Six Ways to Keep Older Kids Busy Over the Summer

Six great ways to keep older kids busy over summer break without screens and lots of wasted time. Accomplish family projects or have lots of family fun while kids are out of school with these ideas.

Keep older kids busy over summer break while school is out with these six ideas that will keep them off of screens!  | keep kids busy in summer | keep kids busy indoors | keep kids busy at home

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This is the time of year when homeschooling and public school families alike, begin looking for options to keep their older kids busy or learning over the summer, and off of screens.   I don’t like wasted time. I want my kids’ time to have a purpose. That purpose may be family bonding, or relaxing because we need it, but I still like to be purposeful and intentional.  Here are a few things we have done to stay busy over the summer.

6 Ways to Keep Older Kids Busy Over the Summer

Start a Business

Its never too early to encourage entrepreneurship in your children.  However, they don’t always have enough time to keep up with academics, participate in extracurricular activities and run a business.  Summer break, however, presents the perfect opportunity to start a business.  Starting and running a business not only keeps kids busy, it also teaches them to work for money and the things they want whenever possible.

There are lots of things kids can do as a business endeavor.  My daughters clean houses.  One of them also has an event photography business.  Our oldest son has a lawn care business.  Find out what your children are interested in, then help them think outside the box for a business plan.

Internship or Apprenticeship

If your children are older and responsible, find out what career field they are interested in and let them be an intern or apprentice for the summer. Many professionals are happy to have a free intern or even an apprentice who is eager to learn.  One of my daughters goes on site with a local photographer as a helper whenever she is needed. The photographer gets free help and my daughter gets experience in staging, organizing shoots, etc.


This is more of a fun, hobby type activity, but it offers plenty of learning opportunities. We discovered geocaching a about three years ago and quickly became hooked!  You can learn more about how to get started here.

Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt using GPS coordinates and clues obtained from a website or smartphone app. Caches are hidden and logged by other Geocachers. ​

Start or Join a Book Club

This year at our homeschool co-op, I taught research writing class that turned into a literary analysis class in the second semester. The kids loved it. They didn’t really enjoy writing the papers, but they LOVED arguing and discussing the characters so much that they asked me to continue through the summer at a local coffee house. This is definitely a win-win. They read good literature and get to hang out with their friends. Plus, mom gets coffee!

Volunteer or Serve with Local Ministry

Most not for profit agencies have volunteer programs or opportunities to contribute hours. Find a program your kids are interested in supporting and send them to work. Hospitals, soup kitchens, summer camps for younger kids, and church VBS programs are great places to start.  Use the free printable service hours log below to track your child’s hours for scholarship opportunities and college applications.

Focus on Life Skills

We live in a world where many college students do not have even the most basic of life skills such as doing laundry, time management, or cooking a meal. Being intentional about teaching these skills ensures your kids “get it.”  Taking the summer to teach your child a new skill or set of skills is a great idea!

Find out what your children want to learn.  Ask them what tasks they have some anxiety about and help them overcome that anxiety by becoming proficient in that process.

Keep older kids busy over summer break while school is out with these six ideas that will keep them off of screens!

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