As the anticipation for summer grows with the warmer weather and the school year's ending, we begin to anticipate the following: How am I going to keep my kids busy?! The reality that children need to be occupied is not a new development for parents. Kids need to be up, out, and running around on those summer days. But we've got you covered! This list is a budget-friendly list of ideas to ensure that your kiddos enjoy their summer.
For Those Warm Sunny Days, Get Outside!
1. Water Balloon Fight!
Up for an epic water balloon fight? There is nothing better in the summer than hurling a water balloon at your mom. Now that I have kids of my own, there is nothing better than besting my kids in some summertime competition!
2. Pool Noodle Fun
Pool noodles are probably the most versatile outdoor game tool available. Use your noodles to make an obstacle course, balloon baseball, or some play ponies. Pool noodles can usually be found for only a dollar! Click on the picture for a fun list of things to do with your pool noodles!
Learn more: Fabulessly Frugal
3. Outdoor Connect 4!
Connect 4 is such a fun game on its own. Make it jumbo size and add some sunshine, and it becomes a great outdoor activity. This game is great to have when you have an outdoor party for adults and kids alike! You could even keep score to declare a Connect 4 winner.
4. Bean Bag Toss
The bean bag toss game is one you don't want to miss out on! The bean bag toss is a classic when it comes to outdoor games. There are so many different kinds that you can get on Amazon!
5. Bowling, Anyone?
Your outdoor sports game experience is not complete without an outdoor bowling game! This classic bowling game has been around in one way or another for centuries and always makes a beautiful memory.
6. Relay Races
Relay races are fun and will bring out the competitive side in anyone. If you are trying to entertain a house full of kids, you cannot go wrong with a relay race. Whether planning the games yourself or purchasing a kit, there is nothing more fun than a challenging game of potato sack races.
7. Competition Croquet
What can be more fun than playing a backyard croquet game? This fun game is an excellent addition to any backyard game. Croquet is easy to learn and will result in lots of laughs and smiles. Have some great family bonding time learning this new game and watch the competition spark.
8. Stock Tank Pool?
Okay, I know this one sounds a little crazy, but if you want a summer project that looks cool and that the kids can play in for the house, click on the picture. There are so many fantastic ideas on making your very own stock tank pool on Pinterest. Ultimately, you will have a super cool pool to chill out in the summer.
Learn more: Stock Tank Pool
Awesome Indoor Summer Activities
9. Learn a New Recipe
Whether you simply Google search for a new recipe or make one with some family history behind it, baking or learning how to cook is fun. While many would prefer to make cookies on a rainy day, I love the chance to teach my kids a recipe that could serve as a wholesome meal.
Learn more: The Family Dinner Project
10. Play Some Board Games
Our family LOVES board games. Secondly, they love playing board games with us, the grown-ups! Our favorite games are checkers, chess, Jenga, Scrabble, and Dominoes. Also, these games allow kids to practice fine motor skills and deductive reasoning.
11. The Floor is Hot Lava!
There is nothing more my little child loves doing than throwing the couch pillows on the floor and yelling, "don't step in the hot lava"! Hot Lava takes zero money to prepare for and will keep you and your kiddos busy inside for at least thirty minutes. I call that a win. However, if you want to purchase the actual game (so you don't have couch pillows on the floor), that is also an option!
Okay, I know that handling a chore list is not exactly at the top of the list of fun things to do. However, Mary Poppins said it best, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job's a game". While your desired day with family may not include a chore list, there is still fun to accomplish something together.
Learn more: Get Yarn
13. Indoor Ring Toss
Who says ring toss has to be an outdoor game? You can use this setup as a fun lawn game or bring it indoors for a rainy afternoon of fun! Either way, this is a great activity that everyone can enjoy.
There is something about the Bingo game that is simply a blast! It is like you are competitive, but there is no skill behind it. It is a game of chance! I love this family bundle for Bingo available on Amazon.
15. Make a Piece of Art
I have never met a child that does not enjoy painting. Even my children, big and small, enjoy finding an idea on Pinterest they like and then attempting to paint it. Either way, there is a bit of mess, but your kids will stay busy for a long time! Make it a painting party by adding some snacks and drinks.
Learn more: The Social Easel Online Paint Studio
16. Create Some Slime!
Making slime is so much fun, and kids love it. This goop has taken the world by storm, and the ingredients are minimal. Want your kids to stay busy? Make some slime with them.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
Night Time Family Fun!
17. Make Your Movie Theater
There is no such thing as a bargain movie house unless you make your own! One of the best things I ever did was buys a cheap projector off Amazon that could play movies. Our kids love this idea, and it has also saved us (probably thousands) of dollars over the years.
Learn more: Southern Discourse
18. Backyard Camp Out
Here is where the woods campouts meet easy access to bathrooms without giant spiders? Count me in! I love backyard campouts because you get the convenience of home but the fun of sleeping in a tent. Plus, there is no additional cost for the campsite.
Learn more: Pinterest
19. Catch Lightning Bugs
I love that time of year when you start seeing lightning bugs (aka fireflies) lighting up the night sky. What's even more fun is when you get a jar, catch as many as possible, and then watch the jar light up. It is so simple and almost sends you back to when things weren't so complicated.
Learn more: Reddit
20. Night Time Treasure Hunt
Like the Easter egg hunt, make a map, hide some treasure, and set your kiddos loose! Doing this at night with some flashlights makes this activity way more fun.
Learn more: Mom Dot
21. Family Trivia Night
It is an absolute blast besting your family in the realm of useless knowledge. Trivia nights are a great way to have family bonding time and show what you know!
Learn more: Gathered Again
22. Miniature Golf (aka Put Put)
While I am terrible at this game, my family LOVES it. Plus, this is an inexpensive family outing that will result in tons of fun at most places.
Learn more: Travel Iowa
23. Farmers Market
Most towns or cities have farmer's markets. Over the last decade, these markets have become much more significant and have great crafts and freshly made/grown foods. Check out your local town's website and see which market you want to visit this weekend!
Learn more: Salon.com
24. Let's Go to the Fair!
The fair is always a sign that summer is officially in full swing! Whether you're in it for the classic carnival game of balloon popping or the gut-wrenching tilt-o-whirl, your family will have fun.
Learn more: Arkansas State Fair
25. An Old Fashioned Drive-In Movie
While there aren't many of these left, they are still around. The drive-in theater is a lot less expensive than your typical movie theater, and they let you bring in your food! Bonus!
Learn more: Delaware Live
26. Trip to the Flea Market
kids. It is almost like a treasure hunt to see what valuable or unique things you can find.
Learn more: Time Out
27. Take a Hike!
Sometimes, you need to get outside and experience the great outdoors! Check out your local national parks and hiking trails, load up some sack lunches, and take a hike.
Learn more: Experience Fayette Ville
28. Go to the Playground
While I try to plan fun activities out of the usual, I often overlook our local playgrounds and parks. While my big kids play basketball, my little ones can always play on the slide and the swings and be perfectly content for hours.
Learn more: Miracle Recreation
29. Go for a Bike Ride
If you have bicycles and trails nearby, go for a family bike ride! Not only does this cost nothing, but your kids will also enjoy being outside. We like to plan our stop halfway and grab lunch or even a cool treat.
Learn more: Outside Online
Memories and Fun with Friends
30. Slumber Parties!
Slumber parties with friends are always sure to be a hit! Make some pallets on the floor, order a pizza, and you've got yourself a night full of fun.
Learn more: Good Housekeeping
31. Bounce House
Bounce houses are relatively inexpensive to rent or purchase, and your kiddos will wear themselves out jumping around!
Learn more: Radio Flyer
32. Slip and Slide Party
If you've got around ten to twenty dollars and a water hose, you've got yourself hours of summer fun. Just make sure to bring the sunscreen!
33. Bubble Gum Blowing Competition
A quick game of who can blow the giant bubble is always fun! Just pull any hair back so this fun activity doesn't turn into a hair disaster.
Learn more: Confectionery News