10 Boredom Busting Backyard Activities for Kids

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For children, school breaks are typically a time for play, relaxation…and boredom. Yes, those first few days of freedom from school might taste delicious but before long, parents begin to hear wails of, “I'm bored!” and “There's nothing to do!” Check out these 10 fun activities to do in your backyard to keep kids content and creative!

Summer sprinkler fun ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Backyard sprinkler fun (Photo credit: Halfpoint, purchased from iStock.com)

This story is brought to you in partnership with Blue Lizard Sunscreen.

1. Tiptoe through the sprinklers.

There is something so deliciously sweet and summery about running through a garden sprinkler to cool off on a hot day. If you have a big backyard, break out the Slip N Slide for even more fun!

Alphabet soup water activity ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Alphabet soup water activity (Photo credit: Jennifer Borget, Cherish 365)

2. Make alphabet soup.

Young children will love learning their ABC's while making water play alphabet soup. Purchase some foam letters and dump them into a big bucket or tub. Then add water and encourage kids splash and spell.

Squirt gun art ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Squirt gun art (Photo credit: Melissa Lenning, Fireflies and Mudpies)

3. Paint with squirt guns.

Painting with squirt guns is a lively and crafty backyard activity for kids. Set up easels and paper for your children's creations. Then fill water guns with liquid watercolors and let your little artists get creative.

Backyard fort built by kids

One of my kids' backyard forts (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Make an outdoor fort.

Kids of all ages love making forts from sofa cushions and blankets. Take this activity outside for even more inventive play. Build using outdoor furniture, shipping boxes, and beach blankets. Challenge children to create tunnels to connect forts to build a mini city of sorts. Your kids just may want to stay inside their outdoor fortress, crafting, playing with toys, and reading in cozy nooks.

Fill your play pool with plastic balls to make your own ball pit ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Fill your play pool with plastic balls to make your own ball pit (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Have a ball in the play pool.

You don't need a big in-ground swimming pool to have a splashing good time. Play pools come in all sorts of sizes to meet your family's needs. Choose from a wee splash pad for babies, to a big ol' inflatable pool to fill up using your garden hose.

For a drier activity on chilly days, fill your pool with plastic balls instead and make your very own ball pit. Young children love to toss, catch, crawl and dive with the balls. For even more fun, get a pool with a built-in hoop for shooting and dunking balls!

Bubble play keeps summer boredom at bay ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Bubble play keeps boredom at bay (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. Make bubbles.

What kid doesn't like the magic of making bubbles?! A variety of bubble blowers and wands add to the fun. For the ultimate bubbly backyard activity, fill a plastic wading pool with bubble solution and make gigantic bubbles using a hula hoop.

Water play tables are especially fun for toddlers and preschoolers ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Water play tables are especially enjoyable for toddlers and preschoolers (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Get splashy with a water play table.

Water play tables are are sure to wash away any boredom for the toddler and preschooler set. This sensory experience encourages young children to learn through touch and play. I especially like this water play table by Step 2.

Kids love playing with shaving cream ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Kids love playing with shaving cream (Photo credit: mdmilliman, purchased from iStockphoto.com)

8. Play with shaving cream.

During a playdate at a neighbor's house one summer during my childhood, my friend's mom busted out a few cans of shaving cream and encouraged us kids to spray and squish with this delightfully foamy stuff. It felt so exciting to play with this “grown-up” substance. For easy cleanup afterwards, jump to number 1 above.

You can also add food coloring and white school glue to shaving cream to make puffy paint for a unique craft project.

Homemade frozen pops ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Homemade frozen pops (Photo credit: FUMCare, Amazon.com)

9. Make your own frozen pops.

Keep kids hydrated while playing outdoors with some homemade frozen treats. Ask children to help you add fruit juice (and sliced fruits, if you wish) into a frozen pop mold. Then put them in the freezer to set. Soon you'll have the taste of sunshine on a stick! For fancier flavors, check out this list of 33 frozen pop recipes.

Children love drawing with sidewalk chalk

Children get creative with sidewalk chalk (Photo credit: pyotr021, Depositphotos.com)

10. Host a sidewalk chalk art show.

Grab the sidewalk chalk and invite all family members to create an impromptu art show on your backyard patio. Announce each and every participant a winner for various categories, like most original, most colorful, most playful, and so on. Call out different themes for each round, such as: ocean, animals, and abstract design. Award budding artists with homemade frozen pops (above) or simple party prizes.

travel books for kids

Keep kids' minds active with travel-themed books (Photo credit: Depositphotos.com)

More things to do at home with kids

For additional home activities for children, take a look at this list of the best travel books for kids and these travel-themed movies for families!

