Summer might look a bit different this year, but that’s all the more reason to find creative and fun summer activities for kids to help keep your little ones engaged through the season. Whether you’re in search of fun indoor family projects or inventive outdoor things to do with kids, we’ve pulled together this bucket list of summer-friendly activities that will get your kids’ creative juices flowing.
Even better, each class includes helpful resources and actionable prompts, so for some of these activities you can kick back with an iced beverage while your kids learn from pro teachers and master a new skill. After all, summer is also a time for relaxation…right, Mom and Dad?
Scroll through this list of fun activities for kids to find your family’s next summer activity!
Head out to the lawn and get ready to play with paint with artist Anna Sokolova, who teaches all about the magical technique of Paper Marbling—a.k.a. “Monotype on Water.” You don’t need special drawing skills for this one; just gather paper, paint, brushes, and toothpicks, which can be repurposed for other projects, and get painting!
Making friendship bracelets with thread is among the most classic, timeless summer activities for kids. Debbie Hart demonstrates the knots needed to make beautiful, long-lasting bracelets that will survive many swims and hot afternoons.
Here’s another one of these great summer videos for kids that teaches them how to take a letter or word and work with it to make a piece of art. This course walks you through how to brainstorm, research, draw thumbnails, sketch, and finally ink the letter for a beautiful final product.
Teaching your kids their ABCs has never been more interesting! Grab a couple markers and dive into this educational activity with award-winning artist Timothy Goodman, who demonstrates how to draw a full, expressive set of letters from A to Z using free-form doodling.
This fun, free-form project is infinitely customizable based on what you have on hand. Make the puppet from paper and tape, then accessorize it with scraps of gauze, plastic, mesh, or whatever you happen to find lying around. The only limit is your imagination!
Be the cool parent or caregiver that every child dreams of when you master face-painting projects with Laura Pennock. This course shows how to paint a shark, dolphin, pony, and bull, and kids are guaranteed to love the result, even if it’s not as perfect as what they’d get at the county fair.
Stop-motion videos are among the great fun summer activities for kids. They are an approachable way to introduce your kids to filmmaking using only a smartphone and their favorite toy. In her beginner-friendly class, animator Colette Peri walks through the basics, including how to brainstorm, which phone settings are best, and how to do lighting to get the best result.
This classic project will delight kids and give them a sweet yarn doll to play with afterwards. In a simple, short class, Bhagavathi Sankarapandian shows the steps to creating a little friend out of yarn.
This might not sound like one of the most fun activities for kids, but learning the basics of financial responsibility will give them the confidence they need to make good monetary decisions from a young age. This course gives an introduction to Excel and teaches kids how to save responsibly. It’s never too early to start good financial habits!
Older kids will love learning how to design their own t-shirt from Jeff Staple, founder of Staple Design. He shows the process of conceptualizing and designing, with the ultimate goal of bringing artwork to a reality. This class is perfect for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs, designers, and anyone keen on sharing a wearable message.
Ah, the elusive Rubik’s Cube! Kids will wow their friends by learning an easy technique to solve the cube puzzle in no time. Detailed instructions from a Rubik’s Cube master will have them showing off their skills to anyone who will watch.
In this course for true guitar beginners, kids and adults can learn how to pick up the instrument and, with no prior experience, advance to playing simple songs with just a little practice.
Foster or spark your child’s interest in photography with adventure photographer Chris Burkard, who encourages people to capture the world around them at various times of the day. In this course, you’ll learn how to take pictures outdoors at sunset, sunrise, and night; you’ll also learn the importance of making mistakes.
Kids can hop onto the computer to draw kooky, funny-looking characters with a ton of personality in this fun course. Follow Judy Kloot through multiple demonstrations to learn to use the computer drawing program to create their mind’s wildest characters.
Waste not, want not is the name of the game with this fun indoor activity for kids. You’ll reuse tin cans, bottlecaps, keys, and more to upcycle trash into an adorable tin can man you can display in the yard or on a bookshelf.
