Summer days are so fun — you have the opportunity to build memories outside with your kids {without water} or splash and play outside. While I prefer to spend the majority of my {and the kids’} summer outside, some Ohio days are just too hot and muggy to head out for long. And, we get thunderstorms sometimes that keep us in for several days’ time. It would be easy to get stir-crazy and bored if I didn’t have a plan.

Here are some fun and frugal ideas for summer fun inside – when you can’t head outside because of the weather or allergies.

10 Ideas for Summer Fun Inside

 

 

Have a movie marathon.

Pop some popcorn, and choose a fun collection of videos or stream some from Netflix. Since I’ve got varying ages, we’ll likely alternate between Buddies movies and Leapfrog videos, though we may throw in a few Disney videos too.

 

Play some board games.

Candyland, Sorry, Scrabble, Bananagrams, and Trouble are some our our favorite rainy day games to play when we can’t get outside. Do you have favorites of your own?

 

Make a spider web.

Sometimes it just takes a simple mess to make the kids happy. A few years ago, lacking the motivation to come up with a great activity, I stumbled upon one that my kids still ask for – the spider web. I grabbed a skein of yarn and wound it all around the living room – under and over furniture, around the ceiling fan, through lampshades and completely ran it out. What was left was a spider web that took over the room. I called my little spiders into the center of the web, read them Gail Gibbons book, Spiders, and let them pretend. They played spider for awhile, then Trevor’s action figures scaled the web in search of bad guys while Molly looked at picture books in the middle of the web. It kept them busy for days.

10 Ideas for Summer Fun Inside

 

Make movies.

We have a little pink video camera that a relative gave Molly years ago for her birthday. Do you have an old video camera? Or a digital camera that can take videos? Pull out the costumes, makeup, and put your head together with the kids to create, plan, and film a short movie. Get dressed up, act it out, film it, then pop popcorn for the first screening. It’ll be fun to see what the kids come up with.

 

Turn on some music and dance.

Crank up the kids’ favorite tunes and get silly on the dance floor… umm living room floor. Kids love it when mom and dad act silly too, so make sure you are really joining in. Just make sure you aren’t “twirling” on the linoleum in socked feet, or you may slip and end up like my Molly who is starting her summer with a buckle fracture on her wrist and sporting a hot pink cast.

10 Ideas for Summer Fun Inside

Make some music.

Do you have a bazillion musical instruments in your basement? I don’t mean real good ones – little kid instruments like tambourines, recorders, castanets, harmonicas, etc.? Pull them out {instead of hiding them like you usually do} and put on some concerts for each other or plan a welcome parade for when Dad comes home.

 

Read a good book.

Choose a classic like The Secret Garden or The Chronicles of Narnia, and curl up on the couch to read until your voice cracks. When you can’t read aloud anymore, have a snack and ask the kids about their favorite parts, have them reenact them, or have them draw what they pictured the setting to be.

 

Get crafty.

Pull out the pipe cleaners, beads, glue, foam, and whatever else you have on hand and let the kids craft. The task does not have to be prescribed to be valuable, take time to let them explore their own creativity with no parameters. You may be surprised what they come up with.

 

Become super-sculptor story-tellers.

Pull out some modeling clay like Model Magic for younger kids or Sculpey for bigger kids. Invite your kids to create their own super heroes. Once they’re finished inventing the super hero of their dreams, encourage them to create a backstory for their heroes, including what their super-power is, how they got it, and in what ways they use it for good.

 

Head somewhere with air-conditioning.

No matter what you do, you and the kids may just end up stir-crazy after-all. If that happens, head out to a museum or the movies. Cinemark has movies for a dollar each week during the summer, and your kids will love you for making this a weekly habit. If movies aren’t your thing, there are bound to be museums near by. While we head to the Great Lakes Science Center and Cleveland Children’s Museum often, it’s because we have memberships to these places. The Cleveland Museum of Art is free, though, so we’ll try to head there once this summer.

10 Ideas for Summer Fun Inside

 

What are some of your ideas for inside family fun? I hope you’ll share them in the comments.

 

Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

Latest posts by Colleen Kessler