80 Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids

A little girl in a pink tutu dress, swing a jump rope behind her back in the family reading room.

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On the first full day of summer, my kids (ages 6 & 9) woke up at 6:30 AM. By 8:00 AM they were whining “I’m bored!” incessantly. At that moment, I knew we needed a game plan to fight summer boredom so we started brainstorming. Together, we came up with this list of 80 screen-free independent activities and a separate list of 24 free or budget-friendly summer field trips.

As a work at home mom (WAHM), it’s important that I get a few hours of time to work during the day without being interrupted every 15 minutes. But it was equally important that the kids didn’t camp out all day mindlessly in front of the TV or their tablets just so I could get some work done.

Because of that reason, this list of screen-free activities focuses on activities elementary-age kids can do primarily on their own. There are a few activities that may require Mom’s help depending on the age of your kids. You’ll find those activities under its own category, or noted with a * next to it.

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80 Screen-Free Independent Summer Activities for Kids

OUTDOORS

1. Water Play: Kiddie Pool or Sprinklers

2. Water Balloon Fight*

3. Tag / Race

4. Sidewalk Chalk

5. Hopscotch

6. Sports: Soccer, Football, Basketball

7. Roller Skate, Scooter, Bike

8. Obstacle Course

9. Frisbee

10. Jump Rope

11. Bubbles

12. Explore the Backyard

13. Hoola-Hoop Contest

14. Water the Garden

15. Sandbox

16. Fly a Kite*

INDOORS

17. Read a Book

18. Color a Picture

19. Draw on Whiteboard

20. Watercolor Art or Paint*

21. Board or Card Games

22. Dominoes

23. Brain Flakes

24. Legos

25. Puzzles

26. Bingo

27. Playdoh

28. Barbies, Dolls, Action Figures

29. Complete Chores

30. School Workbooks

31. Flash Cards

32. Hide-and-Go-Seek

33. Write Story or Note

34. Take Nap

35. Listen to Music/ Dance

36. Stations

37. Paper Airplane Race

38. Call a friend*

39. Organize your room

40. Play Toys

41. Bubble Bath*

42. Dress Up

43. Race Cars

44. Make a Treasure Map

IMAGINATION PLAY

45. Puppet Show

46. Superheroes

47. Pirates

48. Teacher & Students

49. Fashion Show

50. Restaurant

51. Grocery Shopping

52. Cowboys

53. Astronauts

54. Tea Party

55. Doctor & Patient

56. Play Favorite Movie Character

57. Fireman & Policeman

58. Rockstar at a Concert

59. Santa’s Workshop

60. Make a Play

INDEPENDENT CRAFTS

61. Brown Sack Puppet

62. Make a Restaurant Menu

63. Create a Scavenger Hunt

64. Paper Plane

65. Perler Beads*

66. Construction Paper Art

67. Paper Plate Animals

68. Make a Rainstick

69. Popsicle Stick Airplanes

70. Pipecleaner Creations

CRAFTS WITH MOM’S HELP

71. Special Craft*

72. Bake a Treat*

73. Science Experiment*

74. Walk the dog*

75. Painting*

76. Nature Hike*

77. Homemade Manicure / Pedicure*

78. Plant Seeds*

79. Play Pokémon-Go*

80. Tie-Dye Shirts*


YOUR TURN…

Can you think of any other fun screen-free independent summer activities for Kids? Help a mom keep her sanity by leaving a comment with some other ideas. 

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