10 summer activities with kids that are actually fun

10 summer activities with kids that are actually fun parent child friendly

I always have fairly ambitious ideas at the beginning of summer. As soon as the t-shirt weather comes out my mind starts buzzing with potential activities to make the most of the sun. But generally, by the end of the summer, I've barely covered half the list. So, this is my attempt to plan out some legit ideas of what I'd love to try this summer. Feel free to pinch some!

Ice blocking fun summer activity with kids

Ice blocking is basically sledging but in the summer; what could possibly go wrong! Essentially you have to freeze a block of ice (some people use rope and freeze handles into their block!), put a tea towel over the ice, sit on it and then slide down a hill. Is calling this 'genius' too much???

EQUIPMENT: A freezer and water

BEST WEATHER: Warm so your butt doesn't freeze

BEST LOCATION: A hill with SHORT grass (long grass will slow you down)

FUN TWIST: Try jumping over the people whizzing down the hill

water balloon fun summer activities with children

Water balloon catapults are in the top 10 best inventions of all time. The potential variations of games you can play with this are endless. It's best if you have a few people to play with, then you can launch the water balloons into the sky whilst others try and get them to burst on their bodies (10 points for a headshot!). Don't launch them too high if you're playing with really little kids or tears/tantrums will be inevitable.

EQUIPMENT: Water balloon catapult! and water balloons

BEST WEATHER: The warmer the better (or just wear warm clothes)

BEST LOCATION: A big open field (preferably without anyone else in it)

FUN TWIST: Give everyone a tea towel or a pillowcase to try and catch the balloons without them bursting for bonus points.

paddleboarding fun summer activity with children

Even the most hyperactive child seems to experience the calming effect of being on a paddleboard, it's the perfect microadventure and creates a great focus for a beach trip. It's really important if they can't swim to get a kids lifejacket

EQUIPMENT: Paddleboard and kids lifejacket

BEST WEATHER: Any weather but is best on calm waters

BEST LOCATION: Any body of water (sea, lake....swimming pool?)

FUN TWIST: Take a snorkelling mask with you so you can look underwater.

wild camping fun things to do with kids in summer vacation

Not much beats waking up on the beach or in the middle of a forest. This is the perfect way to build memorable times with your kids and inspire a love of the outdoors in them, although there is the potential that you'll get little to no sleep if they're young. Campfire and hot chocolate for breakfast/midnight snack? Yes please!

EQUIPMENT: A nice warm sleeping bag and ground mat (tent and other camping gear optional)

BEST WEATHER: Rain-free and relatively warm

BEST LOCATION: Anywhere that you're not going to get told off for doing it!

FUN TWIST: Take some glow in the dark wrist bands and play wide games in the dark before tucking into your sleeping bag for the night.

slip n slide fun activity for summer holiday with children

Slip'n'slide is always an insane amount of fun, throwing some inflatables of various shapes and sizes into the mix always makes for even more thrilling slides. It's best to find the smoothest surface possible as bumps get really accentuated on slip'n'slide, I found that out the hard way. Once you've found a decent surface just cover yourself in baby oil and slide to your heart's content!

EQUIPMENT: About 4m wide by as long as possible plastic sheeting and LOTS of baby oil

BEST WEATHER: Hot and sunny

BEST LOCATION: A smooth slope, bumpy means you bounce too much and hurt yourself

FUN TWIST: Build a ramp at the end into the sea or a lake.

paint fight fun summer activities with kids

If you want to put a fun and messy spin on a  water fight then get some water-based paint, mix it with water in a bucket and let the paint war begin. If you want to make it a war then get two buckets and use two different colours, whichever team has the least paint on them at the end wins!

EQUIPMENT: Water-based paint and water pistols!

BEST WEATHER: The warmer the better

BEST LOCATION: Somewhere that passersby aren't going to get sprayed

FUN TWIST: Fill some water balloons up with paint to act as paint grenades.

inflatables on the river with kids

Inflatables on a river, what more do I need to say?! Yippeeeeee!

EQUIPMENT: Inflatable unicorn!


BEST LOCATION: .... a river?

FUN TWIST: Get a load of inflatables and have a race.

skim board with children

If you're planning some trips to the beach this summer then skimboarding is a super fun activity to introduce your kid to. It's a bit tricky so definitely watch some videos beforehand to get some inspiration. If you're not going to make it to the beach then why not introduce your kid to skateboarding, its a great way to practice board sports wherever you are.

EQUIPMENT: skimboard or skateboard


BEST LOCATION: Anywhere you can find shallow water, the beach is the best though (or anywhere for skateboarding)

FUN TWIST: Find a wet muddy hill and try skimboarding down it.

how to make a water blob activity for kids

Water Blobs are such a great activity for the garden/yard, but they do take a little bit of preparation work. You'll need to buy some plastic sheeting that's 4 mm thick. You then have to fold it over and melt the edges together about 4 inches in so you create a giant pocket, leave a hole big enough to fit a hose in (and some colouring if you want to make it look really blue). After filling it up with water (or coloured water) just gaffer tape the hole shut and let the water blob fun begin.

EQUIPMENT: 4 mm thick plastic sheeting.

BEST WEATHER: hot and sunny

BEST LOCATION: a garden/yard

FUN TWIST: Fill it with warm water and then camp out on it for the night.

how to build pebble towers cairn with kids summer activitiy

This is a calmer activity, but still really fun. There are so many different challenges you can build into this activity. Who can build the highest? Can you knock yours over from 10 metres away by throwing rocks at it? Who can use the most stones? Can you build an arch? The list goes on...

EQUIPMENT: ....pebbles?


BEST LOCATION: The beach or pebbly lakes/river

FUN TWIST: Try and make an arch with the pebbles that stays up by itself.

If any of these ideas float your boat then use the hashtag #riverrascal to share your snaps of the activity, we'd be chuffed to see them!

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