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6 Creative Summer Activities for Kids

kids summer activities build a pillow fort with pillows and blankets from around the house

With people spending more time at home, kids (and their parents) need to find creative summer activities to fill their waking hours without getting bored.

Fortunately, you don't have to rely on electronics—or even spend any money—to find fun things to do. Some of the best, no-cost solutions are right in their own bedrooms.

Summer Activities For Kids

1. Build a hideout.

Pillows, blankets, and sheets can be used for all kinds of makeshift hideouts. Often called pillow forts or sheet tents, what your child wants them to be is up to their imagination. Maybe they imagine them to be a castle surrounded by a moat. Or a military fort defending against a plush toy army. Or a tent in the wilderness.

If you want to sneak in learning, SciShow Kids offers child-friendly videos on the science of pillow forts and sheet forts. You kids will learn things like why tension and compression matter so their forts won't collapse in a nanosecond.

2. Engage in make believe.

Pretend play can go beyond forts. Using a safety pin, sheets and pillow cases can become superhero capes. Or a fancy ball gown. Or a Roman emperor. Pillow cases can also become small parachutes for toddlers. With you nearby, they can practice jumping off the bed, holding the pillow case above them as their parachute.

Or use a flat sheet to create a parachute that your kids can run under and out from. Take a flat sheet and snap it in the air, allowing it to billow up and fall. Two people holding the sheet (one on each side) can up the challenge. Simply raise and lower the sheet quickly and see if you can trap a kid inside!

3. Design your own sheets.

Encourage your kids artistic side by letting them draw on their white or light-colored bed sheets and pillow cases. You'll need fabric markers so the design doesn't run when washed. You can buy these online or at craft or fabric stores. You can let your child draw free hand or buy stencils in different shapes, letters or numbers. You can help them draw a street map of your town, and they can "drive" their toy cars around.

4. Hold a sheet Olympics.

The 2020 Summer Olympics may be postponed, but you can keep that spirit alive. Use what's in your kids bedroom to come up with creative competition. Some ideas:

  • Jump the stack. See who can stack the most plush toys without them falling over. Place a bunch of pillows on the other side of the toy stack. Then see who can jump on it without toppling the stack.
  • Pillow balance beam. Place a row of pillows on the floor. Each child needs to perform a routine across the pillow beam without falling off. For example, they can balance on one foot. And end with a dismount. You can award points for style and performance.

5. Create towel animals.

Towel animals are all the rage. Perhaps you've seen friends share cute photos of towel elephants, swans or cats on social media. Creating some of this origami magic on your own is not as hard as you'd think. First, find some thick terry cloth towels in various sizes. offers step-by-step video folding instructions for dozens of towel animals, even a towel cake.

6. Let the feathers fly.

Pillow fights are the quintessential slumber party silliness. There's even an International Pillow Fight Day. What's great about pillow fights is that there are no winners or losers. It's just about having a good, silly time.
While you might be limiting sleepovers for now, who says Mom and Dad can't start a fun feather brawl? Pillows can still hurt, so you should follow some rules to make sure it's good safe fun.

  • Remove glasses and headphones first.
  • Only use soft pillows.
  • Swing lightly and avoid hitting someone in the face.
  • Don't swing at someone who doesn't have a pillow.
  • Never play angry. Even pillows can cause injury if wielded in anger.
  • Don't swing at someone trying to take photos or record the pillow fight.

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