It’s been…a year. A very weird year, at that. And many parents spent a lot of last year stuck home with their kids. OK, OK, not “stuck” — we love our kids — but there’s a limit to how many times you can hear “I’m BORED!” in one day!!
Although many children have returned to classrooms as the year progressed…something is still coming up that’s going to have parents and kids stuck at home together AGAIN — SUMMER BREAK! And although you might have a Disney World trip planned at some point during that time, what are you going to do when you’re NOT at Disney World? Are you dreading the possibility of a summer full of “I’m boooored!”? It’s okay because we’ve got you covered!
So when you’re not busy hanging out at the pool or enjoying some other warm summertime activities, here is a great list of things you and your kids can do together this summer! Oh, and to quote Maui, “you’re welcome!” 😉
Coloring isn’t just fun for kids, but adults, too. But it’s also a great way to get some quiet time in while your kid stays occupied being creative. Last year, we shared a TON of fun printable Disney coloring pages for kids, but also a few that would challenge some adults, too!
Coloring has proven to be a great way to reduce stress, too, so it’s a win-win! Bet we all got a little extra stress lying around after the past year! The best part of these coloring sheets? You can print them out FOR FREE right now and your kid could be coloring in minutes!
Make Mickey Tie-Dye Shirts
It’s time to put on some groovy shades and work with your kids to make some SUPER HIP Mickey Mouse Tie-Dye Shirts. And it’s SO EASY! BONUS: It’s cheaper than buying Disney tie-dye shirts online!
All you need are white t-shirts, rubber bands, a bucket of ice water, a tablecloth, a tie-dye kit, plastic wrap, chalk, a Mickey outline (which you can make yourself), gloves, paper towels, and Ziploc bags. For the full tutorial, here’s a video!
Cook Up Some Disney-inspired Recipes
Okay, so here’s one of our favorite things to do to pass the time: make Disney-inspired food! Sure, we’re biased, because we are ALL about food, but spending some time in the kitchen with the kiddos is always a lot of fun — and you get to eat your creations. How awesome is that?
So what can you make? Well, we have a TON of Disney recipes RIGHT HERE, but to get you started, we think some kid-friendly options would include Mickey Waffles (of course), Princess-Inspired Truffles, Tonga Toast, Carrot Cake Cookies, Totchos, and Mickey S’mores Cupcakes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! So get to cooking!
Watch Movies with Matching Disney Snacks
You could take the cooking and baking up a level by choosing some Disney movies with your kids, and then make matching snacks to eat while watching those movies! For example, you could make The Grey Stuff and eat it while watching Beauty and the Beast. Or learn to make Beignets (Mickey-shaped, of course) before watching The Princess and the Frog.
How about learning how to make Ratatouille before watching…well…Ratatouille? Or even whip up some easy Spaghetti and Meatballs before sitting down with The Lady and the Tramp? The possibilities are endless! But if you’re looking for more ideas, we’ve got you covered here.
Design Your Own Disney Parks Ride
So here’s a fun way to stimulate your kids’ imaginations! Ask them to design their own Disney Parks ride! It can be based on anything Disney — a character, a movie, a TV show, or something else! You could have them draw “concept art” for the ride — or even a land — and then explain how it would work!
Or even better? You could have your kids sign up for Imagineering In A Box, a series of free courses that showcase a range of skills that Imagineers are known for. And many of the lessons have hands-on elements that allow kids to do their only bit of Imagineering! Some of our kids did this when it first came out and had a total BLAST. It’s very engaging and fun for even younger kiddos!
Bake Cupcakes And Make Them Look Like Disney Princesses
Here’s another way to get imaginative in the kitchen with your kids. Take your favorite cupcake recipe and then decorate them to represent Disney princesses! For example, you could dress a cupcake up with yellow frosting to resemble Belle or use blue frosting with sugar crystals to represent Cinderella.
The cool thing here is you could let your child decide exactly what each cupcake should look like. And then you can eat your results! And maybe that’s the best part!
Make a fort and have a Disney-themed party
Um…one of our FAVORITE things to do when we were kids was to build forts, but why build just any old fort? Why not build a DISNEY-themed fort? You can use your favorite Disney blankets, pillows, sheets, etc. to create the blanket — or pillow — fort of your kid’s dreams!!! And then you can sit in your fort and have a Disney-themed party!
And of course, for a party, you’ll need Disney music! Or maybe your kid can just hide in their fort to have a Disney movie- watching party with Disney+ on a laptop or tablet. Or maybe your child will want a full-on tea party with a magical tea set! Their fort, their rules!
Build Disney characters…out of fruit
Here’s another fun food-related idea (we can’t help it — we’re ALWAYS thinking about food). Take a piece of fruit and have kids — safely — cut and shape that fruit until it resembles a Disney Character. Or combine fruits to create a grand statue of Mickey Mouse or Goofy by using various fruits — and even vegetables — for various body parts.
The more savory application of this: Bento boxes! Make some fun cut up fruits and veggies, make some rice and shape it into a fun character shape — the options are endless! And like some of our other suggestions — this is a way to make edible and, in this case, even healthy creations!
Make fun Disney-inspired pancakes with colored batter
Okay, so you can totally make Mickey pancakes, but how about going a step further and using food coloring to make colored batters to make even more creative pancakes? You could make some fun Baby Yoda pancakes with green batter, or use blue and purple to make Sulley pancakes!
Seriously, we can’t be the only ones that get really excited at the idea of a purple pancake. Or a green one. Colors make food FUN! It’s really up to you and your kid’s imagination to decide what kind of pancakes you want for breakfast — or lunch or dinner, because we’ll never judge anyone for eating pancakes at ANY time of the day, especially Disney pancakes!
Use construction paper to make Disney costumes for your pets (or yourself)
Here’s a fun and cheap craft to keep your kids busy — give your kids a TON of construction paper in a variety of colors and have them make costumes. If your kids are anything like us, a pack of construction paper, scissors, glue or tape, and markers meant endless options and creativity. And if you have a pet that’s willing, you could even make a Disney costume for them! Or have kids make construction paper costumes for themselves!
It might even be more fun to make it a game. Give your child a random Disney character and then challenge them to make a costume out of the construction paper they have on hand! Or, never forget an old reliable option — make a ton of paper chains and decorate your house!
Click Here For The Weirdest and Most Entertaining Ways to DIY Disney With Your Stash of Toilet Paper!
Have your own Disney festival at home
So if you can’t make it to Disney World for one of EPCOT’s MANY festivals, why not recreate that festival at home! You could task everyone in the family to come up with food ideas and set up “food booths” or organize into teams to come up with food booth ideas! Give one kiddo the task of coming up with foods for a Morocco booth and another a task of dreaming up a fun dessert for a France booth! If you want to go with a specific theme, you could make art for a mock EPCOT Festival of the Arts, or set some stuff up outside for a makeshift Flower and Garden Festival!
You could even print out little festival booklets with all the food and activities you’ve planned and have your family check off things as they try them. Just like the real thing! And don’t forget to check out our Recipes page for ideas! This seems like a great idea for a fun, educational dinner opportunity!
Have a virtual Disney vacation and watch ride videos together
If you can’t go to Disney World, why not plan a virtual Disney World vacation? Set aside a weekend to pretend you’re in Disney World. You can watch ride videos together, eat some of your favorite Disney World foods, and even watch parades online and wave at all your favorite Disney characters!
Believe it or not, virtual vacations became a THING last year, so all you have to do is hop on over to YouTube to find those ride videos. You could also do a virtual vacation to a Disney Park you haven’t been to before — it’s easy to visit Disneyland Paris or Tokyo Disneyland Resort online! And then you can ride brand NEW rides! Even better? There are no lines!
Play Disney Board Games
We became BIG fans of board games last year, and it seems like Disney caught on to that because a TON of new Disney board games have come out since then! We did write a post last year on some pretty awesome games, too! But since then, we’ve seen several new ones, so we thought we’d mention those.
Some of the more fun ones we’ve spotted include the Disney Theme Park Edition of Candyland, a punny Jungle Cruise Board Game, a new Haunted Mansion game, and Star Wars Monopoly! Whatever your game tastes, we bet you can find a Disney-themed game your whole family will love!
Share your favorite Disney classic movies with your kids
Here’s something that we think EVERY Disney-loving parent should do — pass down your love of classic Disney movies to the next generation. If you have a favorite Disney classic movie, whether it be The Jungle Book or The Aristocats or The Fox and the Hound, make some popcorn and have a movie night to share those classics with your kids.
We are 99.9% sure that your kids will fall in love with those movies, too! And then you will have inspired the next generation of Disney fans who will know that there’s WAY more to Disney than just the fancy 3D ones they’ll find out today (though those are great too!).
Other Disney DIY Projects
Do-It-Yourself projects are a great way to keep your kids entertained and busy, and are something the whole family can participate in. And there are so many fun Disney-related projects you could do! You can build your own version of Main Street, U.S.A. with paper! You could make Phineas and Ferb Door Hangers!
Craft With Disney Imagineers
If you’re looking to take your arts and crafts up a serious notch, though, you can actually do some crafts WITH DISNEY IMAGINEERS! Imagine From Home is an interactive video series that teaches Disney fans how to use items from around their homes to create new things! The first episode is taught by Imagineer Amy Young — she will teach you how to draw your own Disney castle!
And if your kid is a Star Wars fan, episode 2 will have them utterly thrilled — you’ll learn how to build your own R2 droid using everyday household items. Okay, we are IN! This sounds like so much fun!
So we hope these give you some ideas of how to offer a lot of fun summertime activities for your kids while they’re home! And we hope you enjoy them, too!
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What’s your favorite summer activity to do with your kids? Let us know in the comments!