41 Toys And Activities To Keep Your Kids Entertained This Summer
Massive bubble wands, fidget toys, and backyard games galore.
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1. Spikeball, an easy-to-transport game that is kinda like volleyball and will have your friends asking you to bring it on every beach trip.
My friends are OBSESSED with Spikeball. While I'm not super coordinated and prefer to be a cheerleader (I'm accident-prone, OK!), this game is one of the most fun beach activities I've seen in a minute. It has been described as "if volleyball and foursquare had a baby" and can be played in a variety of ways.
Promising review: "This is a great beach game. Its simplicity as a spin on volleyball will have you and your friends be the envy of the beach. On multiple occasions I was asked where I bought this game. Great fun, and a great product. Assembly was simple enough. It's just plastic clips and then finding a way to get the net tight enough onto the hoop. You might think it isn't springy enough but it will be. Remember... This isn't a trampoline!" —Btschultz
Get it from Amazon for $59.95.
2. A slug-shaped fidget toy you'll likely find yourself playing with when your kid finally puts it down to take a nap — it's oddly enticing for reasons I simply can't put into words.
RexRoi3D is a small business based out of Los Angeles, California that sells 3D-printed items.
Promising review: "I got the large size and he has immediately become one of my favorite fidget toys! It's got a nice weight and feels sturdy, a really good quality item" —Mio Leroux
3. A pop-up tunnel play set that'll keep little ones busy so you can kick back and enjoy an ice cold beverage.
Promising review: "Easy to set up and tear down, and I like that it comes with a storage bag. I also love that it can be configured different ways and you can just use pieces and not the whole thing if you want. The addition of stakes for using outside is also handy. Overall a great product and my kids love it. They got it for Christmas and two months later it is still holding up well after regular use. Even the cat loves it!" —Azure
Get it from Amazon for $66.95.
4. A five-pack of stretchy fidget tools that won't make a sound so your kiddo can get out their nervous energy without disrupting everyone else around them.
Promising review: "Perfect sensory toy. I’m glad this comes as a multipack because my kiddo with Down syndrome is obsessed. He needs something to twirl pretty much any time he’s awake and this is great. They’re super stretchy, but don’t get long enough during twirling to, say, hit your brother in the face in the car, so that’s nice. (One less battle and everyone is happy!) Easy to clean and sanitize, and they seem to be incredibly durable after a month of the green one being used about 13 hours a day — and as serious fidgeter has been testing the limits. We got the most massive smile when the orange one was presented yesterday. A new color? Life is awesome! Wait until he sees the other three hiding in the closet. Haha! I have no hesitation recommending this item." —I'm me
Get a set of five from Amazon for $9.99.
5. A Fortnite drawing guide book for when they find the strength (or you scold them enough that they listen) to take a break from gaming to focus on one of their other many talents.
6. A supersized version of Connect Four that'll provide your squad of kids with hours upon hours of simple fun in the sun. The only downfall is you might never want to play the regular version again!
Promising review: "Best purchase! We bought it for the kids but my husband and I stayed up until 1 a.m. playing!! It was a hit at our party! Great quality. Yes, you can hit the bar and release the discs, but it hasn't happened to us and wouldn't be a big deal if it did! Totally worth it! So glad we got it!!" —Rechel B
Get it from Amazon for $79.99.
7. Kan Jam, an outdoor frisbee toss game that'll start as a casual game of catch and most likely evolve into a SUPER competitive battle for greatness.
This is another game my friends have been playing at the beach since we were in high school — it's always been a big hit. The rules are quite simple: break into two pairs but position yourselves across from one another. Then all you have to do is aim your frisbee toss at the "kan." If your teammate deflects the frisbee to hit the kan, you get one point. If the disc hits the kan on its own, that is two points. If your teammate taps the frisbee into the kan that's three points. If by some lucky chance you throw the disc RIGHT INTO THE SLOT, you win!
