While some kids have already started heading back to school, others don't start until after Labor Day. Which means parents are left to figure out how to keep them active and entertained for another few weeks. Camp or daycare can be expensive and, whether someone stays home with the kids, you hire a sitter or do a little bit of everything, keeping everyone entertained can be — well, a little chaotic.
To help funnel the kids' boundless energy, here are 22 outdoor products that will keep their bodies, minds and spirits engaged. From big blow-up slides and projectors for outdoor movie nights to sidewalk chalk sets and crafting kits, these fun-filled items will make it easy for the family to enjoy time outside the house.
Summer activities for kids
This renowned children's book from artist Faith Ringgold is a wonderful summer read. For less than $10, bring the magic of the Coretta Scott King award winner to your own yard or rooftop. Lay out blankets, break out a lantern and some snacks to create a literature-inspired immersive experience right at home.
What child isn’t entertained by bubbles? Keep your kids happy for hours with this bubble solution from Gazillion. It includes a seven-in-one bubble wand and an eco-friendly and nontoxic solution that won’t stain clothing or furniture, according to the brand.
Consider buying your kids a sidewalk chalk kit when you want to inspire creativity simply: no paper, no paint and pretty much no clean up (just wait for the rain!). This one from Chalk City comes with 20 pieces of jumbo chalk sticks stored in a convenient and reusable bucket.
If you own a trampoline, consider adding this fun sprinkler that can reduce the temperature on the surface by 25 degrees. It has an adjustable switch to control the water flow and comes with two different bands to accommodate a trampoline shell of any size.
With this kit, kids can decorate their own birdhouse with various paint pots and watch as their winged friends stop by. This set from Toysmith comes with a five-inch brush, a chain for hanging and four different paints including red, yellow, blue and white.
You can’t go wrong with LEGOs. This classic set comes with over 200 pieces in 29 different colors and encourages imaginative building with endless possibilities. Throw a sheet or towel on the grass or patio to let the kids have some STEM-friendly down time. When finished, wrap up the blanket with all the LEGOs inside and shake it into the box. No pieces lost and easy cleanup!
Do your kids love to pretend to cook? If so, they’ll definitely enjoy this adorable sand baking set made by Melissa & Doug that can be used in sand, dirt, mud or anywhere outside. Trust us, if there's some leaves and twigs at-hand, they can cook up a storm.
These pre-made craft kits celebrate incredible women leaders while engaging and empowering kids of all different ages. Each kit comes with everything needed to complete the craft (no last minute trips for tape or glue required).
With a hand trowel, hand fork, watering pail, gardening glove, three plant labels and three plastic pots, the kids have everything they need to learn some gardening skills. By getting hands-on time in the dirt, they'll be even more excited to watch their plants grow.
There’s nothing like catching your very first fish! Make the moment even more memorable with a great fishing pole. This starter set comes with everything they need including a tackle box with different fishing lures.
While your summer camping trip might be put on hold for now, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun in the backyard! Create the ultimate camping ground for your kids with this No. 1 bestselling tent from Amazon. It has 7,500 verified reviews and comes in a variety of different sizes and colors.
Badminton is a super fun game to play with the whole family. Set up is simple and it even comes with a packable bag for birdies, rackets and all of the accessories you need to get a game going anywhere.
Transform your backyard or home into a medieval dueling ground with this plastic balance jousting set! This activity will definitely get their energy out and it’s fun for all ages.
Create an outdoor reading area, cozy up under the stars or enjoy a movie in these adorable air mattresses from FunBoy. The little ones will be looking forward to their next adventure in the great outdoors when they get to hop in a blow-up convertible.
This fun, four-person activity is like a mix of four square and volleyball. It’s easy to store and has an adjustable height to accommodate players of all ages.
Any parent with a little yard space to spare will attest to the ability of a blow-up water slide to occupy the kids for hours! It's perfect for special occasions like birthday parties (say goodbye to expensive blow-up castle rentals) and everyday play. Once it's up, just sit back with an icy lemonade and watch the fun happen.
Don't have a flat surface to project outdoor movies onto? Bring the screen to the backyard with the Yard Master. It's lightweight, provides vivid picture quality and pops easily into place with snap-buttons a sturdy metal frame, both of which fold into a bag for storage. Available in 58-120 inches, this provides a movie experience that feels like you're at the cinema, aside from the beautiful summer night of course.
This wireless device helps bring entertainment anywhere with drop-proof technology, easy set-up and optimal projection (no fuzzy lines here). A family trip to the movies can cost upwards of $100 for tickets alone, so investing in a projector is an ideal way to bring the magic of the cinema to the backyard, camping trip or slumber party.
One way to get your kids active this summer is with a good ole’ bike. This 16-inch bike is a great transitional option that comes with training wheels. It's designed to make sure the child’s weight is centered over their hips, which makes it easier for them to stay naturally balanced.