Top 25 unmissable budget activities for kids

published August 11, 2023
group of children doing activities

Looking for budget-friendly kids' activities this summer? Look no further!

In this guide, you’ll see a range of kids’ activity ideas. All of them will be free or affordable to help you save some cash. From sports, art, STEM or food, plus many more, you won’t be short of ideas.

Read on to see:

  • Indoor activities for kids
  • Sports activities for kids
  • STEM activities for kids
  • Art activities for kids
  • Food activities for kids
  • Cultural activities for kids
  • Problem-solving activities for kids


Indoor activities for kids

  1. Host a board game night with family or friends.

Board games are a great way to keep the kids entertained for hours. Forget the usual classics like Monopoly; there’s a range of fun and exciting options out there. Look into Board Gamer Anonymous' Top 100 Games of All Time to find a new game to add to your collection.


  1. Learn phrases in a foreign language and practice with each other

Learning a new language is one of the best skills to learn. Choose a language that intrigues you and download an app like Duolingo. Help each other learn with simple greetings and phrases. You could even some food from your chosen country to learn even more about the culture.

  1. Create an escape room at home

Design a series of clues for your children that lead them out of a homemade escape room. Base the clues on what you want your kids to learn. If you want your kids to improve their listening skills, give them some clues that need careful listening. If you want your children to develop reading skills, make some reading puzzles. Whatever you do, they'll develop teamwork and critical thinking skills while keeping a sense of adventure.

  1. Bake biscuits or cakes from scratch using basic kitchen staples

Use staples like flour, sugar, eggs and butter to make some simple sweet treats. Or get fancy by adding chocolate, icing or sprinkles to your creations. It brings the family together and satisfies that sweet tooth. Check out BBC Good Food for family-friendly recipes.


Summer activities for kids

  1. Play a game of football or basketball in your garden

Enjoy the fresh air and some competition by shooting hoops or kicking around a football in your garden. It's a great way to keep active while socialising with your neighbours. All you need to do is set up makeshift goals and let the fun begin.

  1. Go on a family bike ride or a hike

Explore hidden gems and spend quality time with your kids by biking or hiking in a nearby park or trail. It’s a great way to entertain kids for free, get some exercise and create lasting family memories. Discover local spots, enjoy the fresh air, and embrace quality time with your kids. You probably know your area, but if you don't, a quick Google search can help.

  1. Play a game of frisbee or catch in the park

Head to your local park for a fun game of frisbee or catch with your kids. Both activities are simple, active and completely free. Add some excitement by challenging each other to make impressive catches or teach your kids to throw.

  1. Have a "make-your-own-pizza" night using affordable toppings and pre-made pizza dough

A make-your-own pizza night with affordable toppings and pre-made dough will get the whole family excited. Most supermarkets sell pre-made dough, sauces and any toppings you can think of. Set up a pizza-making buffet with your toppings and let everyone create their own pizza. From a classic margherita to a loaded meat or veggie lover's dream, your kids will have loads of fun making their pizza.


Outdoor activities for kids

  1. Have a themed picnic in the garden with homemade sandwiches and snacks

Hosting a themed picnic in your backyard can be easy and affordable. Choose a fun theme, like a summer festival or a beach day. Prepare picnic staples like sandwiches or dishes based on your theme. Find knick-knacks based on your theme and spread them out to complete your setup.

  1. Go to local low-cost or free cultural festivals

Events and festivals let your children experience new cultures on a budget. Local celebrations offer a vibrant glimpse into diverse traditions, art, and music. You’ll see live performances and eat delicious new foods while immersing yourselves in a new part of your community. Google is a great place to find them, or you can ask friends or family for suggestions.

  1. Build an outdoor obstacle course using pillows and other household items

Why not turn your outdoor space into an adventure zone with an obstacle course? Use pillows and other household items to create tunnels, balance beams and jumping stations. Just make sure to watch everyone to keep a safe environment.


Craft activities for kids

  1. Paint rocks to turn them into colourful decorations

Turn rocks you find outside into vibrant art pieces by painting them. It's a lot of fun and as cheap as any other activity. Collect smooth rocks you find throughout your day and use colourful paints to turn them into something better. Once painted, let your kids show off their work by displaying them or giving them as gifts.

