Play: 10 free things to do this summer!

Summer vacation is here, but our wallets have run away. Here are 10 things you can do with your kids.


  • Visit the parks in your area. Before the heat rolls in, explore the local parks in you area. Change it up and visit a new park each weekend to keep things interesting.
  • Splash pads! There are so many different types of splash pads. Pack your pool bag and roll out. Find splash pads in shopping malls, city parks, and community centers.
  • Discover the library. Seriously. Take a reading challenge. Visit once a week or more. Visit the different branches in your area. My local library offers Culture Passes which are FREE passes to local museums and gardens. FREE.
  • Wash your cars and the toddlers cozy coupe. Turn the chore into a game. Give the kids a bucket with soap and sponges, add in some water guns and it’ll at least keep them entertained for an hour.
  • Ice play. Need a quick activity in a pinch? Dump out your ice box. Give the kids different containers and cups to move the ice around. This uses what you already have, so there should be no cost.
  • Ice Painting. Assuming you have everything already, get an ice cube tray, add in different food dyes, put in a stick if you have one, and freeze them. I usually prep this over night. It only takes a few moments to prep, the long part is waiting for the freeze. When you need an activity, set the kids outside with the colored ice cubes and let them paint the patio!
  • Plan a safari. If you have lots of stuffed animals or any animal toys, plan a safari! Hide the animals around the house or yard. Toddlers will love to find toys. Older kids can take a more involved approach with binoculars.
  • Color the bath tub. Add 2 drops of food dye to a squirt bottle. I do advise to avoid yellow or orange, it just looks like pee! I usually give my tot 2 colors, pink and green. She loves squirting the water all over the tub and bathroom, and buys me a few moments to sit and watch.
  • Mud play. Summer usually means monsoon season. Depending on your soil, you can play with mud! When I was a kid, I would often make mud pottery. It’s free and entertaining, and environmentally friendly.
  • Color the box. We get diapers delivered via subscription to save money. This means we have a few boxes around the house. When I need to cook dinner and its too hot to play outside, i’ll set the toddler up with a box and markers or crayons.

What are you going to do this summer? Stay tuned for more ideas and graphics!

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