Ten Weeks of Fun Summer Activities for Parents and Kids

  • 01 of 10

    Week 1: Plant a Garden With Your Kids

    A young girl enjoys working in her family's garden.
    Planting a garden with your kids is one of many fun summer activities you can enjoy. Photo courtesy of Rob n Amy C, CC license

    Summer is a busy time, and it can easily fly by before you've had a chance to enjoy some fun seasonal activities with your kids. Use this list of theme-based fun summer activities to create memories your kids will cherish for years to come. To scroll through each of the ideas, click "next" above the picture or click on one of the numbers at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, you can opt to receive each week's activity as an email by taking the free e-course Ten Weeks of...MORE Fun Summer Activities.

    This week's activity is to plant a vegetable, herb, or flower garden together. If you don't have the space for a traditional garden, consider planting cherry tomatoes and basil in pots, or participating in a local farm co-op. Participants receive fresh vegetables in exchange for volunteering for a few hours on the farm each month.

    Resources for Gardening With Your Kids:
    These how-to articles can help you decide which type of garden would best suit your needs.

    Books to Read:
    Share these books with your kids during the week to learn more about gardening.
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.
    Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Week 2: Go Strawberry Picking

    Picking strawberries together is a fun summer activity.
    Picking strawberries together is a fun summer activity. Photo courtesy of jessebezz, CC license

    This week's activity is to go strawberry picking, cherry picking, or raspberry picking with your kids. Find a pick-it-yourself-farm in your area, and have fun getting a little messy together! This is a great way to connect with children of all ages.

    Resources for Picking Fresh Fruit:
    These resources will help you choose a local farm and begin planning your fruit-picking outing.Bo...MOREoks to Read:
    Share these books with your kids during the week to learn more about how to select and bake with fresh fruits.
    • Review of
    • Best Children's Cookbooks
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.
    • Crafts You Can Make From Recycled Fruit Baskets
    • Cherry Tree Craft
    Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Week 3: Go to the Zoo Together

    Taking your kids to the zoo is another fun summer activity.
    Taking your kids to the zoo is another fun summer activity. Photo courtesy of spisharam, CC license
    This week's activity is to visit a zoo. Keep in mind that you don't have to go to a large regional zoo to have a great time. You can also visit a local wildlife sanctuary, aquarium, or petting zoo.

    Resources for Planning Your Zoo Trip:
    The first step is finding a zoo or aquarium in your area.Books to Read:
    Share these books with your kids during the week to learn more about animals.Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Week 4 : Picnic at a Local State Park

    Two young children enjoy a picnic lunch.
    Having a picnic together is another fun summer activity. Photo courtesy of AmberStrocel, CC license
    This week's activity is going on a picnic at a state park. Pack your favorite lunch and snacks, and head out the door. You'll find plenty to do for kids of every age, from hiking, to fishing, to good old fashioned playing on the jungle gym.

    Resources for Planning Your Picnic:
    Locate the nearest state park and begin planning your picnic with these resources.Books to Read:
    Share these books with your kids during the week as you explore the theme...MORE of having a picnic.
    • Accompany the Berenstain Bears on a picnic as Papa Bear tries to find just the right spot.
    • Complete each Pajama Bedtime Bear story by adding stickers.
    • Press the sound buttons while you enjoy this Strawberry Shortcake story.
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Week 5: Enjoy a Bike Ride Together

    Take your kids bike riding this summer.
    Take your kids bike riding this summer. Photo courtesy of Reggie Alvey, CC license
    This week's activity is going bike riding with your kids. You might even want to make plans to ride to a park or playground where you can have lunch as well.

