Cheap Ways to Survive Summer with Kids

When school is out, parents often hear "I'm bored!" from their school-age kids. Here are some tried-and-true ways they can keep busy with old-fashioned fun without spending tons of your money.
  • Take all the cushions off the couch and chairs and build a fort with them.
  • Make stilts out of cans and string.
  • Make a telephone from paper cups and string.
  • Play in the water sprinkler in the backyard.
  • Make orange-sicles by pouring juice into ice cube trays, covering with plastic, and inserting toothpicks.
  • Collect nature items from the yard (sticks, pebbles, leaves, flowers) and glue them on an old tissue box or cigar box.
  • Make tree bark rubbings with paper and the side edge of a crayon.
  • Tape one end three long strings together to a table and learn to make braids.
  • Make a long paper chain by cutting paper into strips and gluing them into looped circles.
  • Have an alphabet scavenger hunt and find 26 things in the house that start with each of the letters.
  • Cut food pictures from old magazines, glue on paper, attach pages with brads, and make a pretend cookbook.
  • Make necklaces with dry elbow macaroni and yarn.
  • Create a chart of squares and track reading to 100 books by coloring in each square.
  • Spread a blanket on the floor and have an indoor picnic for lunch.
  • Paint a shaded patio with water and a paintbrush.
  • Put a large bed sheet over the kitchen table to create a clubhouse.
  • If all else fails, tell them you'll play hide and seek with them, and tell them to hide until you find them. Then go have a cup of coffee and relax in peace for a few minutes.


  1. I LOVE these! I think this weekend I will def be trying some of these to keep my 5 kiddos busy lol!

  2. I am going to let my kids paint these big rocks I have to go around the border of my rasberry bushes. Thanks for this!

  3. If anyone would know ways to entertain children...it's YOU!! Now that last one sounds more like your Momsy only it was at Freebourne Park during NFL games.

  4. Had to stop in and read this! So far today my kiddos have eaten their weight in icy pops and have run through the sprinkler. I'm liking your last suggestion about hide and seek, but I'm afraid I'll be drinking something stronger than coffee! :P

  5. Wonderful ideas! I'm going to be adding several of these to my list of go-to activities to help my son fight off boredom this summer! Thank you!


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