8 Frugal Outdoor Games and Crafts For Kids

Published on June 19, 2015 By Lauren

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  • Frugal outdoor fun

    One goal we have during the summer is to enjoy the outdoors and good weather as much as possible. While many summer activities seem to be tied to expensive outings, there are plenty of affordable or free things to do outside to have fun!

    Here are 8 great activities you and your family can try out this summer:

    1. Leaf Art: Different leaves have different colors or shapes. Spend some time collecting them and use them to create artwork such as collages or even diagrams. You can even trace leaves or do rubbings for texture. Not sure what to do with your collected leaves? Check Pinterest for lots of great ideas.  Before you go leaf hunting, make sure that you note any dangerous plants like poison ivy that might grow in your area.
    2. Scavenger Hunt:  Depending on your neighborhood, this could be a cooperative project. Create an adventurous scavenger hunt spanning your yard, neighborhood, or even journeying to your local park. The clues can be difficult or simple, serious or silly.
    3. Bird Nest Making: This sounds sort of silly, but can actually be pretty fun. If you’ve ever found a bird’s nest in your trees you have seen how intricate they are. Challenge your children to gather twigs and grass and try to weave their own bird’s nest. It may take a little glue! This is a great way to learn more about birds.
    4. Nature walk: Walk around your yard, block, or to a local park. Keep an eye out for birds, insects, and other animals. Also examine the plants you see on the way. If you can, bring samples of leaves, nuts, or berries home with you. You can then do some detective work and see if you can identify the types of trees, bushes or plants you’ve found.
    5. Rock art: Depending on your location you might have access to rocks of various sizes. If you don’t have any around your house, you may be able to gather some on beaches or walking through the woods. Small rocks can be used to create mosaic-like patterns on paper or to decorate clay pots for plants. Larger rocks could be painted and used as stepping stones, garden decorations, or game pieces for lawn games (see #7).
    6. Sidewalk art: Sidewalk art doesn’t need to be boring; it can be as fun as you want. You could make a hopscotch board, tell a story (individually or cooperatively), or even draw a huge mural using sidewalk chalk! Best of all chalk isn’t permanent and will wash away on the next rainy day!
    7. Lawn board games: Say what?! Summer time is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the weather. Considering turning your yard into some of your favorite board games or indoor games. If you painted rocks from idea #5, you could do an outdoor version of chess or checkers. (Keep in mind that these games would require a lot of rocks, but you could do both small or large scale!).  Maybe you could do tic-tac-toe or even lawn twister. You could use spray paint on your grass, but there are some natural ways to make the different colors. You could even invent your own!
    8. Balloons: There are a lot of things that you can use balloons for and most of them will be the most fun outdoors. You could create water pinatas (put a very small waterproof prize into a balloon and fill it with water).  Maybe you’ll try a water balloon toss or a water balloon obstacle course. Water balloons are always fun on hot and humid summer days. Balloons are usually pretty affordable and may even be found at a local dollar store!

    What does your family do outside for fun?

    Frugal outdoor fun


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