Families can have loads of outdoor fun without spending a lot of money. Fly a kite, build a birdhouse, or simply spread a quilt on the grass and read a good book together. At night, turn off the lights and look at the stars or listen for hooting owls.
Here are a few more fun, frugal activities to enjoy on a summer day.
- Frisbee golf. Make a Frisbee golf course in your backyard. Draw large numbers on paper plates and nail on trees or tape to shrubs to designate each “hole,” which players must hit with the Frisbee.
- Hula-hoop. Have a family hula-hoop contest. Use a stopwatch to see who can keep the hoop spinning the longest.
- Family car wash. Wear bathing suits and be ready for sponge fights and water-squirt wars.
- Underwater viewer. Cut the top and bottom off a clean half-gallon milk carton. Stretch clear plastic wrap over the bottom and secure with rubber band or tape. Lower the viewer into a stream, pond or lake. Look in the open end of the milk carton and see if you can identify what’s living underwater.
- Pick fruit or berries. Visit a pick-your-own-fruit farm, then head home and make jam or cobbler.
- Skip rocks. Look for just the right stones and teach your kids how to skip rocks across a lake or creek.
- Dirt volcanoes. Have kids mound dirt 6 to 10 inches high and then clear a hole down the middle. In the hole, place two teaspoons of baking soda and pour in some inexpensive vinegar, then watch the “volcano” erupt.
- Pan for pennies. Bury pennies in a sandbox. Your kids can search for them, using plastic colanders or sieves.