Summer is right around the corner, and if you’re like most people, you’re already starting to worry about how expensive it might be. But don’t worry! We’ve got your bank account covered with our list of low-cost summer activities that are sure to make this season the best one yet – without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or a day at the park, you can enjoy yourself here on our budget. So grab your sunglasses and come along as we dive into some fun and frugal finds for an unforgettable summer!
60 Low-Cost Summer Activities
Set up a small inflatable pool or water table with toys for splashing and cooling off. Always supervise children around water.
Sidewalk Chalk Art
Provide sidewalk chalk for children to create colorful drawings and games on the pavement or driveway.
Explore your backyard or neighborhood on a nature walk, collecting leaves, rocks, and other exciting finds.
Create a small garden area where children can help plant, water, and observe the growth of flowers, fruits, or vegetables.
Fill bins with sand, water beads, or rice, and add toys, shovels, and cups for hours of sensory play. *Make sure that filling is age-appropriate and not a choking hazard.
Outdoor Story Time
Take storytime outside by reading books under a shady tree or in a cozy outdoor nook.
Serve lunch outdoors on blankets or at a picnic table, encouraging children to enjoy their meals in the fresh air.
Collect rocks and have children paint them with paint to create colorful garden decorations or keepsakes.
Make healthy fruit popsicles using fresh fruit, juice, or yogurt, and enjoy them as a refreshing summer treat.
Outdoor Music Corner
Set up a music corner with pots, pans, and other items that make noise when struck with wooden spoons or sticks.
Create a simple scavenger hunt with pictures of items for children to find in your backyard or nearby park.
Use household items like hula hoops, pool noodles, and boxes to create a fun and challenging obstacle course.
Set up a bird feeder and binoculars for children to observe and learn about local birds.
Use the sun’s rays to explore shadows by having children create shapes with their bodies or use objects to make shadow puppets.
Lead children in simple yoga poses and stretches, encouraging them to connect with nature and practice mindfulness.
Set up a sprinkler for children to run through and cool off on hot summer days.
Ice Cube Painting
Freeze colored water in ice cube trays, then let children paint on paper or the sidewalk using the melting ice cubes as their “paintbrushes.”
Have children collect leaves, flowers, and other natural materials to create beautiful collages on paper or cardboard.
Outdoor Dramatic Play
Set up an outdoor play area with costumes, props, and playhouses for imaginative role-playing.]
Plant a Sunflower
Provide each child with a small pot, soil, and sunflower seeds to plant and care for their own sunflower throughout the summer.
Outdoor Puppet Show
Create a simple outdoor puppet theater using a table and a cloth, and encourage children to put on their own puppet shows.
Fruit and Veggie Stamping
Cut fruits and vegetables in half and use them as stamps for children to create unique art pieces with washable paint.
Homemade Bird Feeders
Use recycled materials like milk cartons or plastic bottles to create bird feeders for your backyard.
Use a large sheet or lightweight fabric as a parachute for group games and activities that promote teamwork and coordination.
Rainy Day Puddle Jumping
Embrace summer rain by dressing children in rain boots and raincoats and encouraging them to splash in puddles.
Collect various leaves and have children create rubbings with crayons and paper to explore different textures and shapes.
Paper Plate Fans
Decorate paper plates with markers or stickers, then attach them to craft sticks to create personal fans for staying cool.
Outdoor Alphabet Hunt
Hide foam or magnetic letters around your backyard, have children search for them, and then practice letter recognition and sounds.
Provide colored sand and small containers for children to create layered sand art masterpieces.
Inflate balloons and have children play a gentle game of volleyball without letting the balloon touch the ground.
DIY Wind Chimes
Assemble wind chimes using recycled materials like tin cans, keys, or beads, and hang them outside to enjoy the sounds they make.
Create a magical fairy garden with small plants, pebbles, and miniature decorations that children can arrange and rearrange. *Potential choking hazard depending on the age of the children.
Freeze small toys or treasures in ice cubes or large blocks of ice, and let children chip away at the ice to discover what’s hidden inside.
Set up a simple bowling game using empty water bottles as pins and a soft ball for children to roll.
Make a giant bubble wand using string and dowel rods, and create enormous bubbles with a homemade bubble solution.
Provide children with masking tape or pipe cleaners to create nature bracelets by attaching small leaves, flowers, and other found items.
Sponge Water Relay
Organize a water relay race where children must transfer water from one bucket to another using only sponges.
Colorful Ice Sculptures
Freeze colored water in various shapes and sizes, then let children build sculptures by sticking the ice pieces together as they melt.
Outdoor Simon Says
Play a game of Simon Says in the backyard, incorporating physical movements and nature-themed instructions.
Make simple kites using paper, string, and sticks, and encourage children to fly them on a breezy day.
Set up a tent in the backyard and have a pretend camping experience with stories, songs, and flashlight games.
Provide large sheets of paper or cardboard and washable paint for children to create their own outdoor masterpieces.
Bean Bag Toss
Create a simple bean bag toss game using homemade bean bags and targets like hula hoops or buckets.
Nature Rubbings Book
Have children create a book of nature rubbings, collecting different textures from leaves, bark, and other natural materials.
Teach children about telling time with the sun by creating a simple sundial using a stick and stones to mark the hours.
Draw a hopscotch grid on the pavement with sidewalk chalk and teach children how to play this classic outdoor game.
Make a butterfly feeder using a shallow dish filled with sugar water or fruit, and observe the beautiful butterflies that visit.
Water Balloon Toss
Fill small balloons with water and have children gently toss them back and forth, trying not to let them burst.
Use sidewalk chalk to draw a tic-tac-toe grid and provide markers like rocks or pinecones for children to play the game.
Collect flowers and leaves and teach children how to press them between sheets of wax paper or heavy books for preservation.
Potato Sack Races
Organize a potato sack race using pillowcases or large fabric bags, encouraging children to hop their way to the finish line.
Frozen Treat Taste Test
Make various homemade frozen treats, such as fruit popsicles, yogurt bites, or smoothie cups, and have children taste-test each one.
Encourage children to create patterns using objects found in nature, such as rocks, leaves, sticks, and flowers.
Outdoor Freeze Dance
Play music and have children dance around, freezing in place when the music stops.
Set up a series of mini-games and challenges, such as long jump, bean bag toss, and relay races, for a fun backyard Olympics event.
Create a scavenger hunt where children search for items in nature that match the colors of the rainbow. CHECK THIS ONE OUT IN OUR ETSY SHOP
DIY Slip ‘N Slide
Lay out a large tarp or plastic sheet, add water and a small amount of baby soap, and let children slide across for a homemade slip ‘n slide experience.
Explore a new park or playground.
Explore a new one you have yet to visit.
Create a DIY Mud Kitchen
Before you know it, they will be creating recipes for leaf soup and mud pies.
Just Have Fun! No planned activities
Making low-cost summer activities a priority is a great way to ensure everyone has a chance to experience summer fun, even with limited budgets. From scavenger hunts to time spent in a sprinkler, low-cost activities offer plenty of creative options. Organizing and partaking in these activities can be both frugal and enjoyable while creating lasting memories that will carry through each summer season. Don’t let money worries keep you from having an amazing yet affordable summer! With a little planning and creativity, you can be sure this year’s summer memories will last a lifetime without breaking the bank.