Summer is officially here, and with the kids out of school for a few months, it’s time for the whole family to get out there for some old-fashioned fun. But here’s the thing with kids: they get bored. Very fast. That’s exactly why parents need to beef up their arsenal of outdoor games and entertaining hijinks, making sure the long summer days feature an ever-changing list of activities.
Whether you’re in town this summer or spending it by the lake, we have the products that will keep families together all day long. Because as every parent knows, the more time kids spend burning energy outdoors, the earlier they fall asleep!
Like the bumper boats you used to use, these motorized pool tubes from Hammacher Schlemmer will brighten up your day at the pool or lake – no paddle needed! Controlled via a joystick (activated by a propeller wrapped underneath), the tube can move fairly quickly in any direction, and it can do 360 degree rotations. Yeah, it’s right in our kids’ driveway. Tip for parents: buy two to increase the excitement of the bumper boat!
The golf enthusiasts in your family can work on their game all summer long, right from your own backyard or balcony. The pop-up net has four built-in targets for lobbing, throwing, chipping, or running, and it comes with three golf practice balls, six colored foam balls, and a tri-turf mat. Did we mention it folds flat and has a handy carry case? Done and done!
Lawn darts was one of our favorite family games growing up, but now that we’re parents, we’ve realized they weren’t safe. At all! Luckily, Giggle N Go has come up with an inflatable floor version that’s portable and super easy to set up. We like the pegs that hold the mat securely in the grass and the fact that the reversible mat features a dartboard on one side and a fun unicorn or monster on the other. Bring it to the park, the beach, or wherever your family is heading this summer.
One of our favorite old-school games is now available in a giant, ultra-interactive version, and yes, our whole family is raving about it. Get everyone connecting (pun intended) with this giant version of the classic Connect Four game that will have parents and kids solving problems all summer long.
Pool days are so much more fun when sports are added to the mix, and with this inflatable set you get double the bill – volleyball and basketball. Once inflated, simply place the net and hoop in the pool and your games will be ready to go. More than 3,500 Amazon reviewers agree that the purchase is worth it.
This product got us on “relaxation island”. Perfect for lakes, beaches or large pools, this giant inflatable hangout can accommodate up to seven adults and features four backrests, two boarding platforms, six cup holders and a bag anchor to hold it in place in the midst of choppy waves and currents. Our favorite detail? The built-in cooler!
For those ridiculously hot summer days, this paddling pool is perfect for little kids who need to cool off. With over 8,000 positive reviews from Amazon, it’s a top-selling water toy, and we can see why – as well as featuring dozens of sprinkler spouts, the mat also maintains a pool of shallow water, where babies will love to splash around. The best part? It’s less than $20.
Some of life’s best memories are created around a fire, and this low-smoke portable fire pit from cult brand Solo is our favorite way to do just that when we’re on the go (or staying put!) ) this summer. . The Ranger comes with a stand that will protect your patio or grass, and we think making s’mores is pretty much obligatory, so you’re going to want to grab a hold. those telescopic skewers that will keep the children safe from the flames.
Sometimes you just need a gigantic, hilarious pool float, and this one fits the bill. Perfect for the ‘gram, TikTok and beyond, this avocado-shaped float stands over 5 feet tall and even includes the pit – aka the brown bouncy ball. Are you feeling more comfortable with unicorns this summer? This one is your best bet.
Show off your competitive prowess this summer with this giant version of Jenga. Available in large and giant sizes, the game’s “timbers” are crafted from sturdy pine wood, and each set comes with a carrying case, making it easy to transport to your neighbor’s yard or to take on your next camping trip.
Kids and kayaks aren’t always the best combination, but we’re here to say that this youth option from Lifetime is officially a game-changer for ages 5-11. Ultra safe, the 6ft long kayak is lightweight and features an ergonomic cockpit design that improves balance and makes it easy to develop skills for beginner paddlers – seriously, our kids were on it and paddling in less than a minute! Yes, it’s time to plan your next family kayaking adventure.
Fulfill your ninja-loving child’s dreams with this action-packed obstacle course that can be set up right in your backyard between two trees or anchor stands. Once the 50-foot slackline is taut, you can begin installing the course’s 10 accessories, including gymnastic rings, monkey bar holds, climbing net, monkey fists, swing and climbing rope. ‘escalation. A great way to boost endurance and strength, this class will get the whole family fit and having fun together this summer.
Looking for a quick and (relatively) cheap way to amp up your pool this summer? We’ve found the answer and it’s the Intex Kool Splash inflatable water slide that works with both in-ground and above-ground pools. With over 3,000 positive reviews from Amazon, the slide is a favorite among parents, in part because it has a landing pad extension that goes into the pool, ensuring a safe and smooth landing for children . Just put on your bathing suit and let’s go!
Nothing keeps little kids busier than a play center…with a slide! This one is an Amazon favorite with nearly 9,500 positive reviews because it packs hours of entertainment. Along with that aforementioned slide, it also includes a sprayer and splash pool, plus a ring toss, ball toss, and ball roller game (with four rings and six balls included). Simply inflate and attach a hose, and you’ve got all-day attraction to stay cool.
For slightly taller kids who need more action in their water inflatable, this slide from Little Tikes is a great option. Featuring a climbing wall, basketball hoop, splash pool, and 4-foot-tall slide, the set is one of our favorites because parents can see it all from afar ( there are no hidden corners!) and because it’s also made from an ultra-durable material that can withstand tons of roughness, for at least a few years. More to know: the slide comes with pegs that secure the slide into the ground, a fan that keeps the slide permanently inflated, and a carrying case for easy storage when not in use.
If you know, you know: children, young and old, love bubbles. Perfect for entertaining everyone at the park, at a BBQ, or just an ordinary Tuesday in your driveway, this fun bubble wand kit includes a set of wands, bubble solution, and a tips and tricks booklet. Don’t forget your sunscreen if you’ll be outside for a while.
The slip ‘n’ slides of yore have been vastly improved. Case in point: this totally awesome waterslide from Wow World of Watersports! Running for 25 feet, the slide is flanked by inflatable pontoons with sprayers that keep kids (and parents) centered and sliding. Each slide comes with two inflatable “sleds” for super-fast gliding, and if you want to double the length, the pontoons have a connection system that allows multiple slides to be attached.
Over 11,000 Amazon reviewers agree that Spikeball is one of the most fun games out there. What is it exactly? Well, maybe the brand says it best, calling it “if volleyball and foursquare had a baby”. Yes, we are part of it! The best part of the two-on-two game? It’s portable and can be played anywhere – the beach, your backyard, in a park, etc.
Perfect for family celebrations or just lazy days outside, the classic game of cornhole bag tossing is surprisingly challenging – and sure to bring out mom and dad’s competitive sides! We love this ultra-sturdy MDF set from GoSports because it’s sure to stand the test of time, but it’s also portable (each piece folds flat) and comes with a carrying case. If grill design isn’t for you, a host of other design options are available. Looking for an even more portable cornhole option? Check this super lightweight set.