Summer vacation is upon us! The weather’s warm, school’s out, and the kids are ready to go! Although we look forward to this time all year, it can be a little stressful too. I have put together a list of 10 sanity saving tips for families to use this summer. When you start to hear the I’m bored, the I’m hungry, and the I’m thirsty, this handy list of summer tips will keep your summer stress free. Make sure to check out our stress free small backyard play ideas.


Summer Tips Sanity Saving Tips for Summer

I can’t wait for summer to come around every year! Enjoying the nice weather, finding new playgrounds, making treats, trying out new activities. There’s so much to do and all day to fill, especially if you don’t send your kids to camp. However, long unstructured, summer days can also be a bit stressful for kids! I took a moment to think about some of the most common kid statement or questions I hear from my son on a regular basis. Hearing them over and over again can get a bit stressful without a good plan of action. Be prepared for your summer vacation with these easy sanity saving, summer tips. 

Ever heard one of these? I bet you have! 

I’m bored! I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! I’m hot! I’m not tired! I can’t sit still!  Where are we going? Can I watch TV?

I do believe that kids should enjoy learning how to be bored, but simple projects are fun!


1. Bored?

Make a batch of simple busy boxes to pull out when the kids are bored. I created 25 ideas using some of the simple materials I found around the house. Check out 25+ Busy Box Ideas or Summer Science Experiments

Awesome and simple summer science experiments at home or camp!

2. Always hungry?

Keep a stash of frozen watermelon pops in the freezer at all times. It’s the perfect snack to say YES too! We also like to make snack bags and keep them in a basket my son can reach. This way I know he has some healthy snacks to grab without me having to help him constantly. You can also clear a spot on a low refrigerator shelf and place more simple and healthy snacks for kids to grab like yogurt and cheese sticks! Make our Frozen Watermelon Pops and our Healthy Kid’s Snack Bags

Frozen Easy popsicle idea for a Summer Watermelon Pops Healthy Summer

3. Always thirsty?

Keep a large jug with an easy to use spout  filled on the table or counter. Throw in ice and place kid friendly cups nearby. Write names on the cups and have your kids refill the same cups all day to cut down on waste. We also make watermelon ice cubes. As they melt, the water has a lovely watermelon flavor kids love! Make Watermelon Ice Cubes

Frozen Watermelon Ice Cubes Natural Fruit Water Healthy Kids Drinks

4. Everyone too hot?

Make our simple Ultimate Water Fight kit! Fill it with dollar store water shooters, squirt guns, spray bottles and sponge bombs! Keep it handy and ready to go for hot days. Super inexpensive and fun for everyone. Also try out one of these homemade sprinkler ideas made from a plastic bottle or a pool noodle! Our water wall also makes for a great summer project.

Homemade Water Wall for Kids

Click here for your FREE Summer activities pack!

5. Create a building challenge!

Invite your kids to build something, make something, or try something new!

6. I’m not tired!

I collect books all year round from local second hand stores. Even when I know my son is tired and he isn’t willing to admit it, I have new books to read with him for quiet time. You may even want to stash away a few new board games or card games! Another fun way to get your child to relax a bit, is to set up a tent outside! My son will go and take a break in his tent with a few books.

Backyard Relaxing In Tent

7. Too much energy?

I have invested in all types of sports equipment that is versatile and budget friendly. We have cones, balls, agility ladder, hoops, and large exercise balls. These items are so versatile. Make endless obstacle courses to run through over even bike through! The initial cost of the equipment doesn’t compare to the amount of activities the kids will set up!

Plus, if you are headed to the park, take them with you! I also love to have a stomp rocket on hand! Keep your eye out for buckets of used tennis balls, softballs, or baseballs from local organizations. A simple bucket of tennis balls is pretty exciting too.

Here are a few ideas…

8. Rainy Day?

Summer has rainy days too! If you don’t want to get stuck watching TV all day, try some of these ideas, We have easy tactile sensory play recipes made from ingredients from your kitchen cupboard. We also have a great list of Indoor Energy Busters with simple materials!

9. Pool Noodle Crazy!

We go crazy for pool noodles here! These styrofoam tubes are a summer staple around here. Grab a handful at the dollar store and turn them into marble runs, light sabers, marshmallow shooters, sprinklers, goal posts, and rockets. We have also used them for cool building projects for STEM learning seen below {click pictures}.

Pool Noodle Marble Run Gravity Activity Pool Noodle Structures Building with Toothpicks Summer Engineering Pool Noodle Shaving Cream Towers

10. Car Kit and Car Play Kit

We all head out to parks and play grounds during the summer, so it is important to be prepared! I like to be prepared in two ways.

Make a car kit with essentials for outings.

Our car kit contains first aid items, paper towels, swim clothes and towel, change of clothes, a couple plastic water bottles, crunchy granola bars, and extra sunscreen. I pack it all into a clear storage bin and really consider it all emergency and spare items. I will pack us up for a day trip without considering the items that are in the car! That way if I really forget something, I have it!

Make an outdoor on the go play kit.

I love the Lowes or Home Depot plastic buckets. Pack one up with balls, bubbles, chalk, a kite, and a stomp rocket of course! Pack whatever you know your family would have fun using at a park. I will usually keep this in the car at all times, so we have it for unplanned stops too. We enjoy finding a large open space to have a picnic, so it’s fun to bring along play items!

Try one or try all of our family’s summer tips for things to do when bored! I hope you enjoy a stress free summer and have a blast with your kids.


Click on the link or on the image below for more fun Summer STEM activities for kids.

100 days of summer science and STEM to try with kids. Includes science experiments and STEM projects.