10 Fun and Frugal Outdoor Activities for Children

*Finally, we are getting some warmer weather and no rain (at least here in NJ!) In honor of the nice weather I am republishing this popular post in case you want or need some ideas for outside activities.*

Fun and Frugal Outdoor Activities

(Image is in Public Domain)

Spring is underway and summer will be here before you know it. Everyone is heading outdoors and soon school (homeschool and traditional) will be coming to a close. With school’s end, the question becomes, “What do we do?” Here are some of Andrew’s favorite outdoor activities that keep him occupied and happy for long stretches. The best part? All these props can be bought for a buck at the dollar store or less in some clearance racks!

1. Sidewalk chalk. Andrew doesn’t like to draw or color – on paper. Give him a piece of chalk and he can draw and color and create games and have all sorts of fun on our driveway. 🙂

2. Hula hoop. Remember these as a child or am I dating myself! Andrew struggles keeping the hoop up which makes him determined to work on it until he gets it mastered!

3. Bubbles. Need I say more? Who doesn’t love a good bucket of bubbles on a warm clear day? Additionally, bubbles aren’t only cheap, but also so easy and fun to make!

4. Hose. You can either hook up one of those Slip ‘N Slide things or sprinkler for some wet fun on a hot day. Or do double duty and have your child (children) help you wash your car or whatever you need cleaning. LOL!

5. Balloons. Water balloons are fun, of course. But so are regular balloons. Andrew has quite an imagination and he finds all sorts of uses for them..

6. Old-fashioned Tag. Most kids love tag. It’s not only fun but good exercise, too. If you can, try to get in a game for yourself and get in some exercise for yourself too. 😉

7. Ball. Baseball, basketball, tennis ball or any kind of ball in the hand of a kid is a good thing!

8. Marbles. I played marbles as a kid in NYC. We’d play in the park or dead-end streets. It’s a lot of fun and I’m working on teaching my son and his friends. To learn how to play, go here or here.

9. Obstacle course. This is another super-fun activity for kids that will get them some exercise. It’s so easy to set up a course where they race to jump, climb crawl around, over and under things.

10. Camping. I’m not talking about out in the back-woods, “real” camping (although that’s a great idea too). I’m talking about a tent in the backyard kind of camping. 🙂 A picnic, cards, reading or anything in the tent seems to make it all the more special.

What are your favorite outdoor frugal activities for kids? Do share!


Here is a printable version of this list, no opt-in reequired: 10 Fun and Frugal Outdoor Activities for Children

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Bubble Fun with Baking Soda and Vinegar!

How to Make Bubbles

This is a fun “science” project to do with your kids that I found in “More Mudpies to Magnets” (affiliate link). It can be a little messy, so summertime is the best time to do this project because you can do it outside!

Making Bubbles!

What you will need:

  • 1 small squeeze bottle of vinegar
  • 1 small bowl of baking soda
  • small spoons
  • small cups


  1. Have child put a spoonful of baking soda into cup.
  2. Then have child start spraying the vinegar into cup.
  3. Mix until you get the consistency you want!
  4. Have fun trying to make the most bubbles!
You can find more fun bubble experiments here,  including this recipe for a

Bubble Bomb!

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • A paper towel
  • Zip-lock baggie


  1. Place the baking soda in the center of a paper towel and fold up the towel into a square package to hold the powder inside.
  2. Into the zip-lock sandwich bag add half a cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of warm water.
  3. Put the paper towel package into the mouth of the zip-lock bag and hold it out of the vinegar by pinching the sides of the plastic bag.
  4. Zip the bag closed then let the paper towel drop into the vinegar. The bag will fill up with carbon dioxide gas and pop with a bang, so make sure it’s in a sink or outside!

Be careful when doing these projects, especially the bubble bomb. Have fun!


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Bubble Fun!

How to make homemade bubbles

Baking soda and vinegar bubbles


(bubble image credit: ShutterSparks via photopin cc)

(Disclosure: We have NEVER had a problem doing these activities but for the sake of covering my “bottom”, do these at your own risk! I, personally or through Simple Catholic Living, shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages, and specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application for those who do these activities. [Isn’t it a shame that we live in such a litigious society that one feels the need to “cover their bottom” for the smallest things??)

(This is linked to WFMW.)