Promising review: "This is a ridiculously fun and easy lawn game. It's got the strategy of horseshoes with the fun of a team activity. The rules are simple, the equipment is made to last — if you are looking for a semi-active game to bring to the beach, family barbecue, or even company picnic, this is it!" —J. Caldwell
Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in three styles).
8. A playhouse for your kids (or friends' kids) that looks like an actual lil' seaside shack and'll make your backyard the go-to destination of the summer.
9. Waterproof playing cards, so you can get a fierce game of Go Fish going without fear of the moment your kids inevitably spill their drink all over the table.
Promising review: "These playing cards are a HIT. I take them out with me for social events and when visiting people, even to the beach. We just play and play. So you can get them wet and they won't soggy up and tear, it just becomes a little hard to shuffle. It is so cool that they look like you can see right straight through them but you can't." —Tabitha
Get them from Amazon for $5.97.
10. And a battery-operated card shuffler that'll ensure your kids won't need to ask you to do the daunting task for them each time they finish playing a round of Go Fish.
Promising review: "This is a great device for shuffling cards. We bought it for our younger children because they love playing cards, but hate shuffling cards (and aren't very good at it). This device does just as described. We actually put a smaller deck of Rook cards in it and it works just fine, so it's useful over and beyond a standard playing deck. I give 5 out of 5......would buy again." —Jessica Dasher
Get it from Amazon for $9.95.
11. A portable karaoke microphone that'll transform your outdoor patio into a party from the moment you connect it to the app of your choosing. Ahem, that's just me clearing my throat to treat you all to my rendition of Aladdin's "A Whole New World."
Promising review: "We need something to let the kids sing without having to turn on the whole karaoke system. This works like a charm. The Bluetooth connection helps as well. You can just turn on YouTube and look for any song and they probably have a karaoke version or a song-a-long they can sing to. The range is also great. We were outside and the volume can be heard nicely." —Phong Bui
Get it from Amazon for $30.99 (available in 11 colors).
12. A flying LED disco ball that might just become the light of your, ahem I mean, your kid's life. No dance party would be complete without it!
Promising review: "My kids love this flying glow ball! It’s easy to control, just keep your hand underneath and it will hover right over. I would only use indoors as we took outside and it flew over our neighbor’s fence! A little bit of wind is not good for this toy! Luckily we got it back, however learned our lesson to keep inside. It looks beautiful when it’s flying as the colors illuminate on the ceiling! Very cool in the dark too! Great price and a lot of fun!" —Brian "SpookYouLaterz" Lubecki
Get it from Amazon for $9.96.
13. A geode-breaking activity from National Geographic that'll give you and your kids an excuse to pick up a hammer and smash rocks in half. The best part? The cracked-open rocks will reveal stunning crystal centers you can learn about together.
Promising review: "We bought this for our boys who are 4 1/2. They loved the goggles and the magnifying glass that came with the kit. Breaking open the rock was a little more difficult than I thought. My boys definitely couldn't do it. You will also need to make sure you have a hammer and chisel to break them open. The rocks we got looked very different which is great! One was black on the outside and one was a creamy white brown color and the insides were very different as well. The lighter colored one was also much easier to open. The rocks are so much prettier in person and they really sparkle in the sun. It comes with a nice picture book as well. Great activity! Definitely recommend!" —Martin
Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two styles).
14. A jar of stress relief therapy dough, because why should anyone inhale that very specific-but-not-necessarily-pleasant Play-Doh scent when you can unwind with a version that's the scent and color you've always wanted?
Quirky Ginger Uniques is small business based out of Colorado that specializes in handcrafted goods like ornaments, jewelry, and more.
Promising review: "I love the dough. It feels amazing! I bought this to fidget with during my therapy sessions and online classes, and it really makes a difference! First of all the Stress Away smells like very soothing peppermint tea with hints of minty freshness. All the scents blend very nicely together. The dough itself is a lot like Play-Doh but more malleable and softer. It makes my hand feel and smell good and helps relieve a lot of anxiety and anger. Only con I can think of is that occasionally it gets stuck under my nails but that is solved easily by clipping them. 9.5/10 I strongly recommend for stress relief, anger relief, for fidgeting, for the smell and texture. The owner was very nice and helpful, the item shipped very swiftly, and she even sent in a car freshie! Very satisfied with my purchase. I strongly recommend!!!" —K. Minton
15. Or a popping stress toy you can count on to mesmerize both you and your child. It's super lightweight and easy to take on the go — you might need one for every member of your family!
