While the weather may just be starting to warm up and the flowers may just be starting to bloom, my thoughts are already turning to summer. Before we know it, school will be out and fun will be in and for me, that means coming up with tons of fun ideas around my home and community that will keep my boys busy all summer long. Now, living in the mountains, we of course have our favorite ways to spend the day (like hiking the forest and playing in the stream) but the truth of the matter is, no matter where you live, there are tons of inexpensive ways to make the most of your summer fun! Read on to discover my top 12 Low-to-No Cost Summer Activities for Kids as well as my tips for making sure that you are protecting your family’s skin during your every summer adventure!
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I like to keep my kids going during the summer months. When they don’t have something to do, well, that’s when the bickering starts. So, as a family we spend tons of time outdoors during the summer. We work outside. We play outside. We eat outside. However, just because I want my kids doing so much during the summer months doesn’t mean that I want to spend a lot on our summer fun. Now, I used to be that mom that thought I had to have big activities planned to keep the kiddos happy but over the years I’ve gotten smart and learned that there are so many low-to-no cost summer activities for kids that can happen in my community and even in my own back yard! But before we get to those, let’s take preparation for summer for just a minute, m’kay?
How to Prepare For Summer Fun
A rule in my house is that we can be outdoors as much as we want during the summer as long as we prepare correctly. This means making sure everyone has plenty of water to stay hydrated. It means making sure we’ve always got our sunnies on to protect our eyes. But most importantly, it means starting every summer day with sunscreen to protect our skin! Since my kids are on the go A LOT during the summer (as you’ll see soon), finding a sunscreen that can keep up with all we do is extra important to me. That’s why our most important summer fun rule is to always apply our Banana Boat® Kids Sport Sunscreen before we head outdoors!
I simply rub on a golf-ball sized portion of easy-to-apply Banana Boat® sunscreen that comes in both a spray and lotion form at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating or towel drying. I’m able to provide safe and effective broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection to all our bodies. While that’s super important to me, equally important is the fact that this sunscreen has a tear-free and sting-free formula that’s gentle enough for my little guy’s sensitive skin and strong enough for my always-on-the-go teen!
We love that Banana Boat® provides light-weight coverage and has a quick absorbing formula that doesn’t run into our eyes! Even better, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes so that when our summer adventures take us from on land to in the water, we’re all covered! However, as any mom of boys knows, it’s important for our sunscreen to protect against more than just our ventures to the pool! Thankfully Banana Boat® Kids Sport Sunscreen stays on in the sun, in pool water, in ocean water and even through wind, sweat, sand and 100 degree heat*. As a mom who’s concerned about her children’s skin health, especially since we do spend so much time outside during the summer, I love the peace of mind that Banana Boat® sunscreen gives me to know that as long as we reapply on a consistent schedule, my kids’ skin is protected no matter where our summer adventure take us!
Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation to protect against the sun’s harmful rays, Banana Boat® Kids Sport Sunscreen from Walmart is the number one way that we prepare for all our summer fun! Be sure check out this Ibotta rebate offer for $1 off Banana Boat sunscreen products (some exclusions apply) from Walmart! Now that we’ve all got our sunscreen ready, back to those low-to-no cost summer activities for kids I was talking about earlier!
Here’s my favorite 12 Low-to-No Cost Summer Activities for Kids to get you started!
Low-to-No Cost Activities In Your Community
Go Hiking: This just happens to be our favorite outdoor summer activity and even if you don’t live in the mountains, I can pretty much guarantee you that there are hiking trails in your community! If you happen to be lucky like us and have endless trails and abundant streams, be sure to take advantage of it!
Your kids can hike, throw rocks, wade through the steams and enjoy the outdoors in a way that always leaves them happily tired at night! For my boys, nothing is better than spending a day exploring the trails, stopping to rest on a rock when we’re tired and then soaking our feet in the stream. It makes video games and TV time the furthest thing from their minds and helps us to create amazing summer memories that we look forward to recreating each and every year!
