30 Screen-free Summer Activities Kids Will Love

As summer approaches, the lure of screens can be strong for children, but it's the perfect time to encourage them to step away from digital devices and enjoy some good old-fashioned fun.

Here are 30 screen-free summer activities that can help kids enjoy the outdoors, learn new skills, and make the most of their summer vacation.

30 Screen-free Summer Activities Kids Will Love

1. Start a Mini Garden

Gardening is a fantastic way for kids to learn about nature and develop a sense of responsibility.

They can start with easy plants, like sunflowers or cherry tomatoes, and watch their efforts blossom.

It's a hands-on activity that teaches patience and the rewards of nurturing growth.

2. Create a Backyard Obstacle Course

Use household items to set up a fun and challenging obstacle course in the backyard.

Include stations like jumping through hoops, crawling under ropes, or balancing on beams.

It's great for physical activity and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

3. Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Prepare a list of things to find or observe in nature and take a walk in the nearest park or along a trail. 

Kids can look for different types of leaves, insects, rocks, or birds.

This activity encourages observational skills and a deeper appreciation of the natural world.

This fun summer scavenger hunt is perfect for kids of all ages:

4. Learn to Ride a Bike

If your child doesn't know how to ride a bike yet, summer is the perfect time to learn.

Bike riding is not only fun but also enhances balance, coordination, and confidence.

Plus, it’s a skill they’ll use for years to come.

5. Have a Picnic

Pack a lunch and have a picnic at a local park. Let the kids help prepare the food and pick a spot.

Eating outdoors is a simple pleasure that can be a novel experience for children.

6. Set Up a Lemonade Stand

Running a lemonade stand teaches kids about money, business basics, and customer service.

It also gives them a sense of accomplishment and the thrill of earning their own money.

7. Visit a Farm

Many farms allow visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables.

This can be a delightful outing for kids as they learn where their food comes from and the effort it takes to grow it.

8. Fly a Kite

Flying a kite is perfect for windy summer days.

It’s not only fun but also helps kids learn about wind and weather patterns.

Plus, watching a kite soar high in the sky is incredibly rewarding.

9. Go Fishing

Fishing is a peaceful activity that can teach patience and relaxation.

Whether you catch anything or not, the experience of being near water and learning to bait a hook is invaluable.

10. Build a Fort

Whether it's with cushions and blankets inside or branches and sheets outside, building a fort is a great creative outlet for children.

It provides them with a small, personal space where they can play and imagine.

11. Host a Garage Sale

Encourage your children to declutter their rooms and sell items they no longer need.

This activity teaches them the value of money and the importance of organization.

12. Write Letters to Family Members

Writing letters offers a personal touch in today’s digital world.

Have your children write letters to family members or friends they haven’t seen in a while.

This enhances their writing skills and helps maintain relationships.

13. Start a Book Club

Gather a few of your child's friends and start a book club.

They can choose books to read and then meet weekly to discuss them.

This fosters a love for reading and critical thinking skills.

14. Go Stargazing

On a clear night, take a blanket outside and gaze at the stars. Teach kids about the constellations and the planets.

Apps can help identify celestial bodies, but try to keep the phone use to a minimum.

This printable packet will help:

15. Play Water Games

Set up a sprinkler, fill a pool, or have a water balloon fight.

Water games are excellent for hot days and can be a thrilling way for kids to stay cool.

16. Explore Local Museums

Many museums have programs or tours for children that can make learning fun and interactive.

This can be a great way to spend a rainy or cloudy day.

17. Plan a Treasure Hunt

Hide treasures or even some painted stones around your home or yard and give your children clues to find them.

This game stimulates critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

18. Learn a New Sport

Whether it's soccer, tennis, or golf, learning a new sport can be exciting and enriching for children.

It also provides a great way for them to make new friends and learn about teamwork.

19. Do Some Volunteer Work

Help your children find local opportunities where they can volunteer.

This could be cleaning up parks, participating in a beach clean, helping at animal shelters, or assisting in community gardens.

Volunteering teaches compassion and community responsibility.

20. Cook Together

Pick a recipe and let your children help you cook a meal.

This teaches them about food preparation and safety, and it’s a great bonding activity.

21. Make DIY Crafts

From painting rocks to creating friendship bracelets, crafts allow children to express their creativity and can keep them entertained for hours.

22. Take a Bike Tour

Explore your neighborhood or a nearby area with a family bike tour.

Plan stops at interesting spots along the way to make it educational and fun.

23. Visit a Historical Site

Learning about history first-hand can be more engaging than reading about it in books.

Visit historical sites or battlefields to give your children a living history lesson.

24. Play Board Games

Dust off the board games and challenge the family to a game night.

Board games are great for teaching strategy, critical thinking, and sportsmanship.

Read more:

25. Participate in a Community Sports League

Joining a local sports league can be a great way for kids to stay active, meet new friends, and develop teamwork skills.

26. Visit a Botanical Garden

Exploring a botanical garden can be a serene and educational experience for children.

They can learn about different plant species, the importance of biodiversity, and the basics of ecology. 

This activity is also a great opportunity for kids to practice their photography skills using a regular camera instead of a smartphone.

27. Create Sidewalk Chalk Art

Sidewalk chalk is not only inexpensive but offers endless creativity.

Kids can draw landscapes, write messages, or create games like hopscotch on the driveway.

This activity encourages artistic expression and physical activity, and it can be a fun way for the neighborhood kids to get involved too.

28. Participate in a Reading Challenge

Many local libraries host summer reading challenges to keep children engaged with books during the summer months.

This can encourage a competitive spirit along with developing a lifelong love of reading.

Rewards often include certificates, books, and sometimes even local business coupons.

29. Make Ice Cream at Home

Making ice cream can be a delightful summer activity.

With basic ingredients and a little bit of patience, kids can make their own ice cream.

They can experiment with different flavors and mix-ins.

This activity is a tasty way to introduce basic cooking skills and the science behind freezing and melting points.

30. Attend Outdoor Concerts or Plays

Many communities offer free outdoor concerts and theatrical plays during the summer.

This is a fantastic way for kids to be introduced to various forms of music and drama, fostering an appreciation for the arts from a young age.

It’s also a wonderful occasion for family picnics and gathering with friends.

Encouraging screen-free activities helps children develop a wide range of skills and interests while also creating memorable summer experiences.

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