Looking for some free or cheap summer activities for kids? These affordable activities and free things elementary aged kids can do will be fun and affordable.
Last week we went over some fun ways to spend time with your teens and tweens. This week, we’ve put together some cheap or free activities your elementary aged children can do during summer break or when they are bored.
From crafts and learning activities to outdoor play and fun indoor activities, these cheap summer activities for kids are fun! They’re perfect for elementary aged students and will allow them to get outside, or enjoy the indoors without the electronics.
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Free or Cheap Summer Activities for Kids
Let the kids have some fun with these free or cheap summer activities! These activities are a great way to get them off of their electronics and outside or will help them with some fun hands-on learning.
1. Have A Dance Party
Get ready to dance to music or have a dance off party with the kids! Put on any of your child’s favorite songs and encourage everyone to have a good time by dancing around the house. Who knows, you may teach your kids some cool new moves.. or embarrass them.. either way it makes for a good time!
You can never go wrong with a good puzzle! Puzzles are fun for kids of all ages. Heck, even us adults love the challenge of putting together a challenging puzzle. When it comes to elementary aged children, choose puzzles that are challenging but not too difficult so that it keeps their interest.
3. Rock Painting
Rock painting is an easy and cheap activity for kids. Just grab some rocks and some paint or markers and let the kids cover them with different colors. For older children, more detailed designs will be fun to make.
4. Listen to an Audio Book
Let the kids enjoy a good story and put on a relaxing audiobook for the kids to listen to. Audiobooks are great for kids and they come with plenty of benefits. You want to make sure you find a good book that will keep them engaged. One way to do this is to let them choose the audiobook they want to listen to.
5. The Matching Game
Our kids love to play the matching game. This is another fun activity that young elementary aged kids can do. It’s also important to note that matching games can help strengthen their memory skills!
6. Word Searches
Kids love solving word search puzzles and it makes a fun educational activity that your elementary aged student can do anytime throughout the year. For summer, you can find a variety of different word searches with summer themed words for them to find.
7. Jump Rope
Do you remember seeing how many times you could jump rope without messing up? How about the jump rope songs and games you use to do with friends? This summer, encourage your children to get active by supplying them with a jump rope and let them jump rope for as long as they want!
8. Science Experiments Make Fun & Educational Cheap Summer Activities for Kids
As a homeschool mom, science experiments are one of the first things that probably come to mind when looking for a fun activity for kids. Seeing the different experiments and how things work can be both fun and educational for kids.
A few summer experiments we recommend:
- Climbing Rainbow – Coffee Cups & Crayons
- Crushing Cans Experiment – Frugal Fun 4 Boys
- Salt Volcano – What We Do All Day
- Exploding Baggies – Kids Activities Blog
9. Cook with the Kids
Whether you are baking cookies or letting the kids help you make dinner, cooking with kids can be a fun memorable experience for everyone. Baking in the kitchen is one of our favorite cheap summer activities that we do. You’re also teaching them a valuable life skill while everyone is enjoying time in the kitchen!
10. Make Your Own Musical Instruments
Let the kids get creative by making their own musical instruments with items from around the house. Since you are using items you already have, it’s one of the easiest cheap summer activities for kids. Yes, this can get a bit noisy, but think of how much fun the kids will be having and things they will be learning!
11. Board Games
Grab those board games from the closet and play a board games with the kids! If you don’t have any board games at home, or just want some new ones, head to the garage sales and see what you can find. Many of the department stores may have these on sale during the summer too.
12. Color or Paint by Number
For younger elementary students, color by number activities or paint by number activities can be fun cheap summer activities for kids. You can grab some free printables online and let your children use crayons, markers, or colored pencils to color beautiful images while following the directions.
13. Free Learning Printables Make Great Cheap Summer Activities for Kids
A simple google search will allow you find some fun, free learning printables that your child can do. You’ll find everything fun educational learning packets to fun printable games and word activities you can print.
