This post is sponsored by Chalkola, an art brand that offers amazing art supplies for all your creativity needs. Read more of my review below, all opinions are my own.
Summer is here! This change in season means a change in activities and engaging in adventures that weren’t possible during the colder months. With the children anxious to enjoy the warm summer days and endless summer nights, it may not always be possible to get them outdoors. Whether you are a mama to a newborn and still have little ones that rely on you for a fun-filled day, a working-from-home parent that needs activities to do with your kids since they are out of school for the summer, or just simply don’t want to leave your home because it’s too hot, this post is for you.
I have compiled some of the top summer activities to do with your children indoors during the summer. Most of these summer activities are cheap and free and will provide your kids with hours of fun and priceless memories.
Who would have thought that there was chalk that could be used indoors! My son loves chalk but it gets so messy and during the summer it can be too hot to draw on the sidewalk with chalk. In comes Chalkola, an art brand specializing in chalk markers and art supplies. I was sent the Rustic Chalkboard Sign and 30 neon and pastel chalk markers. Chalkola is the perfect tool to add to your list of summer activities!
The chalkboard sign has a non-porous magnetic surface, a kickstand to easily draw your creations and a holding tray for your favorite colors. The chalk markers are xylene and odor-free, non-toxic, and eco friendly. Before using the chalk markers, you’ll want to shake them and firmly press the marker against the chalkboard until the color is activated. Once the color comes down, you’re ready to go! The markers take a few minutes to dry but if you do end up getting some on your skin or clothes, it washed off very easily.
My son spent hours drawing on the chalkboard. I even used the chalkboard to make him a birthday sign for his third birthday. If you want to get really creative with the chalk markers, you can also use them on mirrors, windows and any other non-porous surfaces. When we were finished with our creations, the clean up process was easy. You simply, wet a paper towel with water and wipe!
Be sure to message me if you’re interested in 10% off your order at Chalkola!
Water park in the Backyard
While this list is in no particular order, I had to include this one first simply because it is an iconic free summer activity. You can buy an inflatable pool, water guns, and water balloons for the perfect activity on a hot summer day. When I was a child, we even had a slip-n-slide and would create obstacle courses. If you don’t want to purchase all the fancy water gadgets, turning on the sprinklers or using a hose to ‘water the grass’ will also work, just be mindful of the water bill! Having waterplay in the backyard will not only provide your children with hours of fun, but will also tire them out so they will definitely take a nap afterward.
Making slime is very simple and only requires a few ingredients. You can add some sparkles or even make it ‘fluffy’ and it will definitely entertain your children for days. One simple recipe that I use to make slime is 8-ounces of Elmer’s glue, around 2 tablespoons of contact solution, and one tablespoon of baking soda. You can also add food coloring to spice things up. Most of these ingredients you already have in your home and you would need to leave the home. I have also seen other variations of slime recipes but I believe this one is the most simple! Be sure to store the slime in a plastic bag or another container to preserve the moisture once your children are done playing.
Make Ice Pops
This one is so fun! All you need to do is buy a ice pops mold from the store and you can create whatever ice pops flavor your heart desires. Your kids will love this because they can get really creative and design their own ice pops. I love to create ice pop mixture using some sort of juice and adding fruit. To create a creamier ice pop, you can mix in some yogurt and make more of a smoothie ice pop. A few more ideas for ice pop flavors are lemonade, various soda flavors, kool-aid, and even tea!
Fill up the bathtub with cool water and add ‘fish’! You can purchase a set of plastic marine animals and a small fish net used to get real fish out the tanks and watch your children have hours of fun all in the comfort of your home. You can even get really creative and create a storyline that your kids are on a boat and need to capture fish to eat for dinner! Or maybe they are trying to capture fish but the shark keeps eating all of the fish. Whatever you decide, your kids will definitely love this idea, and if its a really hot day, they can join the fish in the ‘ocean’ to cool down.
What better time to experiment with science than Summer when your kids are home! Many of the at-home science experiments can be done with ingredients you already have in your home. For example, to make to classic volcano experiment, all you need is baking soda and vinegar. A few more examples include oil & water, what sinks and what floats, and mixing colors. I suggest using Pinterest to find more ideas for science experiments to do with your children.
