Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

It’s already started at my house. I’m constantly hearing the phrase, “Mom, I’m so bored.” We’ve all heard it before. There are plenty of activities or camps during the summer, but what about when your kids are at home the rest of time? It’s easy get stuck in a rut of watching tv or playing on the tablet. Here are a few ideas to keep the boredom at bay and the technology off.

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

Sensory bins

I got this container above from Michael’s and put a bag of kinetic sand in it for my daughter’s 9th birthday. It has been one of the most played with items at our house since. All of my kids play it and when they have friends over those kids play with it as well. We added some eraser pets from Amazon and some toys we already had. You can add pretty much anything your kid likes though. My kids will sit at the table for hours playing with the sand.

Reusable water balloons

We just got these magnetic reusable water balloons on Amazon and my kids are obsessed with them. All you have to do to fill them is submerse in water and close the magnetic strips together. Then you’re ready to throw, squeeze, and splash again and again. They can refill them all by themselves, which is a big plus for me. I can relax in my chair in the shade while they tire themselves out. My kids used their umbrellas as shields. Turn on your yard sprinkler on for added fun.

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer


While you might already have a slew of books at home, you might have to venture out of the house for some new books. A fun and FREE outing to the library is a great way to get new books for your reader. Most libraries are doing summer reading incentives. Lafayette Public Library Main Branch usually has take home craft projects with all supplies and instructions included, and the craft changes weekly. See what programs your branch has to offer.

Start a garden from seed

While you’re at Lafayette Public Library Main Branch, check out the seed library. You can get 2 packs of free seeds a day with your library card. Once you have your seeds, all you need is a little dirt, water, and sunshine. Not only is having a garden fun and educational, but it teaches responsibility. It’s also rewarding to eat your homegrown fruits and veggies.

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

Home made play dough

I hate buying the store bought dough because it dries out so quickly. It’s super simple to make your own and you likely already have all the ingredients in your pantry. All you need is flour, salt, and water. Optional but more fun and messy is food coloring so you can make your favorite color dough. Here’s the recipe I used: 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup water. Mix it all together. Add one to two drops of food coloring to make your favorite color.

Sidewalk chalk

Perfect for aspiring artists of all ages. See what your crew can create together or have them draw a hopscotch grid. The possibilities are endless here. Let those imaginations run wild.


We a got few of these $5 buckets of cra-z-slimy from Five Below. This is another activity my kids will play with at the table for hours with. We have had a few incidents where it got on their clothes, but it washes right out. You can also make your own slime, but we haven’t tried that yet.

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

Science experiments

A favorite experiment with minimal pantry ingredients is the rainbow explosion. All you need is some baking soda, food coloring, and white vinegar. We mixed baking soda in cups with different food coloring and arranged the colored baking sodas in a rainbow on a cookie sheet. Then we poured the vinegar on top of the rainbow and watched all the colors bubble up.

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

Bubble machine

We have this $10 pineapple one from Target. My toddler is constantly saying bubbles, but all my kids and their friends have enjoyed popping bubbles outside together. We just buy a big container of bubbles and batteries.

Let them help in the kitchen

My kids love to help make a mess … I mean help make food in the kitchen. We have cooked everything from cupcakes to gumbo together.

Ten Inexpensive Ideas To Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home This Summer

One easy and healthy snack that they all enjoy is chia pudding. It’s got fiber which is great for digestion and omega-3’s to keep those little hearts healthy. It’s super easy to make and doesn’t involve any cooking, just stirring all the ingredients together. So even your toddler can help. You’ll need 1/4 cup chia seeds and a can of coconut milk(we’ve also used almond milk but it’s not as creamy as coconut). Just stir the milk and chia seeds together and refrigerate until the mixture is thick like pudding. This usually takes an hour or so or you can leave it in overnight and enjoy for breakfast. Add maple syrup to sweeten and top with berries, coconut flakes, nuts, chocolate chips, ect. My kids like to eat it as a dessert too.

What activities are you doing at home to keep your kids entertained this summer?

Sicily Smith
Sicily grew up in Acadiana and graduated from UL Lafayette in 2011 with a degree in fashion merchandising and design. She has spent the last decade moving around the world while her husband served in the military. She returned to Lafayette in 2022 to raise her four daughters in Cajun country. Her daughters Evie(9), Talulah(6), Gemma(4), and Sylvie(1) keep her house messy, her schedule busy, and her heart full. These days she’s traded her fancy clothes for a strong cup of coffee, comfy leggings, and a good book. Her hobbies include going to local music festivals and farmers markets, trying new restaurants, running, and starting a bookclub with her daughters. She is also currently writing her first children’s book.


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