13 Fun and Cheap Summer Activities

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I am always looking for ways to either keep cool, or get out of the house during summer time.  I love the sunshine on my skin and I love making memories.  I especially love cheap or free activities. I have compiled a list of things that I have done during summers to keep busy. I hope this list of fun and cheap summer activities will give you some more ideas to add to your collection.


Back yard splash pad

Supplies Needed: Hose, Splash Mat, Sprinklers

Little Goose loves going to splash pads, and I love it because its FREE.  However, there are times when I really just don’t want to actually GO to the splash pad.  For those times, we have a “splash pad” in our back yard.  Little Goose loves it so it’s a WIN WIN for me.  This splash play mat is super easy and pretty inexpensive.  You just plug your hose into it, and turn it on.  The water sprays out of the holes.  It isn’t very big but works perfectly for my three year old and a few of her little friends.

Before we had a splash mat, I would also just turn the hose on low with a sprinkler attached.  Little Goose didn’t like this as much, but it still worked for her.


Play With Chalk

Supplies Needed: Chalk, your imagination

On the sidewalk, besides normal scribbling and tracing of the little one.  Draw some silly instruction designs, such as, turn around, pat your head, make a funny face, run from here to there, etc.  It is silly but adds more fun to an already fun thing.


Make Slime

Supplies Needed: Elmers Glue, Baking Soda, Contact Solution, Food Coloring, Mixing Bowl, Wooden Stick

One of the great things about Summer is that school will be back in session soon.  WHICH MEANS you can get supplies to make slime super cheap.  Little Goose and I made slime last year. She absolutely HATED it. 😂

To read more about that or to get the instructions see: How To Make Slime


Build A Fort

Supplies Needed: Tote a fort, or blankets, something to tie them together, books or clamps to weigh blankets down to keep them from falling,

Do you guys remember building a fort as a kid? I do. It was a love/hate experience for me.  Mainly because, you would just get your fort perfect, climb into it and then something would fall.  Well friends, I am about to change your life!  Have you ever heard of TOTE-A-FORTTote-a-fort changes the way you do forts.  It comes with three blankets that easily attach to each other and three anchor weights.  Clean up is easy because everything fits back in the sack it came with.

Disclosure: I have yet to try this product but LOVE the idea of it.


Make Play Doh

Supplies Needed: Water, Flour, Cream of Tarter, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Food Coloring

I have made Play Doh with Little Goose a few times now.  This is my favorite method, but it does involve heat.  This method is also good, it does not involve heat, the Play Dough isn’t as smooth though.


Paint Rocks

Supplies Needed:  Rock, Paint, Paint Brush

What is up with little kids loving rocks so much? They always have to pick them up and show you, they collect them, throw them, put them in their mouth (true story, not a proud mommy moment for me).

You can find some cheap paint at Walmart, I’m talking like .50 cents cheap.  You can find rocks just about anywhere, if you don’t believe me ask your toddler.  They will love it and its a super cheap summer activity.


Visit A Swimming Pool

Supplies Needed: Sunscreen, Floaties, Towel

This is the first year we have taken Little Goose swimming.  The first time we took her, she did not like it and was almost in a state of panic / giggling the first 30 minutes.  She got used to it and is just becoming more and more comfortable and confident each time we go.  I credit a lot of her progress to these Puddle Jumper Life Jacket Floaties.  I believe they make her feel safe.  I am still with her side 100% of the time but she is confident enough now to not always be touching me.  These are DEFINITELY worth every penny.


Play Date With Cousins or Friends

Supplies Needed: Nothing

Invite some neighbors or cousins over for a play date.  I love watching my kid play with and interact with other kids.  When they don’t think I am watching the things they say and do are just so dang adorable.  You get a nice Mommy break because they mostly entertain each other.


Make Popsicles

Supplies Needed: Juice, Paper cups, Sticks, Freezer

I love making popsicles because of how easy and cheap it is.  Little Goose only likes eating them for a minute before she is all done.  To make popsicles, you’ll need paper cups- paper cups are the best because you can just tear them away from the popsicle and not have to fight with it too much, your favorite juice, popsicle sticks, and of course a freezer to set them in. Pour your juice into the cup and then put a stick in it.  In the freezer you will want to make sure there is enough space so they can stand up and not tip over.  These will need a few hours to freeze.

If you don’t want to use the paper cup method, these reusable popsicle molds are really great. 

Visit A Library

Supplies Needed: Library card

We love to read in this house.  Little Goose has many of her books memorized.  It is so nice to be able to go to the local library and pick out some new books to read.  The only downside is, sometimes the books are a bit picked over because it is summer and everyone has the same library idea that you have.


Gather Your Friends For A Water Fight

Supplies Needed: Water Balloons, squirt guns, water

I don’t currently own a SuperSoaker water gun, however, they are a lot of fun! You bring one of these out and the kids either scatter or beg to be sprayed with it.

These Bunch O Balloons are a game changer! No more filling up balloons one at a time and then tying them shut before the water sprays you in the face. True story.  Yes they are more expensive than water balloons but I find them worth it, especially since we don’t have water fights more than three times (if that) each summer.  For an added bonus, this particular brand of balloons are biodegradable.

Tip: I found these at Costco for a really good deal.  If my memory is correct, they were about $19 for 350 balloons.


Go Camping Or Hiking

Supplies Needed: Sunscreen, camping gear,

I live in Utah.  I am continuously reminded of how beautiful it is here.  I am surrounded by mountains and live about 20 minutes away from multiple beautiful hikes. During the summer time, hiking is a great way to beat the heat, it is at least 10 or more degrees cooler up the mountain than it is in the valley.  The only things I take are sunscreen, water, and maybe even a snack for Little Goose to enjoy.

I love being outdoors.  I honestly wish I went camping more.  We haven’t been at all this year and it is kind of eating at my soul a bit haha.


Play With Pool Noodles

Supplies Needed: Pool Noodles, Duck Tape

You can likely find pool noodles at your local Dollar Store or Walmart.  There are so many things you can make out of pool noodles. From horses to gallop on, to a ring toss, to basketball hoops, and so much more.


Thanks for reading!

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