More Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

Here are TEN MORE fun and inexpensive ways to keep your kids entertained this summer without breaking the bank.


1. Make and Fly a Kite

Pack a picnic lunch, find a park with plenty of open space and go fly a kite!

What You’ll Need:

  • 8.5"x11" piece of paper (card stock is a little sturdier). If you use plain paper, let your child color bright designs on it before beginning the project.
  • A wooden skewer or a straight drinking straw.
  • Kite string. You can find this at most department stores. If not, almost any strong but light string would work including quilters’ string,  yarn, sewing thread, or fishing line.
  • Ribbon. Most wide ribbon will work fine. Surveyors tape (available at most hardware stores) works well because it's made of plastic, which is lighter (for a longer tail!) and durable. It also comes in bright fluorescent colors.
  • Scissors or hole punch
  • Tape

Detailed instructions with photographs can be found at: 


2. Create a “Water Blob”

A “water blob” is a plastic bubble filled with water that kids can run and play on.

What You’ll Need:

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct Tape
  • Water Hose


  • Find the flattest piece of ground in your yard for even distributing of water
  • Fold plastic sheeting in half
  • Insert the water hose and use the duct tape to seal the edges closed
  • Duct tape around the hose to create a seal
  • Check all of your seams
  • Fill with water
  • Don’t leave children unattended while they frolic on the water blob.


3. Visit a Farmer’s Market

Take a day trip with the kids to a farmer’s market. Pick up some fruits and vegetables, participate is some family-fun activities, and support local growers in the process. Many markets offer programs that educate and inspire children to take part in their local food system, enjoy eating nutritious foods, and empower them to make healthy choices.

  • Set aside enough time for the visit so your children will have adequate time to check out each booth.
  • Plan a dinner menu in advance of your trip to the market and pick up the items you’ll need during your visit.
  • Give your children a dollar or two so they can decide on a healthy-food item they would like to try.
  • Use this time to teach your children a few things about gardening. Most growers will gladly share how the fruits and vegetables make their way to the market.

Find a Farmer’s Market in your area:


4. Play Lawn Games

 Check out this inexpensive, giant and fun lawn matching game. What a great idea for the backyard, picnics, beach trips, etc.!

A supply list, photos, and very thorough instructions can be found at:

5. Create a Seaside Mobile

You don’t have to live near the beach to enjoy a seaside mobile.  All you need is some driftwood, seashells and string (all can be found at a local hobby or craft store).


  • Drill small holes through driftwood
  • Thread string through and tie a knot at one end
  • On the other end, tie shells
  • Hang from your front porch or back patio and enjoy a beach scene every day



6. Make “Sponge Bombs” for a Day of Water Play

 Easy to make and lots of fun to play with! Grab a friend, your sponge bombs, and a couple of buckets — each person kneels in front of a bucket filled to the top with water. The object of the game is to hurl the sponge bombs into each other’s buckets! You WILL get wet!!!

What You’ll Need:

  • Multi colored household sponges
  • “Ouchless” elastic hair bands


  • Cut sponges into thirds
  • Wrap an “ouchless” elastic hair band around them

Photos and Video Tutorial:


7. Create Adorable Bird Feeders

 What You’ll Need:

  • Bird seed
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Gelatin
  • Corn syrup
  • Bowl
  • Cookie sheet
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cookie cutters
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Non-stick spray
  • Drinking straw
  • Twine


In a bowl mix:

  • 3/4 C. flour
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 TBS corn syrup

Stir until well combined.

Next, add 4 cups bird seed and mix well.  Spray your cookie sheet with the non-stick cooking spray and pour the seed mixture onto the cookie sheet.

Flatten out the seed mixture. Use cookie cutters to cut different shapes from the seed mixture. Use a drinking straw to make a little hole in the bird feeder. Once the bird feeders are dry (usually takes overnight) string twine through the hole. Place on tree branches and watch the birds enjoy their treat!

8. Participate in a Summer Reading Program

Check out Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program and keep your child’s mind and imagination active over the summer.

Here’s how it works:

  • Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal
  • Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.
  • Choose a FREE BOOK from their selection on the Reading Journal list at the store.

9. Plan a Family “Staycation”

Cut back on costs this summer by planning a summer family ‘Staycation”.  Save the hotel costs, stay home, and explore your own or nearby cities. Here is a great website that features cities across the country broken down by geographical regions.

10. Teach Your Kids About Money

FamilyMint's Money Management Certification Program combines a 60-page step-by-step workbook with a fun online money management application for kids.  Kids that complete the 2 month program develop key money habits that will benefit them the rest of their lives. Check it out today!

Photo sources: