Huge List of Screen Free Activities for Summer Fun

This is the point in the summer that my kids are too hot to play, too hot to work, too hot to move, and too hot to care. Therefore, reaching for a device to play a game or zoning out to Netflix feels like the best option.

Knowing this is true for kids of all ages {Laura raises her hand while trying to cool down with a Coffee Milkshake} I asked my friend Kim to use her brilliance and creativity to come up with a list of ideas we can suggest to our kids, all of which do not involve a screen.

Huge List of Screen-Free Activitiesfor Summer Fun

Sounds good? Here we go!

List of Screen Free Activities for Summer Fun

1. Read, of course…

We’ve already talked about all the good books to read! (Did you see this list?) First and foremost, cooling off under the fan with a good book is a perfect screen free option this summer. Look over our list of great book suggestions. Join our Summer Reading Party. Read, read, read!

2. Have a Board Games Tournament

Huge List of Screen-Free Activitiesfor Summer Fun

Select any of the following, making adjustments depending on your kids’ ages. If your kids are old enough, enjoying any of these games in tournament form could be a blast! Even if your kids are “too old” for little kid games, sometimes it’s fun to pull them out and have a “Throw Back Game Day!”

3. Have Fun With Bubbles

  • Have Bubble Races – Hold your bubble on your wand and see who can go the farthest.
  • Set up a Bubble Obstacle Course – Create an obstacle course and try to get through it without your bubble popping.
  • Hold a Bubble Contest – Compete for who has the biggest bubble, smallest bubble, one that flies the highest, one that lasts the longest…
  • Make Big Bubbles – Use lids from different sized cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream containers to cut into fun bubble rings. Dip the the rings into the tubs of homemade bubbles, made as directed below. This makes great big bubbles!
  • Check out these Bubble Guns for an extra level of fun!

Need a Homemade Bubble Recipe?

Homemade Bubbles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 cup dish soap
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients in a bucket or tub, stirring gently.
  2. Allow mixture to sit for one hour before having bubble fun!

4. Use Sidewalk Chalk in a Fun New Way

  • Use Water – Dip your sidewalk chalk in water and see how that changes the color and consistency of the art.
  • Have Sidewalk Chalk Contests – Compete for who can draw the silliest, biggest, smallest, brightest, largest, most accurate, etc.
  • Use Sidewalk Chalk to Decorate Rocks – It is like dyeing Easter eggs, only with chalk and rocks!
  • Spread the Love – Write a message of love, encouragement or fun on a neighbor’s sidewalk.  Leave a Welcome Home message on a vacationing family’s driveway. (Note from Laura: This is my favorite of all the ideas Kim came up with!!)

5. Enjoy Outdoor and Backyard Games

6. Set up Some Water GamesHuge List of Screen-Free Activitiesfor Summer Fun

7. Set up Sand Box Fun

8. Go on New Adventures

  • Park Hop – Go from one park to another in your town and surrounding areas, take a friend, have a picnic
  • Have a Progressive Dinner – Start with salad at one house, hors d’oeuvres at a second, main course at another and end up with dessert at a final house
  • Go Geocaching – With a smart phone and some hiking shoes, you can make this happen.  Don’t have a smart phone?  Try a handheld GPS.  You will have to scout your locations in advance and bring a list.
  • Go on a Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt – Create a series of clues and a treasure at the end.
  • Go a New Way – Have a destination to which you like to bike or walk?  Try taking a different route.
  • Look Online – Use the internet to find new, fun, free things to do in your area
  • Camp out in the backyard – If you can’t do over night, then pitch the tent in the yard for an instant playhouse/fort/hideaway

9. Set up Creative Indoor Play

  • Sensory Bins with Rice, Beans, or Salt – Let kids play in containers of rice, beans or salt.  They can draw letters, shapes and pictures.
  • Play with and draw in Shaving Cream
  • Make Homemade Playdough (Mix 2 cups baking soda, 1 cup cornstarch and 1.5 cups warm water. Stir all together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour into something to cool. Once it is cool, knead it and you can play away.  If you want to add color, put food coloring in the water before boiling the mixture.
  • Paint with Water Colors – Cover the dining room table with large sheets of paper and let the kids paint away
  • Make a Selfie – Take a large sheet of paper and trace the child’s whole body.  Let them decorate and draw the shape to resemble themselves.
  • Hold a Talent Show – Do Mom and Dad have talent?  What about the kids?  Show it off!  Don’t forget the video camera!
  • Get out Simple Art Supplies – Use pine cones, pipe cleaners and googly eyes to create a miniature family
  • Have a Lego Contest
  • Hold a Coloring Contest

10. Cooking TogetherHuge List of Screen Free Activities

Fun Kid Friendly Recipes

What are some of your favorite Screen Free Activities to suggest to your kids? Leave a comment to share!

