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10 At-Home Summer Activities for Kids

Where did the spring go? I don’t know about all of you, but for us, spring has flown by with each day looking similar to the last and weeks bleeding together. Summer tends to go by in a flash too, but often because kids are enrolled in sports and classes and having sleepovers and all sorts of summer fun! While things seem to slowly be opening up again in Wisconsin, this summer will likely look very different than most. But fear not, we’ve compiled a list of ways for kids to stay busy this summer. Hopefully you won’t be hearing “I’m bored” at all over these next few months!

1. Write letters Letter writing seems to be a lost art these days – there are so many other ways to communicate instantly. But if you’re trying to limit screen time this summer, find ways to get your kids into letter writing! Whether they choose one of their friends to become pen pals with, or they send letters to nursing homes and deployed soldiers, there is always someone in need of a day-maker card or letter! Plus, if the weather is nice, this is an activity you can easily take outside!

2. Cooking and baking

We made a list a few weeks ago of a few of the wonderful restaurants in Madison that are offering takeout, but on the days that you’re not grabbing takeout, involve your kids in the cooking or baking process! Once they’ve got a recipe down, get out the camera and they can create their own cooking show!

3. Camp in the back yard

Did anyone else do this as a kid? Even if you’re not heading to a campground, putting up a tent in the back yard and roasting marshmallows, reading stories, and stargazing can be just as fun!

4. Play board games & yard games

There are board games and card games for all ages and they're a great way to keep kids occupied and sharpen their minds at the same time. When the weather is nice this summer you can take the games outside, or dust off your cornhole, croquet and bocce ball sets!

5. Plant a garden

Sometimes gardening can fall to the bottom of the to-do list when you’re busy with summer activities, but now that we have a little more time on our hands, this is a great time to get that garden started and involve the kids! Let them pick out plants and familiarize themselves with which plants work well in which areas!

6. Homemade fun

No matter your children’s interests, there is a homemade activity for that! Try making a homemade piñata, slime, friendship bracelets, bubbles, origami, a toothpick bridge, tie-dye T-shirts, or play-dough!

7. Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk

There is so much fun to be had right on your own driveway or sidewalk! A mural, tracing, tic-tac-toe, hopscotch…the possibilities are endless!

8. Build a fort

Didn’t we all do this as kids? Round up your extra sheets, blankets, tables and chairs and make the biggest and best fort you can! Throw in some twinkle lights, a bowl of popcorn, and make a little window so you can see the TV, and you’ve got yourself a fun movie night!

9. Make a time capsule

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that our kids and grandkids will be reading about 2020 in the history books. Round up things that represent this year and throw them in a time capsule to be opened up years down the road!

10. Walk, bike, rollerblade

Odds are that the activities kids would’ve been enrolled in this summer involve some sort of physical activity, so it’s important that kids continue getting in some sort of activity even when their events and classes are cancelled. Whether it’s walking the dog, going on a bike ride, or rollerblading through the neighborhood, summer is a great time to get outside and get moving!

This isn’t how any of us envisioned the summer looking, but fortunately there are still plenty of ways to stay busy and active all summer long. It might even be a nice break from being on the go! Fingers crossed for a nice, warm Wisconsin summer!

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