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Summer break is a great time to relax and it’s a great time to explore new topics, activities, or ideas that your kids are interested in. Similar to my age-appropriate chore list, these summer activities for kids have been separated into categories based on age. Here are some unique and exciting educational activities by age. Your kids will love these (and so will you!)


These educational & fun summer activities for kids are separated by age. They cater to different grades and age groups, so feel free to pick and choose based on your children’s interests and ages. Let’s dive in!

Summer Learning For Toddlers (2-3 years old):

1. Backyard Nature Explorers:
   – This is a fun free summer activity your kids will enjoy. Let your toddlers dig in the soil, plant seeds, and learn about the growth process in a mini garden. Create a bug observation station with magnifying glasses, jars, and a guidebook to discover and learn about insects.

2. Alphabet PlayDough
– Play with Playdough (or make your own playdough) and begin to create letters and shapes. Let your kids use these pre-made Play-Dough Letter Mats as a guide.

Play Dough Mats

3. Creative Art Sessions:
   – Encourage artistic expression by providing a variety of arts and crafts materials like finger paints, non-toxic clay, and crayons. Let your toddlers freely explore and create their masterpieces.

4. Puppet Theater:
   – Set up a puppet theater and help your toddlers create their own puppets using socks, paper bags, or felt. Encourage imaginative play and storytelling through puppet shows.

5. Nature Scavenger Hunt:
   – Create a list of nature items for your toddlers to find, such as different leaves, rocks, or flowers. Take them on a nature walk or visit a local park to discover these treasures.

6. Sensory Treasure Hunt:
   – Design a sensory treasure hunt using sensory bins filled with materials like colored rice, kinetic sand, or textured fabrics. Hide small objects for them to find and explore.

7. Paint with Water
– When our older kids were busy with experiments, outdoor activities, or when they were swimming on a hot summer day, I’d let my toddlers paint with water. I’d let them dip a paintbrush into a bucket filled with water and let them paint. It kept them busy & safe by my side. Here are more summer ideas for toddlers.

Tips to keep your toddler busy at the pool

Summer Activities For Preschoolers (4-5 years old):

1. Secret Code Language:
   – Create a secret code language with your preschoolers using symbols, pictures, or simple letter substitutions. Write messages to each other and have fun decoding them.

2. Paint with Kool-Aid
– When our kids were little, they loved painting with Kool-Aid. It was fun, easy, and entertaining, so it quickly became one of our favorite summer activities! Here’s how we made DIY Kool-Aid Paint.

paint with kool-aid

3. Storytelling with Props:
   – Set up a storytelling corner with a variety of props like costumes, puppets, and stuffed animals. Encourage your preschoolers to create their own stories and act them out.

4. Alphabet PlayDough
– Play with Playdough (or make your own playdough) and begin to create letters and shapes. Let your kids use these pre-made Play-Dough Letter Mats as a guide.

play dough mat

5. Science Experiments at Home:
   – Conduct simple and safe science experiments using household items. For example, make a volcano erupt with baking soda and vinegar, drop or throw a water balloon from different areas to see what shapes the water makes when it lands, or create a DIY lava lamp with oil and water.

6. Outdoor Art Gallery:
   – Take your preschoolers on an outdoor art adventure. Visit local parks or nature trails and let them create nature-inspired art using found materials like leaves, twigs, and pebbles.

7. Begin Kindergarten Sight Words
– Start playing Kindergarten Sight word Games to help your kids learn the most used sight words.

writing in sugar

8. Math in the Kitchen:
   – Involve your kids in measuring and counting while cooking or baking. Let them practice fractions by cutting fruits or dividing cookies into equal parts. Make ice cream to watch the liquid become solid.

–>>Here are EIGHT More Summer Activities for Young Kids. These will keep younger kids busy & having fun this summer!

activities for kids

Summer Activities For School-Aged Children (5-11 years old):

1. DIY Science Kits:
   – Create personalized science kits by gathering materials for various experiments. Include instructions and encourage your children to explore and learn independently.

2. Make Fluffy Slime
– Your kids can make this fluffy slime (cloud slime) easily! It only takes a few ingredients. Plus, you can experiment with different colors or by adding sparkles.

Fluffy Slime (no-stick slime)

3. Virtual Field Trips:
   – Explore the world from home by taking virtual field trips to museums, historical landmarks, and national parks. Many institutions offer online tours and educational resources.

4. Scavenger Hunt
– Use these 12 Scavenger Hunt Sheets to let your kids be detectives anywhere!

scavenger hunt

5. Science in the Kitchen:
   – Encourage your kids to conduct simple science experiments using ingredients found in the kitchen. They can explore chemical reactions, fractions, and much more!

