The weather is warmer. School is officially out. The kiddos are at home. Unfortunately for parents, this means there’s ample time for activities and room for typical cries of boredom, especially as little ones are ready for a summer of nonstop excitement. Where’s a mom supposed to come up with enough summer playdate ideas for her bored kiddos?
Creating endless ideas that’ll keep your children happy and in high spirits can be challenging. They can watch only so much TV without itching to get out and be active! To help you plan a fantastic summer break, we’ve compiled a list of engaging summer playdate ideas that are a must for children and parents alike.
Summer Playdate Ideas
Outdoor Play Dates That Embrace the Sunshine
1. Take a trip to the playground.
An afternoon at the playground is a classic summer outing that allows youngsters to burn off loads of energy—especially after a winter of being cooped up in the house! Bring sunscreen, water, and snacks for a pick-me-up when they need a break from all the excitement.
2. Have an epic water balloon fight.
For kiddos, water balloon fights are synonymous with summer. The beloved game is not only thrilling and exciting, but it keeps everyone cooled off during warmer days. To turn up the volume on the fun, grab a whiffle bat and have your little one bat away at the balloons for a game of water balloon baseball.
3. Schedule a pool or beach getaway.
Nothing screams summertime like a day trip to the beach (if you live close to the ocean) or your local community pool. The kiddos can soak in the sun while staying cool all day long. Pro tip: bring some fun boogie boards, floaties, or water toys for the kids to enjoy hours of fun!
4. Create an outdoor scavenger hunt.
Whether you assemble a scavenger hunt at a local park or in your yard, your kids will be entertained for hours as they scour the perimeter for hidden treasures. To add an educational spin, have your little one search for items that start with each letter of the alphabet–though, you may need to get a bit creative for X, Y, and Z, depending on where the hunt takes place.
5. Set up a lemonade stand.
There’s no arguing that most children dream of having a lemonade stand for neighbors to enjoy. To bring your budding entrepreneur’s vision to life, create an adorable sign and set up shop in your driveway where they can sell their refreshing drink.
Indoor Play Dates for Gloomy Days
6. Bring the movie theater to your home.
From buttered popcorn and juice boxes to Disney and Pixar favorites on repeat, a movie day in your living room is sure to please. Allow your moviegoers to create a marathon lineup and get the blankets ready for a day of lounging and laughs.
7. Throw the ultimate karaoke party.
While you may not talk about Bruno, you’ll likely be singing about the hit character from Encanto with an epic karaoke party. Create an awesome playlist–selected by your stars–and let the kids take the stage in your living room for an evening of crowd-pleasing songs. Dancing and choreographed moves are most definitely welcomed.
8. Transform your living room into a haven of forts.
Building indoor forts out of blankets is a childhood pastime. It allows tots to feel like they’re in a magical place without ever having to leave the house. Bring flashlights, pillows, snacks, books, puzzles, and board games into their humble abode for an evening they’ll never forget.
9. Treat yourselves to an at-home self-care appointment.
Spa days are a wonderful respite for busy moms, so why not share the pampering with your tot. Turn your bathroom into a mini-spa with homemade facial masks, cucumber slices, and a handful of nail polishes for a fun mani-pedi. Don’t forget to turn on soothing background music and light some relaxing scented candles.
10. Plan a next-level fondue dinner.
Fondue is a fun and interactive approach to dinner that’ll switch up your playdate routine. Create a three-course spread of cheese that begins with ooey-gooey cheese and yummy mix-ins, like pretzel bites, apple slices, tortilla chips, and crackers. For your second course, switch to a broth pot where you can boil veggies and chicken for a hearty meal. Then top off the night with chocolate fondue and delicious fruit toppings. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Creative Play Date Ideas
11. Get groovy with a tie-dye extravaganza.
Tie-Dye is back in style, and creating tie-dye shirts and accessories makes it all the better. Purchase tie-dye kits at a craft store and set up shop in your kitchen where your tiny designers can create their own fashion statements. Once their creations are complete, have them put on a fashion show–catwalk included–where they can sport their masterpieces.
12. Put on an arts & crafts fest.
Perfect for rainy days when your youngsters are ridden with boredom, have a few friends over for everything arts & crafts–coloring, finger painting, slime making, playdough sculpting, and more. Turn on some tunes and let your mini Picasso create a beautiful work of art.
13. Invite friends over for an ice cream social.
Children plus ice cream equals instant happiness, so organizing a get-together where sundaes are included is sure to be a hit. To make it easier on yourself, you can meet at a local ice cream shop or you can set up an ice cream bar at your house! Offer various ice cream flavors, toppings, and mix-ins that allow little ones’ imaginations and creations to run wild.
14. Host a backyard campfire.
Invite some friends over during the evening for a backyard campfire packed with all the essentials to make s’mores. For added effect, pitch a few tents, and turn it into a slumber party that’s coupled with spooky or silly stories.
15. Organize a trike-a-thon.
Gather a few community pals (and their moms and dads, too!) for a trike-a-thon throughout the neighborhood. Families can coordinate into teams with matching shirts or hats to make it a friendly competition with a designated start and finish line.
Exciting Places to Visit for Play Dates
16. Plan a date to the zoo.
Get up-close and personal with the majestic creatures at your zoo this season and revel in the awe-worthy sights. Not only will your children be amazed by the exciting animal watching, but they’ll also learn more about the beauty of the wild.
17. Head to the aquarium for the day.
If your toddlers love Finding Nemo, they’ll enjoy spotting the popular creatures featured in the film, like Peach the starfish, Crush the turtle, and Dory the regal blue tang fish.
18. Pay a visit to nearby kid-friendly museums.
Get your kiddos together with their friends this summer by planning day trips to local museums. This will keep their wheels spinning as they’re out of school while introducing them to something new. Check if the venue features hands-on workshops for a more sensory and interactive experience.
19. Try your hand at berry picking.
If you happen to have a farm within driving distance from your town, you’ll likely be able to spend the morning or afternoon picking your own fruit for purchase. Let your tots roam the fields and select any seasonal berry, which they can enjoy as a snack later in the day.
20. Get some air at an indoor trampoline center.
Indoor trampoline parks are all the rave and have been springing up throughout the nation within the last several years, allowing families to enjoy them in most hometowns. Simply toss on some socks and try out some creative moves with your kids as you hop through the obstacle courses.
Summer playdate ideas don’t have to be a headache for mom! We hope these will get you off to a terrific start this summer. All that’s left is to pick up the phone and start planning some summer playdates with your children’s favorite pals. We promise this summer will be unforgettable for you, your kiddos, and their friends.