Summer break is upon us, which means many parents are scrambling to find fun and healthy summer activities for kids.
If you’re one such parent, take heart: I have some great summer activities for you that your kids are sure to love! The best part: Most are easy and free! It just takes a little creativity and a can-do mindset!
Ready to dive into summer fun? Keep reading for my top six healthy summer activities for kids!
6 Healthy Summer Activities for Kids
Here are my top recommended summer activities for kids if you’re looking for things to do in the summer. Try them out over the break and have your kids rave about the awesome summer they had!
1. Experience nature.
One of my favorite summer activities to do with my kids is to experience the great outdoors. Whether we venture out into national parks or simply spend time in our own backyard, it’s always fun and refreshing to experience nature.
Plus, research has shown that simply getting outside is great for your overall health, supporting stress reduction, vitamin D production, and focus.
In fact, research has shown that the more green space you surround yourself with, the lower your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). 
And a 2019 study revealed that when children who were diagnosed with ADHD took a 20-minute walk in nature, their symptoms improved as much as if they took prescription medication. 
So, where should you get started? Here are a few of my favorite outdoor summer activities that will get your kids excited about getting outdoors as a family.
- Go to the park.
- Play tag in the backyard.
- Go swimming.
- Go for a hike.
- Go rafting or kayaking.
- Set up a lemonade stand.
- Create art with sidewalk chalk.
- Enjoy a cold summer treat or picnic in the grass.
- Play in the sprinklers.
- Go for a bike ride.
There are many other options, but these are just a few of my favorites to do with my kids. Start here, and then chat with your kids to get their suggestions for fun outdoor summer activities they would enjoy. You may be surprised with the ideas they share.
2. Take advantage of rainy days.
While getting outside is usually preferred in the summer months, if you experience a rainy day, all isn’t lost.
In fact, there’s a popular Danish lifestyle practice, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) that promotes the benefits off enjoying the simple things in life and feeling cozy and content by surrounding yourself with comfortable, calming elements.
Doesn’t that sound perfect for a rainy day?
But what if your kids are practically “bouncing off the walls” and begging to do something stimulating? Don’t worry—I have you covered! Check out my list below of both relaxing and stimulating indoor kid-friendly summer activities.
- Read a book.
- Watch a movie.
- Bake cookies.
- Make homemade ice cream.
- Play board games.
- Have a dance party.
- Create a summer bucket list.
- Invite friends over to play indoors.
- Do crafts.
- Create artwork and share your creation.
While kids are often disappointed when they can’t play outside during the summer, these summer activities are sure keep them busy. And you can always make a plan for the next sunny day!
3. Explore locally.
When you live in the same place for a while, it’s easy to overlook some local “gems” that may intrigue or entertain your kids.
But the truth of the matter is that you can often find a whole slew of fun summer activities right outside your door.
Here are a few of my favorites.
- Visit a local children’s museum.
- Dine at a restaurant you’ve never tried.
- Go to a carnival or fair.
- Play mini-golf.
- Check out local themed camps.
- Head to a kid’s gym or indoor trampoline park.
- Go to a local water park.
Make sure to check out your local neighborhood to see what all awaits you!
4. Get out of town.
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. And if you’re able to do it, consider planning a family vacation out of town this summer.
A change of scenery can do a world of good for your stress levels, and it gives you the chance to spend some uninterrupted time with your kids.
So, what kind of summer activities await you? Here are just a few ideas:
- Go to the beach.
- Go to an amusement park.
- Go camping.
- Go shopping.
- Go on a cruise.
- Head abroad.
- Go on a road trip.
If your budget is limited, consider traveling to visit friends or family. It will provide the change you’re looking for but won’t cost as much since you’ll have free accommodations!
You can also invite friends or family along on your trip to help split the costs.
5. Learn a new hobby.
It’s important to incorporate some creative and educational summer activities into your plans over the next few months. After all, we want to keep children’s minds sharp!
Here are a few options to choose from:
- Learn a new instrument.
- Take a dance class.
- Learn to sew or knit.
- Learn to cook.
- Try a new sport.
- Teach your kids how to garden.
Ask your kids if they have any new interests and see if you can incorporate them as new hobbies to provide some fun and healthy summer activities.
6. Get artistic.
Finally, summertime is the perfect time to try to create new forms of art. Have your kids take their paint or watercolors outside and allow them to just create.
Alternatively, they younger kids can try to draw their own coloring pages, while older ones can even pick up drawing how-to books for more advanced works.
Here are a few artistic summertime activities your kids may enjoy:
- Try photography.
- Make jewelry.
- Learn how to draw.
- Learn how to paint.
- Learn pottery.
- Try origami.
Regardless of what you choose to do this summer, remember that your kids ultimately just want to spend time with you and do something they enjoy.
So, just focus on having fun and providing them with a stress-free, healthy environment where they can unwind, have fun, and create life-long memories.