6.  Science in the Outdoors:
   – Take your kids on nature hikes to observe and learn about plants, animals, and their habitats. Set up simple science experiments outdoors, such as making a solar-powered oven or building a mini water filtration system.

7. Create an Outdoor obstacle Course
– Use your backyard or driveway to set up an obstacle course. Find a jump rope, sidewalk chalk, and other items around your house. Let your kids create an obstacle course for everyone to complete.
Example: Jump over the jump rope five times, draw your name on the sidewalk, run backward until you reach the porch, etc.

8. Hidden Message Science Experiment:
   – Encourage hands-on learning by conducting science experiments or engaging in creative crafts like making homemade slime, building cardboard structures, or crafting recycled art. This paper towel hidden message experiment is one of my favorites.

A close up of a art on a paper towel

9. Outdoor Games
– Our friend shared this idea with me, and our kids LOVED making it! It’s outdoor mosaic Stained Glass Sidewalk Chalk art. It is so much fun and it keeps them busy for hours!


10. Build a Fort.
– This was one of my favorite things to do as a child. My best friend and I would build forts in the woods with her sister. They weren’t perfect or fancy, but they were fun and they were ours. 🙂 (In the winter, check out our post about building an igloo!)

building a fort

Exciting Summer Fun For Middle Schoolers (12-14 years old):

1. DIY Science Projects:
   – Encourage your middle schoolers to take on more complex science projects. They can build a mini volcano, create a homemade solar-powered oven, make appearing art, or design and conduct their own scientific experiments.

A close up of a drawing

2. Documentary Film Festival:
   – Organize a documentary film festival at home. Let your middle schoolers choose educational documentaries on topics that interest them, and have discussions afterward to deepen their understanding. Later, they can make their own documentaries!

3. Writing Challenges:
   – Engage your children in creative writing challenges. Provide prompts or themes for them to explore or encourage them to start a journal or blog to express their thoughts and ideas.

4. Community Service Projects:
   – Involve your middle schoolers in community service initiatives. They can volunteer at local organizations, participate in fundraising events, or engage in acts of kindness within their community.

5. Podcast Creation:
   – Encourage your children to create their own podcasts on subjects they are passionate about. They can research, write scripts, record episodes, and even interview experts to share knowledge with others.

6. Book Clubs:
   – Start a book club with your middle-schoolers and their friends. Choose age-appropriate books and schedule regular discussions to share thoughts and insights.

7. Virtual Field Trips:
   – Take virtual field trips to famous landmarks, cultural sites, or even international destinations using virtual reality apps or online platforms like Google Arts & Culture.

8. Build a Model:
   – Encourage your middle-schoolers to choose a project of interest, such as building a model, designing a website, or creating a short film. Support them in planning, researching, and executing their projects.

Summer Activities For Kids In High School (15-19 years old):

1. Take Online Courses:
   – Explore online platforms offering free or affordable courses in various subjects of interest to your high schoolers. It allows them to expand their knowledge and pursue their passions. You can take these courses together – it’s a great way to connect with your teen.

2. Entrepreneurial Ventures:
   – Encourage your high schoolers to explore their entrepreneurial skills. They can start small businesses, sell handmade crafts, or provide services within their community, gaining valuable real-life experiences.

3. Research Projects:
   – Support your children in choosing a research topic of interest. Help them gather resources, conduct experiments, and present their findings, fostering critical thinking and independent learning. 

4. Mentorship Opportunities:
   – Connect your high schoolers with mentors in fields they are interested in pursuing. It allows them to gain insights, guidance, and hands-on experiences from professionals.

5. Current Affairs Discussions:
   – Engage in discussions about current events and global issues with your high schoolers. Encourage them to critically analyze news articles, form opinions, and consider the broader impact of these topics.

6. Career Exploration:
   – Help your high schoolers research and explore potential careers of interest. Engage in discussions, invite professionals for informational interviews, or arrange job-shadowing opportunities.

7. Volunteering and Community Service:
   – Encourage your teenagers to get involved in local community service or volunteer projects aligned with their passions and interests. It provides valuable experiences and cultivates empathy.

I hope these unique activity suggestions inspire your kids to continue learning and exploring during the summer break. Remember to make it enjoyable and tailored to their interests. Let me know if you have any other questions or if there’s anything else I can assist you with!

Remember, the key is to find summer activities for kids that align with your children’s interests and provide opportunities for growth and learning. Let their curiosity guide the way and make the most of this summer break to create meaningful and educational experiences.

Wishing you and your kids a summer filled with adventure and learning!


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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