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boredom-busting, fun family activities to do (on the cheap!)

Now that school’s out, your kids will be looking for anything to keep them busy. Try one (or all!) of these budget-friendly activities. Spend time together without spending a lot of dough. It’s the best of both worlds!

Paint Rocks

paint rocks and channel their inner artist

  1. Find nice, smooth rocks in your yard or check a local landscaping site
  2. Rinse and dry rocks
  3. Grab a brush and paint (acrylic works best), and let your creativity flow! Tip: seal the rocks when dry to keep them looking great

Keep them to enjoy or give as a gift


set up a scavenger hunt – perfect for indoors or out

  1. Create a list of items to find or print one out from online. You could do a nature scavenger hunt, finding acorns, pinecones, a bird’s nest and more. Or, you could do a visual scavenger hunt, finding things like a red door, a mailbox, a bike – the possibilities are endless
  2. Set a time limit and rules. Make sure it doesn’t last too long, to keep the little ones engaged. Pair younger kids with older kids or an adult. If you have someone who can’t read yet, make a picture list
  3. Hand over the lists and set the scavengers loose. Whoever finds the most items wins!

make a walking rainbow to show your kids that science is super cool

What you’ll need:

Six wide cups, 6 paper towels, Food dye (red, yellow, blue), Water, Scissors (optional)

 What to do:

  1. Fill three of the cups to the brim with water
  2. Put three or more drops of a different color in each cup
  3. Arrange the cups in a circle or a line, alternating the empty and filled cups
  4. Fold paper towels three times lengthwise. If the paper towels are too long, cut them until they fit
  5. Put the end of one paper towel in the bottom of the first cup, and the other end in the bottom of the cup next to it. Repeat this step until each cup has 2 paper towels going in opposite directions

Now, wait a few moments and watch the water “walk” to the empty cups. So fun!


make a time capsule 

  1. Decide whether the capsule will be indoors or out, and whether it will be hidden or buried
  2. Choose an appropriate container, such as a wood box, large jar or stainless steel container. Use your imagination!
  3. Grab a newspaper, pictures, trinkets, anything that will be meaningful come the day the time capsule is opened, and put them inside your capsule
  4. Seal the capsule in some way that makes sure it remains secure and closed
  5. Find a safe spot to bury or hide the time capsule

Pick a day in the future to open your time capsule and write down where it was hidden. Super easy!


have a backyard campout and make some great memories

Enjoy the great outdoors right in your own backyard! Pitch a tent, unroll your sleeping bags and get settled in for a night under the stars. No tent? Get creative! PVC pipe, clothesline or wooden dowels, covered in sheets, work just as well as a tent. Search online for easy tutorials.

Fun things to do could include build a bonfire, make s’mores, play backyard games or tell spooky stories. Grab a camera or phone to remember the family fun. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast!

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