25 Summer Fun Ideas that Cost Under $5


For homeschooling moms, summer is thrilling because we get to loosen up a bit with our kids. For moms of other school-age children, summer is a great time to build memories with the extra gift of time. Regardless of your situation, I know all of us really want to enjoy this beautiful season!

The “Summer Bucket Lists” floating around are really fun… yet some of the ideas get a little elaborate or pricey for my budget. I want my kids to have a fun summer, but I don’t think we have to go broke to do it. I also don’t want to set the bar so high one season that I can’t live up to it in the subsequent years! My goal is to have intentional time with my kids, and here are some fun ideas we’ve discovered that are all very simple and inexpensive:

  1. Catch fireflies. The most exciting part of this is that you probably have to delay bedtime!
  2. Use your plastic Easter eggs, put glow sticks in them, and have a night egg hunt.
  3. Go to a new park or beach. My boys are in a season in which this easy option is thrilling!  

4.              Make sidewalk chalk pictures. I love the ones that have your child lay down with the image to become part of the scene. (My kids are still getting the hang of this, but it’s still adorable!)


5.              Have a picnic dinner at a new location.

6.              Camp in your backyard.

7.              Family fort sleepover in your living room!

8.              Buy popsicles and let your kids eat them in the bathtub.

9.              Make homemade ice cream, popsicles, or slushies.


10.           Stargaze.

11.           Stay up late for a family movie night and make your own popcorn. Bonus if you can project it on the side of your house!

12.           Sprinkler play date.

13.           Give each child a $1 and see what they can find at a garage sale.

14.           Build bottle rockets with your recycling materials!

15.           Make your own bubble solution and wands. Pipe cleaners work well.

16.           Make shaving cream paint. Do this outside on a really hot day, so afterwards you can hose the kids off.

17.           Pajama ice cream run! Get cheap ice cream cones at the drive-thru.

18.           Bug hunt at a nature preserve or park. The dollar store has great kits with mini nets, containers, and magnifying glasses. (The large butterfly net was leftover from our butterfly hatching experiment.)


19.           Go frog catching. You can buy nets at the dollar store, and use recycled buckets for storage containers.


20.           Cloudwatch on an afternoon that isn’t stifling hot.

21.           Have your kids wash your cars. GIve them a little tip if they do a nice job!

22.           Help garden or pick weeds, and then make dirt cakes.

23.           Perform the Mentos/Diet Coke experiment.

24.           Use baking soda/dish soap/vinegar/food coloring to create a great science experiment. Simply put the baking soda, a little food coloring, and a squirt of dish soap in cups. Place the cups inside of a baking pan, and let your kids pour in vinegar. They will love the reaction!

25.           Wake up early to see the sunrise. Take granola bars with you or have crockpot oatmeal waiting for you when you get home.

Also, see what ideas your kids have! Give them parameters, such as it has to free, and the whole family needs to be able to do it, and see what their create minds imagine!

May you have wonderful times with your little ones this summer!!

Posted on July 12, 2017 and filed under Building Your Family.