Monday, June 6, 2011

102 Fun (and low cost) Summer Activities for Kids

Summer vacation is looming right around the corner and while the first few days are filled with the excitement of actually being out of school it will not be long before the summer "I'm Bored Blues" will kick in.  In order to help you conquer the boredom, I decided to create a list of 102 things that you can do with your kids all summer long to keep them entertained.  Most ideas will either be free or low cost so no need to worry about spending a lot of extra cash this summer.  I plan to post 15 new ideas every Monday all summer long.  If you missed a week look for the tab at the top of my blog to access the prior weeks.  Let's unleash the creativity:)

1.  Sign up for the summer reading program at your local library.

2.  Write a letter to a penpal.  This could be somebody that you know such as a family member, teacher, or classmate or a faraway friend’s child.  If you cannot find anybody on your own click the link below to sign up for a penpal program.

3.  Be a tourist in your own town.  Visit a fun, local tourism spot that you may overlook or neglect because it is around the corner.

4.  Get outside and get in touch with nature by taking a nature walk and recording it in a nature journal.

5.  Gather up old magazines and create a collage.  It can be random or you can pick a theme.  Kids love to cut and glue!  Cover it with Mod Podge in order to preserve it and make it shiny.

6.  Make pizzas and have a decorating contest (just make sure to use ingredients that the kids will eat).  Make your own dough or use bagels, English muffins, or pre-made Boboli doughs.  You could have categories such as most creative, funniest, yummiest, etc.  Once they are cooked everybody can share and sample each others creations.  My favorite trick is to cut pepperonis into fun shapes before placing them on the pizza!

7.  Scrapbook!  If the thought of doing a whole scrapbook is overwhelming and costly consider just doing one page on a topic that interests your child such as a particular vacation, a birthday party, sisters, a beloved pet, etc.  My daughters love to do these single pages and then we put them in a clear cover and hang them on the wall.   They even sell 12x12 frames perfect for hanging a scrapbook page.

8.  Start a collection.

9.  Go camping.  If you are not adventurous enough to pitch a tent in the woods, don’t worry there are other options.  The cheapest option is to consider camping in your backyard.  This is the perfect starter for young kids or parents who have never camped.  If things go downhill at night, it is a hop, skip, and a jump back to the comforts of home.  Another option is renting a cabin.  Lots of campgrounds offer cabins…some look like rustic sheds with just one room, some beds, a light, and if you are lucky air conditioning.  Other cabins can be “deluxe” and include a private bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and more.  Both options are affordable and worth investigating.

10.  Remember all of the fun you had as a kid jumping ropes and chanting the rhymes?  Well, now would be a great time to teach them to your kids.  Can’t remember them?  Never fear…click the link below for an extensive list of all the jump-roping rhymes you could imagine.

11.  Host a slumber party!  This is great fun for boys and girls, but if your kids are too young for a slumber party (or if the thought of a large group of giggling girls or rowdy boys gives you the chills) consider a faux sleepover.  This could be done in the early evening hours with the kids being picked up at 9pm.  Do all the fun slumber party activities and end the night watching a movie camped out on the floor with pillows and sleeping bags while the kids wait for their parents to pick them up…the best of both worldsJ

12.  Create an outdoor art gallery in the driveway or on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk or sidewalk paint.  Draw out picture frames and have the kids fill them with their own art.  Invite neighbors and family to come view your gallery.  Click the link below for a sidewalk chalk paint recipe. 

13.  What kid is not amazed by magic tricks?  They will be even more amazed if they learn how they work.  Pick out one or two and teach them how to be the magician.  If they are feeling really adventurous host a magic show for family and friends.

14.  Declare a “bored” game day!  Pull out all of your old favorites and spend the whole day playing some old board games and learn some new.  Card games can be fun and easy to play also.  If you do not own many board games be sure to check out local garage sales.  You can usually pick them up for less than $1.

15.  Bowling!  Have you signed up for the Kids Bowl Free program yet?  This is the perfect activity to save for a sweltering hot summer day when the kids are sick and tired of being outside.  Enjoy the cool comfort of the bowling alley while your kids play a free game.  Even if your alley is not eligible for the Kids Bowl Free program many alleys offer summer specials during the day for kids making for a fun and affordable afternoon of bowling.


  1. What terrific ideas and a great summer concept. I am an author and a stay at home parent and I really love these ideas. Following now on Twitter and I "liked" your Facebook page.

    Best wishes,

    twitter: @claylauren2001
    Facebook: claytonpaulthomas

  2. Hi! We are your newest followers through the "Not So Moody Monday" Blog Hop! We would love to have you follow us back!

  3. These are some great ideas! I've been getting together our "summer survival" list here in our home, and I will certainly be including a few of these! Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. Awesome ideas! Can't wait for more! Stopping by from Tuesday Blog Hop!


  5. What great ideas- I wish I could blink and go back in time to when my kids were young enough to do some of these! I'm now a follower @DIStherapy

  6. Looking forward to reading thr rest! Good ideas. Following now from the fun Tues hop!