12 Retro Summer Activities Kids Can Do At Home

Looking for fun ideas for a summer at home with your family? Check out these retro summer activities kids can do at home! Think of it like a summer-long party where you can introduce your children to the old school games and activities that you grew up loving!

One thing I love to remember most about summer is the hours upon hours we’d outside, just soaking up the laughter, games, and adventure. I can’t even tell you how many nights were spent outside, playing under the street lights. And the things we did, they weren’t fancy or complicated, they were good, old fashioned fun!

12 Retro Summer Activities Kids Can Do At Home

12 Retro Summer Activities Kids Can Do At Home

1. Slip and slide

There’s no denying the fun of a good old slip and slide. All you need is some water and the slide and you’re guaranteed hours upon hours of chaotic fun…not just for the kids!

2. Host a monopoly championship

Monopoly is such a classic game! If you’re looking for a way to create friendly competition in your house, set up a monopoly championship that everyone can join in on. And if the classic version is not for you, there are now heaps of different themed monopoly sets – our daughter LOVES her Star Wars Monopoly game.

3. Play flashlight tag

It’s like tag…but not. Instead of running around and tagging others with their hands, your child can play tag in the dark and rely on a flashlight to be the “tagger”. So much sneaky fun!

You can find more games like flashlight tag, perfect for a summer’s night, in our collection of family camping games.

4. Make lemonade

There’s nothing quite like freshly squeezed lemonade. And if you give your kids the ingredients and a homemade lemonade recipe for making their own, you can reap the rewards of having delicious lemonade any time you want as well!

Summer staycation ideas

5. Watch an outdoor movie

Drive-in movies were the best. And while not every town offers this possibility nowadays, it’s not hard to take your home movie watching outdoors. Set yourself up with blankets and cushions and enjoy a fun movie or two on a hot summer night. Outdoor projectors don’t have to be expensive, Wordplayhouse offers some great Outdoor Movie Night Tips here.

6. Buy their own ice cream

Did you know that ice cream trucks are still a thing? Growing up there was nothing like hearing the faraway tinkle of music from an ice cream truck and waiting for it to get closer and closer before running out the door for an ice cream treat! Let your kids experience that same feeling of anticipation and running out to the truck to buy their own ice cream!

7. Play a card game

Sitting out on the porch and sipping away on a cold drink while playing a round of cards sounds like the perfect way to end a long summer day. You can choose an old time family card game like Hearts with a deck of playing cards, or try one of these newer family card games.

8. Read an entire book series

With the long months of summer looming, it’s a great time to catch up on a bit of reading! And what better way to captivate you child’s attention then with a great book series! We share a heap of book series suggestions in our best chapter books for kids collection – for your convenience, they’re sorted by age, genre and theme.

Retro ideas for summer fun at home

9. Learn to roller skate, skateboard or rollerblade

Did you grow up loving to roller skate, blade or skateboard? If your child has the need for speed, why not share your favourite childhood pastime on wheels with them. We gave our eight year old her first pair of roller skates for her birthday at home and after just a few quick demos she was skating like a pro!

10. Build a fort

Fort building is a great activity indoors or out! A blanket fort inside is a super fun way to beat the rainy day blues, and an outdoor fort offers the novelty of having a space away from the house to hang out in.

11. Plant a garden

Taking ownership for their own little garden is a great way to develop responsibility! Your children can easily plant out, water and maintain a small garden area in your yard, or care for a collection of potted plants.

12. Camp out

Camping out in your backyard can be a great stopgap when you can’t head off on a road trip or vacation – and it is much easier too as it doesn’t actually matter if you forget an essential supply! It’s a great way for kids to unplug and there is no reason why you can’t play camping games and activities in the backyard; you can even try camp cooking at home – don’t forget the s’mores!

Give your child the gift of simple summer fun and who knows, they may even prefer these “old school” summer activities much more than you expect…especially if you are in on the fun too!


social emotional learning journal


There’s no end to the fun you can have with these ideas: