Tuesday, June 7, 2011

101 Free Family & Kid Friendly Activities to Do this Summer

101 Free (or Very, Very Cheap) Things to do Outside With Your Kids This Summer guest post by Kim at 2 Kids and a Coupon:

 Summer is almost here and as school gets ready to let out for most of the country, moms, dads, grandma's, grandpas and anyone who loves and helps take care of kids is looking for fun activities to keep those little munchkins occupied. Here are just a few budget friendly activities that you can do for free (or very, very cheap!) with the kids in your life. Got activities that I missed? Add them in the comments below. Have fun and don't forget the sunscreen!
  1. Have races or chase each other
  2. Build and fly kites.
  3. Hunt bugs.
  4. Pick dandelions.
  5. Walk, run, skip & jump together.
  6. Scavenger hunt.
  7. Go play at the park.
  8. Splash in the puddle after the rain.
  9. Dig in the dirt or the sand
  10. Build sandcastles
  11. Create sidewalk chalk murals
  12. Ride bikes, skateboards, roller skates or whatever you have
  13. Go to the beach or a public wading pool
  14. Pick up sticks, flowers and leaves and make a collage
  15. Build a fort
  16. Smell flowers
  17. Find a caterpillar and keep in a jar to watch him transform
  18. Have a picnic
  19. Watch or chase squirrels or chipmunks
  20. Plant flowers in the ground or in pots
  21. Pull weeds
  22. Play tag
  23. Make boats out of craft items and try to sail them - you can even do this in a kiddie pool
  24. BBQ or grill out and eat dinner outside together as a family
  25. Follow and catch butterflies
  26. Make your own homemade popsicles and eat them outside
  27. Plant a garden or even just a few potted plants. Container gardens are great too!
  28. Sit outside and enjoy the weather
  29. Go swimming
  30. Bird watch
  31. Kick a ball
  32. Roll down a hill
  33. Dress up and have a parade
  34. Blow bubbles
  35. Pick up and recycle litter
  36. Walk barefoot through the grass
  37. Collect rocks
  38. Look under big rocks to see what you find
  39. Get to know your neighbors
  40. Wave at cars and people walking by
  41. Catch lightening bugs
  42. Hang a sheet for a curtain and put on a talent show. Everyone has to perform.
  43. Play catch
  44. Go hiking
  45. Run through a sprinkler or a garden hose
  46. Jump rope
  47. Read books
  48. Watch a sunrise or a sunset
  49. Have a lemonade stand
  50. Make mud-pies
  51. Lay in the grass and watch the clouds
  52. Watch the night sky & count stars
  53. Take pictures of nature (and each other outside!) and make an album
  54. Rake leaves
  55. Go to a farmer's market
  56. Go fishing
  57. Skip rocks on water
  58. Make artwork from found objects (rock, sticks, leaves, litter) and give as gifts to those you care about
  59. Plant a tree and measure it while it grows
  60. Enjoy a campfire
  61. Make smores
  62. Feed birds
  63. Make a birdbath or a bird feeder
  64. Get books about plants, flowers, animals and trees at the library and then try to find them outside.
  65. Play frisbee
  66. Go to a free outdoor community concert or festival
  67. Look under rocks
  68. Shoot hoops
  69. Play with your pets outside
  70. Volunteer
  71. Wash the car or bikes
  72. Have a water fight (balloons optional!)
  73. Use tissue paper and unwrapped crayons to make rubbings of leaves and tree bark
  74. Play hide and go seek
  75. Go camping or sleep outside in a tent
  76. Do a neighborhood block party or dog wash
  77. Climb a tree or even just a jungle gym
  78. On a (warm) rainy day, play outside in your swimming suits
  79. Do an alphabet walk where you look for different items starting with different letters
  80. Play hopscotch
  81. Practice walking like other animals. Slither like a snake, hop like a rabbit, etc.
  82. Make musical instruments out of household items or recycling and have a concert
  83. Have a tea party. Pets, dolls and stuffed animals can all be invited!
  84. Use a magnifying glass to play outdoor detective and check out things up close
  85. Use a projector & a sheet (or bring your tv outside) for a family movie night. -- Don't forget the popcorn!
  86. Make a time capsule and bury it for the end of summer, or next summer
  87. Create an obstacle course
  88. Play in a cheap wading or infant pool
  89. Use a compass and teach your kids how to use it to find directions
  90. Create a summer journal or treasure box filled with items, pictures, leaves, shells and other treasures collected during the summer. Try to add to it daily
  91. Visit a stream, pond, ocean or lake and investigate the different creatures and nature you find
  92. Teach your kids games you remember from childhood like ring-around-the-rosie, red rover & more
  93. Collect pine cones or acorns and make an art project out of them
  94. Coordinate an olympics with sack races, wheel barrow races, 3 legged races and more
  95. Watch for free days at local zoos, national park, festivals, parades, etc.
  96. Search for large rocks, paint them and place them as stepping stones in your yard or garden
  97. Get in shape challenge. Buy inexpensive pedometers and have your kids compete on who is most active
  98. Have a different theme every day (pirates, bugs, etc) and plan adventures and make believe around it
  99. Tie-dye inexpensive t-shirts and have everyone model their creation
  100. Just play outside -- and enjoy it!