Creative Activity Ideas to Keep Kids Having Fun Over Summer

Posted 4 weeks ago by Justin Smith

Engaging summer camp and activity ideas for kids

The days are getting warmer, the kids are getting antsier, and summer vacation is on the horizon. Maybe you’re sending your kids to summer camp, maybe not, but either way, they are going to be craving activities and games to keep their hands busy and minds sharp! If you are at a loss for developing activities or looking for fresh new ideas, look no further!  Check out these fun and different summer camp activity ideas for a new spin on summer vacation.

Cool Off & Play!

With the summer heat comes the need for water activities.  If you have access to a beach, lake, or even just a pool, there are the obvious water activities like swimming, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and so forth, but there are also a ton of different water games you can play with your kids, even without a body of water!

  • Water Balloon Hot Potato– Pass the water balloon around while the music plays, and when it stops, the person holding the balloon squeezes it over the head of the player on their left! You could change up the rules here, too. For example, whoever has it when the music stops could pick a person’s head to break it over, or, they could have to pop it over their own head. Perfect for a hot day!
  • Drip, Drip, Splash- Played just like Duck, Duck, Goose, the camper who is “it” will hold a cup of water and drip it on the other players, sitting in a circle. Whoever they choose to chase them will get the whole cup dumped on their head. Refreshing!
  • Water Balloon Relay– Split kids up into partners or into larger groups, depending on the size of your group. Each group or partner pair will have a bucket filled with water balloons. Place an empty bucket about 15 feet away. The players must go two at a time from their bucket to the next, holding a water balloon between their backs. If the balloon breaks or drops, the pair must go back and start again. It is a relay race, so once the balloon is dropped in the bucket, the next pair can go. Set a timer or play a song, and whatever team has the most balloons in their bucket by the end wins!

Craft & Play!

You can’t have summer camp without arts and crafts, but you can have arts and crafts without summer camp! With simple items you probably already have laying around the house, you can start crafting in no time.

  • Flower Petal Stained Glass– I love this one because it’s kid art that you actually will want to hang in your home. Take the kids gallavanting through fields, gardens, or even just your backyard, picking flowers and pretty foliage as you go. Arrange petals from the flowers on pieces of clear contact paper.  Put a little glue on the paper/petals to keep them in place.  Then, place another sheet of clear contact paper on top.  That’s it! Hang them in your windows to see the sunlight shine through. You could also laminate them to improve durability.
  • Craft Stick Dolls- Remember paper dolls? I feel like this is kind of similar, but in a DIY way.  Get a bunch of craft sticks (large popsicle sticks) and let your kids or campers create their own little stick people.  The more supplies you have, the better! Googly eyes, spare buttons, markers, paint, stickers, all can be used to create outfits and silly faces for your stick dolls!
  • Cardboard Castle– Who needs a dollhouse when you can create your own castle? Using shoeboxes or shipping boxes, toilet paper rolls, glue, scissors, and whatever else you have laying around, your kiddos can make their own mansion. Make sure to help them with the cutting, but they will love being able to decorate, paint, and draw on their designed home!