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Activities for Kids

20 Easy + Cheap Summer Activities

Now that summer is in full swing trying to keep three kids entertained can sometimes be a task. It can also add up pretty quickly trying to do, well just about anything. So I am always looking fun cheap + easy summer activities to do with the kids.

To make your life easier [and mine for later reference.] I have complied a list of easy + cheap summer activities that will entertain you and your kiddos this summer break!

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Scroll to the bottom for an easy screenshot view of these activities!

Fun easy + cheap summer activities!

1. The Library

This is seriously one of the easiest actitivities to do. There is A/C, puzzles, computers, and librarians. [aka. another adult that your child can ask a hundred questions!]
Our local library offers story time for various ages and we always love learning new songs from there.
*If you are hesitant about bringing your “wild child” to a space where you are “supposed to be ” quiet, don’t fret. Most libraries have a designated kid area and encourage young minds to discovery and learn through being active!

Check out this post: Why the Library is the Perfect Rainy Day Activity !

2. Bubbles

You literally can’t go wrong with bubbles. Every. Single. Person. loves bubbles. I’m serious. You can start blowing bubbles and every single human, including adults will say “Oh Look! Bubbles!” Legit truth.
You can get bubbles super cheap at the dollar store or in bulk [like we do over here] at any Target, Walmart or Costco.

3. Local Splash Pad

Splash pads are amazing and typically FREE. The kids can play for hours in the water, staying nice and cool AND they are fully entertained without the same constant supervision as a pool.
We would go to the splash pad every day if we could!

4. Hide n’ Seek

You can play this indoors or outside. Hide and seek is great because it can help encourage the littles how to count. Also, this game can be played by the kiddos almost all by themselves. Even you have just one kid, this activity can be give you some extra little moments of possible quiet time.

5. Painting with Water

Sounds kind of silly , but for the kids it is super entertaining. Grab a cup of water and whatever paint brushes or sponges you can find and let them “paint”. They can use the water as “paint” and it is fun with hardly any clean up. This activity can also become a learning experience by talking about how the sun’s warmth evaporates the water, making it magically disappear!

6. Chalk

Chalk instantly makes me think of summer. From hopscotch, to flowers + butterflies to creating fun imagaes [picture below]. Chalk is so much fun for all ages.
Our oldest also loves to make “fairy dust” by coloring with the chalk stick back + forth real hard until its makes the powder. This is fun but also super messy! But messy can be good for the soul!

7. DIY Fruit Juice Popsicles

One of my favorite activities to do in the summer in to make fruit juice popsicles. You can get super creative and make fancy popsicles with fruit slices inside or my quick and favorite go-to: literally just pouring apple or orange juice in some Popsicle molds. If you missing all of your sticks for the molds [like we sometimes do] you can use an ice cube tray with toothpicks or wooden popsicle sticks !

Here is a fun popcicle mold.
These are a good toddler popicicle mold !

8. Local Mall

Most malls today have some sort of kid play place area. This is another A/C filled arena for your kiddos to run wild! If you have a toddler who likes to push a stroller this is a great place to let him give it a go, since there is such a long straight pathway.

9. Treasure Hunt

An activitly like this can be done in so many places. Outside, indoors, grocery store, doctors office. Treasure items to hunt for can be as simple as little red rocks, purple flowers, a stick shaped like an L, a cloud that looks like a animal, a red shirt, something that begins with the letter A , etc.

10. Timed Obstacle Course

This is my favorite thing to do when the kids say they are bored. I “time” them [sometimes for real and sometimes I guestimate how long they took] For example; climb up the ladder to the monkey bars, go across them, go down the slide, swing two times, run all the way to the other side of the yard, jump over that big stick, then up the ladder for the slide, down the slide, swing 2 more times, then come tag my hand. Each time they can try and beat their previous time. This is a fun, easy + cheap summer activity that will help pass the time!

11. Park n’ Picnic

I always forget how much joy comes from eating al fresco. The kids love it and so do I. Try switching up your normal park routine and pack a lunch to bring with you! Kids seem to eat better and you can stay a little longer to play since you don’t have to leave to go eat!

I love this bento box for super easy lunch packing!

12. Visit your local Fire Station

Kids love firetrucks. I mean, who doesn’t? A super fun, easy + cheap summer activity is to take the kids to your local fire station. Sometimes they are kind enough to let the kids get up and close to the truck and on occasion inside the fire truck!

13. Indoor Fort

I always forget how much fun this is and how much the kids so enjoy it. Our oldest likes to take a flashlight in it and read. If you are feeling super “nice” you can let them even have a snack or even a meal in their fort. If you aren’t a fan of doing this inside you can always take it outside and give it a go!

14. The Floor is Lava

To piggie-back on the previous activity, you can uncover those those chairs from the fort and use the blankets and chairs as stepping stones from the “floor lava” . It is a great fun activity for all! [pillows are good “islands” too!]

15. Water Balloon Fight

Our kids LOVE water balloons and they definitely love chucking them at one another. Once you ease into this activity, this is such a fun game for the parents to play as well!

These are great water balloons that you can fill up super fast!

16. Ice Cream at a Special Time

I used to be such a stickler for how much sugar our kids would be allowed to have. Now I see how those special treats actually create special moments for our littles. [ and us too] Having ice cream before dinner or a mid-morning snack can make that special moment even more special and creates a memory that the kids won’t forget!

17. Dollar Tree Shopping Spree

This is fun because it gives the kids some autonomy with cash. Depending on how many kids you have you can give each kid $1- $3 and they can buy anything in the dollar store! The kids love being able to make their own decision on how to spend their own money, and it can be a fun way to practice math!

18. Create Homemade “Play”dough

My kids love to cook, but I think what they really like is being able to just create on their own thing, while making a small mess and squishing squishy things. So I will let the kids just mix flour and water to make their own dough. [This is a fun activity but it is messy, go ahead and set your expectations low that there will be a mess to clean] What I have found is that the best moments we have playing with the kids are the usually the messiest!

19. Feeding Ducks + Fishes

Feeding ducks or fishes at a local pond or lake is fun for anyone. Be careful to not feed them bread, that’s actually not great for them but instead try to feed them, corn, lettuce [torn] frozen peas, oats, seeds!
I’m pretty sure I enjoy feeding those fishes just as much as the kids!

20. Bike Ride or Walk

Sounds so simple but I find that I forget about this super easy + cheap summer activity. A simple bike ride or walk will get you outside and give you and the kids some super helpful vitamin-d, and also gets your endorphins going and makes everyone super happy.
Trying riding or walking in the early mornings or in the evenings when the sun isn’t as harsh!

20 Cheap + Easy Summer activities

  • The library
  • Bubbles
  • Chalk
  • Hide n’ Seek
  • Painting with water
  • Local Splash Pad
  • DIY Fruit Juice Popsicles
  • Local Mall
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Local Park n’ Picnic
  • Local Fire Station
  • Indoor Fort
  • The floor is lava
  • Water Balloon Fight
  • Ice cream at a special time
  • Dollar Tree Shopping Spree
  • Create Homemade “Play”dough
  • Feeding ducks + fishes at a local pond or lake
  • Bike ride or walk
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