun
  • Make glow-in-the-dark chalk
  • Play in the rain
  • Play in the mud
  • Do a rain painting
  • Camp in the backyard or on the balcony
  • Build a fort
  • Visit a pet store
  • Plant and tend to a garden
  • Make a fairy house
  • Play croquet
  • Make ice cream
  • Teach them the 50 states
  • Go on a picnic
  • Go swimming
  • Play hide and seek
  • Write a letter to a Disney princess and receive an autographed postcard
  • Play tag
  • Visit the library
  • Make slime
  • Go to the beach and build a sandcastle
  • Learn how plants breathe
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk
  • Make Popsicles
  • Set out a hummingbird feeder and watch them
  • Make a water balloon slip and slide
  • Tie Dye
  • Look at the Stars
  • Make a naked egg
  • Save the worms – put worms from the sidewalk back into grass after it rains
  • Find a 4-leaf clover
  • Make dandelion crowns
  • Make an activity wallet for restaurants and car rides
  • Jump rope
  • Throw a frisbee
  • Paint with bubbles
  • Do a puzzle
  • Go fishing
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Make bracelets
  • Play hopscotch
  • Make body paint
  • Make rainbow drinks using colored ice cubes
  • Find shapes in the clouds
  • Have a “quiet mouse” contest
  • Most importantly, have fun. Enjoy this time with your kids, because school will start up again before you know it.
  • And if all else fails, make a time out jar 🙂

Hopefully this list will keep your kids (and you) happy this Summer, and if they say they’re bored, tell ’em they can wash dishes, mop, vacuum, fold laundry… Put them to work! “Bored, be gone!!” lol



What is your best tip for surviving the Summer with your kids?


Casey 🙂

How to Survive the Summer with your Kids
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What a fun and lovely post. I don't have any young children but some of what you listed would be a whole lot of fun for adults as well! 🙂 Thank you!

Laura Bray

Great post! I'm going to share this with my readers too! We seem to be on the same page with our “summer survival posts”!


Thanks! And I agree, some of them are fun for adults too! 🙂


Thank you! I need all the help I can get to get through the next couple of months! My daughter will be gone next month, so I may need to do some of these to keep my mind off of it.

tatiana Allen

Great list Casey! Will definitely be trying the glow in the dark chalk 🙂

Tori Johnson

Thank you for including my DIY time out jar!


Thank you! The chalk looks like a lot of fun.


You're welcome!