Friday, June 1, 2012

Frugal Friday: More than 100 Frugal Summer Family Activities

When I was growing up summer meant visiting family, exploring the outdoors, playing in the water, reading books, and plenty of free time to let our imaginations take us places we'd never imagined before. Summer for me meant freedom to live as a child in a child's world. And I treasure those memories that I have from my summers. 

Now that I'm creating my own family, I've realized that it doesn't have to cost money to make memories.  In fact, some of the best memories don't cost a cent. Over-scheduling our children's (or our time) away from home and family means robbing our children of precious memories that can't be made elsewhere. With so many responsibilities and obligations, I've found that family time (and even free time) often needs to be scheduled in order to happen. Here are some frugal ideas that hopefully will get you started to brainstorm how you can make your own family memories this summer!

  1. Paint the sidewalk with ice cubes
  2. Go camping in your backyard
  3. Bubble Dancing
  4. Make Homemade Ice cream in a bag
  5. Make a Homemade Hot air balloon
  6. Go to the parade
  7. Explore the artist in you with some corn syrup paintings
  8. Dejunk the house and host a garage sale or donate it!
  9. Have a bike wash
  10. Make Balloon Rockets
  11. Feed the ducks at a local pond
  12. Make a secret hideout in your backyard
  13. Go summer sledding - find some cardboard boxes and a big, grassy hill and sled away!
  14. Create Water Bottle Bubbles
  15. Make a Super Slip and Slide
  16. Have each person design and make a boat out of things around the house. Then, take them to a river/stream and race them.
  17. Make some easy homemade sponge bombs and have a water war!
  18. Run through the sprinklers while you're watering the lawn
  19. Shop at a yard sale and see who can find the best item for under $1 or $5
  20. Host the Olympics in your backyard
  21. Make your own rainbow
  22. Sleep out under the stars
  23. Have a no-media day (or week or month!)
  24. Make a family tree
  25. Set up a bike obstacle course and have a bike rodeo
  26. Play Hopscotch
  27. Write a story and illustrate it together
  28. Sip lemonade on the patio or out under a shady tree
  29. Have a backwards dinner (eat dessert first...)
  30. Go to the library and check out as many books as you can and have a read-a-thon
  31. Find a long rope lying around the house and play jump rope
  32. Go on a picnic
  33. Have a water balloon toss
  34. Make watermelon slushies
  35. Climb a tree
  36. Go cloud watching and see what shapes you can discover
  37. Make mud pies
  38. Have a tasting party. Make different foods, blindfold people and try to guess what foods they are!
  39. Make a homemade sprinkler
  40. Make Water Balloon Yo-yos
  41. Construct something with marshmallows and toothpicks
  42. Finger paint with pudding
  43. Go to your public library for a story time or have your own at home
  44. Wash the Car (and "accidentally" squirt someone...)
  45. Have a paper airplane race
  46. Go clean up a local park or public place
  47. Go caterpillar hunting
  48. Have a backyard BBQ
  49. Make Ice Cube Boats
  50. Make puppets and put on a show!
  51. Make Ice Cream sundaes
  52. Build an outdoor obstacle course with wading pools, jump ropes, cardboard boxes, sprinklers, etc.
  53. Plant a garden
  54. Build a Fairy House
  55. Have an explosion!
  56. Build a sand castle
  57. Make Robots out of recylables
  58. Make Homemade Pretzels
  59. Go to a farmer's market
  60. Collect Grasshoppers
  61. Draw Monster Pictures on paper and squirt them with water until they fade away
  62. Make a big pot of witches brew out of water, pinecones, weeds, or anything else you can find in the backyard...
  63. Host a neighborhood block party
  64. Have a marshmallow roast
  65. Hike to a local waterfall and take a free shower!
  66. Play shadow tag - try to run away before the "it" steps on your shadow.
  67. Find a good spot to watch a sunset or sunrise
  68. Make pirate ships - Aargh mateys!
  69. Have a watermelon seed-spitting contest
  70. Make a nature collage out of things you find in nature.
  71. Perform a skit for a neighbor or friend
  72. Watch the fireworks on the 4th of July
  73. Make microwave popcorn and take it to a park to enjoy.
  74. Get out and get some frugal exercise!
  75. Pick flowers from your yard and drop them off on someone's door anonymously
  76. Play flashlight tag
  77. Be a tourist in your own town
  78. Invite your friends over for a Beach Party
  79. Find a construction project to watch from a distance
  80. Create a racetrack on the driveway
  81. Press some flowers in a book between wax paper for dried flowers
  82. Throw a birthday party for your pets or stuffed animals or an un-birthday party for your kids
  83. Go to the pet store and look at all the animals
  84. Start a collection - rocks, shells, bugs, leaves, anything!
  85. Go for a bus ride on the local bus around town - see if you can make it where you need to
  86. Go Berry Picking - there's lots of u-pick places where you pay for your berries by the pound.
  87. Visit a cemetery and put flowers from your garden on someone's grave
  88. Have a family game night with prizes!
  89. ABC Hunt- Write all 26 letters on your driveway and find items to place next to each letter.
  90. Do a kid fun run
  91. Make Rootbeer Floats
  92. Make Tin Foil Dinners and cook them in the oven.
  93. Go to a new playground
  94. Read a chapter book together
  95. Have a 3-legged race
  96. Look at something through a magnifying glass
  97. Practice drawing with your toes
  98. Make sand faces
  99. Play red light green light
  100. Put on an outside dance
And if that's not enough ideas for you, here's a few more!


Keitha said...

Thank you for sharing this list.

Ashlyn @ Consider the Lilies said...

What wonderful ideas! Thanks so much for linking up! I am featuring your post on tomorrow's link up! Stop by and grab our I was featured button :)

Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog said...

Great list! Thanks for sharing with the Kids Co-op!

LeMira said...

Heather, you're such a good mom! Aaaand you're saving my summer. Thanks! ;)

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