It’s that time of year, the time where parents start wondering how to keep the kids busy in the summer.
For many this year, the day camps and sports are cancelled.
You can still make it an awesome summer with these backyard summer activities.
They’d be perfect on their own or as part of your own backyard summer camp.
This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure for more details.
Hot summer days are perfect for squirt guns and other water play ideas. But these fun ideas will have the kids saying it was the best summer yet.
Backyard Summer Activities for Kids
Build a Shelter — Blanket forts are always fun indoors on a rainy day. What about challenging your child to build a shelter in the backyard?
Mud Painting — Let the kids get artistic outside with their very own paint, made with mud. The texture is perfect for finger painting or using brushes as they express their creativity.
DIY Water Sprinklers — Water play is twice as fun when you create your own sprinkler for the backyard. Discover how an empty plastic bottle or pool noodles can be used to help kids cool off on a hot day.
Sponge Water Bombs — Love water balloons but not the pick up afterwards? Use some cheap kitchen sponges to create your own water bombs that can be used over and over again.
Mobile Mud Pit — Turn a wheelbarrow or wagon into a messy play area that can easily be moved when play time is over.
Water Wall — Keep toddlers and preschoolers busy for hours with their very own water wall, made from recyclables. Keep older kids busy by having them design and engineer the water wall.
DIY Water Slide — Keep the kids entertained for hours with this homemade slip and slide.
Nerf Gun Battle Field — Wood pallets and old tires make great obstacles to hide behind and shoot around for an epic Nerf gun fight your kids will remember. When they’re finished, it’s easy to move and store out of the way until the next battle day.
Water Balloon Activities — Go beyond the classic balloon fight. With these game and race ideas, kids of all ages will have fun. And with the new self-sealing water balloons you’ll be sure to have plenty filled for everyone in record time.
Water Blob — Create a marvelous sensory experience for toddlers and preschoolers with this idea. They’ll have fun squishing and plopping on the water blob, while staying mostly dry.
Backyard Coding Game — In this game, one person acts as the Programmer and everyone else is a Computer. Level 1 starts off similar to Simon Says, with the “computers” copying what the “programmer” does. With 4 levels of difficulty, this coding game is great for a variety of ages.
DIY American NInja Warrier Course — PVC pipes, wood pallets, and other inexpensive items are perfect for designing your very own ninja-style obstacle course. And once the kids are finished, it can easily be taken apart and stored for another day.
Backyard Movie Night — Make a super simple outdoor movie screen and watch your favorite family movie on a projector under the stars. Make it even more special with buckets of popcorn and a cuddly place for the kids to sit. (An air matress is perfect!)
Make Ice Cream in a Bag — Perfect for all ages. Just add the ingredients and have the shake their bag until their sweet treat is ready to eat.
Cook and Eat Outside — Cook a meal with the kids outside. Instead of just using the grill, try making tin foil dinners on a small fire. You could also make cheese quesadillas on a tin can stove or make a homemade solar oven to cook lunch.
Catch Fireflies — Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, kids will love this classic summer pasttime. No fireflies where you live? Try making your own light up firefly craft.
Outdoor Games — There are so many fun games to play outside. Teach the kids classics like Kick the Can and learn some new ones, too, with this list of over 30 games to play in your backyard.
More Backyard Games
These fun backyard summer activities will ensure kids have fun even if all their usual activiites are closed.
You may also like these ideas: