SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, June 20, 2013

10 Free Summer Activities for Kids | Family Economics

By Alison Lewis


Summertime can get expensive with camps and activities, eating out and vacations. As a mom of three children, I am always looking for ways to save money, especially around this time of year. As my kids grow older, these budget-friendly, summer activities have stayed on the top of our list throughout the years!

free activities with kids 

1.    Try Geocaching: Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor, treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS enabled devices such as a smart phone. Check out for more information.  

2.    Culture: Spend a half-day at your local museum exploring and learning about the scientific, artistic, cultural or historical importance of the artifacts and collections available in your city. This will be a great way for your young ones to learn about some of the unique facts and stories surrounding your hometown. If your local museums charge admission, check your local library as some allow you to “borrow” membership passes for free entry.

3.    Summer reading: Take a day off to explore your local library or bookstores. Find a few books that interest you and start a book club with your children and their parents! While you’re there, be sure to also check your library’s events bulletin for upcoming summer events and programs.

4.    Biking: Plan a bike outing on the next warm, sunny day. This is a great way to get some exercise, while changing up your every day scenery. Pack food and enjoy a nice picnic midday.

5.    Hiking: Find a local hiking trail or make a hiking path around your own neighborhood! It’s a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with your family. Bring along some homemade hiking snack mix to keep your energy throughout the day.

6.    Cooking: Entertain your kids on a rainy day by getting them in the kitchen to bake their favorite recipes. Once you’ve worked together to choose a recipe, teach them how to measure, bake or customize the ingredients to make it their own. Some great summertime recipes to try include Green Smoothie Ice Pops or Better-for-You Blueberry Muffins!

7.    Lemonade stand: No matter what your child’s age, this simple activity is always fun and rewarding. Help your kids create a lemonade stand on a warm, summer evening in your neighborhood and sell refreshments to your fellow neighbors. My kids love creating lemonade stands and especially enjoy the perks-like making a little money on the side! Remember that it is important to always supervise your children during outdoor activities.

8.    Sprinkler fun: Water sprinklers are still a classic, fun activity for kids to enjoy during the summer months. Sometimes we tend to forget how simple it is to turn them on, sit back and watch your kids play! Remember to keep your water usage in mind and be sure you’re using it when your grass needs a good soaking.

9.    Games: Board games and puzzles are activities to keep your kids entertained on those rainy or scorching summer days when it’s too hot to be outdoors. Encourage your kids to use their imagination by creating their own games too! For more ideas, check out this post from fellow Blogger Panel Member Scarlet here.

10.    Organize and clean: Help your children straighten up their rooms, rearrange furniture, clean out their closets with outdated or winter clothing, or get ready for the warm weather by re-organizing your children’s toys and sports equipment. This can be a great family activity that helps us parents out at the same time! For more tips and tricks on organizing, check out this great organizing post from fellow Blogger Panel Member Trisha.

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids in the summertime?

Photo courtesy of Alison Lewis.

4 Comments so far

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On Thursday, July 11, 2013, Ebbie mom of 3 wrote

I am a mother of 3, 7 yr old twins and a 5 yr old daughter, and its extremely hard for me to find good cheap fun since i recently lost my job. We do things like ride bikes, read books etc... but they get bored so easily.Helppppppppppp

On Friday, June 28, 2013, Chuck from Aspen wrote

I just recently met Alison and I love her posts!! Thank you for sharing

On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Angie from Mountain Brook wrote

Love this list and the photo of you and Leigh!

On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Nancy from Houston, TX wrote

Fabulous list Alison


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