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

Join our Family Summer Reading Party (for a chance to win prizes like a $50 Amazon Gift Card!)

Is it just me, or does a library have a certain smell? This statement is not to be compared with how I describe my front closet during soccer season, which also has a certain smell. We won’t discuss it.

But the library smells pleasant. Very…I don’t know…bookish? And in the summer, it smells ten times better like…what? Like air-conditioned books. Yes. I love this smell. Someone should make a candle with this scent. You know I’m right (and also a bit strange).

books

At our house, we’ve just hung up, put away, and close the door on all of our “assigned reading” for the school year. Who cares that we actually loved almost every book we read this year? Summer is coming and that means we can read…

Just For Fun.

Why does it feel different to read in the summer compared to reading during the school year? I have no idea. There’s just something about the freedom of it all, with its “I can read whatever I want and walk leisurely down all the library aisles while inhaling all the air-conditioned book smells…”

We always check out huge stacks. We can sit in the sun and read. Or we can sit in the air conditioning and read. We might lay on the trampoline and read. I will definitely sip iced coffee and read. The kids can drink sweet tea and read. Ahhhh, summer reading, how I love you.

Reading as a Family

A few summers ago, after our oldest boys headed to counsel at church camp, I picked All of a Kind Family off our shelf and read through it with Malachi during the hottest parts of the day. We finished that one and ran to the library to get the next in the series. We loved the books so much we read every book in the series and cried at the end because the series had ended. (To be fair, Malachi didn’t actually cry. I did though, because I always cry at the end of a good book. You already know this about me.)

ralph moody
I definitely cried at the end of this one.
Then we plowed through the entire series.

Who wants to smell the library with me this summer?

What I mean is, let’s all read together all summer long. Want to? Whether it’s library books or books you already have on your shelf, or books you might order to add to your collection, let’s read. Whether it’s Mom taking some glorious time to read for relaxation on her own (do this) or families taking time to read a book or series together in front of an air conditioner or under a shade tree (do this too), or everyone in the family sitting and reading silently to themselves while simply enjoying the comfort of togetherness (most definitely do this)…

Join our Summer Reading Party!

We want to encourage the beauty of family reading this summer!

Malachi and I look back on the summer of reading All of a Kind Family series as if it was the summer of perfection. All my boys and I can look back with joy on summers of reading together back in the days they were littler (and actually home). On the days they are home this summer, we will definitely spend time reading. I just got a few books delivered a few days ago that the boys had requested. Perfect timing!

Let’s all do this together and make great memories with our families!

Tell me about this Summer Reading Party!

Well, you can make this whatever you want for your family, but to get you motivated…

First we have a huge packet of free printables for every family who signs up for our Summer Reading Party. Use these however you wish – for incentives for your kids, for activities for your kids, for a challenge for everyone in your family – however you want. They are free for you and you can use them in whatever ways you like!

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Sign up here to join our Summer Reading Party and to get the free packet of printables!

My Favorite Party Favor

Included in this printables packet is a suggested Bible reading check-list for you to use with your family. Read these passages with your family during breakfast. Or read them at night before bed. Or read them at whatever time of the day works best for you. Because reading the Bible with your family is more important than any other reading you can do.

summer bible reading

This Summer Bible Reading Guide is included in the Summer Reading Printables Packet. Get yours here.

Prizes!!

Can’t have a party without prizes, right?

We’re getting our party started with a fun giveaway! Then watch for more great giveaways as the summer goes on. Today’s giveaway? A $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com so you can grab great new books to fill your shelves!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’ll be offering more prizes all summer long. So join the Summer Reading Party, get your free printables packet, and start reading! Watch for more great giveaways and reading incentives throughout the summer!

I’ll draw a random winner for the Amazon Gift Card giveaway on Friday, May 26.

Join the Summer Reading Party!