50 free or cheap ways to entertain the kids this summer

The summer holidays are well  under way, not surprisingly the weather has been pretty crap and we’ve been desperately trying to keep the kids entertained whilst sticking to our budget. We’re going away for a long weekend next week and I’m trying to curb our spending until then so we’re not counting the pennies!

I’ve put together a list of 50 ideas for ways to keep the kids happy & entertained for not much money. I hope they’re useful!

  1. Junk modelling – always a winner in our house! Save up your “junk” for a week or so beforehand so you’ve got enough bits to keep them happy.
  2. Movie day.
  3. Pamper sessions.
  4. Get out in the garden & play.
  5. Get out in the garden & “garden”, my kids LOVE helping with weeding, the loons.
  6. Bike ride.
  7. Have a lego marathon.
  8. Build a train track.
  9. Board games.
  10. Go for a walk – an oldie but a goodie.
  11. Visit a friend.
  12. Have a friend over!
  13. Read stories together.
  14. Build a den.
  15. Bake.
  16. Make pizzas.
  17. Colour.
  18. Play dough.
  19. Play video games together.
  20. Water painting.
  21. Make slime.
  22. Visit the grandparents.
  23. Find a hill to roll down – hours of fun.
  24. Paint pebbles.
  25. Go hunting for ladybirds, butterflies or caterpillars.
  26. Make a bug hotel.
  27. Make a bird feeder.
  28. Do some tree rubbings.
  29. Play football.
  30. Go to the park.
  31. Feed the ducks.
  32. Look out for free activities at the library.
  33. Visit the library to get books – take part in their summer reading challenge.
  34. Make a video.
  35. Make ice lollies.
  36. Make crispy cakes.
  37. Play hide & seek.
  38. Try charity shops for cheap games & toys.
  39. Play twister.
  40. Go swimming (our pool has a free swim session every day for under 16s)
  41. Paint.
  42. Craft.
  43. Trace from a book.
  44. Have a mini disco.
  45. Get a big cardboard box & make a car/space rocket/plane.
  46. Have a dressing up day.
  47. Set up a treasure hunt.
  48. Play charades.
  49. Blow bubbles.
  50. Plant your own veg.