20 Ways to Have Summer Fun with Young Kids for Free!


School is out and summer is officially here. Now what? Letting the kids plant themselves in front of the television, computer or video game is not exactly in their best interest. So how do you keep the kids entertained without spending a lot of money?


Photo courtesy Patrick via Flikr.com. No adjustments made.

Thankfully not everything that’s fun costs money! There are tons of ways to have fun while the kids are out for the summer without spending lots of money, all it takes is a few minutes of creative thinking.  To help you get started, here’s a list of 20 ways to have summer fun without breaking the bank. Many of these activities are completely free. Some may cost a few dollars for supplies.

  1. Have a Picnic
  2. Kids love adventures, and eating outside is always so much fun! Make some sandwiches, grab the chips, drinks and a blanket then head outdoors to the backyard or a grassy park. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray!

  3. Set up a Lemonade Stand
  4. Let your children help you make a sign and then several pitchers of lemonade. Find a small table and some folding chairs and set up shop. This is a fun way to teach kids about earning money too!

  5. Have Races in the Yard
  6. There are all sorts of races you can do including Gunny Sack, 1 Legged Hop, Egg on a Spoon and Wheelbarrow Race.

  7. Go for a Hike in the Woods
  8. This costs absolutely nothing, and it gets the kids out of the house and into nature. Bring a bag so they can collect treasures they find.

  9. Take the Kids to the Park
  10. Walk or drive to your nearest neighborhood park, and let the kids run around and get rid of some of that energy!

  11. Arts & Crafts
  12. Look online and you can find all sorts of fun crafts to make with the kids using things you have in the home.

  13. Backyard Scavenger Hunt
  14. There are all sorts of great hiding places outdoors!

  15. Water Fun
  16. No pool? No problem! Run through the garden sprinkler or the hose. Break Out the Super Soakers! Play in the rain.  Have a water balloon fight!

  17. Cook Together
  18. Children love to help their parents cook! It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Make a milkshake, freeze popsicles, bake sugar cookies.

  19. Visit the Library
  20. Head to the library and let the kids pick out some books.  While you are there, ask for a schedule of kids activities as many libraries offer story time and crafts!

  21. Do Some Bird Watching
  22. Find a basic book that shows different types of birds, grab the binoculars (kids love these!) and get comfortable. It helps if you put out a bird feeder! You can even turn bird watching into a guessing game or a fun version of I Spy!

  23. Go for a Bike Ride
  24. If your kids already know how to ride, grab the helmets and go for a ride. For younger children, spend some time teaching them to ride. For toddlers and infants, go for a nice walk around the neighborhood in the morning hours before it gets too hot!

  25. Fire House or Police Station Tour
  26. Kids are fascinated with policemen and firemen. Visit your local fire station and/or police station and ask for a tour! Usually they are more than happy to oblige! You can also call first if you prefer to see if it is okay.

  27. Start a Nature Scrapbook
  28. Go on a walk and collect things to add to your scrapbook.

  29. Make a Volcano
  30. This will have them ooooh-ing and ahhh-ing! Search online for the instructions. Many call for nothing more than vinegar and baking soda.

  31. Play Board Games
  32. Another great way to spend time together and pass the time.

  33. Find Local Free Attractions
  34. Don’t know where to look? Check out Free-Attractions.com – a site dedicated to helping Americans find free attractions in their specific area or anywhere in the nation!

  35. Make a Kite
  36. You can easily find instructions for making a kite online. It doesn’t cost much and the kids will have a blast seeing something they made work!

  37. Plant a Garden
  38. This is a great opportunity for young children to learn about the life cycle of a plant. Plus, if you plant vegetables, they get to eat what they grow!

  39. Camp Out in the Backyard
  40. Pitch a tent, bring out the sleeping bags and flashlights and have a fun night with the family outdoors.

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