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10 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities Your Kids Will Love

by Arielle Vogel June 28, 2017

Congratulations! You have made it through your first full week of (official) summer. For many of you, your kids have probably been out of school much longer than just one week, and you may be wondering how to make it through the next 2 months with all their limbs and your lamps still in tact.

But summer is also a great time to be working on your budget, growing your savings account and trying to get a head start on retirement, which means that whatever the antidote for cabin fever is, it can’t be very expensive….or really cost any money at all.

So we’ve put together these 10 awesome summer activities that cost $10 or less, and your kids are sure to love them.

  1. Let them entertain themselves. I know, I know, this is already probably a large majority of their day, hence everyone feeling stir crazy. But try to set aside at least an hour each day where your kids get to have their imaginations wander – let them play with their favorite toys, draw, and create (in different rooms, if necessary). And join them when you can! You may learn lots about your children and their interests.  It’s free, and may help you get some of your tasks done!
  2. Chores. Speaking of tasks, have them help you! Regular chores are great for kids to be responsible for year-round, but summer can be a great time to get them going on a routine schedule. Open up the conversation about how doing chores is good stewardship, and that while you own the house, they help to manage it. Create a chore chart (check out the video below!) and make sure they’ve completed everything they’re responsible for before they get any other special privileges. Again, free AND productive.
  3. Hula Hoop Hideout. This is a great activity for the kids to work on with you and enjoy as long as the weather is nice. Each child can create and use their own hula hoop hideout and take their books, toys, and coloring sheets outside to play with.
  4. Pool Noodle Fun. Pool noodles are a wonderful summer item to have on hand since they are inexpensive and versatile. Try building an obstacle course in the backyard or make your own sprinkler for hours of outdoor fun.
  5. Ice Eggs. Constantly stepping on your kids’ small toys? No problem. Just freeze them in a block of ice and turn it into a game! This works great for those poky little dinosaurs and horses, and can be turned into a science lesson with a little extra planning.
  6. Nature Scavenger Hunt. You can get as creative with this as you want, but here are some great suggestions on what to include on the hunt. Set up teams with other kids and have a prize for the winner.
  7. Garden Activities. You can find dozens of gardening ideas here for indoors, outdoors, the green thumb, and the not-so-green thumb. This can be fun and resourceful as well!
  8. Squirt Gun Painting. As you could infer from the title, this one can get a little messy, but is sure to be a boredom-buster. Save the works of art and have your kids write letters on them or turn them into envelopes to keep track of their chore money.
  9. Water Balloon Baseball. This one may actually get the whole family involved, especially if it’s a hot day! Most dollar stores will have all the supplies you need to stay cool and burn off some energy!
  10. Cooking Lessons. Recruit your children as sous-chefs at least once a week. Talk them through following a recipe, planning a meal, and time management. If you’re not a master chef yourself, take it as an opportunity to learn! Have fun making up menus and let your little artists draw or write them out. You can find a library of basic, and inexpensive, recipes here.


Bonus tip: Google free events in your city and see what’s happening. There’s usually a pretty long list of summer activities you can participate in – VBS, drive-in movies, and picnics are all common. Recruit some other families to go with you and have some fun!


Keep in mind that “creativity blossoms when economy demands”. Let your discipline of budgeting and wise stewardship be an example to your children this summer, and include them on some of the money conversations. You may be surprised at all you can learn from your children this summer as you strive to become an even better steward.


Crown’s has a new book all about teaching your kids to become faithful stewards. It’s packed full of practical activities and biblical direction that will help you and your child learn what God’s Word says about your money. For a generous donation of any amount, we will send you your own copy of Raising Money-Wise Kids to thank you for your generosity.  


And don’t forget to share your fun summer activity ideas with us!


Check out how Chuck and Ann have taught their sons about money management:

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