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Summertime Activities On a Budget

Summer is here, and with it comes the challenge of keeping your kids entertained without breaking the bank. The good news is that you don't need to spend a fortune to create lasting memories and have fun with your children.

Here are some creative and budget-friendly summer activities that are sure to keep your kiddos engaged and happy:

1. Nature Walk and Crafting

Turn a simple nature walk into an adventure by combining it with a crafting session afterward.

Materials Needed:

  • bag for collecting natural items
  • glue
  • paper
  • markers


Take your kids on a walk around your neighborhood, park, or a nearby nature trail. Encourage them to collect interesting leaves, sticks, flowers, and stones.

How It Works

Once you’re back home, use the collected items to create nature collages or art pieces. Glue the items onto the paper and let the kids draw or write about their findings. This activity not only gets them outside but also sparks creativity and curiosity about the natural world.

2. Wooden Alphabet Blocks Scavenger Hunt

By now, you probably own one of our best-selling alphabet block sets or have something similar on hand. These blocks are a fantastic educational toy that can be used in many creative ways, one of them being an alphabet scavenger hunt. 

Materials Needed


Write down a list of items around the house or backyard that start with each letter of the alphabet.

How It Works

Hide the alphabet blocks around the house or yard and give your kids the list of items and let them search for both the blocks and the corresponding items. For example, if they find the block with the letter "B," they might also look for a ball or a book. This activity not only keeps them busy but also helps reinforce letter recognition and vocabulary. Here are some additional activities to add to your playtime rotation that are centered around alphabet blocks as well. 

Wooden Alphabet Blocks

3. Check Out Your Local Library

The library is an incredible place to find tons of summer activities (for FREE!) and get your kids excited about reading. 

Materials Needed

A library card - that's it! Pro tip: If your library allows it, let your older kiddos sign up for their own card, it'll give them a sense of responsibility and ownership. 


Some activities, such as a summer reading program, may require you to sign up beforehand. Other events, like craft time, movie screenings, story times, or shows, are open for anyone to come to and participate in. Just keep and eye out on your local library's website or Facebook page for all the fun they have in store!

How It Works

Encouraging your kids to learn about the library and how to find books they're interested in, is truly a lifelong skill. The sense of pride they'll feel when they finish a book or excitedly tell you about it, keeps them learning and their curious minds growing. Any activity sponsored by the library will be free and will give them a chance to socialize and learn about a new topic or hone a new skill or hobby - it's a win, win! 

4. Backyard Water Fun

Beat the summer heat with some backyard water fun that doesn’t require a pool.

Materials Needed

  • sprinkler
  • water balloons
  • buckets
  • sponges


Set up a sprinkler in your backyard and fill up some buckets with water and sponges.

How It Works

Have a sponge toss game where kids try to throw wet sponges into buckets from a distance, or a water balloon toss where they toss balloons to each other without breaking them. When all else fails, running through the sprinkler is a classic and always a hit.

5.  DIY Car Races with Wooden Toy Cars and Trucks 

Transform your living room or backyard into a race track with this exciting and budget-friendly activity using wooden toy cars and trucks.

Materials Needed

  • wooden toy cars and trucks
  • masking tape or chalk (for outdoor use)
  • a stopwatch or phone timer


Use masking tape to create a race track on the floor indoors, or chalk to draw one outside on the driveway or sidewalk. Make it as simple or as complex as you like, adding twists and turns to make it more challenging.

How It Works

Have your kids race their wooden cars and trucks around the track. You can time them to see who can complete the course the fastest or have different “races” with various challenges, such as backward driving or navigating obstacles. This activity is perfect for promoting fine motor skills and encouraging healthy competition.

Wooden Cars and Trucks

Additional Resources:

If there's room in the budget for a few new toys that'll not only last and be entertaining throughout the summer, here's a list of 5 wooden toys to bust summer boredom.

If you're looking for nature based play activities with wooden toys and backyard games for your kids, we have 3 fun and inexpensive activities for your kids to enjoy in your yard.These nature play activities will entertain, teach and engage your children.

If you're a work-from-home Mom like me, summertime elicits feelings of family fun and R&R along with some serious angst wondering how I'm going to keep up with work while the kids are home. Here's a guide for making summertime fun, organized, and educational at home.

With a bit of creativity and planning, you can make this summer memorable for your children without spending a lot of money. These activities are not only fun but also provide opportunities for learning and growth. So, gather your supplies and get ready for a summer full of adventure and joy!

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