  1. Create collages using old magazines, newspapers, and glue

Repurpose old newspapers and magazines for crafts. Cut out your favourite images, then arrange them into captivating artwork. Collages are eco-friendly and allow your kids to express themes and tell stories.

  1. Design your own t-shirts using fabric markers or paints

Combine art and fashion by having your kids design and decorate t-shirts with fabric markers or paints. Start with a blank canvas, like a white T-shirt. Then let your kids' creativity shine as they personalise their shirts. Children love showing off their masterpieces, and they make great gifts for other family members.

  1. Have a DIY craft day using recycled materials to create unique artwork

Unleash your kids’ creativity by turning ordinary items into stunning art pieces. Use things like cardboard, bottles, newspapers, and bottle caps. Provide your kids with glue, scissors and paint, then let their imaginations soar. Not only is it affordable, but it also promotes sustainability and teaches the value of recycling.


Space activities for kids

  1. Explore the night sky and stargaze at the cosmos

Stargazing is a great way to engage kids and help them learn about space. Find a quiet spot away from bright lights and look up at the twinkling stars. With a star chart or app, see famous constellations like Orion, Ursa Major, or Cassiopeia. You can also learn the stories behind these formations and spark curiosity about the cosmos.

  1. Watch documentaries about space

Help your kids learn about space by watching documentaries. Find a highly-rated space documentary that you think your kids will enjoy. Once finished, share your thoughts to foster meaningful conversations. It's a great activity that promotes understanding and global awareness. So, grab some snacks, sit back, and enjoy learning about space. 

  1. Play video games set in space

Video games are an excellent way for your kids to build problem-solving skills and have fun. With options like Outer Worlds and Stellaris, video games can be a surprisingly great way to educate your kids about space.


STEM activities for kids

  1. Conduct simple science experiments using staple kitchen ingredients

Encourage your kids to become little scientists with easy experiments using everyday kitchen items. Some easy experiments include a baking soda and vinegar volcano. If you need inspiration, Science Spark has loads of experiments to choose from.


  1. Build structures using toothpicks, marshmallows or ice lolly sticks

With toothpicks, marshmallows, or ice lolly sticks, the possibilities for constructing impressive structures are endless. Use toothpicks and marshmallows to create joints or use sticks to make a foundation. There is no right or wrong way to build, only what your child can imagine. Building encourages problem-solving, spatial awareness, and fine motor skills.

  1. Build a card tower

Building a card tower helps your kids learn about physics and entertains them for hours. If you want to entertain more than one child, get them to work together or let them compete to see who can build the tallest tower. Encourage them as they build, and let them experiment with different towers.


Creative activities for kids

  1. Cook a creative dish using budget-friendly ingredients

Cooking a creative and budget-friendly dish lets your kids be creative and enjoy something tasty. For some ideas, A Taste of Home has a great list to start from. Whether it's a big bowl of noodles, a hearty stew or a fragrant curry, each dish offers something unique.


  1. Solve riddles or brain teasers with family or friends

Challenge your minds and have fun with family or friends by solving riddles or brain teasers. Check out Parade for a full list of riddles. Brain teasers are completely free and can be a great activity to help your kids build their problem-solving skills.


  1. Set up a scavenger hunt with clues and hidden treasures

If you want a creative and budget-friendly indoor activity, consider a scavenger hunt. Craft a series of clues that guide the kids from one hiding spot to the next, leading them to a hidden treasure. Be imaginative with your clues so your kids have to tap into their creative brains to solve them. You can also tailor the hunt to their interests, making it extra memorable.


  1. Experiment with painting techniques, like watercolours or finger painting

Encourage your kids to try different painting techniques, like finger painting or watercolours. Painting is a cheap way for your kids to be creative. All you need is a piece of paper, some paint and brushes for watercolours. Grab your materials or use your fingers and let your kid’s creativity flourish.


Let LifePoints help you get your activities for kids going

 All of these activities are great for a budget and won’t set you back. But you might need to buy some things here and there for some of them. That’s where LifePoints steps in. When you take surveys with LifePoints, you get rewarded.

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