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Do you need some new at home activities for your kids to do this summer? Here are some indoor activities for kids that my crew enjoys.
We typically do these types of activities during what we call Family Writing Time. The kids all pick a project or activity to work on, and I get some time to work on my business.
After the timer beeps, we all clean up and share what we did. Family Writing Time is a fun way to spend some time together while you’re getting some work done.
But no matter what you call it, here are some summer themed at home activities for kids. You’ll find 10 different summer topics with plenty of activities under each. These indoor activities can keep your kids busy all summer long.
Consider making a list of the ones your kids would enjoy most. Then, let them pick one from the list each day. That way they don’t get bored, and are always trying something new.
Let’s get started exploring these at home activities for kids.
1. Summer Feasts
Summer means fresh food abounds! Let your child explore the best offerings this season by:
- Cutting out a menu for a BBQ from ads in the newspaper
- Creating a paper BBQ set. They can draw and cut out a grill, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and a spatula. After serving, they can even add strips of colored ketchup, mustard, and more.
- Designing a custom order for the next family BBQ. Never wonder who wants what toppings again! 😀
- Listing all the fruits and vegetables locally grown this season.
- Researching how long different plants take to grow.
- Looking through cookbooks to find a fun summer salad to try. Have them write down the ingredients needed.
- Creating a shape poem for a Popsicle, watermelon, or another favorite summer food. (They draw a large outline of the food and write the words for the poem around the edges.)
- Writing riddles for summer produce. (I’m slightly prickly and wear a green hat, what am I? A pineapple!)
2. Under the Sea
It’s the perfect season to learn about the underwater world! But, you don’t have to go to the beach to explore the ocean. Your child can:
- Create an under water set for cookie sheet play.
- Animate an under water game on Scratch.
- Paint sea creatures on rocks and use them to tell a story once they dry.
- Draw a picture of what a scuba diver might see.
- List adjectives about the sea.
- Use a toilet paper tube to create a sea animal (this octopus looks fun!)
- Locate all the oceans on a map and learn more about each.
3. Swimming Fun
You don’t need a pool to have swimming fun this summer. During Family Writing Time, encourage your child to:
- Find a swimsuit and swim toys in the newspaper ads. Figure out how much it would cost to buy them all.
- Write a swimming poem.
- Draw a picture of the family swimming.
- Make a checklist of things you need to pack for a swimming adventure.
- Create a map of what an Ultimate Family Water Fun Park would look like.
- Think of words that rhyme with pool, swim, noodle, and wet.
Do your kids enjoy blowing bubbles as much as mine do? It’s definitely a fun family activity. But, blowing bubbles inside isn’t always a great solution. So here are some creative activities for kids to try that have to do with bubbles.
Encourage your kids to:
- Draw a picture of someone blowing bubbles.
- Write a list of all the words that describe bubbles.
- Look through the newspaper ads for bubble machines.
- Research bubble recipes online.
- Create a Bubble Book.
- Write creatively based on this prompt…”One day, I looked through a bubble and saw…”
(And if your child enjoys writing prompts, here are 65 creative writing prompts for kids.)
We’ve only ever been brave enough to camp in the yard with our crew, but the idea of sleeping in a tent thrills all the kids! So, they have done many fun camping related projects inside.
You can have your kids:
- Write a camping story
- Draw a picture of the perfect camp setup.
- Look at a map and make a list of places they’d like to camp.
- Research prices for a variety of campsites.
- Create a travel brochure for a campsite they’d like to visit.
- Plan a camping menu, complete with a corresponding shopping list.
- Use play-dough to create a camping scene.
6. Water Fights
The thrill of a water fight inspires these at home activities for kids. But you won’t have to clean up any water after they’re done with these.
Instead of dumping water, ask your kids to:
- Draw a map of your yard and indicate where to hide water balloons.
- Write a story about a water fight from a water balloon’s point of view.
- Research prices on a variety of water fight essentials.
- Create a list of water fight game ideas.
- Brainstorm ways to turn the backyard into a water park.
Even if it’s not the 4th of July, your kids can still have some safe firework fun inside. Have them:
- Make a list of all the words that fireworks sound like (practicing onomatopoeia.)
- Draw fireworks using light-colored crayons on black paper.
- Design a fireworks font.
- Write a poem about fireworks.
- Look at pictures of firework displays online.
- Write a personal narrative about a favorite fireworks memory.
8. Sand Castles
When my husband was stationed in San Diego, we lived in Imperial Beach, just a few blocks from the ocean. We enjoyed walking to the beach, and took in a sand castle contest once. It was incredible what people created out of sand!
Ever since then, the kids have all enjoyed sand castles. Here are some sand castle themed indoor activities for kids:
- Draw the ultimate sand castle.
- Listen to Robert Munsch’s The Sandcastle Contest here.
- Write a sand castle story all their own.
- Brainstorm containers you have that’d work for sand castles.
- Make a list of items to decorate a sand castle.
- Look at pictures from the Imperial Beach contest (or others.)
Do your kids enjoy hiking? It’s a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors! During Family Writing Time, hiking fans can do these at home activities for kids:
- Research hiking trails in your area.
- Plan a hiking trip with a map.
- Write an opinion essay about which trail is best for beginning hikers, and why.
- Draw a picture showing essential hiking gear.
- Write newspaper-style reviews on different trails.
- Build a play-dough mountain and hiker.
Summer is a great season for taking a nature walk and just getting outside. But, when you’re stuck inside, you can have your child:
- Look through plant guides for your area.
- Research foods that can be foraged safely. (And learning how to use it!)
- Read nonfiction books about nature topics. Like this one:
- Plan a nature scavenger hunt for a sibling or friend.
- Draw a map of your neighborhood to help you in your exploring.
Want Even More At Home Activities for Kids
If you’re looking for more ideas for indoor activities your kids can do during Family Writing Time or any other time, be sure to check out my book, The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time.
You’ll find dozens of at home activities that will keep your kids busy while you work.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.