    Resources for Planning Your Bike Ride:
    Books to Read:
    Visit your local library and look for these children's book on bicycle safety:

    For Young Children, Try:
    • Franklin's Bicycle Helmet by...MORE Paulette Bourgeois
    • Mind Your Manners at the Park by Arianna Candell
    For Older Children, Try:
    • Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best and Christine Davenier
    • The Mystery of the Stolen Bike by Marc Brown (This book is part of the Arthur chapter book series.)
    • Go Fly a Bike! The Ultimate Book of Bicycle Fun, Freedom, and Science by Bill Haduch
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.
    • Decorate Your Bikes
    • Bike Helmet Craft
    Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Week 6: Go Swimming Together

    A baby boy enjoys his first dip in the pool.
    Swimming is another favorite pastime in the summer. Photo courtesy of chimothy27, CC license

    This week's activity is to go swimming together. This is always a favorite summertime activity, but it's not always one with do with our kids. This week, make plans to head out to a local community pool together.


    Resources for Swimming With Your Kids:
    Here are some safety reminders and fun resources to help you prepare for this week's outing.
    • Swim Lessons for Kids
    • Video: Children and Water Safety
    • Water Toys Your Kids Will Love
    • Water Games and Activities
    Books to Read:
    Share these books with...MORE your kids during the week to learn more about swimming.
    • by Jack Prelutsky
    • Swimming Lessons with Stewie the Duck
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Week 7: Take Your Kids Fishing

    A young boy goes fishing with his dad.
    Fishing is another fun summer activity for kids. Photo courtesy of thefixer, CC license

    This week's activity is taking your kids fishing! It might sound at first like an activity that's "out of your comfort zone," but really it's not that tough. Just bring rubber gloves if you need to, for handling any fish your kids catch. That makes it a lot easier to remove the fish hooks from their mouths!

    Resources for Going Fishing:
    Begin to plan your fishing adventure with these resources.
    • How to Take Your Kids Fishing
    • How to Filet a Fish
    Books to Read:
    Share these books with...MORE your kids during the week to learn more about fishing.Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Week 8: Enjoy a Beach Day!

    A girl builds a sandcastle at the beach.
    Take your kids to the beach for a day and build sandcastles together. Photo courtesy of Michael Newton, CC license

    This week's activity is having a beach day! Now, you might have to get creative with this activity if you don't live near a body of water. Keep in mind, though, that any lake or river can become your "beach" area! You don't have o live near an ocean to take advantage of this activity.

    Resources for Going to the Beach:
    Begin to plan your beach adventure with these resources.
    • Beach Games for Kids
    • Water Safety for Your Children
    • Best Sunscreen for Kids
    Books to Read:
    Share these books...MORE with your kids during the week to learn more about the beach.
    • Flotsam by David Wiesner
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    • "Octopus Sandwiches"
    • Fruit Cone Recipe
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Week 9: Go Camping Together

    A father takes his young daughter camping in a tent.
    A father takes his young daughter camping in a tent. Photo courtesy of Sommer Poquette, CC license
    This week's activity is to go camping! Don't worry if you've never done this before. It's really not that hard, and if you'd prefer to "camp" out in your own backyard, or on the living room floor, that's okay, too. Your kids will still have a blast!

    Resources for Planning Your Camping Trip:
    Begin to plan your camping adventure with these resources.
    • Find a Campground
    • Camping on a Budget
    • Camping Checklist
    Books to Read:
    Share these books with your kids during the week to...MORE learn more about camping.Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!
    • Camping Recipes
    • Camping Recipes for Kids
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Day 10: Go to an Amusement Park Together

    Kids throw their hands up as they ride a roller coaster.
    Take your kids to an amusement park this summer and ride the roller coasters. Photo courtesy of sanbeiji, CC license

    This week's activity is going on an amusement park. Regardless of how young or old your children are, this will make a great finale to your series of memorable summer activities.

    Resources for Planning Your Trip:
    Locate the nearest amusement park and begin planning your outing with these resources.Books to Read:
    Share these books with your kids during the week to learn more about amusement...MORE parks.
    • Top Roller Coaster Books
    Related Crafts:
    Plan to do one of these craft activities, too, as you explore this week's theme.
    • Roller Coaster Day Craft Ideas
    Corresponding Meals and Snacks:
    Finally, plan at least one meal or snack this week that also relates to the theme. This makes everything you're learning together even more fun!