Add these fun, free, and kid-approved inside summer activities to beat the hot summer sun. From easy kitchen science to cool spots around town, be sure to have this list handy for the hottest days of the year!
Inside Summer Activities to Beat the Heat
Have ideas that aren’t included? Be sure to add them in the comments so we can add them to this list!
Around the House
- Build a pillow fort in the living room (or you could also make a cardboard box fort if you have a billion Amazon boxes lying around).
- Make paper puppets and put on a show. Little kids LOVE this fun beat-the-heat summer idea.
- Create a craft project with objects you have lying around the house. This is one of the easiest inside summer activities to do with all ages of kids.
- Have a board game tournament with one of these family board games that don’t stink. Better yet, make a silly family game night trophy with what’s lying around the house and THEN have a board game tourney!
- Put together a movie marathon with a special craft and popcorn. Here are ideas for:
- Watch origami videos on YouTube or whip up these fun origami hearts.
- Let the kids raid your closets and put on a fashion show.
- Have a shadow puppet show. Here’s how to make shadow puppets.
- Make a birdhouse or bird feeder out of items in your house. Use a toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and birdseed.
- Paint rocks and hide them in the neighborhood in the evening when it’s cooler.
- Build a house of cards (and knock them down).
- Stack up the pillows and burn off energy by practicing gymnastics and tumbling in the living room or family room (any wide open space).
In-Home Sensory and STEM Fun
- Make slime and let them use their toys in it (plastics easily wash). A couple of our favorites:
- Whip up a batch of oobleck or goop.
- Start and watch the amazing changes of this color-changing carnations experiment.
- Set up a fun, erupting toy wash (vinegar and baking soda for the win)!
- Let the kids help make a sensory bin. Here are ideas for:
In the Kitchen
- Have ice cream for dinner (or lunch). Better yet, set up a build-your-own ice cream bar.
- If you have little unicorn fans, pick one of these unicorn recipes to make together. It’s a special summer activity the kids won’t forget anytime soon!
- Make the easiest, tastiest yogurt pops using cups.
- If you’re looking for something a little healthier, try making a quick batch of these peanut butter energy bites.
- Whip up a batch of this amazing strawberry lemonade.
- Create a new recipe with food you have in the pantry.
- Make ice cream.
- Have the kids make their own batch of homemade fruit roll-ups (they are so ridiculously easy).
- Get the kids involved in fun and healthy breakfasts. Start with these quick, easy, and healthy smoothies:
Fun About Town (Inside Summer Activities)
- Find out if your local movie theater offers any summer deals on matinees (not free, but sometimes they have $1 shows in the summer). There are also free movies in the park’s recreation buildings (so much fun)!
- Volunteer your time at a local charity.
- Take a free kid’s workshop at a store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Also, check out craft store sessions – often, they will host classes for free!
- Grab a new book from the library.
- Go on a free factory tour. We’ve toured chocolate factories and some fun tech and aerospace stuff in our city (Seattle). Go figure that everyone liked the chocolate factory tours the most!
- Visit a nursing home and visit with the residents.
- Take advantage of the free summer programming your library offers.
- Visit your local bookstore for a free reading.
- Go to a flea market or swap meet. It’s so neat to discover what kids call ‘valuable’ finds.
Some Preparation Required
- Sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program and take in a game or two of bowling.
- Check to see if any local museums offer a free day and enjoy art, science, or nature in an air-conditioned museum.
- Join a summer reading challenge.
- Get your kids some pen pals by asking for addresses of your friend’s kids or ask about deployed soldiers from your town. Then, spend the day writing letters or postcards.
Over to You
What are your favorite beat-the-heat inside summer activities? Drop them below and we’ll add them to the ever-growing list!
Speaking of ever-growing… Please pin this to your favorite Summer Fun board on Pinterest so that you can check back for additions.