12 Ways of Filling Up Those Summer Days Just Like When You Were A Kid

 How are you going to keep the kids off the couch and away from the screens (TV screens, tablet screens, video games…they are everywhere!)?

School’s out, so now what? Remember your summers, oh so long ago, how the days stretched on forever, you practically lived in the pool, and you don’t ever remember seeing a parent except at mealtimes?

Well, keep thinking back a little because there were probably a ton of worthy projects that can occupy your brood today. Here are some device alternatives that will keep the kids entertained, exploring, and excited.


  1. Multi-step crafts. For example, build a dollhouse. Both boys and girl will get in on the construction part, then the next day, paint the dollhouse, then the next day, make some clay dolls, and make them clothes…you get the idea. Find crafts that have an ongoing mindset. Don’t forget to take before and after pictures.
  2. Water World–at home. Visit the 99 cent store and buy a 40 of those water noodles. The kids can get creative building their own water park. Other materials can be anything that floats!
  3. Board game tournaments. If you have a white board, keep track of wins, pull out all the games, and rotate through them.
  4. Berry picking, pie making. Again, you can stretch over a few days, anywhere there is natural water, you will likely find a blackberry patch, or you can visit a local farm. There is nothing yummier than summer pie.
  5. Bug Zoo. Just lather up the kids in some sunscreen, and turn them loose in the yard with a jar. Encourage caterpillars so they can experience metamorphosis.
  6. Petting Zoo. This hands-on interaction is not only attention-grabbing and keeping for kids, it’s educational and fun for everyone.
  7. Bike ride. Any number of transport combinations will get you and the kids someplace fun. Start with a ride to the park or to lunch in your neighborhood, and work your way up to longer rides.
  8. Backyard fort. Old sheets cleverly hung in a tree will seriously blow their little minds and open a world of imagination well beyond a device.
  9. Makeshift puppet show. Cardboard boxes will work as a stage, and the kids can make their characters and then act them out.
  10. Lego party. There’s the safe way and the wild way. The safe way is to get the different sets, and set up stations. The wild way is to combine all the Legos together to make some sort of giant Lego Frankenstein. The trouble with the second way is obvious, it’s sort of Lego anarchy because it’s tedious to separate the different sets out. But live dangerously!
  11. Library play date. Lots of local libraries will often have kid-friendly summer programs running. Plus, they are almost always air-conditioned. Gather some other families and make a date out of it.
  12. Summer reading list. Let’s not forget the lazy good feeling of lounging with a book. Make sure your kids know how to do that. Think about the great books you read as a kid.


It can be an incredible summer without a splashy vacation or thousands of dollars slapped down on computer camp. In fact, we highly recommend you teach your kids that in order to have fun, they need be resourceful. Creating lasting summer memories is just that: creativity in action when you have the time, the warmth, and the enthusiasm to do it together.



About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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