Keeping kids entertained when school is out

Indoor and outdoor ideas to make the most of time together.

YMCA Camps have been engaging kids with fun activities for years and years. If you’re looking for healthy ways to have fun at and near home, try these ideas from Day Camp Directors for the YMCA of the North.

Indoor experiences

  • Work out together with Virtual Y, which brings free Y fitness classes for all ages into your home
  • Schedule reading time and pick a series to read as a family
  • Watch a nature documentary to virtually experience nature
  • Teach kids a new card game
  • Have a board game tournament—see who wins the most games from your collection of games
  • Map out family emergency plans for what to do if there’s a fire or severe weather
  • Make an obstacle course around the house
  • Make a meal together

Outdoor adventures

  • Visit a state park for hiking or biking—trails are open
  • Make a scavenger hunt or BINGO sheet to find items from your yard
  • Sing or shout while running and then stop when breath runs out

Ideas that can flex to be indoor and/or outdoor

  • Count the steps to walk around the outside of the house and then make a map of the house
  • Plant an indoor or outdoor garden—flower pots are a great start for a few herbs
  • Set up an art project by creating “paintbrushes” from items found outdoors—think flowers and leaves attached to a stick
  • Collect sticks to make mini rafts for a bathtub race
  • Play Sardines or backwards hide-and-seek. One person hides and finds a spot that can fit almost everyone who is playing. As people find the hiding person, they hide with them. The last person to find the hiding group is next up to find the hiding spot.

Some other favorites

During years of Y camping, we’ve learned a lot about entertaining kids—and sometimes that requires research! Here are some of our top ideas from around the internet: