Easy Summer Activities for Young Kids


Entertaining kids in the summer is a full time job. While there are tons of things to do in Memphis during the summer months, most of us can’t be away from the house all day, every day. For the days where you need easy summer activities for young kids, here are some of my go-tos.

Disclaimer: I don’t like cleaning up mud, so all of these are relatively easy clean up and minimal mess.

Painting with water

This one is a favorite at our house, and it’s so easy to set up! All you need is some paint brushes and a container of water. The kids can paint on concrete, wood, anything that the water will show up on. I know it sounds really simple, but it works really well and will entertain kids for a lot longer than you’d think!!

Two children using brushes to paint stairs with water.

Cutting Yard Waste

This one I discovered thanks to The Busy Toddler, who you should be following on Instagram. This is a mom who was a preschool and kindergarten teacher, and she’s the queen of easy at-home activities. For this one put a bunch of leaves, grass, weeds, etc. into a bucket. Give the kids some safety scissors and watch them work.

Hunt for Nature Treasures

We did this at a story time once and it has stuck around since. Give each child a bucket or cup. Then either take a walk or explore your yard and have them pick up any nature treasures they find. Once the containers are full they can come back and look at everything they’ve picked up. You can add to this by cutting poster board strips to fit around their heads like crowns and using double sided tape to attach the nature treasures to the crowns. Make this more challenging by doing a rainbow walk and finding flowers, leaves, etc. of all the colors of the rainbow.

Two girls walking on a dirt road carrying butterfly nets

Washing Toys

For this one you can use old sponges, toothbrushes, and scrub brushes. Have a “dirty” pile, a container of soapy water, and a “clean” pile or container. Literally any toy that can get wet works for this. They can also wash large plastic toys, like slides and activity tables. If your kids are a little older you can have them wash patio furniture!


Yup, that’s it. Just get a bunch of ice and give it to them. I promise they will be entertained. Remember this one after a party when it’s time to dump out the coolers of ice. You can put it in the grass, on the driveway, in a pool, the possibilities are endless.

Chalk and Bubbles

You can’t go wrong with these tried and true summer activities. Everybody loves bubbles, and chalk can be used for so many things. I really like this idea that one of our contributors had during the initial COVID lockdowns.


I feel like these are so underrated because pools are so popular. My kids love running under the sprinkler for the lawn, and then my son got this sweet dino sprinkler for his birthday last year, which was obviously a huge hit.

Inflatable dinosaur sprinkler

Bring Indoor Activities Outside

Literally anything is more fun outside on a blanket. Eat a meal or a snack, read a book, play with toys on a blanket. I also like to bring paints and play dough outside to the table in our breezeway. It makes cleanup so much easier!

What easy summer activities are a hit with your kids? Please share them with us!



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Colleen is new to Memphis (February 2020), but has fallen in love with the area already. She has been married to her husband Ryan since 2015 and they have 2 children; Addison (2016) and Orin (2018). They also have 3 dogs and a Crested Gecko. Colleen was born and raised in Massachusetts, went to college in Florida (go CANES!), and lived in New Mexico before her husband’s job brought the family to Tennessee. She is so excited to be living somewhere green again; the desert was not her thing! Before she had kids Colleen worked in veterinary medicine. She became a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her first child and started a dog training business shortly after, focusing on family dogs. Colleen runs on way too much black coffee, loves a good book, baking, and driving fast cars.


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