It would be really easy to say ship the kids off to camp and that is certainly one idea, but what if you can’t afford it or just want to spend time with your children this summer? Here are some things you can do to keep your kids busy this summer and most don’t cost much at all.

1. Join a community pool club. Many towns have pools for residents that cost very little to join for the summer. Your children can make new friends and/or see the ones they already know from school. 

2. Attack that summer reading list. My kids have a whole list of books they are assigned to read this summer. Go to the library once a week and check a few out to be returned the following week. Make sure they are reading even if it’s the newspaper. It helps if kids have a favorite reading spot, so have them find that place right away. It can even be outdoors under a tree. I set a timer for an hour but pick the amount of time that works for your kids.

3. Throw a summer water party and invite the kids in the neighborhood on a steaming hot day. It's the perfect time to get wet! Also, something that involves shooting from water guns or throwing water balloons will keep your kids entertained for hours. You can even make your own sprinkler with an empty two-liter bottle and a hose! Just poke holes in the bottle and attach the hose with duct tape! If you don’t want the mess at your house, organize it at a local park. Bonus points if you bring a Slip N’ Slide.

4. I noticed one of my friends had her kids repaint the inside of her garage. Of course this is a project for kids over 10, but they took pride in doing a great job and she got the work done for free! Home improvements like panting are a job for kids who have patience and will take pride in their hard work.

5. Have an ice cream party! Frozen treats are extremely refreshing during summer months and there are so many option (Pinterest is great for ideas). You can make and serve ice cream sundaes, smoothies, and/or popsicles!  Having the kids make the treats not only keeps them busy but it teaches them to learn how to make something new! 

6. Have a movie day! On a rainy summer day nothing is better than a movie marathon. Make a bucket of popcorn and watch Netflix or some of the movies you remember as a child. Your kids will think it’s hilarious.

7. As a family go on a road trip or camping. It does not have to cost a lot and nothing bonds a family more than hours in the car, exploring or roasting marshmallows by a camp fire.

8. Find a club, camp or team. Find something that interests them like science, computers, cooking or sports and your kids will be able to interact with other children with common interests. Do a quick search on the Internet and you are sure to find some that are to their liking and in your budget. If not, organize your own and invite other kids to join! Run it for a week or two.

9. Plant a garden. Your kids may actually even eat the vegetables they grow. Let them pick what’s to be planted and have them water and weed every day. The entire family will benefit from their efforts.

10. Construct the ultimate fort or tree house! If the kids are younger all you need are boxes some heavy tape and some markers. If they are older have them make a tree house! You just need some lumber, nails, a hammer and a ladder. Dad may need to help with this one which is good bonding time.

No matter your budget you can have a fun and creative summer, just use your imagination and the internet of course.


  1. These are some awesome ideas for keeping your kids entertained during the summer! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  2. I love all these wonderful ideas for keeping your kids entertained throughout the summer. Not everyone can afford that two week trip to Disney World, or sending the munchkin to camp all summer. And even better, kids will appreciate & remember the times parents spend with them.

  3. I made my son read one book per week this summer. He's glad school starts next week so that I'm not breathing down his neck about it!

  4. I love all of the ideas you have shared to keep the kids busy during the summer. Though mine are in school yet, I am already using some of these ideas with my kids and will incorporate even more as they get older.

  5. Love the idea of an ice cream party who does not love a godo ice cream with all the toppings. The water balloons is also a good fun activity great inspiration here.

  6. Nothing says summer like an Ice Cream party. I used to do that every year growing up and I miss doing it. I really should find a community pool club for my daughter to encourage her swimming in the water.

  7. I love these ideas, I'd definitely go with the road trip! What a great excuse to go see new places!

  8. We usually go on a 2 week trip during the summer and that's our ultimate vacation for the year. Other than that, movie nights and parties are always such a great idea to keep them busy! Of course doing chores is also a good idea.

  9. Great ideas thanks for sharing.

  10. It's awesome to keep their minds active by coming up with educational activities! It's also good to allow them to take a break from all of that! The ice cream party is something that my kids will praise me for. Lol.

  11. We have things my son does weekly to keep him active. He also earns "points" for things and later can cash in the "points" for a fun reward (like family bowling night type things!)


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