102 Fun Things to do this Summer with Kids without Spending a lot of Money

Sailboat made out of newspaper

I created a list of 102 fun things to do this summer with kids without spending a lot of money. I purposefully made most of these items be things that you can do at home that don’t cost a lot of money, though some of them mention going into town, but hopefully still don’t cost too much.

This list has actually been so helpful for me as a mom. Sometimes I forget about all the fun things there are to do.

 Yes, they have their toys and love them, but they also love doing new activities. Having a list of fun ideas to do in one place allows me and my kids to easily find something fun and different to do.

There are a few ways you could use this list. You could write some of these down and choose favorites to put on a calendar, or cut them up and draw from a hat when your kids are looking for something different to do. Or simply scan down the list until something captures your interest. Or you can just choose and set up the activity for your kids to enjoy.

I hope this list helps you think of fun things to do with your kids.

Here is a list of 102 fun things to do this summer with kids without spending a lot of money:

  1. Watch a Movie under the stars
  2. Go camping (Even if it is only in your backyard)
  3. Learn something new (like how to sew or how to code)
  4. Do a service project
  5. Bake a fun dessert
  6. Make Homemade Ice Cream
  7. Make Popsicles (When I was a kid, I loved to freeze apple juice and then eat apple juice popsicles.)
  8. Go on a day trip to somewhere cool near you like maybe a lake or the beach if you live close by and go swimming (wear a life jacket), go to a zoo (Some or free or pretty cheap, though some are expensive so make sure you check in advance to see if you want to spend that much) or some other cool attraction.
  9. Go to a child-friendly museum in your town (again check price).
  10. Play with Bubbles
  11. Do a science project
  12. Have a water balloon or water gun fight (just make sure you pick up all the balloon pieces and be careful with balloons and younger children).
  13. Go get ice cream at an ice cream shop and talk about your hopes and dreams
  14. Have a Balloon Party (again pick up balloon pieces and be very careful with babies and toddlers)
  15. Make colorful Bubbles
  16. Have Breakfast in bed
  17. Watch fireworks for the 4th of July
  18. Build a Sand Castle
  19. Collect shells or rocks
  20. Go on a short hike (or longer if you like hiking)
  21. Go to the library weekly and sign up for the summer book reading challenge
  22. Go to a Splash Pad
  23. Go exploring
  24. Ask you kids what they want to do and do it (If reasonable and safe)
  25. Paint rocks
  26. Plant a garden or even just a few seeds
  27. Paint the fence (not literally unless it needs to be done anyway) Hang up the backside of wrapping paper and staple it to the fence. Let kids paint away
  28. Create an obstacle course
  29. Eat Breakfast for dinner
  30. Take a walk.
  31. Climb a tree
  32. Go swimming at the local pool or in a baby pool in the backyard.
  33. Go on a walk and check out a new neighborhood near you
  34. Write a story or draw a picture story
  35. Roast marshmallows and make smores
  36. Learn how to build a fire safely (for older kids) and other survivor skills
  37. Write a letter or draw a picture and send it to someone like grandparents
  38. Do some schooling
  39. Research something you are interested in
  40. Read a book
  41. Do a mini DIY photo session
  42. Jump on a trampoline or in a bounce house
  43. Visit family (easier to do if they live nearby)
  44. Make homemade lemonade
  45. Make a lemonade stand
  46. Play with sidewalk chalk
  47. Make paper boats and float it down a river or stream or bathtub or sink or pool or just play make-believe with it. (Be super careful around water!)
  48. Make suncatchers
  49. Tie-dye shirts
  50. Paint themed pictures to display
  51. Go to Playground
  52. Ride bikes or learn to ride bikes
  53. Go roller skating (either outside or at a roller skating rink)
  54. Cook dinner together. Allow kids to choose the menu and help prepare it.
  55. Catch bugs in a bug catcher
  56. Make a flower bouquet from wildflowers
  57. Make a flower bouquet from construction paper
  58. Finger paint
  59. Make a fleece blanket
  60. Make a fleece pillow
  61. Sew a doll pillow from scrap fabric
  62. Make doll blanket
  63. Make alphabet letters or fun animals from scrap fabric
  64. Have a dance party/play freeze dance
  65. Play board games like Don’t wake daddy or Monopoly
  66. Card Games like Minecraft Uno and animal/letter matching Go Fish (Both are a favorite of my kids right now whose ages range from 1-8).
  67. Play outdoor games like Duck Duck Goose, tag, freeze tag, capture the flag, hopscotch, etc)
  68. Have a family movie night
  69. Have a popcorn bar with kids helping to make the different types of popcorn
  70. Make a play fort
  71. Put together a puzzle
  72. Play with Playdough
  73. Make homemade playdough (here’s a recipe for Apple Pie Playdough that I love from The Best Ideas for Kids)
  74. Make a Vegetable Garden
  75. Plant flowers in a garden
  76. Create a Fairy Garden
  77. Paint terracotta planters and plant a few flower seeds and have kids watch it grow and be in charge of taking care of it.
  78. Gather together a lot of arts and crafts, put it in a basket, and let your kids go to town making whatever they feel like.
  79. Paint nails
  80. Have a spa day with facials and cucumbers
  81. Make homemade bath bombs
  82. Make homemade lemon (or other scents) body scrub
  83. Have a fancy dinner with your best plates and have everyone dress up
  84. Have a picnic and play picnic games while eating traditional picnic foods like watermelon
  85. Have a doll/stuffed animal tea party or picnic. Make bite-sized foods to eat.
  86. Make a homemade bow for doll or for your kids
  87. Do some scrapbooking
  88. Decorate a journal and write in it
  89. Make paper airplanes
  90. Draw along with Art for Kids Hub or other art channels on youtube (make sure you are there supervising what they are doing/watching
  91. Create an obstacle course in your back yard with things you have around your house
  92. Have a fun pajama party, or Princess and knight party, or any other fun type of themed party with fun books and crafts that match the theme.
  93. Make homemade pizza and let your kids shape their pizza dough into whatever shape they want and add whatever pizza toppings they want.
  94. Make sugar cookies and ice them
  95. Paint a dollhouse or some other fun project you have been meaning to spruce up
  96. Have a barbeque
  97. Do yoga
  98. Learn to knit or crochet
  99. Make bracelets and necklaces out of string and beads
  100. Put on a play (you can include family members, dolls, stuffed animals, whatever you like)
  101. Build a Rocketship or house out of a cardboard box
  102. Make puppets out of paper bags or socks or whatever you have and have a puppet show

I hope you enjoyed this list. Spending time with your kids learning and doing different activities is so fun and beneficial! Enjoy the time together!

 If you liked this list of 102 fun things to do this summer with kids without spending a lot of money, please share it!

Sailboat made out of newspaper

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