Kids' Summer Activities: Indoor Edition

I don't know about your city, state, or country but where we live it can get very hot during the summer months.  While we do go outside every day, I also like to have an arsenal of indoor activities at the ready just in case a 100+ degree day rears its ugly head.  Here are a few of our favorite things right now.

Building Toys

My son, George, in particular, loves to build.  He's obsessed with Lego sets and can spend hours building with just about any building set at his disposal.  Our favorites right now are Plus Plus blocks and magnet tiles.

We first bought a set of Plus Plus blocks back in April (for Easter) and have added to them over the last few months.  All three of my kids can build and play with these little blocks for hours.  Their current favorite thing to do is build armies of chicks that battle a giant evil rabbit, usually played by me (our first set of Plus Plus blocks was an Easter set...can you tell? ha).

As for the magnet tiles, we've had some variety of these for years now.  I've purchased the brand name tiles in the past but have found that this off-brand is just as good, if not better (for a lower price too - score).


Board games can be hard.  When kids aren't old enough to read or sit still for longer than 20 minutes, it's hard to find games that the whole family (i.e., the parents) can enjoy.  I'm happy to say that my two oldest have finally both reached ages where they can actually play fun board games.  While we have a closet stuffed full of games, these have been in high rotation lately.

We've had this Alphabet Bingo game since George was about 4 (I used this for his pre-k at home back in the day) and I credit it with teaching him his letters and letter sounds.  My oldest two kids still enjoy this game and it's perfect for Ruby (my 3-year-old) who is just starting to learn her letters.

My oldest two, George and Eleanor, are very into checkers.  They're both competitive so the games can be a little dicey and cutthroat but it's all in good fun, right?  I bought this jumbo checkers set about a month ago to replace our old felt one that had seen better days.  This jumbo one is great for small hands (the pieces are about as big as their hands) and, because it's so big, it's much easier to keep track of the pieces.  My kids also occasionally pretend the pieces are cakes or cookies when they play bonus I guess?

I bought this chess set after Eleanor declared one day that she needed to learn to play Wizard's Chess (Harry Potter fans unite).  I actually didn't know how to play chess either before we bought this game so I was pretty excited to get it.  I'm happy to report that after just a couple of weeks, Eleanor, George, and I all know how to play chess and our current summer goal is to beat my husband, David. This set makes learning how to play super easy and fun, especially for kids.  Highly, highly recommend.


We have a lot of puzzles.  In fact, thinking back to when quarantine started, we spent nearly the entire month of March doing puzzles.  George has always been really into puzzles but over the last few months everyone in our family has joined in.

We love Crocodile Creek puzzles the most - they pictures are colorful and vibrant, which makes them easier for the kids (and parents, tbh) to put together.  They also have awesome map and animal puzzles that can be used to incorporate learning into play.  Ruby loves the smaller puzzles (12-32 piece) and the older kids (and the grownups) have been digging the 100-300 piece puzzles.

Toddler Toy

I guess this little toy is technically a puzzle but to us it's so much more than that.  I am not exaggerating when I say that Ruby plays with this toy every. single. day.  I scored this a few years ago at a thrift store for $1 but am happy to report that it's sold on Amazon, if you're interested.  The carrying case ensures that we don't lose the letters and I love that the letters click into the puzzle so they don't fall out if it's tipped or dropped.  Now that Ruby is preschool age, I've started using this toy to teach her letters and letter sounds and it's working really well for that as well.


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