23 Buys to Keep Kids Busy This Summer

Long summer days can mean recurring strains of "I'm bored!" Snap the mundane out of their days and reduce their summer brain drain with these playful buys.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
May 07, 2021

School's out for the summer, and though I'm looking forward to lazy mornings and days without a minute-by-minute schedule, I also know my kids will get up every day asking me, "What are we doing today?" I'm prepping my house with sure-to-entertain ideas, from playful outdoor toys to fun buys that will keep their brains active and engaged.


Last summer, we bought a similar water toy, and my kids had so much fun with it. Plus, it proved to be a safe way to do water play with our young nieces and nephews. I love how this one comes with small wiggly-tail fish that swim around as kids bounce and play.

Buy It

Bring the stars to earth for your budding astronomer. Easy to set up, this telescope has two eyepieces: a 35x magnification for seeing the moon and constellations and a 70x magnification for viewing as far as the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter.

Buy It

With "Baby Shark" continuing to be all the rage for littles, this shark design will up your sprinkler game this summer. Simply attach a garden hose and water pours out under the arch for hours of outdoor fun.

Buy It

On days when it seems that the kids have endless energy, send them outside to let off steam with this interactive glow-in-the-dark rocket that helps with coordination and balance.

Buy It

This kit has been a favorite in my home for well over a year. My kids easily follow the step-by-step photo instructions in the book, which guides them through how to do different rolls and shapes to make adorable animals, fruit, sweets and more.

Buy It

Rain or shine, this soft-yet-durable jumper will get kids as young as three excited about exercise (whether they know it or not.) The sturdy foam base supports them while they bounce and lets out a squeak with every hop.

Buy It

Calling all superheroes! Let your kids' creativity shine with this kit for creating their own comic books. The kit comes with everything they need to get started, including a writing guide that helps them shape their characters and stories. And the best part? They can send their work off to have it professionally printed and bound.

Buy It

This amped up Rubik's cube connects to a mobile app, adding value to kids' screen time and helping them sharpen their STEM skills. Stick this little guy in your bag to pull out when entertaining younger siblings at ballgames, on car trips or while waiting for food at a restaurant.

Buy It

Hey, batter-batter! This can't-go-wrong classic is fun for individual or group play while promoting hand-eye coordination, teamwork and determination.

Buy It

This story-based STEM kit is a creative take on teaching kids about electric circuits, as well as mechanical equipment and physics. An illustrated storybook, along with an instruction manual, leads kids through building the treehouse and projects that follow the rainforest journey.

Buy It

For the perfect rainy-day activity, give your petite geologist an excavation experience. Your kiddo gets to crack open 10 authentic geodes with crystal formations inside. Once they've finished their task, they can display their newly discovered collection on the two included stands.

Buy It

Sharpen kids' recall skills with a classic memory game. This version is great for preschoolers and helps promotes visual recognition with perfect-for-summer ice pops. Stock the freezer with popsicles before pulling the game out because you know they'll be asking for one when they make their final match.

Buy It

Hone those geography skills and get kids excited about exploring their world. With 52 creatively illustrated maps, showcasing places to visit, native plants and animals, famous people, as well as geographical features, this book gives your kids an in-depth look at different continents and countries around the earth.

Buy It

Give your tiny scientist the chance to build and paint her very own volcano from papier-mâché. The included book is full of photos, facts and volcano jokes, which is always a big hit in my home. Grab some baking soda and vinegar at the grocery store to create real eruptions.

Buy It

Start your city planner early. The set of 20 blocks fit together like a puzzle in multiple ways so your child can create and recreate her architectural vision. And remember it's all about balance, whether adding a rooftop garden or building a hi-rise, to keep the city from falling down.

Buy It
$72.95 (Pack of 3)

Science class has started. Petite chemists get the chance to experiment through these three kits: crafting a chemistry garden, setting up their own lab and making colorful art through chemical reactions.

Buy It

Prime your elementary schooler for those sure-to-come state and capital quizzes and start teaching little ones about their country with this colorful United States puzzle.

Buy It

P.E. credit! Kick boredom to the curb and stretch the wiggles out with this illustrated deck of cards that takes kids through 50 yoga poses. Encourage your kiddos (and you!) to bend, twist and balance their way to a healthy lifestyle.

Buy It

Kickstart your kiddo's STEM skills this summer with this clever and fun game that you can play with kids as young as four. Robot Turtles teaches the basics of coding and programming and has four levels of play so the game can grow with your children.

Buy It

Your tiny artist will perfect his sketches with 20 Ways to Draw Everything. Each of the 135 themes has 20 examples of how to draw nature-inspired items, like pinecones, tree seeds and marigolds.

Buy It

The number one thing teachers encourage kids to do over the summer is to read every day. Take your kids on the classic adventures of The Hardy Boys with the first five books of the series. This set features custom-designed covers by Juniper Books so in addition to wonderful stories, they'll look amazing on your bookshelf.

Buy It

Bring the symphony to your child's fingertips with this interactive book that teaches him the different aspects of a symphony and the families of instruments. Nineteen sound buttons allow your preschooler and elementary-age kid to hear each instrument's part of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Next stop: Carnegie Hall.

Buy It

Who wants to fly paper airplanes when you can soar with dragons? The book, which is full of dragon traits and their habitats, shows kids step-by-step how to create 12 dragons, including foot-long flyers and dragon hatchlings. Make a theme day of it and watch How to Train Your Dragon — hours without having to hear the dreaded "bored" word equals parenting success.

Buy It

Next Up

This $23 Mini Fan From Amazon Is a Must-Have for Summer

Have your coolest summer ever with this personal fan that goes everywhere you do.

Stop Schlepping: The Pared-Down Packing Guide for a Family Beach Trip

School is out, summer is in and the shore is calling. We'll walk you through what you need for a beach trip with kids with the goal being to keep meltdowns (kids and grown-ups alike) to a minimum.

The Best Bug Repellents for Kids

HGTV editors and a pediatrician share recommendations on how to keep kids bite-free this summer.

The Best Places to Buy Stylish Kids' Furniture Online

Creativity, playfulness and functionality reigns supreme when designing a child's room. Discover our favorite places for finding great furniture pieces made just for kids and babies.

14 Essential Items to Keep Dogs Cool in Hot Weather

These items will help keep your pet cool and safe through the extra-long dog days of summer.

10 Inflatable Sprinklers Kids Will Love This Summer

Beat the heat and bring on the summer fun with these sprinklers shaped like giant unicorns, dinosaurs, sharks, rainbow blobs and more.

Justina Blakeney's Latest Product Collaboration Will Bring Jungalow Style to Your First Aid Kit

Adventure awaits this summer, so be prepared to bandage up the signs of a day well spent in style with these healing bandages at Target.

The Best Inflatable Pools to Buy Right Now

Make a splash this summer with these fun inflatable pools for babies, kids, adults and even dogs.

17 Best Mineral Sunscreens

Medical experts agree that daily sunscreen use is your best defense against skin cancer and premature skin aging. HGTV editors roadtested a number of mineral sunscreens to find the ones that feel best on the skin while providing solid protection from the sun.

20 Buys to Help Kids Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

These fun finds will get kids outside learning about the world around them and how they can impact it in a positive way.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages