Just Dude It! 30 Things to do in Summer with Kids.

Guess what?


What’s on the agenda?

For us, other than swim team, and a week of basketball camp, we don’t really plan much for our Dudes in the summer.

I’m all about down time and making sure Dudes just get to be Dudes while they still can.  But we still like to have some fun things to do in summer.

We go to the lake (we live in a lake oriented community so this is super easy), we meet up with friends, and when time & money permit, we throw in a road trip or two.

Being a work at home mom during a free-spirit summer is really, really hard though.  You feel like you are neglecting your kids while you work.  And then, when you do something with your kids, you feel like you are neglecting your job.  And then, your boss notices and you have to kick your kids to the curb hardcore to make sure you don’t join the stay-at-home-mom ranks again unexpectedly.

It’s a wicked balancing act.  I’m terrible at balancing and acting.

So, I’ve come up with a solution.  I’ve decided to devote one entire day each week of summer to the Dudes.  All day we will do exactly what we’ve planned.  I won’t work (Instagramming everything and Tweeting during lunch isn’t working, stop it).  I’ll just play.  All day long, fully engaged mom.

There are nine weeks of school-free days this summer.  NINE…

summer bucket list

In the event that these don’t get the job done for us, we’ve got a looong list of backups.

Things to do in Summer with Kids

fun summer activities kids

1.  Use cardboard to build something amazing.  The cardboard rocket ship was a hit at our crib.

2.  Have a nature scavenger hunt.

3.  Have a building contest using Legos.  Winner gets to spray his brothers with a water hose.

4.  Host a lemonade stand.  Feeling ambitious?  Build a lemonade stand for them to use all summer long.

5.  Bring back the 80s (and the early 90s too)   Movies that is.  Here are some recommendations from The Dudes.  They have watched and loved each of these films…

best 80s & 90s kid movies

6.  Get your garden on.  #3 has planted tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro.  The kid has a thing for salsa.

7.  Build a fort.  Or a tent.  Or whatever you want to call it.  If you’re crazy ambitious try this collapsible wooden tent; the Dudes LOVE theirs.

8.  Go camping.  In your own backyard.  That way, when people get spooked at night and want to go home, they actually can.

9.  Host a cooking class.  I taught the Dudes how to make sushi this winter, we’ll likely do pizza for the grill this summer.

10.  Go to the movies.  Many theaters have a free summer movie series.  We take advantage of this every summer.

11.  Take a reading challenge.  Try your local library to see if they have one you can join.  If not, make it yourself!  Pick your titles, come up with fun activities to do as you finish each one (like a diorama or a skit), and then have some fun prizes for them to earn as they go.

12.  Wash the car.  Then do the other one.  Ask the neighbors if they’d like there’s done too!  It’s crazy but your kids will like it and your neighbors will love you.  Might make up for al of the times your kids bounced their balls at 7:30 am on Saturday morning or peed in their yards.

13.  Volunteer.  We like to help out at a charity race or the food bank at least once a year.  And, because summer is especially hard for food banks (people like to give most during holidays), we try to do it in the summer.  Only #1 is old enough to actually help out at the bank, but the younger dudes like to help assemble donations.

14.  Go fishing.

15.  Make our own ice cream.  This seem hard?  Just do popsicles.

16.  Backyard s’mores.

17.  Kick it old school.  By going bowling and/or skating.

18.  Build paper airplanes and have an airshow.

19.  Hit up the farmer’s market.

20.  Go to a concert in the park and dance.  Dance I say.

21.  Head to a car show.  We go to them to cheer Papa along, but it’s so much fun to see all of the cool cars.

What do you have planned this summer?


    • DudeMom says

      Hi Leila,

      Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t allow re-posts of my content on other sites. I am totally fine with you linking back to it and maybe using a quote (like an example of your favorite tip), but re-post of it entirely I have to decline. Thanks!

  1. says

    This is a great list–and it can work for the dudettes too! ;)

    Also, LOVE your idea of one work-free day a week devoted to the kiddies. As a fellow work-from-home momma I know how rough it can be to balance both with the kids home. You totally inspired me to do the same!

    • DudeMom says

      Sadly, last week turned into 5 dedicated to the kids days, but you wanna know how many fights we had? Only like 3 which is a vast improvement!

  2. says

    We didn’t plan much for the kids this year. The older two, at 12 and 9, are anti-camp now (though they don’t really have a say. Finances are what really kept us from planning much for them this year, and the fact that everything they wanted was filled up IN MARCH). But these are great ideas. Since I work full time out of the house, though, I try to make evenings and weekends fun and memorable (instead of SERIOUSLY, NOBODY’S SEEN THIS FUNKY WET TOWEL SITTING ON THE STAIRS ALL DAMN DAY?)

    • DudeMom says

      I got in my car yesterday and it smelled like hot garbage. Why? Because it actually WAS hot garbage. In the form of a chunk of hot dog wrapped in a wet towel. Why? My car officially doesn’t have the new car smell anymore. And also, that’s why we don’t have nothin’!