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Playhouses, being outside all the time, riding bikes all over the place, and playing kickball with the neighbor kids - these are some of my favorite memories from childhood. Here are some simple activities kids can play all summer long!

1. Have a Picnic… Anywhere!

Kids love eating their meals and snack outside, whether it is an organized lunch at a nearby park, in the backyard under the deck, or out on the front sidewalk!

2. Chalk Drawings

Color, creativity, and fun. Kids can create beautiful art, or draw out tic tac toe, hopscotch, 4-square, or a bulls-eye for a bean bag toss.

3. Lemonade Stand

How many of us remember running a lemonade stand when we were little? It was so much fun, and we were very excited when we made a quarter! Combine it with a garage sale, and kids have a constant traffic flow.

4. Bubbles

Whether you purchase it at the store or make your own, bubbles are always a blast for kids. You can also make a bubble wand to help create huge bubbles!

5. Water Balloons

Inexpensive activities include an obstacle course, water balloon piñata, water balloon towel toss, and more!

6. Fly a Kite

Kids love watching kites fly through the air, and are even more excited when they are the ones holding the string!

7. Yard Games

I remember playing croquet all the time in the backyard. There’s also popular favorites ladder golf, washer game, or badminton.

8. Rock Game or Teacher

This very simple game was one of our favorites! One person is the ‘teacher’. Everyone else sits on the bottom step of the stairs. The teacher picks a rock, paperclip, or other small item and holds it in their hands behind their back. They put the item in one hand as they bring both hands in front of them tightly closed. Each ‘student’ sitting on the steps takes a turn guessing which hand the item is in. If they get it right, they move up one step. If they do not get it correct, they stay where they are. The teacher continues bringing the item behind his/her back, mixing it up, and then bringing both hands in a tight fist for each student to guess. The student who makes it to the top of the stairs becomes the next teacher!

9. Kickball, Soccer,  Baseball

These traditional favorites are always fun! Children especially love when their parents get involved. Have an adult vs. kids game, or boys vs. girls.

10. Jump Rope, Hula Hoop

When was the last time you tried jumping rope or using the hula hoop? Set them out and encourage your kids to try them. Show them your skills as hula hoop champion from grade school!

11. Scavenger Hunt

Create your own or find one on Pinterest, kids love scavenger hunts and finding all sorts of things. You can find the colors of the rainbow, go through the alphabet finding items that start with each letter, find shapes, or create a nature scavenger hunt and help kids become discoverers in their own backyard. (The colors, letters, and shapes hunts make great car games, too!)

12 – 14. Ride Bikes, Plant A Garden, Build A Fort

Always Fun. No further explanation needed.

15. Create a Play / Puppet Show / Dress Up

Encourage your kids to create and perform a play or puppet show for you. With a little creativity, everyday household items become the perfect prop!

Have a wonderful summer!


Julie is married and a mom to two young children who loves enjoying all that Omaha has to offer. She provides a helpful resource for family-friendly activities and events in and around Omaha at Find many ideas for upcoming local events posted weekly, Kids Eat Free, and an Omaha Kids Calendar! ...

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