Are you looking for creative ideas for summer fun for kids this summer? Try one of these great ideas! (And check out these other budget-friendly summer fun ideas too!)
The following is a guest post by Jen Stocks of The Tangential Classroom:
The school year is finally over. Summer is here – full of longer days, warmer nights and the opportunity to just have fun!
Eventually, all expenses for the school year briefly come to a standstill – sports uniforms, fundraising purchases, music lessons and more. And while it’s easy to spend money even in the summer, you can have a memorable summer without pulling the last dollar out of your wallet.
I decided to put together a creative list of free summer activities. I thought of activities from my childhood to the things my own children enjoyed growing up.
Free summer fun ideas
This list of fun summer activities for kids through teenagers won’t cost you a dime!
1. Go hiking in the local nature reserve, bike path or on your own property.
2. Go to the beach for the day with a few towels and a cool box.
3rd Use yours free local museums or find out the days off for those admitted.
4. Discover the perfect place to read books–A hammock, a shade tree, a park bench.
5. Throw together a Summer camp in the neighborhood.
6. Pack a picnic. Make your way or take a stroll to the nearest park and enjoy lunch outdoors.
7. Have an outdoor movie night. I did this on a baseball outfield to watch the jumbotron as I drifted in the pool and curled up on blankets with a projector and sheet. No matter how you manage it, it’s so much fun taking the movies outside!
8. Take a ride. It can be a mystery drive or it can have a special goal. It can only be a left turn. Or you let the children navigate. The trick is to see where the open road takes you.
9. Camping. You can visit a state park (or maybe even a national park!) For a minimal fee, but your yard works perfectly for free camping. Put up a tent and make it a night. Don’t forget the s’mores!
10. Grab some color chip cards at the local hardware store and move on Color Scavenger Hunt.
11. Build something! A playhouse. A bird house. A catapult. It can be as complex or simple, as planned or as spontaneous as you want it to be!
12. Prepare summer delicacies. Make a real lemonade with lemons and sugar or throw sausages on the grill. Or try vegetables from the garden – maybe you will have sweet tomatoes put in your mouth right away!
13. Bird watching. Older children may or may not outgrow the interest, but I don’t know many young children who don’t like to find beautiful flying creatures in their own yard.
14. Build a fire and cook camp style. We love pudgie pie irons. You can use it to prepare all kinds of pizzas, sandwiches and desserts. It is so much fun! Or you can wrap beef and vegetable pieces in foil for Silver Treasures.
15. Learn all about fireflies. Read The very lonely firefly by Eric Carle, find out what makes these beauties shine and enjoy the summer show.
16. Go to the local library. It’s a destination in itself, and if you take an armful of books home with you, you’ll score! Also, most libraries have great summer reading programs with events and prizes to read.
17. Try homemade popsicles. We used to just pour juices into ice cube trays with toothpicks. Ahhh, ingenuity.
18. Hold a neighborhood parade – either for a special occasion or just like that! You can have holiday themed parades, birthday parades or whatever you come up with. Children can decorate their bikes, trikes, and strollers with streamers, foil, cardboard stars, and more. Round it off with fun food and drinks!
19. Play outside games like Tag, Hide and Seek or my personal favorite, sardines.
20. Go to the cousins. Or grandma. Take a few days and visit. It’s like a little mini vacation, but free (but join the food and tidying up or something to say thank you!)
21. Take indoor toys outside. Lincoln Logs truly are groundbreaking when surrounded by grass and trees.
22. Find out what’s free in the area. Our city has at least two different weekly concerts in the park, the occasional outdoor movie, and a splash pad – all free to take away.
23. Take a bike ride. A great way to get some fresh air as a family!
24. Check with your local movie theaters. They often run weekly family matinees during the summer, which, while not free, are usually only a dollar or two per person.
25. Check out free courses. Most nature centers, museums, park districts, and even places like Home Depot and JCPenney offer free or discounted classes during the summer.
Bonus idea: go with a toddler. If you want to experience the essence of summer drift, let a toddler set the pace and route of a summer walk. You will find undreamt-of treasures to explore extensively while letting go of the freshness of the other seasons and just soaking up the summer.
More summer ideas:
Jen Stocks blogs and advises at The Tangential Classroom and works with families on their home travels. Born out of twenty years of homeschooling, both the blog and the counseling service focus on diverse curricula, interest-based learning, and creating learning opportunities that are organic, successful, and happen every moment. Get it and join the discussion!