Summer Fun on a Budget: Helpful Tips to Keep Kids Entertained All Summer Long 

family smiling while playing in the pool
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Summertime is an excellent opportunity for kids to get out and explore, but it can also be a costly time for parents. Between daycare, camps, and other activities, it’s easy to spend a lot of money in a short amount of time. So, whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, work all day, or a grandparent who is helping to care for the kids, we’ve got some ideas on how to have some fun with the kids, without breaking the bank. 

Create A Scavenger Hunt 

A scavenger hunt is an easy way to turn a walk or visit to a familiar area into an exciting adventure. It’s a great way to get the kids moving and use their imaginations. To create a scavenger hunt, simply write down a list of items for the kids to find, such as flowers, bugs, leaves, or rocks. Depending on the kids’ ages, you can make it as simple or complex as you like. For your older kids, be sure to throw in some regional plants or trees that will get them taking a closer look at their surroundings…and learning something along the way. 

little girl painting a rock
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Make Homemade Ice Cream Together 

There’s nothing quite like a cold, refreshing treat on a hot summer day, and what could be better than homemade ice cream? You can find recipes online or in cookbooks to make from scratch with your kids. Not only is it a fun way to spend time together, but it only requires a few ingredients that are typically found in the house. 

Rock Painting

Rock painting is a fun, easy, and inexpensive activity that’s great to do with your grandchildren. All you need are some rocks, paint, and a little imagination. Once the stones are painted, you can use them to decorate your garden or yard or hide them around the neighborhood for others to find. The messages you leave on a rock will help brighten someone’s day.  It’s a good lesson to teach kids! 

Visit A Local Farmer’s Market 

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of fresh, local produce. Farmer’s markets are a great way to get your fruits and vegetables for the week, and they’re also a lot of fun for kids. In addition, many markets have live music or other entertainment, making it the perfect way to enjoy the summertime and fresh food. Some farmer markets happen mid-week, which could be perfect for the work-from-home parent that needs a quick lunch break AND a way to get the kids out of the house for a little while. 

Enjoy A Tea Party Together 

A tea party is an excellent activity for any time of day. It’s a perfect way to relax with your kids or grandkids and enjoy each other’s company. All you need is some tea, snacks, and a few small plates and cups. You can even turn it into a fancier event by wearing old dresses or suits and using authentic dishes.


Create A Fort and Watch a Movie 

A movie fort is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon or a hot day when you don’t want to go outside. All you need are some blankets, pillows, and snacks, and you’re ready to go. So pick out a family-friendly movie, curl up under the blankets, and enjoy quality time together. The best part about a movie fort is that you can make it as big or small as you want, and it’s easy to take down when you’re done. Younger kids will love the creativity that comes with the fort. Hang some twinkling lights if you want to take it up a level. 

little boy jumping over an obstacle course
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Create An Obstacle Course 

An obstacle course is a great way to get the kids moving and use up some extra energy. You can set up an obstacle course in your backyard, living room, or anywhere else with some space. You can also use household items like chairs, tables, chalk, and pillows to create a course that’s as simple or challenging as you like. For some reason, kids love to be timed so bust out the stopwatch and see if they can beat their personal best over and over.  They should sleep like a baby at the end of the day. 

Have A Water Balloon Fight 

Water balloon fights are a classic summer activity and a great way to cool off on a hot day. All you need is a pack of water balloons and a hose or sink faucet to fill them up. Once they’re filled, let the kids loose and have a blast. Just be sure to clean up any broken balloons afterward. 

Enroll In Summer Reading Programs at The Library 

Many libraries offer summer reading programs for kids, and it’s a great way to keep them entertained and engaged during the summer months. There are usually different programs for different age groups, so you can find one that’s perfect for your child. Plus, it’s a great way to encourage them to read during summer since kids who participate in summer reading programs could earn prizes for every book they read. 

Make A Splash at A Local Pool or Water Park 

If you’re looking for a more traditional summer activity, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the pool or water park. It’s a great way to cool off and have some fun, and most pools and water parks have kid-friendly areas. Just be sure to pack sunscreen and swimsuits for everyone. If you don’t have a water park or pool in your area, check out your local YMCA for public swim time. 

Play Flashlight Tag 

Flashlight tag is a great way to spend an evening and is perfect for summer nights. All you need is a flashlight and some willing participants. Once it gets dark, turn off the lights and let the fun begin. Kids will love running around in the dark, and they’ll burn off some extra energy before bedtime. 

There are plenty of ways to have fun with your kids without breaking the bank. With a bit of creativity, you can have a summer that’s both fun and affordable.  

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