Promising review: "Pop-its are some of the most popular fidget toys and I believe everybody should have one. There is a soft and loud side. The only issue is that the soft side is a little harder to press but it gets easier once you have a technique. It is so fun and feels nice on your hands. Would definitely recommend!" —Charley
Get it from Amazon for $6.99 (available in 18 styles).
16. A glow-in-the-dark mini golf set complete with five holes, two putters, LED golf balls, five tee mats, five obstacles, and black lights to transform your yard into Entertainment City.
This kit would be perfect for kiddos who are interested in golf or just for families looking to have another activity on-hand at home. I would honestly play with this myself on a summer day in my backyard — why not?! You can reconfigure the lay out of the holes each time to make it interesting.
Get it from Bed Bath and Beyond for $159.99.
17. A glow-in-the-dark fort building kit that'll put the blanket forts you built as a kid to shame. It'll also encourage your kid's imagination to run wild and maybe, just maybe, inspire them to become an architect someday.
Promising review: "We love the fun, creative play generated from the Fun Forts building set. The parts are manufactured in a way to allow children to engineer and construct their own designs. This is our second set purchased since we loved the first and wanted to expand, although expansion is not necessary." —Darcy Davenport
Get it from Amazon for $34.95.
18. A set of four Pokémon puzzles you and your tyke can build side-by-side on a rainy day while watching old episodes of the series. Just try not to judge them too harshly based on which Starter they choose.
19. Disney Princess nail polishes you can use for a fabulous at-home spa day with your little one (good luck convincing them to do your toes for ya').
This kit comes with 18 different polishes that are designed for small hands and feet (SO CUTE). Each color has a quick-dry formula that can also be easily peeled off, so no worries about using nail polish remover on your tyke.
Promising review: "My 8-year-old daughter cried when she got this for her birthday. She loved it. She is always trying to use my nail polish, so to have her own was amazing. The colors are quite nice and vibrant. The bottles are glass and very nice looking. The polish actually stays put until you pull or scrub it off. I would by this again in a heartbeat." —nkcacciola74
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
20. A boat-shaped rocker so your little one can sail the high seas without anyone actually having to get on a boat. Junior can play pretend safely on land — no sea sickness for Mom or Dad.
Maisonette is a small business based out of Brooklyn, NY that sells adorable kids clothing and toys.
Get it from Maisonette for $99.99.
21. An Uno "Nothin’ But Paper" card game made from fully recyclable materials that'll teach your tykes to respect Mother Earth and kick your partner's butt in a classic card game.
Me (29), my husband (29), my sister (25), and her boyfriend (25) recently broke out a pack of Uno cards and had a surprisingly fun time as a group of adults who hadn't played this game in years and years. Highly recommend!
Promising review: "Pretty and lightweight, these cards are just as fun as the original deck. They are not as durable so be gentle but otherwise I'm pleased with my purchase." —Ronnie B.
Get it from Amazon for $5.99.
22. A jumbo set of tower blocks that, just like the ones you played with as a kid, will probs stress you out as you strategize and keep you entertained for an entire afternoon — only this time you'll get some fresh air while you're at it.
Promising review: "Purchased these for 'game nights' on the terrace during the summer and they were much more popular than I expected. These are solid and seem like they will last quite a while. Solid set and bag makes storing a breeze!" —Josh
Get them from Amazon for $49.99+ (available in two sizes)
23. A mini projector you can set up in your yard for the ultimate movie night your kids will never forget — good luck convincing them to watch anything other than Frozen.
This projector is a 10/10 because it can be hooked up to anything — a TV Box, an Amazon Fire TV Stick, a ChromeBook, tablets, Blu-ray DVD players, SD Card, USB flash drives, and smartphones. It even comes with all the cables necessary to connect!
