Fun Things to Do at Home This Summer

Updated by Timothy Paradis


Now that summer is upon us, it’s easy to get bogged down thinking about how many things we’ll be missing or any plans that have been dashed. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed by having the kids home for even longer, now that many summer camps and day camps simply won’t be opening this year.

Instead of getting consumed with all the canceled plans, let’s try to think about all the possibilities! Chilling in a hammock with a good read, having a good old-fashioned water balloon fight, cooling down with homemade ice cream or popsicles, and diving into a new hobby are still on the table. Kids will still have fun, and they can even enroll in virtual summer camp . One thing is for sure -- this summer will be filled with fun experiences and memory-making, just like every other.

We took some time to brainstorm fun things you can do this summer from the comforts of your own home, and came up with a list of fun activities for the whole family. Use it as a jumping-off point to get your imaginations started and come up with new ways to have fun with family and friends this summer!


Fun With Food

Seeing all the home-baked bread and DIY Swedish meatballs out there, we know that most people can relate to having a little fun with food while we ride out these stay-at-home orders. Now that summer is here, it’s time for toasted marshmallows and s’mores in the great outdoors! This summer, try your hand at filming your very own cooking show or explore the depths of campfire cooking with Little Sous Creative Cooking Boxes.

Another great idea is to host an International Dinner Night for the family with a little help from eat2explore , a monthly box that sets out to connect food and culture. Have a foodie adventure that both kids and grown -ups will enjoy as you try out new recipes and taste sensations from around the world.

Want more food fun for the summer? Set up a lemonade stand that follows all the rules of social distancing to keep friends and neighbors safely refreshed, or head out to get your hands dirty making and serving up mud pies at your very own sandbox cafe!


Outdoor Fun

When you’re thinking about fun summer activities, never underestimate the power of your own backyard. Cooling down with a run through the sprinkler, playing a game of kickball, or tossing the frisbee around are all simple ways to have a little summertime fun.

Use the sunny weather to get inspired. Pack up your sketchbook, watercolors, or favorite top-quality art supplies from Paletteful Packs , then head out to take in the blue skies, create your next masterpiece, improve your skills or learn new art techniques.

Want to add some learning into the outdoor fun? With everything from tie-dye projects and backyard bug collecting to sun printing and bird feeder crafting, Green Kid Crafts will have you and your littles exploring STEAM fundamentals through hands-on crafts and science experiments.


Just Play!

Games are so versatile that they have to be included on any list of fun summer activities. From outdoor obstacle courses and nature scavenger hunts to the wide variety of tabletop card and board games or interactive party games packed into UnboxBoardom , both indoor and outdoor games offer the perfect opportunity to spark our competitive spirits and get a little rowdy in pursuit of a win.

With games, there’s also plenty of flexibility and creativity. Set up a family sidewalk chalk art competition and show off your drawing or stenciling skills, or create the longest hopscotch court and test out each other's balance and coordination skills (or lack thereof)!

A great idea for a family with tweens and teens, or a group of roomies or friends, is to dive into the world of Dungeons and Dragons or any number of other tabletop RPGs. Set up an amazing tabletop scene IRL or virtually with Dungeon Crate, then come up with intriguing characters and set out together on a campaign that can see you through to the end of summer and beyond.


Make an Escape

While you might have been ready to jet-set to new locations or spend your days frolicking on the beach, there are other creative ways for you to have exciting experiences or enter a world of fantasy. This time of year is perfect for outdoor camping. Head out into the yard, pitch the tent, and bring a blanket to spread out and stargaze in the night sky or prepare silly, scary stories to tell in the dark.

Pull out the string lights and craft summery garlands and decorations and transport yourself to a different season for a week filled with "Christmas in July" celebrations, complete with frosty cocoa and a classic Christmas movie night.

Invent a writing code or a book code as a family, and leave special notes or experience coupons around the house that have to be decoded before they can be cashed in. Along those same lines, make a literal escape with a monthly subscription to Escape the Crate , a fun escape room adventure that comes complete with mind-challenging puzzles, riddles and clues.

Families with young children can also escape into a world of imaginative pretend play, getting dressed up with Little Bookish Wardrobe, transforming into different characters and reenacting favorite scenes from favorite stories. Create scenic backgrounds and make different props from household objects to get the whole family involved in a world of make-believe.


Summertime Stimulation

If you’ve decided to pass on the sand and surf this year, get that tactile stimulation that is so good for children in a whole new way. Remember that both physical and mental stimulation plays an important role in childhood development, and finding ways to increase this can help you avoid screen-time discussions and curb spells of summer boredom. Water gun fights, blowing bubbles, and heading outside on a rainy day are some easy ways to have fun tactile experiences this summer.

Explore a box filled with engaging hand fidgets, squishy play dough and other textured toys with the Sensory TheraPLAY Box , break out the kiddie pool for some sensory swimming, or pick wildflowers and create a colorful summery bouquet.

For a week filled with virtual summer fun, head over and sign the kids up for Camp Cratejoy today!