Coming up with fun activities to keep your children busy during the summer without going broke can be quite a task. You don’t have to stock up on expensive toys or resign yourself to a summer of endless video games, though. There are plenty of fun, outdoor activities you can organize on the cheap.
5 budget-friendly backyard games
Soap Boat Races
To make your soap boat course all you need is a rain gutter and garden hose at one end of it. Your soap boats, as you can probably guess, are made out of a bar of soap with a toothpick for the mast with a piece of fabric glued to the toothpick for the sail. Turn on the hose and it’s off to the races!
It’s so easy to make and the kids will spend hours chasing after them to do it all over again.
Gunny Sack Races
Invite the neighborhood kids over to join in an old fashioned gunny sack race. You can, of course, substitute gunny sack with pillow cases, if you don’t mind a little grass stains. Have everyone put their feet inside the sack and on your go, hop to the end of the course. Whoever gets their first wins!
Homemade Slip & Slide
Take a large tarp or two smaller ones and lay them end to end, securing with tent stakes pounded all the way into the ground. For extra protection you can cover the tent stakes with sand, dirt or even a towel.
Saturate the length of the tarps with water from a garden hose. Let the hose continue to run along the beginning of the slide. To make it extra slippery add some tear free baby shampoo down the sliding area and spray with water. You may have to add more shampoo now and then to keep it slipping and sliding.
This game is fun for older children since it is played in the dark. It’s a combination of tag and hide and seek. The seeker has the flashlight and counts to 50 while the other players hide.
The object of the game is to have the seeker find one of the other players and when the light is shined on them then they become the seeker. The only rule is that the seeker must keep the flashlight on at all times while he is seeking out the other players. It becomes a continuous cycle.
Another fun tag game that’s suitable for all ages is the game of freeze tag. In this variation the person who’s “it” has to tag all of the other players and the last person tagged becomes “it”. Once a player is tagged they have to freeze in the spot where they were tagged. They can be rescued by another player who has not yet been tagged by touching the frozen person and they can continue playing. A good variation for older children is to have them run through the frozen person’s legs rather than just touching them.
We played some of these games ourselves when I was growing up. Do your kids play any new ones you want to share?