With the long, hot summer looming in front of you, the prospect of keeping your kids busy and entertained puts pressure on your creativity.
But it also puts pressure on your wallet. Kid's activities are expensive. Well, put aside your credit card, because we have a whole load of fun things to do that cost hardly anything at all. Consider the summer saved!
- Scavenger hunts
- Family bike ride
- Backyard bike courses
- DIY lemonade stand
- Family movie night
- Coloring printables
- Mud Kitchen
- Homemade paint recipes
- Grow a garden
- Pick berries
- Backyard camping
- Slip n slide
- Put on a play
- Game night
- Make a scrapbook
- Boredom buster jars
- Paper plate collage
- Paper bag bear craft
- Nature animal pictures
- Giant chalk
- Fairy houses
- Paper aeroplanes
- Summer reading challenges
- Make popsicles
- Make playdough
- Camping bingo
- Summer craft
- Dancing away
- Free printables
A scavenger hunt is a great way of keeping the kids active. You can find our collection of the best hunts here. From indoor games for rainy days, to photo collecting challenges, it's all there.
Family bike ride
Keeping active can take many forms, and going for a family bike ride can be a wonderful way to explore your area together. Plan a route as a family, take a picnic, and jump on your bikes!
Backyard bike courses
Are you up for a little DIY? If you can get hold of some free pallets then you can make all sorts of things to make cycling in the yard more interesting. Why not try this ramp from Swiftly Morgan?
DIY lemonade stand
Now that you've found the pallets, you can take on something a little more impressive! You can also help your kids foster some entrepreneurial spirit with The Clueless Girl's lemonade stand.
Family movie night
The tricky thing about family movie nights? Finding a film that everyone will enjoy. Well, we have 10 films that will delight every member of the family, whatever their age.
Spending time in the kitchen with your children can be one of the most fulfilling activities of your week. Not only is it fun to play with ingredients, but it's a great no-pressure learning experience for kids of all ages. Find our pancake recipe here.
These days there's no need to pay out for book after book of coloring pages for your little ones to get creative with. There are loads of sites that provide printables either for free, or for a small fee. Printable Crush has some great ones to try.
We all want to get our kids outside in the fresh air as much as possible. 1001 Gardens has some great ideas for how you can use mud kitchens to spark their creativity. Sure, there'll be mess, but there'll also be smiles!
Homemade paint recipes
When you're staring down a long summer and you've used up all the paint in the house this paint recipe from Learn Play Imagine will save your bacon!
Grow a garden
Another great way of getting outdoors without spending a wallet-full of cash is to get into gardening. The Imagination Tree can walk you through the process with some inexpensive plants, or even some vegetable scraps.
Summer is a bountiful season, and you can take advantage of all it has to offer. Going berry picking is a fun activity by itself, but then you also get to cook with what you've picked. Or you can eat it straight from the punnet!
You don't have to drive for miles to find a fun, outdoor camping opportunity. Camping out in the backyard is exciting and inexpensive. Also, you don't have to go far to find a warm toilet!
Geocaching is like taking a scavenger hunt and making it even more exciting! Using an app you discover items hidden by other geocachers, and then you hide your own. Find out more at Geocaching.com.
Slip n slide
Sure, you can buy a ready-made slip n slide, or you can make your own with just some plastic sheeting, dish soap, and a hosepipe! Hours of summer fun for a few dollars.
Put on a play
Encouraging your little one's creativity is an important part of every parent's job. Get your children's heads out of the screen and challenge them to come up with their own little play. Then sit back with a cup of tea and watch what their imaginations have come up with.
Game night is a brilliant way of spending quality time together as a family. We have some brilliant examples of game ideas here. Pop some pizza in the oven and prepare to get competitive!
Make a scrapbook
With some of the craft resources that you've got laying around the house, you can create a fun way to document your summer holiday. Fun Stuff To Do has some great ideas for scrapbooks for all ages.
Boredom buster jars
When you hear the sound of "I'm Bored!" ringing in your ears you need to reach for one of these Boredom Jars by Early Learning Ideas. Fill them with easy activities to keep your children busy when they can't think of anything else to do.
Paper plate collage
With just a simple paper plate, some colored card, and some Cheerios, you can make your very own under-the-sea scene. Crafts of Sea has some fun ideas for your aquatic designs.
Paper bag bear craft
Here is another simple and cute craft activity from Crafts on Sea. These paper bag bears are perfect for your smaller growlers to create and then play with for the rest of the afternoon. Bring on the teddy bear's picnic!
Nature animal pictures
After a morning hike in the forest, why not use the leaves and twigs you've collected to create an animal picture. Daisies & Pie can show you a cute owl example that almost hoots!
You can pick up these giant chalk sticks for next to nothing, and they last for ages! See how much fun you can have with them on One Small Human's website.
Inspire your child's imagination by creating your own fairy house at the bottom of the garden. Get some quality inspiration from books like this one.
Do you have some paper? Then you can run science experiments, get your kids running around, and have a lot of fun in the process. Grab this book, or let your imagination run riot, and make your own paper aeroplanes.
Summer reading challenges
Most local libraries run their own summer reading challenges that anyone can join. You can sign up your child, and get them reading away in the sun all holiday!
What better way to cool down on a hot summer afternoon than with a popsicle? You can cut down on the costs of a whole holiday's worth of sugary ice with these popsicle makers from Amazon. You can mix and match your favorite flavors.
Not all summer days are full of warmth and blue skies. For those rainy holiday afternoons, making your own playdough is a perfect choice. Find our favorite recipe here, on Kids Activities.
If you're venturing out into the great outdoors this summer then this camping bingo activity from Crafted with Bliss will keep your kids busy while you set up the campsite.
Get out the craft box, the glue gun, and the popsicle sticks that you have left over from the popsicles you made earlier! There are loads of crafts you can make with resources you already have, and Glued to my Craft can help.
Keeping moving doesn't just mean running around in the park. Yoga can keep your kids flexible and grounded, and be lots of fun. Cosmic Kids is a great channel that has accessible yoga routines with relatable cartoon characters.
If calm and quiet isn't really your child's style, then perhaps a dance party is a better idea. Go Noodle have some really fun videos on their YouTube channel that you can dance along to for free.
Summer is long, and kids can be expensive. If you've reached the end of our list and you still need inspiration, then check out our article rounding up 35 free printable activities. None of them will cost you a penny, and they'll all deliver hours of fun!