14. Balloon Volleyball
An indoor or outdoor activity that kids will enjoy playing! The kids can hit the balloon back and forth without worrying about breaking a window in the process. It’s a fun game that can quickly get competitive and can be done either inside or outside.
15. Catch Fireflies
Once the weather gets warm those cute little fireflies come out and you can see them lighting up the yard. Take a jar, with holes punched in the top, and some grass inside and let the kids carefully catch fireflies and put them in the jar. Then, the kids can do more research about them and find out why they glow at night, what they do, and why they are important. After some learning, the kids can let them out of the jar and back outside.
16. Outdoor Obstacle Course
Set up some fun and challenging obstacle courses outside and have the kids see if they can get through them. You can also make it a game and see who can get through the course the fastest or without making any mistakes. Use things from around the house or cheap items like plastic rings, pool noodles, and more.
One thing I’ve learned about homeschooling is to always have some Play-Doh available for the kids to use. Younger elementary aged kids can mold it into different shapes and use cookie cutters to create designs. It’s funny though because when we are playing with Play-Doh, I find myself trying to create some fun designs right along with the kids.
18. Sticker Painting
If you have a lot of stickers, or you can grab some of those $1 stickers at the store, and let your children go to town with the sticker painting. You definitely don’t want stickers painted around the house so we recommend getting a notebook or large poster board to keep the house mess free.
19. Card Games
Have some fun with card games. You might already have a few of these games at home, such as UNO, Monopoly (the card game version), or Old Maid. You can also use a plain deck of cards and teach the kids to play games like War, Slap Jack, and more.
20. Paint Crafts
No matter what age your elementary student is, painting can be part of your collection of cheap summer activities for kids. You can use kid-friendly paint along with brushes, sponges, and other items and let the kids go to town with their creativity.
21. Make Puffy Paint Art
Kids can make a lot of cool designs with puffy paint and they will have fun getting creative with it.
A few puffy paint art ideas:
- DIY Mosaic Box with Puffy Paint – Artsy Karma
- Puffy Paint Glow in the Dark Moon – Little Bins for Little Hands
- Puffy Paint Bracelets – YouTube
22. Make a Cartoon Flip Book
Cut some paper into squares, staple them together, and let the kids make their own cartoon flip book. This makes a great art activity the kids can use to learn and be creative with.
23. Crossword Puzzles
I don’t care how old you are, crossword puzzles are fun and challenging. If your elementary aged child wants a good word game challenge, grab some cheap crossword puzzle books or print some free ones you find online.
24. Checkers or Chess
You can’t go wrong with a traditional game of chess or checkers. See who can win a few rounds of the relaxing yet fun game or teach them how to play.
25. Take a Bike Ride – Cheap Summer Activities for Kids
Ride the bike trails or around town together and get outdoors to enjoy the fresh air. Not only will they be able to enjoy the outdoors but they’ll get some exercise in as well.
26. Hike the Trails – Free & Cheap Summer Activities for Kids
In addition to local parks and lakes, many places have different hiking trails that range in difficulty. They are also free so grab the family and head out on a nice outdoor hiking trail. As you walk along the trail you may find some interesting new insects, plants, and other things the kids can learn about.
27. Plant Flowers
In the early summer, have the kids lend a hand in the garden by planting different flowers. They can dig in the soil, plant seeds, and keep an eye on it as it grows. If you don’t have a garden, grab some cheap planters from your local Dollar Store and let the kids make a container garden.
28. Look for Cool Rocks or Indian Beads
Remember walking down the street or or playing outdoors and finding those cool looking rocks. If you got lucky, you’d find an Indian Bead. It was one of our favorite cheap summer activities for kids when we were younger. Head out with the kids and collect rocks with the kids and bring them home to paint them or see if you can find any Indian Beads.
Free or Cheap Summer Activities for Kids
These free or cheap summer activities for kids will keep your elementary aged children busy when they’re not in school.
These cheap summer activities for kids also allow them to have some fun without electronics as they get outside and play or enjoy the indoors on a rainy day.