17 Super Fun Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer (That Won’t Empty Your Wallet)

Summer is here, and your kids are already bored! It’s time to pull from your bag of tricks and give them some fun things to do that won’t break the bank. Here are some great ideas to keep kids busy!

Bored Kids

Bored little boy.
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If your kids are complaining about being bored or unable to find anything to do, hand them the following summer activity list and tell them they aren’t allowed to complain until they have done at least one thing from the list each day.

Here are a few of my favorite things to do with them in the summer!

Create a Neighborhood Newspaper

Beautiful young woman after shower reading newspaper
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Interview at least 5 neighbors or relatives for stories to include in your newspaper. Ask them what their interests are, about the most frightening thing that ever happened to them, what kind of work they do, whether they have gone on any trips recently, etc.

Give your newspaper a name. If you know how to put pictures into it using the internet, add some pictures and then print out enough copies for family members and a few nearby neighbors.

Visit a Senior Citizen

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IgorVetushko via DepositPhotos.com.

Ask the director of a local rest home for the name of a person who doesn’t have many visitors, and go to visit them once a week. Take them a small vase with a flower from the garden in it, a magazine, a handmade card, or some little gift each time you visit.


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If you live in an area where grocers pay for empty soda can returns, use a plastic bag to go around the neighborhood and collect enough cans to pay for an afternoon of swimming at the local swimming pool. Get a friend to join you if possible.

Invite 3 Friends Over to Bake Cookies

woman holding fresh baked loaf of bread that she just made
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Have a can of soda afterward while you enjoy the cookies. If you have any leftovers, put them in the cookie jar for a future treat.

Food Bank

mother and daughter choosing bell peppers at grocery store
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Get your best friend to go door to door with you to collect canned food for the local food bank. Set a goal before you go. 25 cans, 50 cans, 100 cans? If your goal is a big one, take a wagon to carry the food you collect. Otherwise, use plastic or paper bags and go back home to unload when you get too many items to carry comfortably.

Learn To Play an Instrument Before School Starts

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Visit a local music store for a beginner book and determine to spend at least an hour a day practicing your instrument. If you don’t have an instrument, borrow one.


Child made a bookmark from yellow and blue folded paper
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If you know how to sew, list 3 things you can make for when you go back to school this fall. Have your mother go with you to choose material and other sewing needs for the projects. Set aside an hour a day or every other day to work on your sewing.

Find a Summer Job

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Distribute some flyers explaining the type of work you are looking for and what you charge per hour. Babysitting, yard work, tutoring younger children, and dog walking are just a few things you might want to consider.

Do a Good Deed Every Day

Portrait of beautiful cheerful redhead girl with flying curly hair smiling laughing looking at camera over white background.
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Find something you can do that would help someone else. It can’t be a chore that you have to do anyway. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. Maybe an elderly person in your neighborhood has trouble keeping weeds pulled in their flower bed because they can’t stoop, or perhaps you can offer to wash your dad’s car—for free.

Hit Every Local Playground

three kids laying on grass in park, smiling and wearing sunglasses
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Sometimes you get in a rut, going to the same old playground that’s just down the street. Kids love a little variety, so take them to a different playground every once in a while. With the price of gas these days, I’m not suggesting you drive too far, but driving a few extra blocks for something new and exciting shouldn’t make much difference.

Go to a Sprinkler Park

Image of happy children having water gun fight at house backyard garden. Family playing and having fun outdoors at summer.
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Sprinkler parks are cropping up everywhere, replacing the old kiddie pools that used to be at city parks. My kids love them and would stay there all day if I let them.


Child with glasses reading book
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Most local libraries have story time in the summer for smaller children and summer reading programs for big kids. Take advantage of these free services. The children’s room at the library usually also has toys, puzzles, and games, so stick around after story time and let the kids play and pick out a few books and videos for later.

Also, some Barnes and Noble bookstores have story times for preschoolers, so you might want to look into that.

Have a Picnic

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You can do this at a park or even in your backyard. Just pack a lunch, spread out a blanket, and pretend you’re on a great adventure. Kids do get excited over the smallest things.

Go “Camping”

Family sitting near tent camping
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If you have a tent (and a backyard), you and your kids can go camping without leaving home. If you don’t have a tent, make one by draping blankets over furniture, and you can go camping in your living room. The great thing about camping indoors is there are no bugs to deal with!

Take Your Kids Shopping at the Dollar Store

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It won’t break your budget, and you can stock up on all sorts of fun things for them to play with. I always like to keep a stock of bubbles, sidewalk chalk, water pistols, Play-Doh, and art supplies on hand to keep them occupied.

Go to an Indoor Playground

kids on playground slide.
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If it’s just too hot to be outside, take your kids to an indoor playground at a mall or a fast food restaurant.

Join a Local Playgroup

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Check local Yahoo groups and Craigslist for playgroups. It may take some time to find a group that fits your personality and parenting philosophy, but it’s worth it. Usually, the mothers in the group take turns hosting playdates in their homes, so you need to be willing to offer up your home. A bonus is that most playgroups also have Mom’s Night Out, which is a fun activity for moms only. Who doesn’t need a night away from the kids every once in a while?

The list above should keep most kids busy for a while. If the list isn’t age-appropriate for your children, try making your own list. If they continue to complain, tell them they must complete everything on the list before they can say, “bored.” (You should have had time to prepare another list by then.)

I hope some of these ideas will inspire you and help keep your kids from saying, “Mom, I’m bored!”

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This post was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.