A classic game that never gets old. You can hide items around the house and tell your children to find them (this also gives you time to get your own work done). For older kids you can create a checklist or have each item they find lead them to the next item – almost like a riddle. For younger children, you can restrict the scavenger hunt to only one room and hide like items, like cars or blue toys, to make it easier for them to know what they’re looking for. Your children will spend hours running around the house searching for the items and they can even be rewarded with a prize once they find all the items.
Slumber Party in the Living Room
What child doesn’t love not sleeping in their bed? Sleepovers are fun because you get to do things you couldn’t at home. But if a friend’s home is unavailable for a sleepover, create one in your living room! Get all the blankets, pop some popcorn, and put on a great family movie. I would also recommend making a special treat to make the night even more spectacular. Enjoy being cozied up as a family and wake up the next morning and cook breakfast together.
Camp in the Backyard
Camping is definitely a summertime favorite but if you aren’t able to camp at a campground, your backyard will do just fine. Pitch your tent, start your bonfire, and grill up some delicious food. To make the experience more realistic, try not to use electronics or go indoors for things outside of using the restroom. Really make the experience as if you were out in the wilderness and not in the comfort of your own home. You can even make a challenge with your children of whoever doesn’t go inside or use electronics the longest gets a prize.
You can use plastic bottles and one of your children’s balls and enjoy some fun bowling matches. Set the bottles up at the end of the hallway and allow each person 2 chances to knock down all the bottles before it’s the next person’s turn. After their turn, you can have them put the bottles back in place for the next person. To add more of a challenge, add some water to the bottles to make them more difficult to knockdown.
There are all types of sensory bins that you can create for your children to enjoy. All you need is a plastic storage bin and whatever other ingredients you need for the sensory activity of your choice. Some examples are water beads, rice, flour, soap & water, blended soap to make foam, and vinegar & baking soda. You can add items such as plastic animals, cars, and even dolls to the sensory bin to provide your children with an occupying activity that will keep them busy during the summer.
Wash the car
What good are kids if you can’t put them to work, right? While I see washing my car at home as a chore, my son sees it as a fun activity and a way to play with water. While he’s not the best at really getting the dirt off, he definitely tries and has a fun time while doing so.
Whenever we host game night, my son, of course loves to join in on the fun. Since he is only two, he cannot comprehend most of the games we play, so instead of ignoring him, I get out his own flashcards, and he thinks he is playing with us. And if we do play a game that he can join, even better!
Teach a new chore
My son is only 2 but I have been giving him age-appropriate chores since he could walk. In my opinion, kids are never too young to begin helping out around the house. If you’re already doing a chore that your kid could possibly do, include them in it. My son loves to throw the laundry in the dryer. It actually helps me too because I don’t have to bend over and break my back to try and put my clothes in there.
Plan your next vacation
I love researching new places to travel too. It’s also fun to involve my son as well. We google images of the location and both get hyped to go there. One of the best summer activities is to plan your trip for next summer!
Work on the garden
I personally only have an orange tree in the backyard but if I did have a garden, I would involve my son to help, so he can become a mini green thumb. Having your child help with the garden is also a mini science lesson!
Lunch in the backyard
I love taking a quick walk to the park or just having lunch in the backyard. Not only does it leave a mess for me to pick up but it’s also great to get some vitamin D as well.
Cook meals together
I love involving my son when I cook because he gets to learn some vocational skills as well as help me cook dinner. Although most of the time he just ends up making a bigger mess than intended, I still enjoy that time that we bond and cook dinner together. I especially love making pizza from scratch with him! My son is a toddler so in order to help me, he grabs his step stool and I give him appropriate tasks to help with such as mixing things or sorting vegetables.
Blast your favorite tunes and bust a move. My son isn’t so big on dancing but I can get him to ‘sing’ along to the songs with me – he just makes up the words if he doesn’t know the lyrics.
Build A Fort
The kid in me loves this idea because truth be told, I still love forts. They’re great to tell stories in or have a picnic. Sometimes my son will bring his iPad in the fort to watch movies and I’ll have my laptop to work. This is one of my favorite summer activities that can be used all year round.
Agreeing on a movie is the hard part, but once you’ve accomplished that, you’re good to go. Pop some popcorn, snuggle up and enjoy the show. We usually don’t get through the movie because my son ends up falling asleep but then that’s my que to change to a movie I really want to watch.
And that concludes the summer activities to do with your kids at home. As mentioned earlier, most of them can be done with items you already have in your home or can be bought for a very low cost.
Feel free to add some of your favorite activities that you do with your children in the comments!
To read about more mom hack and summer activities, read here!