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Summer Vacation Projects for Kids

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The summer is here!

Which means a daily array of fresh activities to entertain the kids doesn’t it?

Well of course it’s fun to have a summer bucket list and do stuff you don’t get a chance to during school term time.

But kids do actually need to learn … shock horror! … to entertain themselves.

If they don’t, they’re in danger of never developing the independence, persistence and initiative they need for so much of life.

My sister teaches at a top UK University and constantly complains that her students … all ‘high achievers’ … totally lack initiative.

They’re used to being told what to do every single step of the way.

How to get kids to entertain themselves

So as you’re planning a summer of fun do leave your kids time to do their own thing.

One way to do instigate this is to get the ball rolling in week one of the summer holidays.

Make it the starting point for summer long projects that kids can dip in and out of all through the long summer vacation.

Most importantly, kids can immerse themselves in the projects without constant input from you – or any other adults.

It may be that you need you to get things going either by talking about cool things you did when you were a kid, or by asking your kids for ideas for the projects they’d like to do.

Then you can help them get the stuff they need so that they are all set up.

But after that, it’s down to them to get on with their projects and to enjoy the freedom of having their own project that is nothing to do with anyone but themselves.

There are so many long summer vacation projects that kids can take on.

But if you are in need of inspiration, check out the list of summer vacation project for kids ideas below.

Summer Vacation Projects for Kids

  1. Read Harry Potter … will take all summer because once you start one you have to read them ALL … warning Harry and his friends will be ever present for the rest of the summer! We’ve got a post on How To Keep Kids Reading Through The Summer.
  2. Learn to ride a bike, roller skate or skate board …
  3. Sow vegetable seeds … radishes only take three weeks, lettuces 8 weeks … take responsibility for watering, weeding and seeing off bugs.
  4. If it’s too late to sew seeds, plant pumpkins or sunflower plants
  5. Keep a diary or online journal and write something up every day.
  6. Create a family picture wall diary of the summer on a big sheet on the wall to which drawings of summer activities can be constantly added.
  7. Keep a summer scrapbook and stick in momentos of everything done.
  8. Learn how to use a camera and photograph the summer.
  9. Start a nature collection e.g. shells, stones.
  10. Set a sporting target to hit e.g. number of keepie uppies, 100m speed
  11. Write a story book and write a new chapter every week
  12. Build a den from salvaged wood & decorate it
  13. Raise caterpillars and watch them transform into butterflies … we had the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden last year which was brilliant for this
  14. Raise tadpoles and watch them transform into frogs
  15. Create a terrarium and raise snails
  16. Grow crystals
  17. Create a summer long scavenger hunt
  18. Start a business selling cookies, lemonade, crafts
  19. Raise money for a local charity … set a target to hit and try and beat it
  20. Hold a kids jumble sale encouraging kids to swap the toys they no longer want
  21. Create a local kids newspaper and keep everyone informed of summer news
  22. Research family tree by talking to grandparents
  23. Create a star chart of what can be seen across the summer from your house
  24. Building a go cart from scavenged wheels and wood
  25. Write and film a movie
  26. Keep a nature journal … recording all the creatures and plants seen
  27. Volunteer for someone elderly throughout the summer e.g. watering plants, helping pick up shopping
  28. Sew own dress … after choosing fabric and a pattern, there are loads of free patterns on Craftsy they can choose from

I hope this list gives you and your kids some brilliant inspiration for summer vacation projects to keep them inspired and absorbed in their very own thing all summer long.

Want more summer holiday entertainment ideas?

Check out our Outdoor Water Play Activities For Kids post for a roundup of some brilliantly fun and cooling ways for kids to water play through the summer.

Don’t forget to check out our How To Plan Summer Holiday Fun For Kids post too, with plenty of great ideas for planning summer holiday fun that won’t break the budget and won’t cause you to lose your marbles!!

Plus pop over to our 50 Fun Outdoor Things To Do For Free post – for some brilliant outdoor fun ideas that will have the kids occupied and entertained for hour after hour at no cost to the family budget.

And just one more post to flag up (for now!) it’s our No Prep Summer Bucket List post, choc full of fabulously fun no-brainer ideas for keeping the kids occupied during the summer school holidays.

Pin for later: 

We've put together a list of summer vacation kids activities that kids can do by themselves to occupy them all summer long. This list of fun things to do both outdoor and indoors during the summer months uses creative ways to get kids to entertain themselves without constant input from parents and adults. #KidsActivities #playandlearn #parenting #Summer #summervacation

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We've put together a list of summer vacation kids activities that kids can do by themselves to occupy them all summer long. This list of fun things to do both outdoor and indoors during the summer months uses creative ways to get kids to entertain themselves without constant input from parents and adults. #KidsActivities #playandlearn #parenting #Summer #summervacation
We've put together a list of summer vacation kids activities that kids can do by themselves to occupy them all summer long. This list of fun things to do both outdoor and indoors during the summer months uses creative ways to get kids to entertain themselves without constant input from parents and adults. #KidsActivities #playandlearn #parenting #Summer #summervacation

Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar

Thursday 11th of June 2015

Wow! This is such a great list of things I would never have thought to do!!! Thanks so much :-)

gretta

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

What a great list :-) #wonderfulwednesdaybloghop

Barbara Beckwith

Saturday 7th of June 2014

These are great ideas! I thought of writing a story and making it into a book, using pictures or drawings, and then we could print more than one and give as a gift to cousins.

Lisa Codina

Thursday 5th of June 2014

Great ideas! We'll be in Italy all summer by the beach however, I will definitely need some activities to do at home during down time! ;-)))

JDaniel4's Mom

Thursday 5th of June 2014

We have started growing cucumbers from seeds. My son has been thrilled to watch them grow. What a great list of summer projects.