Discovering Cheap Outdoor Summer Activities For
Kids Having fun with your kids this summer should not be a hassle or
expensive. You have many options in your own backyard or nearby
parks or recreational areas. Make a summer of fun your kids will
When the summer heat is getting to you, consider
water fun on your own property. Set up a cheap kiddie pool, a slip
and slide, or a sheet of plastic, or even a regular sprinkler and
let the kids run through it.
Invite their friends over to play and provide an easy-to-eat
treat like popsicles. Decorate your driveway or sidewalk with wet
footprints or handprints. Play with squirt guns or spray bottles.
Have a water balloon fight. Blow bubbles. Make mud pies. Play in the
rain. Wash the car and spray the kids with the hose. Let them get
you wet, too.
In the cool of morning, evening or on moderate weather days, have
a day to enjoy nature. You could call it a nature hike. Visit a
walking path at a local park or find a new trail to hike. A nature
hike can be just a walk or it can be more than that.
What kinds of rocks, leaves, plants and flowers can the kids
find? Have them use a bag to store their favorites. When you get
back home, go online and research the names of the plants you
collected. Here are some more ideas for fun with nature: take
pictures of nature with a camera.
Take the kids to a scenic area with a set of watercolors and ask
them to paint what they see. If you live close to the ocean or lake,
pack a lunch, sunscreen, drinking water and some beach toys and go
there. Spend the day digging in the sand, building sandcastles and
searching for seashells. There are all kinds of ways of interacting
with nature, like planting a vegetable or flower garden together.
Visit a pick-your-own fruits farm. Instead of just having a picnic
lunch at the brightest time of day, try having a sunset picnic at a
park or beach. On the other hand, get up early, pack breakfast, and
have a sunrise breakfast. Walk barefoot in the grass and pick the
wildflowers, if it is allowed. Do some cooking outside on a grill or
a campfire, or just toast marshmallows. Pitch a tent, perhaps even
in your own backyard, and sleep outside. The moon, stars and planets
are nature, too.
When thinking of summer activities for the kids there are always
all kinds of games and sports. You do not have to join a team or
class because they can get expensive, but if you have the resources
and interest in pursuing that path, ask the kids if they would like
to learn a new sport or activity. The summer is a great time to try
something new without the commitment that often comes with starting
it during the school year. Go for a bicycle ride around the
neighborhood. Teach the kids some jump rope rhymes from your own
childhood. There is hopscotch, too. Plan a scavenger hunt or a
treasure hunt. For a scavenger hunt, all you need to do is create a
list of twenty or so items that are frequently found outdoors in
your area. Pass out the list to each of the kids. The first person
or team to find everything, or the most items, and wins a small
prize. For a treasure hunt leave clues around the house or yard,
with each clue leading to the next clue, until they reach the
treasure, maybe a snack or small prize. There are many more ideas
for outdoor sports and games, like playing kickball with the
neighborhood kids. Fly kites. Compete in a three-legged or other
race. Create an obstacle course. Play freeze tag. Build paper
airplanes and have a flying contest.
With some help from your kids, you may come up with many more
Water, nature, and sports and games are great sources of cheap
and healthy entertainment. The summer time is a great time to be
outdoors, but please remember the sunscreen, hats and monitoring the
amounts of sun exposure. Older kids with later bedtimes may even be
able to enjoy many of these activities after the sun goes down.
The Essential Beach Toys - The Bucket And Spade.
If you are planning on taking your child to the beach, then
almost certainly one of the first things you'll have checked that
you had, or bought, will be the traditional bucket and spade. There
can be no more classic idea than a small child crawling about on the
beach making sand castles, digging holes and forts, burying dad and
collecting interesting stones, shells, bits of seaweed and small
things that skuttle around at the bottom of their bucket. If you
managed to get all the way to the beach without having purchased
this essential equipment, then you'll probably have been reminded by
the parade of brightly colored shops and stalls all along the sea
front selling a range of buckets and spades that will astonish you.
Do you go for small chubby plastic spades, longer handled spades,
plastic ones or metal? And what about buckets - is this one too big,
too small, is a square bucket better for castles or is a round one
easier to use? The choices and decisions make this seemingly easy
task one that requires great thought. After all, the whole beach
trip's success may depend on the type of bucket and spade that you
For very small children there is a charming array of buckets and
spades, although frequently there are fewer spades than there are
forks or rakes. This is for a very good reason - small children,
such as toddlers, tend not to be very good at realizing what they're
doing with all the sand that is on their spade blade. Generally,
anything that needs to be got rid of can be hurled into the black
void that is the invisible space over their shoulder. This is
otherwise known as your lap, the picnic or mummy's head. A toddler
armed with a spade will wreak devastation with sand flying
everywhere, and this wildly fantastic game is likely to end only
when either one of the family wrestles the toddler to the ground,
removing the spade with, of course, the resulting flood of tears and
wails, or when the toddler themselves hurls a ball of sand into
their own face, and then this results in tears and wails.
Rakes, on the other hand, are slightly safer, with the toddler
less able to hurl great wads of sand around, but a few flurries.
Hopefully they will be more interested in the patterns they can make
with it in the sand.
Of course, as a child gets older, spades are necessary as all
children love digging holes, and a good sturdy spade will be
required. Metal blades are much better for getting through wet sand
further down, but are also very good at being used to attempt to
slice of toes - whether intentionally or not. Therefore, these are
best left for the older children who have a much better grasp of
where their toes are, and the need to keep them attached.
As for buckets - a strong handle is all you need, since wet sand
or water weighs quite a bit, and you don't want this dropping
suddenly and either landing on your child's toe, or over your items.
For instant satisfaction with small children a smooth sided round
bucket will produce good castles fairly reliably and easily, whereas
the more complex ones that have turrets are good for older children
who are happier to out a bit more effort into them.