Toddler summer activities on a budget

School is out, the sun is hot, and staying inside the house isn’t always an option with little ones. Our kids love being outside but sometimes I struggle to find new activities that don’t break the bank. I did some searching and found a list of fun, budget friendly activities. We put them to the test and let me just say, every single one was a hit. No matter if it’s to have some family fun or keeping the kids busy while you eat some lunch, having easy activities during the summer is a must. Each one is either free or cheap for the whole family, making them even better!

DIY Sprinkler!

I’ll be honest and say I’m a cheap mom! Anytime I can save, I will! We were going to buy a $20 sprinkler from Walmart but waited which I’m glad we did. I took a used 2 liter, sliced some holes, and hooked it up to the hose. Talk about easy! The kids loved and we saved $20.

Head to the community pool!

Many city’s have community pools that are inexpensive to get into. My kids love going and playing with other kids. Also, look to see if your city has a splash pad! We live in a small town of 200 and the closest one is quite a drive, but still so fun for the kids.

Plant a garden!

We recently moved less than a month ago so we are a little late but it was still fun. Look at the dollar store for cheap pots, veggies/fruits, and flower seeds. They also have planting kits that are easy and cheap.

Buy the kids a bike and scooter!

My kids live theirs and have spent endless hours on them. We love going around the neighborhood or around the driveway.

Get a pool!

Now for our kids age, this $20 pool from Dollar General works perfect. We also have a smaller one, but this has been the most fun for them. Shallow enough so I don’t worry and plastic so it doesn’t pop.

Get plastic cups to play with!

I recycle our old juice bottles and cups for the kids to play with outside. They love filling them and even pretending they have their own little kitchen serving each other. Great, easy fun.

Add bubble bath to the pool!

I started this last year and it is a blast for the kids! I use their organic, tear free bubble bath and blast the hose to creat a fun bubble pool! My kids constantly ask for it.

Head to the movies!

Cool off with a fun movie. Most theaters offer fun movies for kids at a discount rate certain days during the summer which is perfect for the first few times taking toddlers.

Dirt don’t hurt!

My kids LOVE dirt, what kid doesn’t? I don’t care about the mess and they have a blast so I put dirt in one of our plastic pools with measuring cups, bottles, and utensils. They have fun and it entertains them long enough for me to clean up a bit.

Water ballon fight!

You can grab some from the dollar store and it’s so much fun! Fill up a bucket and play hide and seek with the kids having cooling off.

Paint with water!

Grab a bucket of water, some painting tools, and let them have some fun! My son loves “painting” on the driveway and it’s mess free.

Other summer activities:

•Children’s Museum. Check to see if they have discount summer days or cheap passes for the year.

Zoo and Aquarium. This is always a fun time for kids. Try beating the heat and crowds by going in the morning.

Camp in the backyard/living room. Pitch the tent in the backyard or living room for some camping fun!

Puzzles and crafts. Grab a fun puzzle and craft supplies at the dollar store.

Story time at the library. Many libraries have story time for the kids at least once a week. Grab a few books to check out while you are there!

•Chalk fun outside. I love getting chalk at the dollar store(I’m frugal if you haven’t noticed) and letting the kids draw on the drive way.

Head to the lake or river. We are lucky to live near so many outdoor spots. Pick some lunch and spend the day at the lake.

Get a plastic pool and make a sensory pool. You can grab a $5 plastic pool and fill it with rice, beans, slime, and even shaving cream.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer! Let me know what your families favorite summer activity in the comments below. We love trying fun, new things.



1 thought on “Toddler summer activities on a budget

  1. Such good ideas! Thank you


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