Inexpensive Summer Activities for Children

Posted by Natasha on June 20th, 2019

Most kids start looking forward so summer break by about the second day of school, but having kids home for the summer can be a challenge for parents. 

These inexpensive summer activities for kids will help keep your budget and sanity intact!

Look for free and low-cost local events. 

Many communities provide more special events and programming for children during the summer. Local parks, museums, libraries, arts centers, YMCAs, community pools, book stores, and even animal shelters have summer activities! These activities are frequently free or low-cost. 

Even paid activities, like local pools and movie theaters, may have special days with discounted or free admission. Check your local newspaper or your newspaper’s website to see what’s available in your area!

If you don’t have a newspaper, or your paper doesn’t have a website, trying checking your pediatrician’s office or the local library bulletin board for information about events. 

Take a walk.

When’s the last time you took a walk at a local park? Or visited a park new park in a different part of the county?

Taking a walk, particularly in the morning or evening when it isn’t as hot, can be a great way to burn off some of your kid’s energy!

If your kids think taking a walk is boring, liven things up a bit by doing a nature scavenger hunt!

Try geocaching.

If you have a GPS unit, put it to work outside and try Geocaching! There are caches hidden all over the place and children love finding secret treasure. 

There are also Geocaching apps, so you may be able to use your phone instead of a dedicated GPS unit. 

Have a family fashion show or costume contest.

Throw together a box of clothes, accessories, and/or costume pieces and let your kid’s imagination run wild!

Hold a field day.

Invite friends and neighbors over for an afternoon of fun and games at your very own field day!

Play classic games like spoon races (either where you have to balance a spoon on your nose or an egg on a spoon), three-legged races, water balloon toss, and freeze tag. 

Make your own water park.

Set up sprinklers and hoses if your yard and let your kids have fun! There are so many tutorials online for creating water features with PVC pipe and making slides with a tarp or plastic sheeting.

Have your kids plan dinner.

Ask your children to plan dinner. Have them come up with a salad or appetizer, entree, and dessert. Encourage them to create a written menu and participate in preparing the meal. Dress up and make a big deal out of the occasion, as if you were going to a fancy restaurant. 

Volunteer at the pet shelter. 

If your children are old enough, set a day a week or a day each month when you volunteer as a family at a local pet shelter. 

Children who love animals can help socialize the cats and dogs, even if they aren’t old enough to clean or take animals for walks. Having friendly, well-socialized animals is very important to most shelters because it helps their chances of being adopted!

Play picture Bingo.

A few games of picture bingo can add fun to a long summer day. Try these free printable mermaid bingo cards the next time your kids say they’re bored! The cards come in 5x5 and 4x4 versions so younger and older children can enjoy playing. 

Summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive when you try some of these ideas for low-cost ways to entertain your kids!


About the Author

Joined: January 23rd, 2019
Articles Posted: 10

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