Here’s a great free summer activity for kids with an educational twist. Encourage a family conversation about historical heroes in artist Andrea Pippins’ Skillshare Original class on creating stylized portraits. Later lessons hop into Photoshop to finish the piece, but your kids can use markers, paints, and anything on hand.
Let’s be honest: we could all benefit from five minutes of mindfulness practice! This meditation course is tailored to kids, but it also includes educational lectures for adults. Sit quietly together and reap the benefits of slowing down mindfully.
Folk art for beginners: outline and draw with pastels to create a Mexican-style bird portrait. The result is colorful, bold, and stylish, a perfect summer activity for kids with an artistic flair.
Music video director Chrystopher Rhodes shows how to create cinematic quality content, no matter your budget, location, or equipment. Whether you’re shooting on your iPhone, an old camera you found in the attic, or a new piece of equipment, Chrystopher will show you how to build a shot list, scout a great location, and work with what you’ve got to create footage you and your kids will be proud of.
This course takes kids through a warmup and a rundown of color theory before diving into the three-part watercolor project. The result is stunning: a layered galaxy of subdued colors with pinpricks of stars spreading out behind it.
Free summer activities for kids don’t get any more classic than sidewalk chalk. In this course, kids will learn to move beyond writing their own name in chalk; they will master different effects, including Unicorn, Galaxy, Mermaid, and Rainbow. Adults are welcome to join in the fun!
Running out of things to do with your kids? Host a fun family dinner night using this easy-to-follow cooking class with Chef Nicoletta Grippo, who shows how to make two different kinds of fresh pasta and then how to shape, cook, and plate your creation.
Start with the basics (learning about HTML and CSS) and build on them throughout this course, which walks kids through hand-coding a website from scratch. Rich Armstrong covers all the bases in this course, one of Skillshare’s great summer videos for kids, including how to fix bugs and errors, so the end result is smooth, cool, and totally unique.
Watercolor flowers are a simple, stunning artistic project that appeal to a wide range of ages and painting abilities. All you need are paints and paper, and you’ll create a lovely little picture worthy of a frame. This is the perfect summer activity for kids, because they can get inspired by natural beauty they find outdoors.
In this class, young-adult author Kiersten White guides budding young writers through the fulfilling creative writing adventure of “retelling” a classical folk or fairy tale. Learn how to break down and better understand the components of a great story! Writing definitely makes the list of fun activities for kids, and they could use the practice on summer break.
Collages and art in general are fun activities for kids of all ages to use up scrap paper and make something bright and creative. A dragon emerges from a black background, twisting this way and that, in a picture that is one-of-a-kind every time.
Summer fun for kids can include rendering one of their favorite wintertime characters, Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Bring this family favorite character to life with acrylic paint in this step-by-step course.
Hand over your smartphone or digital camera so your kid can dedicate an afternoon to capturing a creative self-portrait. Tabitha Park’s class invites you to do some self-exploration, come up with a theme from your life, and then express it via an image of yourself.
This project is a bit more involved than others highlighted here, but kids will love the challenge, and the end result is intricate and highly original. They will learn to work with wires to create a 3D bookmark they’ll use for a long time.
When you’re brainstorming things to do with kids in the summer, Christmas origami might not be at the top of your list, but this course will teach kids how to make an amazing craft suitable for the winter holiday. They can perfect their skills in the summer and be ready for Christmastime!
Photographing nature is as simple as getting outside, exploring, and enjoying! Tabitha Park shows how pleasurable it can be to take pictures in the great outdoors, no experience required.
If you’re stuck at home with a pet (or a few), why not learn how to take studio-quality portraits of them? You may surprise yourself with your ability to get your cat or dog to pose for the camera!
Kids are natural yoginis, and they don’t take themselves too seriously! Learn how to teach them yoga moves and games in this instructive course made for parents and caregivers.
You’ll need a few supplies for this one, including a pump and balloons, but the result is well worth the funny animals you’ll learn to make. Channel your inner birthday party clown as you twist a monkey or a dog out of a balloon; the kids will flip!
Follow along this cute summer video for kids to learn to make a popsicle postcard you’ll be excited to send to a friend or family member. Better yet, make a bunch of them and brighten a bunch of summer days!