Protect skin while having fun in the sun with Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Protect skin while having fun outdoors

Before diving into these fun activities to do in your backyard, be sure to keep your family safe from harmful UVA and UVB rays by generously applying sunblock to any exposed skin. Blue Lizard Sunscreen is dermatologist and pharmacist recommended. Although Blue Lizard is now made in the U.S., it was originally created in Australia, where sunscreen standards are the strictest in the world. 

Choose from Baby, Sport, Sensitive, Face and Regular in a variety of sizes. My favorite is Blue Lizard's Sensitive sunscreen, which is paraben-free, chemical-free and fragrance-free. Buy yours now at www.bluelizard.net

10 Fun Things to Do in Your Backyard with Kids

Save these fun backyard activities

Be sure to keep this list of fun activities to do in your backyard. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. We hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Do you have any suggestions for fun activities to do in your backyard? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen for sponsoring this backyard activities blog post. I received sample products and compensation related to this story. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, TravelMamas.com. She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. The sidewalk art has been a life saver on summer days for me. We’ve done giant hopscotch boards, hangman etc in addition to art. Then a bucket of water to wash it all away. perfect!

  2. Sun safety is always top of mind in summer. Cue the sun shirts and sunscreen!

  3. Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says

    I love the squirt painting idea! So fun.

  4. Laurie Emerson says

    We like to go to the pool or beach and also take long family bike rides in the evenings.

  5. Carolyn Daley says

    We like to swim, BBQ, and take walks on the beach.

  6. making homemmade slip’n’slides in the yard

  7. We love going to the beach during the summer .

  8. Jaime Cummings says

    We love building sandcastles at the beach, have a barbecue and go kayaking or canoeing.

  9. Brandy D says

    We love watching our kids play soccer or flag football!

  10. Cassandra Eastman says

    Our favorite way to have fun in the sun is spend the day at the riving canoeing, stop for frequent swimming and have a afternoon picnic!

  11. Stephanie Larison says

    Spending the whole day at the zoo with the family.

  12. Paige Conner Totaro says

    I am totally going to paint with waterguns with my niece and nephews this summer! And my teens, if they’ll join us. 🙂

  13. fcollected says

    Our pediatrician reommended Blue Lizard 6 years ago; and promised our kids would never get burnt while spending the whole day (our favorite summer activity) at the pool!

  14. We love hiking and swimming!
    Thank You for the chance

  15. Maria C. says

    We love swimming at the pool & on the beach

  16. We like to go to the ocean and go snorkeling

  17. We like to visit our local swimming pool.

  18. Surbhi K. says

    Playing in our backyard and having picnic lunches 🙂

  19. katherine says

    Going for bike rides

  20. Cindy A. says

    We love the beach and outdoor festivals.

  21. Cheryl b says

    We enjoy the pool and beach.

  22. We like to swim

  23. We like to go to the beach.

  24. Ashley C says

    We like to spend lots of time at the pool!

  25. Tabathia B says

    we love to go to the beach or jump in the pool

  26. We love having BBQs around the pool in the summer!

  27. We like to spend the day at the beach,

  28. We like to go swimming, hiking or go to the local park.

  29. Tracie Cooper says

    We love to go to the local water parks!

  30. Tricia Andrews says

    We love going to the local minor league baseball games to see the Durham Bulls! The he sun just beats down on you though for day games.

  31. Cacinda Maloney says

    Living in AZ, I sure could use some sunscreen!

  32. We love to go to the beach at the lake!

  33. a staycation at a local resort with a fancy pool!

  34. We love to go to our swim and tennis club during the summer. They have lots of great social activities there and swimming lessons for the kids.

  35. Family water fun and jumping on the tramp!

  36. We love going to the lake.

  37. The best summer fun for us is a day at the beach.

  38. Ooty Tour Packages says

    Lovely ideas. Thanks.

  39. Beth Patterson says

    These are wonderful ideas! We have a pool, so that is our go to for hot summer days.

  40. Katherine Riley says

    We like to go to the local water park.

  41. These are some great ideas. I especially like the balls in the pool!

  42. Cynthia C says

    It’s fun to spend some time at the beach every summer.

  43. Ann Fantom says

    We like to go on family bike rides

  44. Michelle J. says

    We love the pool or the beach in summer, so sunscreen is really important for us. 🙂

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