We found the top 24 best activities to keep kids busy this summer for less than the price of toilet paper, unless you use discounted gift cards.
1. Put colored tape on the carpet to make roads for your kid’s toy cars.
The tape comes up easily when you’re done.
2. Tape can also be used to create a fun outdoor board game.
Learn more here.
3. A couple sponges and a box of chalk are all you need to turn your driveway into a bull’s-eye target game.
4. Exploding Paint Bags turn your sidewalk into a work of art.
These are totally kid-friendly and can be made with items you likely already have in the kitchen.
5. Paint on wet glue with food coloring.
Save lids to cottage cheese, butter, or Cool Whip for “canvases.” Learn more here.
6. Use leftover bubble wrap to make Stomp Paintings.
Kids will get a good laugh while exploring their artistic side.
7. DIY a throwing tarp.
Tarp, rope, scissors, marker, tape… Play ball.
Toddlers will drop the pom-poms into the bowl over and over, and develop their fine motor skills in the process.
9. Some pipe cleaners and a colander will also keep toddlers occupied.
10. Burlap (from a gardening center) can be used to make a preschooler-appropriate sewing station.
This one is great for developing fine motor skills too. Find the how-to here.
11. Preschoolers can also continue to learn how to draw letters with this easy-to-make sugar-writing tray.
13. Another super-cool science experiment lets kids extract DNA from strawberries.
Learn more here.
14. Super-fun balloon rockets also teach an important science lesson.
Kids learn the concept of “action and reaction” while having a blast.
15. Pencil erasers and a marble make a surprisingly addictive at-home bowling game.
Find the how-to here.
16. Well-placed yarn is all you need to let your kids get their Mission Impossible on.
17. Play “Escape the Volcano” to teach kids about color recognition, shape names, counting, and more.
Find instructions and templates here.
19. Make a bowl of popcorn and challenge your kids to play the Popcorn Olympics.
Find a list of popcorn games, like “straw blow” and “distance throw,” here.
20. Painter’s tape and some balled up newspaper are all you need for this “sticky spiderweb” activity.
21. Turn an old box into an indoor slide.
This one needs lots of parental supervision, obviously.
22. Make a Rainbow Bubble Snake from materials you undoubtedly already have around your home.
23. Cut a pool noodle in half to make a marble track race.
Find the tutorial here.