60 Bargain Kids Activities for Beating the Back to School Blues

Bargain Kids Activities for Beating the Back to School Blues


“There’s a 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it…”

~ Bowling for Soup: “Today is Gonna Be a Great Day” lyrics
My grandpa told me that life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer to the end you get the faster it goes. At 37 time seems to be flying by and I think summer goes twice as fast as the rest of the year.

So even though the stores are packed with school supply shoppers, we’re still squeezing every bit of fun we can out of what’s left for summer!

The challenge is that tuition is due, supplies, and laptops need to be worked into the budget. Not to mention the fact that the kids seem to have grown faster than the weeds in our garden so they all three need new clothes and shoes. With these looming expenses, expensive summer theme parks and water parks are out of the question.

To soak up the every drop of fun out of these dog days of summer I made a list of 60 quick, easy, summery activities to keep the kids moving without spending a lot of moolah.

60 Simple and Budget Friendly Kids Activities:

Water works:

  1. Water balloon fights
  2. Running through the sprinkler
  3. Limbo in the kiddy pool
  4. Diving contest
  5. Skip rocks
  6. Wash the car
  7. Blow bubbles
  8. Go to the beach
  9. Turn the swing set into a water park with the hose, kiddy pool, and buckets
  10. Squirt gun target practice

Outdoor Adventure:

  1. Camp in the back yard
  2. Nature scavenger hunt
  3. Find animal tracks
  4. Canoe/kayak trip down a local river
  5. Go fishing
  6. Collect bugs
  7. Help at a community garden
  8. Go geocaching
  9. Go on a picnic
  10. Visit a farm or a county fair

Artsy Activities:

  1. Face painting
  2. Leaf Rubbings
  3. Magic show
  4. Make and put on a paper bag puppet show
  5. Make a summer memory book
  6. Tye die
  7. Press dried flowers
  8. Cook up some home-made play dough
  9. Make a dream board from magazine clippings
  10. Create junk drawer jewelry

Sports Shenanigans:

  1. Organize a backyard obstacle course
  2. Bike races
  3. Neighborhood hula-hoop tournament
  4. Play volleyball with a beach ball and clothes line
  5. Kite flying
  6. Minute to Win It tournament
  7. Go to an athletic game (little league)
  8. Wii game tournament
  9. Egg & spoon relay race
  10. Kickball

Nighttime Entertainment:

  1. Flashlight tag
  2. Watch for nocturnal animals at your local forest preserve.
  3. Take a night hike
  4. Catch lightening bugs
  5. Cook s’mores (on the grill if you don’t have a fire ring)
  6. Sleep under the stars
  7. Stargazing
  8. Outdoor movie night
  9. Shadow puppets
  10. Ghost stories

Turn saving money into making money with these entrepreneurial escapades:

  1. Lemonade Stand
  2. Car wash
  3. Lawn service business (weeding/sweeping/raking)
  4. Babysitting: Gather a few babysitters and plan a mommy’s day out
  5. Start a blog
  6. Dog walking
  7. Watering plants for elderly
  8. Jewelry making
  9. Photography
  10. Computer services

Here’s the video of the song quoted above…those of you with kids who love the Disney Channel need not listen. I’m sure it’s burned into your brain permanently like it is mine!

Please share your ideas for fun kids activities that don’t cost a lot of money in the comments below and share this post with your friends in social media!

Have fun!


Cash Back Resources

Additional Summer Resources

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