Promising review: "I’ve been wanting to get a projector for some time now, but was having a hard time deciding on one. I’m glad that I decided on this one! The price point is great, the unit comes with cables, an adjustable stand, and a remote, and the setup is easy. I hooked it up to my phone and was able to view live sporting events that I was watching on my phone! After the game was over, I hooked it up to a DVD player and my kids watched Frozen and were able to operate the machine themselves. They went crazy when we aimed it at the ceiling while laying on the floor to watch!" —Liz Kara
Get it from Amazon for $89.99.
24. And a projection screen that'll take your outdoor entertaining to the next level. Imagine what the Big Game will look like on this baby?!
The screen is 120-inches and made of an anti-crease material. It also comes with brackets and ropes for mounting purposes.
Promising review: "This screen is perfect for our use. We bought it for outdoor movie nights whether being on the garage door, in the backyard, camping, or inside the garage. It’s very easy to install with no wrinkles and shows a great picture. I’ve attached pictures that show how well I can still see the picture despite being surrounded by 7,000 Christmas lights in close vicinity." —Hallie H.
Get it from Amazon for $28.99.
25. A set of massive bubble wands so enchanting that even the angstiest of teens won't be able to resist giving them a go.
The set also comes with instructions on how to make the BIGGEST bubbles possible!
Promising review: "The wand is awesome, but even MORE awesome is that I just used regular bubble solution (way cheaper, found anywhere) and it worked just as well. Maybe better. Some people in reviews have said that you must use the packets that come with the wand, but I gave it a shot anyway with regular bubbles and it worked just fine, with no noticeable difference." —Lauri
Get it from Amazon for $14.95.
26. A "Build-a-Flower" toy set your kiddo will love if they have big dreams of becoming a florist or simply love ripping dandelions out of the ground and sweetly presenting them to you while getting clumps of dirt all over the house. These flowers will last a *little* longer and be keep play time a *touch* cleaner.
27. Friends-themed Monopoly for the teens in your household who *just* started the timeless debate of whether Ross and Rachel were on a break or not, and want to let the obsession with the show seep into everything they do. Ah, to be young again.
28. A Razor scooter that'll remind you of your own childhood as you watch your kiddo scoot around for hours.
I got reacquainted with a Razor scooter last year (see above) and have been smiling ever since — seriously. I'm very accident-prone so pretty much everyone in my life begged me not to get on this bad boy, but I was determined to relive the fun of my childhood. Mission accomplished — it's SO fun. The bigger wheels make for a smooth ride and, honestly, it was quite a workout! I'd suggested snagging a helmet for your little one.
Promising review: "My 10-year-old daughter got an electric scooter for Christmas last year. This year she wanted a manual one. We live in New England. Have had a relatively mild winter so far, but she has kept the scooter inside. All three of my kids ride it in circles around our first floor! (My oldest is 16.5!) BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER! It was very inexpensive, but its rugged. Well made. Can't believe they are all getting so much use/fun out of such a simple toy. I will actually miss it when they have to take it outside. (Once it goes outside, it stays outside!) GREAT scooter!!" —Heather Adamson
Get it from Amazon for $29.92+ (available in eight colors and with or without a wheelie bar).
29. A Stomp Rocket, capable of launching up to 200 feet, to keep your kids busy and remind them to *literally* shoot for the stars.
The set comes with a stomp launcher and four foam rockets. It's recommended for ages 5+.
Promising review: "Bought for my 3-year-old nephew but became great outdoor fun for the whole family. 3-year-old loved it and could stomp and jump on the launcher without problem, sending the 'rocket' into the sky about 20 feet. The adults didn't hold back after a few trials and the toy held up to the heavy feet and launched the rockets extremely high, not 200 feet, but more like 75–100. Very fun trying to catch them on their way down too! Soft nerf and lightweight plastic made the toy safe and fun." —Brandy
Get it from Amazon for $17.99.
