Cheap and Unique Ways to Get Kids Outside in the Summer

by AJ Pettersen · 4 comments

As a kid, my friends and I were constantly outside. The winters in the midwest are harsh, but the summers are mild. This meant the day school got out, the weather was perfect for some quality time outdoors. With the technology boom, kids are able to play video games, watch television or do a number of other activities within the confines of their homes. This not only led to a generation of less active children, but it also led to a lot of wasted time in perfect weather. There remains a number of activities that kids can do outdoors in lieu of sitting inside on a sunny day. Here are a few you should consider for your kids:

Sporting Activities

When I was younger, our neighborhood was full of kids around the same age. We would hold full sporting leagues, from baseball to football to basketball, and the neighborhood was buzzing with activity from the beginning of June until the end of August.

A few years after we moved into our home, my parents built a blacktop basketball court in our backyard. Several years later a miniature baseball field was built to house a full blown wiffle-ball league. The wiffle-ball field was home to hours and hours of play under the sun and took around $200 and some sweat to build.

Do your kids enjoy sports? Do they have a place to play? The years I spent having fun with friends in my backyard marked some of the most memorable moments of my childhood. They did a lot to increase my interest in athletics throughout my younger years.

Find a Local Park Or Get Creative at Home

Playgrounds and parks can provide a similar activity near your home. For no charge, you can go to a location near your home and let the kids play. Getting creative in your own yard is another great way to entertain kids.

During my childhood we had a playground in our yard (we had a lot of space to roam). We got it from someone who was looking to get rid of it. For no cost, we had plenty of time swinging monkey bars and sliding down slides. We also lived down the street from a local park, where we played some more.

Do you have access of a play space for younger kids? Plastic kiddy pools and sprinklers can be purchased for a small cost. Get creative with what you currently have and you will find you can have fun right where you are.

Go Camping

Camping can give your kids the experience of being outdoors and can be as easy as setting a tent up in your backyard. All it takes is a tent and a few sleeping bags, which can easily be found at a low price.

Do you enjoy nature? Don’t have the right space in your backyard? Try contacting a local camping service or state park and they can help guide you in the right direction.

Getting Your Kids Outdoors

Getting your kids active in the summer isn’t always easy, but it’s well worth the effort. I will remember some of times I spent outside of my parent’s house during the summer for the rest of my life. There are a number of unique ways to get children outdoors during the summer months. How do you get your kids outside and active?

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  • Jean says:

    Truly, it seems like over the past decade, kids rarely go out of the house anymore because like you said, there are so many modes of entertainment at home.

    One thing that I’ve seen work is a co-ordinated effort by all neighbors. Organize competitions on a small scale but involving and catering to all kids in the neighborhood. Something that all the kids can participate in to equal degree and also requiring a fair bit of exercise not just sitting down in one place. Once you get the competitive spirit kickstarted, the kids will take over the get into the swing of things to where it could last all through the summer!


  • Marbella says:

    I come from a municipality that wants all children and teens have at least two different activities that the municipality paid for, such as football horse sports, swimming, bird watching, tennis, etc. Children and teens are always out with their activities. (We have very low crime rate in the municipality as well.)

  • Shane says:

    When I was a kid my mother would set up neighborhood scavenger hunts. Those were always a lot of fun. She brought it back when I turned 16 and we all to use big wheels and small bikes, it was really fun and quite funny.

  • KM says:

    Forget the kids (my son loves being outsides, and especially playing with water) – I want my husband to go outside more! Whenever he is home alone, he closes all the curtains and sits inside in darkness when the weather is great. He doesn’t want to go camping because although he usually likes it, the fire ban makes it impossible to cook, so that ruins the whole point for him. He doesn’t like being in the sun or heat, and I have to pull teeth to get him to go for a walk.

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