6 Fun Summer Activities with Elmo, Abby, Julia & Friends!

Summer days are usually sunny, bright and warm—just like every day is on Sesame Street!

So furry friends like Abby, Elmo, and Cookie Monster have been working hard to fun-test tons of indoor and outdoor summer activities for your family.

Whether you’ve already made plans for summer camp, water play, or park outings—or you’re trying to plan ahead for being rained out or managing a particularly hot day at home—this list is for you!

Outdoor Fun

1. Explore Nature

No matter where you live, the natural world around you can be an endless source of amazement and learning—from ants marching across a sidewalk or a colorful bird perched in a tree near your home.

You and your little one could try helping wildlife habitats like Elmo, Abby and Alan do in “Little Neighbors Can Do Big Things”… Wi-fly not required! You’ll also find directions for building a simple bird house yourself!

Whenever there’s dirt beneath your feet, try using the Track It printable to see if you can find tracks from squirrels, raccoons, dogs, birds, deer, or other creatures.

For a longer term activity, leave a scrap piece of wood on dirt tucked away from frequent human visitors. After a few days, lift it gently to see if any creatures have made a home there. Use this article for even more fun nature explorer ideas.

2. Outdoor Relaxation

After a long day of exploring, nature is still full of opportunities for you to learn more, even as you wind down and relax. Try to find a space where you can comfortably see the night sky just like Julia and Elmo do and sing along to their rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Or, take a mindful moment together like Elmo and his dad Louie do in the video Being Still and Quiet. Tune in to the warm, gentle breeze and rustling of leaves while you snuggle up with your little one.

Outdoor activities may mean having to think about bug bites and sunburn! These printables may add some playfulness to that, too.  Help children with this maze while discussing the importance of outside safety. As you get ready to leave the house, sing along to this bop. And then think of this song anytime you need a reminder to put on sunscreen together.

3. Garden Together

Everything about gardening—watching beautiful plants and flowers sprout and bloom, growing nutritious foods, poking about in a dirt’s ecosystem—is an amazing learning opportunity! Check out how Grover uses the senses of hearing, smelling, feeling and taste as he picks fresh veggies from his garden in the printable page Garden Senses.

Meanwhile, Rosita, Elmo and Lily volunteer in a community garden to help restock a local food pantry before enjoying a party with their neighbors in the digital storybook “Summer Sips”. Find your own local community garden by using the link on the page too!

Inside Fun

Outdoor summer fun is a timeless joy—and great for getting children’s energy out—but sometimes weather and other circumstances change our plans. Instead…

1. Another Take on Tic-Tac-Toe

If your child is disappointed they can’t go outside, try this summer indoor activity: make a summer bucket list! Talk together about all the things you want to do outside when you will be able to do so. Consider all kinds of activities—screen-free activities, arts and crafts, or physical activities like swimming, write down your goal list in a 9 by 9 grid (like a Tic-Tac-Toe board!) and put it somewhere you won’t forget to cross off activities as you enjoy them. Take those moments as opportunities to reminisce and discuss which one you might want to try next. 

2. Grow Your Mind

Consider arts and crafts activities for any age that can help children manage big feelings. Together, make a Comfort Container or an Ocean Bottle using these step-by-step directions.

If you have some glitter you want to use for an easy-to-clean-up craft, see Abby’s awesome calm bottle she describes in the video Slow Down and Settle Down. For something quicker and quieter, check out this coloring activity Taking Care of My Brain with Grover.

3. Song and Story Circles

Create your own story circle, just like Grover does in this game. Help your child play online, then try it without the screen with others.

Or use this printable page and act along as you read a story. Later, you might create a new one together or share an old one you’ve heard many times before, maybe even with your own unique additions to the story.

If you know how to play an instrument, teach and share songs that are important to you and your family, perhaps ones that were taught to you as a child! You can help children make their own instruments too that your child can share with friends later.

For more games you can reference quickly, check out these Play Cards or these interactive activity cards with age-by-age ideas. And check out this article full of learning-rich ideas to weave into your day.

We hope you enjoy many sunny days ahead!