Kids are out of school for the summer and looking for things to do. While there always seem to be a plethora of fun activities to do with kids and camps to sign them up for, they can often be quite expensive. Summer camp, art, music, and dance classes, soccer camp and horseback riding, are all great options but not always affordable. No parent or caregiver wants to hear “I’m bored” twenty times per day, though, either. That is why I’ve created this list of fun summer games kids can play for hours and be entertained, educated, and have fun all for little to no cost!
Free Fun Summer Games Kids Can Play For Hours
Check out these great games and fun summer activities kids will love for summer time fun!
1. Sprinkler Games
There is no better way to beat the heat than playing in cool water. Set up a sprinkler in the yard and watch your kids have a blast running and jumping through the streams of water. Some sprinklers have settings that will change the flow of water. Use these settings to create a game for even more fun. Have them jump over the low streams or duck under the high ones– first one to touch the water is out!
2. Beach Time
If you have easy access to a beach, whether it be by the ocean, bay, or lake, take advantage! Spending a few hours or making it a day trip is an inexpensive adventure for your kids, and can feel like a vacation for parents. Pack a cooler with snacks, fill a bag with a few beach toys and sunscreen, and you and your kids will have a great time! You can play water games like marco polo, Duck, Duck, Splash, or have sand castle building competitions.
3. Sand Art Fun
Remember the Sand Art table at summer fairs? Who knew such a simple activity could be so much fun? It’s easy to recreate your own Sand Art table at home, with just a few supplies. Colored sand can be found for just a few dollars on the internet or at your local craft supply store. Use recycled glass or plastic bottles, and fill them with layers of brightly colored sand. Kids will love displaying their sand art on a shelf or table. This is a great activity to do out on the porch, driveway, or in the yard for easy clean up! Kids can make a game out of this fun craft by competing to see who can create the bottle that gets the most votes or who can make 20 layers of sand first.
4. Sidewalk Chalk
Another of my favorite summer games kids enjoy that can be done out on the sidewalk or driveway is making art with sidewalk chalk. All you need is the chalk, which can be found at a craft store, and a blank canvas! So easy and fun. Kids can use their imaginations, and they will love feeling like they are “getting away” with something by drawing all over the pavement! (Little do they know the chalk can easily be washed away with a hose, or wait for a rainy day!). Kids can take this summer fun to the next level by drawing out life size chalk games.
5. Scavenger Hunt
Summer is a great time for kids to get outside and explore their surroundings. Create a list of items for them to find, or print one from the internet. No need to get fancy! Send them out looking for a red leaf, a round stone, or a certain type of flower. If you live in an area where it might be difficult to collect items and bring them back home, have them check off what they find or take a picture as evidence. Stop signs, light posts, a certain color house or building, types of trees etc. are just a few examples of what kids can discover!
6. Investigating Insects
Kids are fascinated by many things, including bugs. Use their fascination with the natural world and turn it into a great science activity. Grab some magnifying glasses and a notebook and begin investigating! Let them flip over small rocks see what they find. Dig a worm out of the dirt and inspect it. Document color, shape and size. Observe how it moves and what it eats. Take your kids to the library and check out books to help them understand their findings. Make a game of it by seeing who can create a more complete bug journal!
7. Reading Nook
Kids should always make time for reading during the summer, but they don’t have to do it cooped up in the house. Have them create an outdoor reading nook. Stringing a hammock between trees, laying out a blanket in the grass, building a fort in the woods or setting up a shady cave on the rooftop of a building are fun ways to enjoy the outdoors while diving into a good book. The only rule for their reading nook is: make it as comfy as possible! Have a race to see you can read 5 books first and answer the most questions about them correctly.
8. Rainy Day Kitchen Creations
On those dreary days when we’re more likely to want to be indoors, there are many crafts and activities that will keep kids occupied. Having them help out in the kitchen can be a relief for you, and so rewarding for them. Kids love to help with “grown-up” stuff. Let them help make lunch. Make a sandwich assembly line and let them put everything together. Have them make the salad or fill ice cube trays with juice for homemade popsicles. They’ll have a great time and you’ll gain a meal-time helper. To them it is a game and to you it is training them for the real world.
9. Summer Lawn Games Kids Will Love
10. Puzzle Time
Get a huge puzzle and spend a whole day working on it. Teach kids to sort the edge pieces out first and work inwards.
I hope you kids enjoy these ideas for summer games kids can play for hours. Share your inexpensive summer games kids will love in the comments!