Mamanista! » Activities, Books (Activities), Books (Advice), Contests, Play » Fun, Free and Low-Cost Summer Vacation Activities for Kids

Fun, Free and Low-Cost Summer Vacation Activities for Kids

TV viewing by young children skyrockets during the summer months as exhausted parents look for ways to fill the day.  According to the Smart Television Alliance, children’s television viewing during the summer increases 150 percent compared to the rest of the year. 

The AAP recommends no television under age 2 and limited television by children above age 2, but studies published in Parents Magazine show that a majority of parents do not abide by the recommendation. In my experience, TV viewing escalates during the summer months as parents who want the3 best for their children struggle for a free way to pass the time. With gas prices hitting or exceeding $4 a gallon, trips to the museum, zoo, beach and other local attractions have become harder for families to afford.

One of my favorite books is Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.  Author Bobbi Conner provides tips on how to reduce the amount of time your kids spend watching TV and playing with electronic games as well as nearly 700 age-appropriate activity suggestions for children from 1-10 years of age.

We reviewed Unplugged Play last December on Mamanista because it is full of imaginative,  interactive activities for infants, toddlers and elementary school children that were perfect for a snowy day during winter vacation.

Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun is a parent’s best friend. It has tips for free activities perfect for beautiful, summer days and rainy, dull days, for times when you want to play one-on-one with your child and those moments when you want to distract your little one with a busy activity so you  can get dinner on the table or finish that email.

These activities trigger the imagination and help children develop their motor skills and problem solving abilities. But, most importantly, they are good, plain fun and do not require much money– just imagination and a sense of whimsy. In fact, some of my favorite activities in the book involved just a laundry basket and rolled up socks!

Win It:

Leave a comment on this post by July 11, 2008 letting us know your favorite low cost or no cost summer activity for kids.

Want It:

Buy Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun from for just $11.53. And get playing!

Filed under: Activities, Books (Activities), Books (Advice), Contests, Play

66 Responses to "Fun, Free and Low-Cost Summer Vacation Activities for Kids"

  1. christopher h says:


  2. Lee says:

    To the pool!!! when we have extra time and going to the library.

  3. Jillian Sorenson says:

    Running a lemonade stand, teaches kids about business at a young age!

  4. Denise says:

    Digging in the garden.

  5. Jenn S. says:

    Playing in the sprinkler in the backyard, or taking nature walks.

  6. Pamela White says:

    My low cost activity is to map out all of the city parks and each week we pick a new park or two to visit. We bring our park kit which has lunch, kites, pail and shovel and other toys.

  7. Meredith Peters says:

    Going to the beach is a summertime activity that can’t be beat as long as you live near enough to one not to have to pay a lot for gas!!

  8. sarah woods says:

    Keep the children occupied with fun educationa learning opportunities!!!! Many Thanks SW

  9. Veronica Garrett says:


  10. Elaine says:

    Colored chalk for the kids to play hopscotch or get creative on the sidewalk/driveway.

  11. We love to get the kids in their swimsuits and let them run through the sprinklers. We found a really cool sprinkler attachment for about $7 and it makes it more fun. We also found a fun recipe online for sidewalk chalk paint that’s made with things you normally have around the kitchen. We’ve been tight on money this summer but we’ve still made it lots of fun for the kids.

  12. Lily Kwan says:

    going to the library

  13. Terri D says:

    Going to the beach.

  14. […] Mamanista mentioned our new campaign in a post on summertime activities for kids. […]

  15. Frank says:

    Have you ever wondered how you could help those who are less fortunate than you?

  16. oizeaurar says:

    Interesting, thanks.

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