Fun & Frugal Family Summer Activities

frugal fun summer activities

Fun & Frugal Family Summer Activities

Summer is in full swing around our house and we are quickly running out of ideas to keep the kiddos occupied. I am now scrounging around for ideas to keep the occupied but aren’t going to cost me a small fortune. My kids love crafts, playing outside, and playing in water. Here are some ideas of fun and frugal ideas that I am considering for this summer. There are a few ideas that I won’t don’t be doing this summer just because I am super pregnant and am already struggling to get around but are still good ideas.

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Hiking or Walking Trails

I certainly won’t be going hiking and I have limited my walking but I have done a few short walks with the kids at night once the temperatures have dropped. We live in NC and so the mountains and trails are very close. Plus a bonus is that is is generally cooler in the mountains. We also have several local and state parks close that have nice walking trails.


This is something our family loves to do. Unfortunately we don’t have our own pool but we have numerous friends that do. So, we usually pool hop all summer. My kids have so much fun and it wears them out quick. It is also free except when we buy snacks and sunscreen and things like that. The only thing I may get them this summer is some floats. They love pool floats and they re relatively cheap.

I actually got one friend’s kid this float for their birthday and my kids loved it too. Now I’m going to have to get them one.


Water Games and Balloons

Since we don’t have our own pool, my kids still love to play in the water at home. They love playing in the sprinklers, water tables, with water balloons and water squirters.

i have been looking and wanting to get them the water balloons that fill 100 or whatever at once and tie them. I just haven’t wanted to spend the money especially since they are going to be gone in a matter of minutes. However, I just found these on Amazon and can’t believe the price. I just saw the same amount at Target for $25 today but these are only $5.67 right now with free shipping. I am going to order a couple for the summer!


One thing my kids love all year are crafts. I usually try to stock up on them after a holiday when they are 90% off. I missed the last couple of holidays and now we are running low. There are a ton of ideas on Pinterest for homemade projects, like play doh. We have actually had homemade play doh and after messing with the recipe a little, it works pretty well. I am not that great with the homemade projects, they never seem to turn out like the Pinterest version. Most of mine could be on Pinterest fails!

So, I do like to buy little projects for them here and there. It keeps them occupied and I don’t have to search for an idea, ingredients, and everything else. My oldest if finally old enough she can do most of the easier ones herself.

Here is an idea of what she loves:


You maybe think this isn’t a frugal idea, and you are right. However, I have been wanting to get my kids a trampoline for a couple of years but haven’t wanted to spend the money. So, I asked family members if they wanted to chip in on one for my youngest’s birthday this summer. So, instead of paying for it all myself, we are all chipping in. This makes is so worth it! If you have the ability to do this, definitely think about it. It will last for years and instead of getting a bunch of small toys, she is getting one big present for her birthday.

This is the one we got based on reviews and accessories that came with it. It comes this week and the girls are so excited for it to get here.

Sidewalk Chalk

My kids still love sidewalk chalk! They have played with it for years, so I am always keeping a look out for a good deal and I stock up. I found this at a good price today!


My kids love bubbles just as much as sidewalk chalk and have loved them just as long! I have to replace their bubble machine almost every year because I get tired of blowing bubbles constantly. I have tried several different ones and have found that this one works the best and longest. This one lasted us two summers instead of just one. That’s mainly because my kids are hard on things and leave them out in the weather.


One other thing my kids absolutely love is Legos. Thankful the oldest can finally follow the directions and put them together herself for the most part. Of course they range in price but there are some as low as $5. Depending on the deal I find and my budget, I usually get them the $15 sets. They have gotten the larger sets for Christmas. Here is the next one I am going to get them:

They really love ones like this also:

I can usually get at least several hours of quiet with a new Lego set. So, I usually get a small one every other month or so. They get the big ones if they want one for their birthday or Christmas and that’s about it for those. They can get really expensive!

It is so funny because as I was typing this post, my three-year old kept saying “I want that, I want that” and bugging me to open the links to look at the items!

I know I could create numerous posts about different things to do all summer. What are frugal fun things you have planned for this summer. I would like to also try the homemade slime I keep seeing commercials for.

Let me know what you have planned on Facebook!




















25 comments on “Fun & Frugal Family Summer Activities

  1. The water balloon things are a life saver! I hate sitting at the faucet, filling up hundreds of balloons all morning long, just to have them gone within 5 minutes. Using these takes literally 5 minutes to do a hundred of them. A MUST have…totally worth the money.

  2. Love your post. My toddler loves to play in water, and since we don’t have a pool, I fill a bowl with water, give him some toys and let him go at it. He loves it and it keeps in occupied for awhile.

  3. I am thinking about getting one of the push lawn mowers that make bubbles when you push it – that way my child can “make her own bubbles” without me dipping the stick 1,000 times!!!! She gets mad when I blow the bubbles and wants to do it herself…. she blows too hard half the time and I have to “dip dip dip dip dip” and if I give her the bottle of suds, she of course spills it everywhere… lol
    I saw them at Walmart about a month ago, I think it was 14 or 19 bucks…. I think I have an old sprinkler somewhere in the building I forgot about too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If not, I’ll figure out how to make a cheap one, lol.

    1. We had push mower bubble maker and it never worked. They had to push it way too long to get it to blow bubbles.

  4. We are totally in the same boat- kid activities can be expensive! We also do the sidewalk chalk, bubbles, legos, etc, but I LOVE those water balloons! I’m gonna have to get some of those- thanks for the tip!

  5. Love these ideas for summer fun without breaking the bank! 🙂 No matter how old my kids get, sidewalk chalk is always a hit. We also love working on our own backyard garden, and tending to the flowers. Hiking is so much fun too – gets us out in nature, we get exercise, we have great conversations, and it doesn’t cost anything. Great list!

  6. Thx for some great ideas! My little girl is obsessed with bubbles at the moment, funny you mention it as well. It’s a cheap and really great way to entertain kids! And it’s so easy to make your own “bubble-wands” – oooh next post idea right there! 😉

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