20 old-school ways for kids to enjoy summer

This post contains editorial samples and/or affiliate links to products I recommend. While this adds no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission on any sales made.

Summer’s here and not everyone has plans to travel to a new city or popular theme park perhaps because of work commitments, financial constraints or family situations.

As a parent/caregiver you need to remember your child doesn’t need to travel miles away to have a memory-filled summer. If we just take it back old-school, I promise you they will have a summer packed with good, old fashioned fun.

And no electronic entertainment of any sort features on this list!

20 old-school ways to enjoy summer- MommySnippets.com

20 old-school ways for kids to enjoy summer

1. Break out the sidewalk chalk and send the kids outside to create chalk masterpieces and/or play Tic-Tac-Toe.


2. Get the kids to wear their swimsuits and then send them out into the backyard. Turn on the water hose, hand it over and watch them tear across the grass, chasing each other with the same, squealing with joy! You can also turn on the sprinkler, put on some music and have the kids dance through it. Oh, and if you have water balloons on hand, announce a water balloon war!

3. Take the game of tag to the next level, with dodge tag.


4. Grab a bunch of bed-sheets, pillows and a few chairs. Drape the sheets over the chairs to create a mini fortress for the kids. Another option is to give them over-sized cardboard boxes and ask them to design mini cardboard homes.

5. Have the kids help you make homemade popsicles. Encourage them to think of new flavor combinations and create a new flavor every week.


6. Bring out the watercolor paints, hang up large sheets of white paper on your backyard fence, hand over the paintbrushes and encourage the kids to get wildly creative.

7. Have jump rope contests to see who can jump rope the longest.

8. Play games that can be played both indoor and outdoor, like popout darts.


9. Make a hopscotch pad with sidewalk chalk and play hopscotch.

10. Head out to the nearest park for a few hours of fun on the swings and slides.


11. Play outdoor, “get active” games with the neighborhood kids like Duck, Duck, Goose, and Red Light-Green Light.

12. For some dining and entertaining fun, have a picnic at the local park with friends or just take out a picnic blanket to the backyard and enjoy the hot and chilled treats out of your insulated picnic tote(Don’t forget those mesh food tents to keep out interested bugs and hungry flies!)


13. Get out the bikes, trike and manual scooters, and take a ride around the neighborhood.

14. Have fun in the sun, with bubbles!


15.  Invite the kids into the kitchen and have them help you whip up thirst-quenching beverages like fresh watermelon juice and this simple lemon-infused water that’s so refreshing when served chilled, straight out of the water pitcher.


16. Make fun crafts like toilet paper roll bird feeders (Smear peanut butter and honey on an empty toilet paper roll and roll it in bird seeds. Once done, hang it on the fence with yarn and a push-pin tack)


17. Get out the hula-hoops and have a neighborhood hula hoop competition to see who can hula-hoop the longest.

18. Get the kids to sit out in the backyard on comfy beach chairs and identify various cloud shapes. (If it’s a tad bit sunny, like it is here in Texas, make sure your child is well shaded under a beach umbrella.)


19. Remember “Lets Go Fly A Kite” in Mary Poppins? Well, take the kids and go fly a kite!


20. If you stay driving distance away from the beach, head on over during the cooler parts of the day and watch the kids shriek with glee as the waves chase them. Don’t forget those beach toys!

There are 15 oldie-goldie, fun and free activities your kids can enjoy while at the beach.


Do you have any old-school summer fun ideas to add?



  1. Kite flying is definitley something I would like to do with my boys this summer.

  2. Ahhh! The simple life! I love getting back to my youth, and getting OUT of the house! great list!

  3. I used to love buckets of water and a paintbrush on the patio. It dries and you can have a whole new photo!

  4. This is a great round up of activities for the summer. I will be making those mango milk Popsicle!

  5. We love sidewalk chalk at our house and those popsicles looks so yummy! Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. We used to play frisbee tag in the summer a lot and that was super fun. I still like playing frisbee!

  7. This post makes me want to come over and play at your house everyday! Such cute ideas and those Mango Milk pops look delicious!

  8. Those popsicles look delicious! My kids used to love pulling out the sidewalk chalk and drawing on the sidewalk and the driveway.

  9. Thanks for reminding me that I do have a ton of sidewalk chalk for my kids to play with.

  10. Bubbles are so much fun for kids in the summer, and so is sidewalk chalk! We live in driving distance from the beach so we like to take a picnic there and play in the waves. Those mango milk popsicles look so good!

