15 Ideas for FREE or CHEAP Summer Activities for Kids


Summer is approaching and it’s time to have lots of frugal family fun! So, I’ve put together a list of my top 15 ideas for cheap or free family fun that will help keep your kids happy all summer long. Now, when your child wakes up and says "What are we doing today?" you have an answer!  You can easily keep your kids busy with some of these simple boredom busters:

1. Take advantage of programs at your local library.  Here are ten reasons why your local library is perfect place for summer fun.

2.  Make clay out of a few simple ingredients that you have in your pantry. My 3 year old loves this!

3. Let your child help you weed the garden, pick some flowers or just get down and dirty.  Kids are dirt magnets, so let them enjoy it! 

4.  Craft with recycled materials.  My sons loved creating sculptures with styrofoam and pipe cleaners. It may sound completely absurd, but this is a great kids activity! 

5. Go bowling on a rainy day.  Don't forget that Kids Bowl Free all summer long.

6. Do some simple science experiment like balloon magic or other fun science ideas here.

7. If you're child has never experienced a sensory box before, now's the time to do it!

8. Make homemade finger paint. La Jolla Mom tested out different kid friendly finger paint recipes and you can choose which one would work best for you.

9. Get out and explore nature at a a nearby State Park.

10. Let your children freeze their toys.  This may sound too simple to be fun, but it's amazing how much kids love this!

11. Make Rain Art. This is so simple and so much fun (sans thunder and lightening, of course)

12. On a hot summer day, water balloons are always a hit. Here are lots of simple water balloon game ideas.

13. Take a day trip to the beach or search your local blogs for other family friendly local activities.

14. "Take me out to the ball-game" Minor League  baseball games are action packed, inexpensive and perfect for kids who may not be ready for the big leagues.

15.  Use veggies and herbs from your garden in unique ways. Make an herbal bath or healthy zucchini brownies.

My family and I will be busy all summer at the pool, exploring local treasures, and having fun in our own backyard. I hope these ideas help inspire you too!  If you have any other frugal ideas that I forget, let me know by commenting on this post. : )