Engage WashU Community Work-Life Family Care Child Care

21 Fun Summer Activities to Do with Your Kids

Find some fun (and maybe new) activities in the St. Louis region to do or visit with your family this summer.

  1. Make ice cream. There isn’t a kid (or parent) in the world who would refuse ice cream on a hot summer day. This is a great kids’ activity which parents can easily monitor. Here’s a great guide on creating your very own vanilla ice cream. No ice cream maker? No problem– make it in a plastic bag!
  2. Backyard camping. Your kids may be too small to go camping at a campsite or park, but why not start in the backyard?
  3. Backyard stargazing. Put out a few blankets and lie down in your backyard, and gaze upon the stars. Show your kids how to locate Orion’s Belt and many other stars. Here’s a great stargazing guide.
  4. Check out the local county fair. Most major cities will have some sort of carnival or county fair which will definitely delight your kids. Try the St. Charles County Fair, the Jefferson County Fair or the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, MO.
  5. Kids science experiments. If your kids want to stay indoors, no problem – increase their brain power and curiosity with these awesome fun and easy science experiments for kids!
  6. Sidewalk foam paint. There are other creative ways to write on your sidewalk! You and your kids can make some perfectly harmless foam paint. Click here for a creative and fun DIY foam activity to have some fun with your kids.
  7. Homemade Playdough. This can be done in less than 10 minutes and is very easy to make. Check out this recipe from a fellow mother on how to make colorful playdough with your kiddos.
  8. Build a fort or tent. Take an afternoon and push your couches close together. Drape them with blankets or sheets and eat a snack or play a game under your fort or tent!
  9. Play hide and seek in the dark. Mix up plain old hide and seek with hide and seek in the dark! Black out your windows and prep areas that may be hazardous. It certainly makes for great entertainment!
  10. Write in shaving cream. This may get messy, but what a fun way to write! If you’re prepared for the mess, have your kids practice their ABCs. You can go outside in the sunshine!
  11. Paint rocks. Are you one with rocks everywhere in your yard or nearby? Have fun painting faces or designs on rocks with your kids. You could use these as door stoppers or paper weights!
  12. Balloon tennis. Using paper plates, paint stirrers, and air-blown balloons, you can easily make this fun summer kids’ activity for the outside. You could also play this inside since you are hitting a balloon!
  13. Homemade water blob. Using plastic sheeting and duct tape, you can create your very own water blob! This mom warns that there will be leaking, but that it only adds to the fun and gives it more of a splash!
  14. Glow in the dark Mason jar. With this how-to, you can make believe with this glow in the dark jar! You can capture fairies or even use it as a night light. The results are radiant!
  15. Water bag piñata. Have a blast busting this piñata. The only exception? It’s filled with water! Let your kids have fun filling it up with water and then hitting it to feel the homemade waterfall!
  16. DIY sponge balls. This is a fantastic homemade game or yard toss. Buy some fun looking sponges or make your own! Drench them in water and soap and get ready to be soaked in the hot summer fun!  
  17. Berry picking. Now is the time to indulge in the season! From strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, to blackberries, there are places in your state that will let you pick them for free or for a small entrance fee.
  18. Take an early morning/late night walk. Right when you wake up, take a walk while pushing your kids, before the real heat begins. You could also do a pajama walk right before bed. Either way, you kids will be relaxed on this awesome summer activity!
  19. Color changing flowers. Obtain glasses to hold one flower at a time. After pouring them half full of water, put a couple drops of different dye colors in each. Each glass should have a white flower inside. Slowly, they will begin to change!
  20. Make a video. Use your phone to have your kids video record the summer-y nature outside with commentary, conduct talk shows outside, or be actors and actresses. It can be an amusing memory to look back on one day.
  21. Take them on a tour of WashU’s Danforth Campus. Show them the campus and get to know the history. The Office of Sustainability also offers virtual tours of all of the campus’ tree.

Find additional ideas through Explore St. Louis and visit the Family Care Hub for additional child care or adult care resources.