The following activities from Summer Program Tips, Strategies and Activities for School-Agers are easy to implement and require few materials: 


  1. Balloon Relay: Divide students into two even teams and have them pass balloons under their chins down the line. No hands! If it drops, start over.
  2. Freeze Dance: Play music and let the students dance. Have students freeze each time the music stops. Play music fast and slow for added fun!
  3. Bean Bag Tic-Tac-Toe: Make a large tic-tac-toe board on the floor with masking tape (if outside, use chalk). Players can toss bean bags onto the square and try to get three in a row.
  4. Bottle Bowling: Fill ten bottles half full of sand. Cap the bottles tightly. Have students roll a ball toward the bottles and try to knock them down.


  1. Button Printing: Collect a variety of buttons. To print, press the button on an inkpad, and then on paper. Use a pen or markers for finishing touches.
  2. Sand Art: Color sand by mixing in a bit of dry tempera paint. For lighter colors, use salt instead of sand. Then, use the colored sand to make interesting designs. Simply drip glue onto construction paper and sprinkle the sand onto the glue. Once dry, shake off the excess sand to reveal the design!
  3. Mask Making: Have students make a mask to show what they would like to be: an astronaut, a chef, a teacher, etc. Then, have them wear the mask and act as if they were that person.
  4. Bottle Band: Starting with clear, empty bottles, have students practice blowing in them to make a noise. Use bottles of different sizes for different noises. Then, add varying amounts of water to each bottle to discover even more sounds!
  5. DIY Fan: Make a “pamaypay” (Filipino for fan) to stay cool. Decorate a six-inch round or square piece of poster board. Use glue or a staple gun to attach it to a 12” long wooden stick. 6. Cartooning: Find a book, article or video on cartoon basics and teach students how to draw simple faces. Then, let them make their own cartoon strip.


  1. Ocean in a Jar: Layer plain or colored beach sand in an empty pickle jar (or other clear container with a lid). Add small shells, sequins, etc. Fill slowly with water. Lastly, tightly screw on the lid. 
  2. Box City: Collect as many boxes as you can. Have students use the boxes to construct a city of box buildings, houses, castles and businesses. They can use the small boxes to make vehicles for their city, such as trains, cars, buses, boats, planes and helicopters.
  3. Bridge Contest: Build a bridge using only drinking straws and paper clips. Then, have contests to determine whose bridge is longest, highest and strongest!
  4. Insect Hunt: Collect insects in empty plastic jars. Search online for interesting facts about the insect and present them to the class. Be sure to set the insects free at the end of the day. 5. Crazy Towers: Cut cereal boxes into crazy shapes. Decorate with markers or rubber stamps. Cut small slits at edges of the shapes. Then, slide pieces together at the slits to make unusual structures.


  1. Spell It: Write the letters of the alphabet on small pieces of paper. Put the letters into a hat. Then, have students choose five letters to try and make a word.
  2. Around the World: Have students plan their own trip around the world. Look at maps, brochures or travel websites and plan the location, places to visit and activities to try on the trip.
  3. Daily News: Create a daily newspaper for your program. Write “Daily News” on chart paper. Then, let students add to the chart each day with news they would like to share.
  4. Rebus Stories: In small groups, have students write a rebus story on a large sheet of paper. They can draw pictures or use pictures cut from magazines to substitute for some of the words. Then, have them take turns reading each other’s stories.
  5. Time Capsule: Write a letter to the future. Ask students to include information about current events, food, games, education, music, technology, etc.

These simple activities are great for ending the summer on a fun note. What end-of-summer activities do you have planned for your program? Share below!