Easy Summer Activities When You’re Stuck at Home

These last few months have been tough, and this summer isn’t going to look “normal” for any of us, so some easy summer activities at home are going to have to take the place of some of those typical summer activities. There aren’t many places opened in our area yet, so we’re going to get creative. Since many parents may be looking for easy ideas for their kids this summer, I’m going to share some of the things we do every week. Here’s our plan for 5 days of easy summer activities you can do with your kids at home this week.

Day 1: Make a Summer Wish List

Your summer will feel more meaningful if you have goals. Keep it simple. We chose things like, “go get ice cream” and “play in the pool” for example. We even added things we’d already done! Make sure they’re things that aren’t too far fetched. “Go to Disney World”, for example, would be pretty difficult right now. Here are some more of our favorites:

  • Make pudding, Jello, whipped cream, and home-made pretzels.
  • Do a 24 hour outdoor challenge
  • Find a lot of geocaches
  • Binge watch Disney+ movies
  • Go on a picnic
  • Fly kites at our local State Park

Day 2: Water Activities

Summer water activities

Car Wash

Teach your kids how to wash the car at home. Not only will they learn a valuable skill, they’ll probably have fun and cool off in the process. I mean, let’s be honest, there’s a good possibility that a water fight is going to break out at some point. It’s the classic easy summer activity to do at home.

Play in the Water Outside

You can also plan some simple water fun in your yard. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool or find a pool, then this is a great option. We bought one last year and are so thankful we did! It’s already filled hours of our summer days. If a pool isn’t an option, here are some other fun outdoor water activities:

  • Water balloons or water guns
  • Run through the sprinklers
  • Play in a water table

Make your own water toys:

  • Make water bombs out of sponges (cut sponges into strips, tie them together in the center, soak them in water, and throw!)
  • Use totes or tubs full of water instead of a water table.
  • Fill tubs, totes or buckets with water and use plastic cups to have a water fight.

Indoor Water Activities

Are you in an apartment or somewhere that you can’t play outside in water? Here are some inside water fun ideas:

  • Let your kids take a “toy bath”. They could even wear swimsuits and pretend to be at the pool.
  • Fill a sink with water and let them play in it.
  • Do water experiments. Check out our Pinterest board here.

Day 3: Go for a Bike Ride or Take a Walk

Walks and bike rides have been our go to sanity saver all through staying home this Spring. Anytime we were feeling down or frustrated, this was a sure way to lift our spirits and make us feel better. We have a lot of trails nearby, but you don’t need anything special to go for a walk or bike ride. You can also substitute a bike for any other fun on wheels like scooters.

Check out your neighborhood. Go on a scavenger hunt: How many blue doors you can find? How many dogs do you hear barking? Check out our “Scavenger Hunts” Pinterest board for more ideas.

Day 4: Plant a Garden or Do Yard Work

At first glance this doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. I mean, “do yard work”. Really? Depending on your child, though, this could be a good way to get out some energy and learn some valuable skills. We actually did a lot of gardening, weeding, and a yard project this past week. The boys felt a sense of accomplishment especially when we finished the yard project, and the garden is a fun activity any year. It’s a good learning opportunity, you get yummy food, and lots of Vitamin D in the sunshine (sunscreen is still always a good idea though).

Day 5: Let Them Play with a Camera

Our boys both have dreams of being YouTube stars some day. Watching more YouTube than usual over the last few months may have something to do with that. My sister let them borrow an older GoPro to make their videos, and I cannot tell you how much fun they’re having recording and playing at the same time.

This week they played Hide and Seek (a good activity option even without a camera) and recorded themselves looking for each other and hiding. It was too cute and they were entertained for quite some time. It reminded me a lot of days when my sister, and I would record “radio shows” on a tape player. Like those tapes, I’m not sure if their videos will get many views, but they’re having a blast making them.

Even if your kids don’t have aspirations of becoming YouTubers, they can have a lot of fun with a camera. Here are some fun camera activities for your kids to do this summer:

  • Record a “YouTube” video.
  • Perform a play or skit and record it on video.
  • Older children may be ready to learn some photography skills and take pictures around the house or in your garden.
  • Go on a picture scavenger hunt.

Other Easy Summer Activities To Do At Home

As much fun as many of these easy summer activities to do at home are, most won’t fill an entire day. Choose a “main activity” for the day and have other simple options for the rest of the day. Try making an activity jar kids can choose from on their own for ideas. You can also have activities you do every day. Here are a few things we try to do most days:

  • Chores (our days feel better when the house isn’t in chaos)
  • Some type of exercise
  • School summer workbooks (there are a lot of free websites and worksheets if you don’t have a work book)
  • Screen time (this is something they look forward to every day and is, honestly, a good time for me to get a little break)

Make a Simple Summer Schedule

Some people excel at going with the flow, but our family thrives when we have some kind of structure. Our youngest has even told us that he likes having a schedule! We tried to keep to a pretty detailed schedule while doing online learning this Spring, and found it made our days go more smoothly and even a little faster. It kept us moving from one thing to the next.

We’ll be spending a lot of time at home this summer, so our days may feel pretty long at times. A loose schedule, though, gives our day some structure and helps it feel a little faster. I stress the word “loose” here though. Sometimes we throw the schedule out the window. Other times we just mostly follow it. It is summer after all!

Summer Activities Plan Printable

If you’re anything like me, then you love lists! Here’s a free printable list of all this week’s activities. Just click on the image to download the watermark free PDF.

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