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10 Frugal Summer Activities for Kids

Thank you for sharing!

Entertain the kids this summer on a budget! One of my previous jobs was a summer day camp worker for a school I taught at. I had to come up with lots of fun activities on a very small budget. Today I am sharing with you 10 Frugal Summer Activities for Kids that will get the kids off of the electronics and having fun!

10 Frugal Summer Activities for Kids

I’ve gathered up a collection of Frugal ways to have fun with your kids this Summer! The activities below are either FREE to create or cost a very small amount to gather needed supplies. I hope these Frugal Summer Activities help occupy your kids during these long summer days.

I’ve been known to come up with quite a few fun ideas that don’t cost very much at all. Some are everyday-normal activities and others may be a bit more creative.

Have Fun with Water Balloons

The Dollar Tree sells balloons. Here are 2 great water balloon game ideas!

  • Make Water Bomb Pinata’s by tying the balloons to the poles of monkey bars or a tight strung clothes-line – Grab a stick and take turns hitting the “Water Bombs” until they are all popped!
  • Angry Birds Water Darts: – Draw Angry Bird faces on the balloons and throw darts or hard-edged stones to try and pop the balloons – Make sure nobody or anything breakable or valuable is in the line of fire during Angry Birds Water Darts! (Angry Bird Faces can be drawn on the Water Bomb Pinata’s also or any other face or design.)
  • Water Balloon Dodge Ball: This activity is best played in a large open area with a group of kids (adults also allowed) who can evenly separate into 2 teams.Fill up the balloon halfway with water and divide them up into team buckets.  Make sure both teams have the same amount of balloons. I wouldn’t use all the balloons during the first game. The kids may want to play again and would be really upset if they were already out of balloons!
    Separate the players into 2 different groups *Random Tip* Purchase a couple hand-fulls of shirts in 2 different colors, at a local thrift shop to help tell the 2 teams apart or You can use 2 different colors of ribbon)

Fun Scavenger Hunts

They’re so many options for Scavenger Hunts! Here are just a couple fun nature-themed variations. Give each child a bag to carry their collection in or if you have an extra camera, have your child take photos of their collections instead of bringing them back inside.

  •  Rainbow Scavenger Hunt. You can use the colors of the rainbow or colors from their favorite cartoon characters. Have photo’s of Elmo, Blue’s Clue’s, Sid, Thomas etc. and ask the kids to find something that matches the color.
  • Alphabet Scavenger Hunt.  Write your child’s name vertical on a sheet of paper (One letter per line) Have them find something that starts with each letter and add it to their collection.

Make a Nature Craft Project

If your kids have a collection of items found on a recent Nature Scavenger Hunt, gather everyone at the table (or other cleared hard surface) and get creative! Lay a Stack of Paper, Glue, Markers/Crayons, Googly Eyes and any other crafting supplies you may have and encourage your little ones to create artwork with their collections.
Have fun with it! Here are some craft ideas they can make from the nature materials.

  • Greeting card
  • Collage
  • Diorama
  • Jewelry

Have a Modeling Session

Pick a pretty place outside or hang up blankets in one area of your house. Have the kids pick out favorite fancy and/or dress-up clothes. You can do optional make-overs – depending on your personal make-up rule. Grab your camera and take lots and lots of pictures with your child posing and maybe even acting out scenes from their favorite cartoons and movies.  If your child is a bit shy – Don’t worry about it, Just go with their personality. You may be surprised at how quick your little one opens up in front of the camera and lets their inner model come out!

Host a Fashion Show

Have the kids gather up their friends and 3 or 4 dresses/outfits each, along with shoes and accessories, that they would like to model.
Set up a “Red Carpet” or “Cat Walk” with blankets, scrap fabric, cardboard or anything else that can be used to make a walking trail of around 2ft wide.
Find/Create yourself a Microphone (Hair-brushes work great as microphones!) – Being the parent… You’re the Announcer – Start calling out those Introductions and watch your Fashion Models strut their stuff on the Cat Walk!

Glow in the Dark Hide and Seek

This game is best for older kids. Once the sun goes down – Gather up a small group of older kids and play hide and seek as normal but with only the glow stick as your light.Give each kid at least 1 Glow-Stick, Two if possible. You can buy the Jewelry Glow-Sticks at the Dollar Tree – Use one as a necklace and another as a bracelet or anklet. – Decorative Glow wands with toppers are available too! Try and give each player a different color glowing color!

Have a Park Play Day

Go to the park or local playground Pack up a lunch and Head out for some swinging and games!

Have Bubble Fun

You can always find BIG bottles of Bubbles at the Dollar Tree for simply $1 or you can make your own!

Big Bubble Recipe:

  • Fill an Empty Gallon Jug:
  • 11 Cups Water
  • 4 Cups Ajax dish soap (anti-bacterial works best)
  • 1 Cup corn syrup

For the older kids – Once it starts getting dark, Break open a glow stick and pour it into some Bubble Solution to make Glow in the Dark Bubbles. Make sure the kids are old enough to know not to put the solution near their mouth or get it on their skin. Also, make sure you keep the Glowing solution away from small hands when stored (the Glowing effect will only last for 1 night).

Make Slime

Slime Blobs – To make a Slime Blob – You will need Clear Glue, Liquid Starch and Food Coloring

Mix together 1 ½ cups of CLEAR glue – 1 ½ cups of Liquid Starch and several drops of Food Coloring. (Elmer’s glue has a clear school glue that’s normally pretty cheap.) Try stocking up on school glue and other often used supplies during the Back-to-school sales.

Squish ingredients together, with your hands, until you create a slime. Make sure the kids are settled down at a table or cleared off hard surface and let the slime squishing begin!Kids of all ages like playing with slime – Even Teens and Adults can’t hold themselves back sometimes either  Slime Blobs actually make a great sensory project for toddlers!

To avoid any possible mess – Try putting the blob into a gallon sized bag and press out most of the air. Little kids will have fun squishing the blob through the plastic – You can even use toy cars and other small items and see if you can make impressions in the slime.

Have Fun in the Kitchen

Teach your child some cool summertime recipes like juicy fruity popsicles, homemade ice cream, and pudding pops.

Here are some quick recipes you can try:

What are your favorite things to do with your kids in the summer? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for sharing!