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Summer break has just begun, and many of us moms are already done with the whining.

Even if you have a strict policy eliminating the words “I’m bored” from your household vocabulary, they just say it in other ways.

(Usually picking fights with each other or bouncing off of the walls.)

You need to put that restless energy to good use!  Sometimes, all it takes is a suggestion or two about what to do when you’re bored.

Here are some good starting points.

The Best Backyard Activities Your Kids Will Love

outside activities for kids, fun outside activities for kids, outside activities for kids with no equipment, outside activities for kids summerFor my birthday last year, I got one of those hammock swings you can hang from a tree or a porch (or a stand, probably).  

Man did I underestimate how much I would love that thing.

The baby and I gently swing in it while the kids run and play in the backyard.  It’s ah-mazing.

Sometimes going outside feels a little like a chore, when you have to watch all the kids.  But somehow, that comfy swing makes outside time feel like a treat.

So what are those kids so busy running around doing?  Well…

Scavenger Hunts

Why not send the kids on a fun scavenger hunt?

Here’s one that (bonus!) also teaches them about kindness.

Or try this fun family game you can totally do at home.

Just Add Water

If it’s warm enough, a good old water gun or water balloon fight might be perfect for keep them busy.

Go fishing!

Or try a bath.  Yes, just for fun in the middle of the day.  Bubbles and toys…what kid wouldn’t want to sit and play for an hour?

Obstacle Course

Double perfect if you have the kids both set the course up AND run through it.  (See if you can beat your best time!)

Crawl under:

  • chairs
  • tables
  • A stick, limbo style

Jump over or balance across:

  • A stretched out jump rope
  • A board
  • small stools

Child boy climbing a tree in a forest.

Run through, football training style:

  • Hula hoops
  • Taped up pool noodles
  • Old tires

Run zigzags

  • Set up boxes or rocks to run through
  • Make a pattern using string or jump ropes to run around

Target Practice

Print out targets for kids to hit with Nerf guns, water balloons, a slingshot, a ball, or whatever you’ve got on hand.

These printable targets make a great challenge.

Kids can also try to knock down things you have on hand: 

  • Stack up cups 
  • Put army guys or other toys in different locations for kids to spot and hit
  • Cans or bottles can be balanced along a fence or table


Send kids off to take pictures of things with their camera.

Have them look for the alphabet.  For instance:

Looks like a letter F.

Is the letter T.

Or why not have them take pictures of all the birds they see?

Have them look for different shapes.

But let’s be honest, most of the time kids are happy as clams just to take pictures of anything.

Older kids might enjoy writing a play and taking a video of it.


If you have outdoor space, send them outside with a ball and let them play.

Cornhole is fun if you have room for it.  You could even play in a garage or basement.

Chore Time

Now, I’m a huge fan of making kids pitch in around the house.

Not only will a good old fashioned chore chart make your house cleaner…it will also make your kids appreciate their free time more.

But you probably shouldn’t turn them into Cinderella.  😉

More Cheap Ideas

Try anything on this list of 101 Fun Activities for Kids.

These ideas will keep your kids busy for a long time.

Remember, Mama.  This, too, shall pass.

How do you keep your kids busy?

outside activities for kids, fun outside activities for kids, outside activities for kids with no equipment, outside activities for kids summer