19 Ways Kids can UNPLUG this Summer


I don’t know about you, but I am sooooo ready to lock my laptop and iPads in the closet and not bring them out until 2021!!!  My kids need to UNPLUG this summer!  I pride myself in being a parent that has worked hard to keep “screen time” to a minimum, and distance learning has just blown that out of the water. LOL

I am eagerly looking forward to getting out (safely) with my kiddos and leaving the technology behind for a little while.  Here are 19 ways kids can UNPLUG this summer.  I hope that you find a few of them helpful. 😉

#1 – Pool Noodle Fun

I LOVE all of these outdoor and indoor ideas with pool noodles.  As an added bonus, they are inexpensive!  Grab them at the Dollar Store!

Pool Noodle Marble Run Water Slide photo courtesy of MamaPapaBubba.com


Sight Word Boat Races photo courtesy of The Educators Spin On It

#2 – Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Go on a scavenger hunt outside and see how many great things you can find!  Buggy and Buddy has over 30 FREE printable scavenger hunts to choose from.  Will you look only for bugs, or will you add other items from nature into your hunt?

#3 – Nature Art

We have had fun painting rocks and leaving them around our neighborhood.  I also had them listen to Leaf Man and we created our own “Leaf Man” from leaves we found in the backyard.  Here are more nature art projects for kids from Arty Crafty Kids.

#4 – Bubbles!

What kiddo does not enjoy blowing and chasing bubbles?  Mine love these bubble wands from Amazon.  I am fond of this set in particular, because it also comes with 12 bags of bubble refills for each wand. 🙂

#5 – Water Play

Grab a slip and slide, water balloons, or a giant yard sprinkler and watch the fun erupt!

#6 – Take a Walk and Enjoy the Fresh Air

I love taking walks and my kiddos enjoy riding their scooters along with me.  We like to leave little positive notes or rocks in our neighborhood during our walks.  Grab one of these inexpensive light up scooters for your kiddo and get out in the fresh air.

#7 – LEGO Fun

Check out these 50 different games you can play with LEGO Duplo blocks.  So much fun! 🙂

#8 – Summer Arts and Crafts

It doesn’t matter what you make, your kiddos will love cutting, coloring, glueing, and if you are really brave… using glitter! LOL  Check out this amazing list of summer crafts for kids from I Heart Crafty Things.

Photo courtesy of I Heart Crafty Things

#9 – Unplug with a Good Book

I love reading with my children.  We created this free “Read it Anywhere” sheet (access code ETTC2020) that you and your children can complete together.  Once you read in a certain place, check the box and pick another great location to enjoy a good book!

#10 – Have a Costume Day/Night

One night a week, my kiddos dress up in old costumes, fancy clothes, or some other theme for dinner.  I also like to participate (especially when the theme is pajamas).  My kids love “dinner party nights”.

#11 – Build a Family Puzzle Together

I grab one large puzzle and work on it a little bit each evening with my two older children.  We get to talk about the day and other important things going on in their lives.  I really cherish that time.

#12 – Play Some Games

The list of games that you can play are endless!  A few of my favorites include…

  • Freeze Tag
  • Simon Says
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Hide-n-Seek
  • I Spy
  • Hopscotch
  • Dodge Ball
  • Charades
  • Hot Potato
  • Card Games (Crazy 8s, Go Fish, War, Old Maid)
  • Board Games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Sorry, Trouble)

#13 – Science Experiments

I have been doing some fun and simple science experiments at home with my kids.  Both Mommy Poppins and We Are Teachers have great lists of kid-friendly science experiments you can easily do at home.

#14 – Summer STEM Projects

We have 20 awesome STEM projects your children can do over the summer.  Each project comes with a mini-book, materials list, lesson plan, and student journal.  My kiddos want to start with the solar oven and “bake” some s’mores. LOL

#15 – Build a Blanket Fort

How large will your fort be?  We love to build a fort and then bring in some flashlights and our favorite books to read in there.  Our favorites are Shine-a-Light books.

#16 – Study Bugs

My youngest is obsessed with BUGS!  I bought him his own little carrier and magnifying glass.  He loves to make them a “home” with leaves and twigs.  We have also started reading about the bugs that we find, using these insect mini-books.

#17 – Fun Exercises

There are some great kid exercises out there!  (And I’m actually enjoying doing it with them… LOL).  We have tried Cosmic Yoga on YouTube, different Tabata workouts for kids, and my youngest has his favorite… Animal Exercises.  These are an easy way to keep your kiddos active over the summer and get a little workout in for yourself too. 😉

Your children will love doing all of these Animal Exercises from Hello Wonderful! ~ Photo courtesy of Hello Wonderful

#18 – Unplug with Kid Created Snacks

Your children will love these cute themed snacks.  Many of them come with a tutorial video that you can watch, to make sure it turns out “just right”.  They are adding new recipes all of the time, so check back often for other ideas.

Apple Frog photo courtesy of All Recipes

#19 – Outdoor Games

Check out these different GIANT outdoor games for kids.  This Tic-Tac-Toe board is so much fun!  Simply create the board in the grass, grab two different colored paper plates, draw Xs and Os on the back and let them fly.  It kept my family entertained for over an hour!

Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe Game photo courtesy of Happy Toddler Playtime

Get outside, away from the electronics this summer and let your kids UNPLUG from all of the technology they have had to interact with these last few months.  If you have some other awesome ways kids can unplug this summer, please share them in the comments below.

~ Written by Janessa Fletcher

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.