The 20 Best Summer Sports for Kids: A Complete Parent’s Guide

Boy with blue and orange goggles swims underwater.

Summer is one of the best times for children to get into sports and have an awesome time. Once school lets out, kids often find themselves bored with nothing fun to do, and summer sports are an excellent way to combat this.

Sports allow kids to become more active, have fun with their friends, and meet new ones. For some, playing games in the summer can foster a lifelong love for a particular sport and can shape what they pursue in life.

So let’s just jump right into twenty of the best summer sports for kids!


There is nothing better than going for a swim during the sweltering hot summer. For kids who have never swum before, there is a bit of a learning curve but there are plenty of options for swimming lessons out there to make the process easier.

Swimming is not only fun, but it’s an invaluable skill that kids are sure to use throughout their lives. If your child already knows how to swim, you could look into competitive swimming.

Swimming on a team or against others is a great way to make new friends, get great exercise and it offers a competitive environment that pushes kids to become better.


Girl's volleyball team celebrates scoring a point.

Whether playing at your local park, gym, or beach, volleyball is an enjoyable and challenging sport for children.

Volleyball is great because you can play leisurely with friends or join a local team and compete in tournaments.

In addition to being good exercise and fun, there is a teamwork component involved in volleyball that is great for children of all ages.


Basketball is a very entertaining and physically active sport that many kids enjoy playing. This sport can be a lot of fun whether you’re playing on a local basketball team, shooting hoops at the park, or playing with some friends.

Local leagues tend to run during the winter but that doesn’t stop you from getting some friends and heading to the park during the summer.

Depending on where you choose to play, basketball can be a very relaxing sport or hyper-competitive.


Organized soccer is generally played in the fall, but it’s also an excellent option for kids who want to run off their energy with friends in the summer. It’s also the first sport most kids start off playing.

Soccer is very engaging and fun for children because it involves lots of running and strategy.

There are plenty of club teams out there but YMCA and AYSO soccer leagues are the best options for beginners.


While there is a fair amount of equipment and players needed to play a proper game, the skills required to play the game are also handy when just tossing a ball around or playing other sports.

While the sport is typically played during the fall or spring, getting some friends together in the summer is a fun way to stay active.

Children of all ages enjoy playing baseball because it’s fun and engaging, but it also improves hand-eye coordination, and it allows kids to be part of a team.


While learning to play tennis is pretty challenging, it’s also enjoyable. Tennis is a great sport to play no matter how many friends you hang out with because you can play singles, doubles or make your own competition.

While you can compete in tennis tournaments, kids often enjoy the game because it involves a lot of running and you can just volley the ball back and forth with friends.


Boys with different numbers racing on a track.

If you don’t want to concern yourself with lots of equipment, running as a summer sport for kids is excellent. While you want to make sure you wear good shoes and have plenty of water, you don’t need much else for the sport.

You’ll also want to get in the habit of checking the temperature outside before going for a run because running in high heat can be dangerous.

As you continue running, you’ll find that your stamina will increase and that runs will become easier. This increased stamina will translate to other sports and make you an overall better athlete.


Riding around your neighborhood, exploring local State Parks, or joining a local riding club is a great way to get kids out of the house and enjoying the outdoors.

Biking is generally thought of as a leisurely activity, but there is also a competitive scene. It’s fun to just pedal around your local area, but you can also look into local races once you become proficient with a bike.


Out of all the sports on this list, surfing has one of the steepest learning curves. Surfing is enjoyable for kids of all ages if you live near the beach. Just make sure you have the proper supervision.

Nothing beats taking a dip in the ocean on a hot summer day, and surfing is a great way to go about this. Once you get the hang of it, riding waves becomes very exhilarating.

And if you can’t get the hang of it, there are plenty of surfing lessons out there.

Ultimate Frisbee

To some, Frisbee sounds sort of boring, but ULTIMATE Frisbee is far from that. Ultimate Frisbee is an excellent sport for kids to spend time with friends while burning energy outside.

Ultimate Frisbee is generally as competitive as you want to make it with your friends, but some competitive teams are available, though they might be few and far between.

Disc Golf

If kids want to take it a little slower, playing a round of disc golf is a great way to socialize with friends and have a lot of fun at the same time. It’s also an excellent option for families who want to spend time together outside.

You’d be surprised at how many disc golf courses there are in your area. A quick search in Google of nearby courses will unveil their locations at local parks.

Some areas may have a league to play in, but disc golf is typically a laid back sport.

Martial Arts

Boys and girls practice martial arts with sticks.

Martial arts is another excellent option for kids to practice during the summer. There are many different styles to choose from, and they’re all great for getting children more active and for teaching discipline.

Progressing through the different belt tiers in martial arts is suitable for kids because it gives them something to work towards, which can be extremely motivating.


Lacrosse is a pretty intensive sport that many children enjoy playing. The game is becoming more popular, so there is an increasing number of chances for kids to join local lacrosse teams and play competitively.

There is a lot of running involved in lacrosse, so it is perfect for children who like to run and enjoy playing on a team.


Dancing is a sport that takes a lot of practice and dedication to get good at. It’s also enriching and entertaining for kids, so learning to dance at an early age during the summer is an excellent idea.

This sport is great for keeping kids active and for meeting new friends. Dancing also involves a significant mental component that often goes overlooked.


Similar to dance in many ways, gymnastics is fantastic for kids of all ages. There are many events under the umbrella of gymnastics, so kids are likely to find at least a few that resonate with them.

As children get older, they can compete in competitions and improve their gymnastic skills.

Gymnastics is an excellent sport for children because they can always improve their skills and learn new routines. Enrolling your kids in gymnastics during the summer is also a great way to beat the heat!

Floor Hockey

While it’s less prevalent in the U.S., floor hockey is a great sport to get into during the summer and is fun to play. The sport is excellent for kids of all ages, but younger kids tend to enjoy playing the sport more.

Floor hockey helps improve hand-eye coordination, balance, and many other necessary skills essential for children to develop.

Roller Skating

Kid roller-skating in Eeyore costume.

Whether it’s at a rink or on the sidewalk, roller skating is an excellent activity for children to enjoy. Learning to roller skate can sometimes be difficult, but once a child learns, it is a massive boost of confidence.

Like many sports, roller skating is a fun activity, but it also helps with physical development and other things such as coordination and balance.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing, especially in a gym, is very low-impact. The chances of getting injured are a lot lower than other sports, although there is still a risk.

It does take quite a bit of skill to climb, though, so getting kids into the sport is beneficial. Stamina, balance, core muscle strength, flexibility, and a host of other physical and mental aspects are all increased by rock climbing.

Ping Pong

In ping pong, the ball moves at pretty high speeds, so it’s vital to have good reflexes, speed, and precision to play the game.

Ping pong can be very competitive if you are good enough, but it is also enjoyable to just play with friends.

Kids often enjoy the sport because there are many strategies involved, but you can begin playing with minimal experience and build up skills over time.


Golf often gets a bad reputation as a sport that is only played by older people, but this is far from reality. Golf is an excellent sport for kids to play, and there is quite a large community of younger golfers.

While golf isn’t as physically demanding as other sports, there is a considerable level of mental fortitude needed, and a lot of practice is required to play at a high level.

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Steven G.

My name is Steven and I love everything sports! I created this website to share my passion with all of you. Enjoy!

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