30. An interactive The Floor is Lava game that'll get you and your kiddos out of your seat and bouncin' around the house — in a good way!
Promising review: "This is one of my son’s (age 8) absolute favorite games. We have a blast playing as a family and will play multiple rounds at a time. Being able to adjust the difficulty by putting the pieces closer or further apart is helpful when playing with younger kids or when trying to make it harder. We also adjust the game to allow furniture to be climbed on when trying to get to hard to reach tiles (just as long as you don’t fall in the lava). I’ve even taken this game along to adult parties (shhhh don’t tell my son)." —Alicia A. Atkinson
Get it from Amazon for $16.97.
31. Handcrafted, nontoxic constellation blocks you and your mini-me can use to learn the symbols, names, hemispheres, and scale of magnitude for 16 constellations in the night sky. Will I pressure my kids into learning about their horoscopes? Yes, yes I will.
BuzzFeed editor (and father-of-two) John Mihaly has these blocks:
"These are perhaps the most beautifully designed and interesting set of wooden blocks that's I've ever encountered. I liked them so much I bought them way before my kid would even be able to use them. Having nearly failed my astronomy course in college, I figured this would be a great way for us to learn all about the constellations together as I pretend to know what I'm talking about. So when my kid asks, 'Dad, where is Orion's belt?' I won't have to answer, 'Around his waist.'"
Get it from Amazon for $25.
32. Or a 360-degree-rotating 3-in-1 LED globe, constellation map, and night light that'll teach them about both the night sky and the planet where we live. Pretty exciting stuff!
Promising review: "This is a wonderful globe. I bought this for my nephew and this is a fun way to give him the basics. He enjoys learning countries and he loves the night-light. The constellations are pretty cool in the dark. The size is perfect and the quality is amazing. The countries and regions are clear and they are easy to read. The base is strong and stable. It doesn't tip when spinning. The guidebook has more detailed information about the constellations and it's location. This globe definitely captured my nephew's attention and he is learning with interest. Overall, this is a perfect globe and can't go wrong with it." —Lucky10z
Get it from Amazon for $46.95.
33. A standard swing set you'll pat yourself on the back for setting up when you see how much time your kids will want to spend outside on it — and it'll save you a trip to the park!
Each swing can support 115 pounds and is ideal for ages 3 months to 10 years. You can also purchase a baby swing attachment so little ones can join in on the fun!
Promising review: "This swing set was easy to assemble and our kids love it! My husband and son had it done in under two hours. The *only* minor complaint I have is the photos featured on the product page are a little misleading. The set is not as large as it appears. For us, this was totally okay, but if you are expecting something very tall, this is not that. We have only had it up for a few days, but my husband and I are both so happy with this purchase and so are our children. We love it so much we are purchasing a second set for when friends come over." —Kindle Customer
Get it from Amazon for $246.94.
34. A too-cute Stitch nuiMO doll they can dress-up like a lil' hipster and take along on your daily errands to discover all kinds of things — the latest trendy place to grab a latte, a bookstore off the beaten path, a cool new record store, y'know how it goes.
I have a Minnie Mouse nuiMO and cannot get over how adorable these dolls are — you can't put an age limit on that kind of cute. If Stitch isn't your kiddo's thing, check out the various nuiMO dolls and outfits here.
Promising review: "Stitch is very cute, I really like the design of his face, He makes a sweet couple with Angel, they can stand on their own on most surfaces, they have bendable arms with small magnets in their hands so they can hold on to metal objects, very fun." —Sweetiemama23
35. A Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite your kiddo has probably been begging you for since they learned Animal Crossing existed. Added bonus? You can play with it when they go to bed and show Tom Nook once and for whose boss.
When I tell you my Nintendo Switch Lite and my husband's Nintendo Switch has been a true game-changer in keeping us both entertained over the last year I wholeheartedly mean it. From spending hours upon hours building a 5-star island on Animal Crossing: New Horizons and adventuring in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to breaking a sweat playing Fit Boxing 2 and exploring the beautiful world in