12 Outdoor Summer Activities for Families
12 Outdoor Summer Activities for Families

As the school year winds down, summer is quickly approaching – which means more free time for your kids. If you’re seeking creative ways to encourage your kids to unplug and enjoy some fresh air, we rounded up 12 outdoor summer activities that are sure to entertain!


Outdoor Summer Activity 1 - get creative with sidewalk chalk

Get creative with sidewalk chalk.

Sidewalk chalk will lend itself to a day full of drawing, games, and learning opportunities. Kids can trace each other to make chalk buddies or practice skills they learned in school with these active chalk games. All you need is a safe concrete area, colorful chalk, and an active imagination to enjoy hours of fun in the sun!


Outdoor Summer Activity 2 - organize a clothesline art show

Organize a clothesline art show.

If your kids enjoy art, this outdoor activity is sure to be a hit! Ask your kids to make drawings, paintings, or any artwork to exhibit their skills. Hang a clothesline outside to display their creations and start the show! Grant awards for the most creative, most colorful, and most original pieces. Your kids will love showing off their hard work!


Outdoor Summer Activity 3 - compete in soap boat races

Compete in soap boat races.

Engage in some friendly competition with outdoor soap boat races! All you need is a rain gutter, bars of soap, and a hose with running water. Place the gutter on a stable surface and position the hose at the top of the gutter. To distinguish teams, fix decorative flags to the boats using a toothpick and colored paper. Place the boats at the starting line, turn on the hose, and let the races begin!


Outdoor Summer Activity 4 - go on a nature scavenger hunt

Go on a nature scavenger hunt.

Hosting a nature scavenger hunt for your kids is a fantastic way to get them outside and interested in nature! There are many variations of outdoor hunts your kids can do that require no advance setup. Simply print out a free online template like this sensory scavenger hunt or design one yourself. After that, you can leave the rest up to nature!


Outdoor Summer Activity 5 - camp out in your backyard

Camp out in your backyard.

No summer is complete without a camping trip – but not to worry, this one doesn’t involve any bears! Your family can enjoy the great outdoors within the comfort of your backyard. Pitch the tent, build a fire, and round up the troops for a night of fun under the stars. Don’t forget to make s’mores and share campfire stories to get the full experience!


Outdoor Summer Activity 6 - play classic outdoor games

Play classic outdoor games.

Before the days of Xbox and iPhones, kids spent their summers playing classic outdoor games like Red Rover, Kick the Can, and more! Some of your most cherished childhood memories likely involved playing these games with friends and family. What better time than now to teach your kids how to play and help them create memories of their own? If you need a refresher on the rules, check out the links corresponding to the games below:

Red RoverKick the CanMother, May I?Disc “Frisbee” GolfStatues


Arrange a lemonade stand.

What’s more iconic than hosting a lemonade stand in the summer? Lemonade stands are easy to do, fun for the kids, and can teach valuable skills about money, business, and communication. If your kids are feeling ambitious, add baked goods or soft pretzels to the menu. Stir up a fresh pitcher of lemonade, find a safe location to set up, and you’re ready to go!


Build a backyard obstacle course.

Assemble an obstacle course in your backyard to get your kids in the competitive spirit while sneaking in some exercise. Gather hula hoops, jump ropes, pool noodles, hoses, and any other household materials to build the course. Have your kids take turns completing it and award prizes for various categories! The best part is, you can make the course as simple or complicated as you’d like depending on what materials you can find!


Have a shaving cream fight.

Shaving cream fights are sure to lead to many laughs and memories on a beautiful summer day! Have players put on bathing suits and goggles (for eye protection), then pass out the cans of shaving cream. Make sure all players clearly understand any rules you want to enforce before the battle begins. It might be a good idea to turn on the sprinklers or have the hose handy for an easy rinse off.


Throw a glow-in-the-dark party.

After the sun sets, bring out the glow sticks to brighten up the night with a glow-in-the-dark party! Have everyone deck themselves out in neon clothing and hand out glow sticks to wear as headbands, necklaces, and bracelets. Make sure there’s enough lighting for safety and get the party started! For added excitement, incorporate these glow stick party games to play throughout the night!


Start a garden.

This outdoor activity will not only keep your kids busy this summer, it will also lead to fresh produce right from your backyard! Planting a garden is a wonderful way to teach kids responsibility and skills about growing their own food. Find the perfect spot in your yard where there’s plenty of sunlight and space to grow. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables such as carrots or tomatoes, and slowly work your way up to pumpkins or melons (if space permits). Let your kids take control and do most of the planting, watering, and weeding with your guidance. For advice on how to successfully start a backyard garden with kids, check out these gardening tips.


Host an outdoor movie night.

There’s nothing better than watching a movie under the stars on a cool summer night. Better yet – why not have a movie night in the comfort of your backyard? Borrow or purchase a video projector and display the screen (or a white sheet) on the side of your house. Indulge in your favorite movie snacks and pick a movie the whole family will enjoy!


We hope this post gives you some unique ideas for taking advantage of the warm weather to make this an unforgettable summer. Connect as a family, share laughter, and make countless memories with these fun-filled outdoor summer activities! Conversely, if you need ideas for a cloudy day, check out our blog on 20 Rainy Day Activities for Families.