Play at the Park: No matter where you live, one of the best low-to-no-cost summer activities for kids is heading to the park! Take a ball to kick around and enjoy the afternoon swinging, sliding, playing and enjoying the summer weather.
Plan a Picnic: For my kids, food on the go equals plenty of fun! There are endless places in every community that you can enjoy a picnic! While many people think this fun activity requires tons of planning, it doesn’t! Simply pack up some sandwiches, grab a few drinks and head out to a beautiful location to enjoy your meal on the go!
Discover Your Community Pools: There is nothing my boys love more in the summer than swimming. I mean, let’s face it….cooling off in the pool is a favorite activity for just about any kid! The great news is that pretty much every community has a public pool that’s low cost to use!
For us, heading there earlier or later in the day ensures things will be less crowded and it gives us a great opportunity to cool off those hot summer days!
Go Fishing: I’ll admit I’m not an avid fisher-woman but as a boy mom, I do know how to at least cast a line. There are many places in our community that are perfect for fishing (be sure to check local requirements before embarking on this activity) and my boys love sitting in the shade waiting to see if they can get a bite!
Plan a Scavenger Hunt: While this may sound like it requires a little work, it doesn’t! Summer is the perfect time to plan a scavenger hunt in your community! Add items to your list like “Find a yellow flower” or “Collect a heart shaped rock”. You can even try to find the painted rocks that are a big trend right now! Just be sure to make your hunt generic enough that it won’t get frustrating!
Low-to-No Cost Activities In Your Own Back Yard
Have a Water Balloon Battle: Nothing keeps my kids more entertained that throwing water balloons at each other during epic battles. Now, this does take a little time on my part to fill all those water balloons but an afternoon of watching the kids run and play and laugh makes it totally worth it!
Fill up a bucket of balloons for each of your kids and then sit back and watch or join in!
Create Driveway Art: I’ve found that our driveway is the perfect canvas for amazing summer time art! Whether we use chalk, washable paints or even make our own sidewalk foam from shaving cream, a little creativity and a few simple supplies can provide hours of fun.
Climb Trees: If you happen to have trees in your yard like I do, climbing trees is a perfect summer activity. Of course make sure there are low limbs and that you’re always supervising and then let your little monkeys see who can climb the best.
Blow Mega-Bubbles: I’ve always been amazed at the fact that bubbles can provide so much entertainment! Whether you go old school with simple bubble wands or pick up a few inexpensive bubble guns, this is an activity that keeps my youngest entertained for as long as there are bubbles to chase through the yard. As an added bonus, you can make your own low-cost bubble solution with dish soap and water!
Make Your Own Slip-N-Slide: Don’t want to buy a slip and slide? No problem! Head to the hardware store and pick up some durable plastic. Then turn on the sprinkler and add a little dish soap to make it extra slippery for hours of fun!
Go Day Camping: I’ve discovered that we don’t have to head to a campground to have summer camping fun! Instead, we can simply put up the tent in the back yard and fill it with snacks and activities for a day of summer fun!
Honestly, these 12 Low-to-No Cost Summer Activities for Kids are just the start of all the inexpensive fun that can be had during the summer! In fact, I could go on and on about all the different ways to make summer the most memorable time of the year! To get more great ideas for summer fun, be sure to check out this Banana Boat Summer Fun Pinterest board! Then, before you start enjoying your summer outside, head to Walmart today and stock up on Banana Boat® Kids Sport Sunscreen with the $1 off Ibotta offer to ensure that no matter where your summer adventures take you, your family’s skin is protected in the perfect way! Also, stop by your local Walmart and try Banana Boat’s new line, Banana Boat® Simply Protect TM which contains 25% fewer ingredients in a lightweight formula!
Now tell me, what your favorite low-to-no cost summer activity for kids?
*7 conditions does not apply to tanning or oil products, SPF 100 lotions, lip balms, Kids FREE and Zinc Faces