  11. I’m loving that World Market picnic basket! My son loves blowing bubbles. I also just bought a box of 48 large sidewalk chalk (the chalk is huge!)

  12. Thanks for all of the great ideas, as the days continue, I’ll remember to look back for ideas. I don’t want them to be bored all the time watching TV.

  13. I love these suggestions. We don’t travel for vacations so we’ll definitely be using these.

  14. Love making bubbles for old school summer fun. And catching lightening bugs/fire flys.

  15. Bubbles and sidewalk chalk are staples in our house all the time. For the summer we have lawn games and thankfully, a pool. That is, when I get the new liner in the mail!

  16. This makes me wish for my old childhood days. Homemade popsicles and DODGE TAG? Score!

  17. We don’t have any travel plans for the summer, so my kids will be old-schooling it. thanks for the tips

  18. I think these old school activities are best. You never really tire of any of them.

  19. These are great ideas and all sound like fun. I sure need things to keep my son busy during summer because he gets bored so easy. Thanks for sharing.

  20. So many great activities that i remember taking part in as a child! I miss the side walk chalk and kite flying! I’ll have to get out there will my nephew and do them again!

  21. Oh, flying a kite was one of my favorite activities as a kid!

  22. Those are some great ideas and I really love that sidewalk chalk. My kids can stay there for hours doing that alone. 🙂

  23. Wow does that list bring back some memories! Hopscotch and jumprope and jacks were the thing!

  24. What great ideas. I know when we were young we would chase helicopters off the tree’s …do eggs on spoon’s games. Yep I just dated myself haha. Great giveaway and great list!

  25. These are some of our family favorite things to do. Nothing wrong with old school.

  26. I think we still utilize almost every single one of those old school ways to enjoy summer! Especially the hose and water on a hot day!

  27. I love doing “old school” activities with my kids. Our current favorites are catching fire flies and playing with chalk.

  28. All of these are great ideas…I want to make homemade Popsicles and hula hoop now!

  29. My kids love playing hop scotch and jumping rope. They also love there chalk and playing tag.

  30. Great ideas! my kids love chalk and kite flying so will will be doing a lot of this.I will makes sure we try to do everything from this list.

  31. Some of those games were the best! Mother May I! Simoni Says! And scavenger hunts!

    1. Oh yes! The kids love Mother May I esp when out playing with the neighborhood kids.

  32. All of these fun ways to have fun in the summer, brought back memories of a simply time. When you said I’m going outside to play, that is exactly what you did do. My favorites are Blowing Bubbles, and using Chalk on concrete to play Hopscoth. Thanks for this post.

  33. It is so refreshing to see all of these fun outdoor activities. I swear the kids in our neighborhood sit in front of the TV or on their other electronic devices all summer. I spend more time outside than they do!

  34. We’ve already done the bird seed toilet paper rolls this year. I love the mango popsicles!

  35. We love doing so many of those! We also love to try different experiments- mentos in soda, baking soda/vinegar eruptions (varying combinations of ingredients), etc. Laying in the hammock is a favorite as well!!

  36. Ahh! This takes me back. I remember playing night games – you know, old fashioned stuff like Ghost in the Graveyard. We would get together every night for this. It was so much fun!! Thanks for a fun post and great reminder that media, digital use, etc are not necessary!

  37. We did 19 out of 20 of these fun things when we were kids, my 7 siblings and me. Yes, we are a big family and we didn’t have expensive toys. You gave me a new activity to do – making toilet paper roll bird seed feeders. Thanks!

    I did these fun activities with my kids too and now with my 2 granddaughters.
    We also made cardboard playhouses or forts from the big boxes a new large appliance came in. So much fun!
    Another thing I remember is blowing on the dandelion puffs to make wishes. We didn’t know we were spreading the seeds for more weeds. 🙁
    Thanks for taking me down my happy, carefree memory lane. 🙂

  38. What a great post filled with summer fun for all the family. I just love activities for the children! Hope you have a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  39. We almost always have sidewalk chalk out! My boys can’t get enough of it.

  40. I love when my kids do old school activities. Kids belong outdoors playing!

  41. Old school is the best way to play it means quality time. Thank you for sharing and being old school.

  42. Lots of great ideas, including lots of things we’ve done already this summer. Digging for bugs is also a favourite pastime.

Comments are closed.