Recently, I was researching things that my two year old and I can do during the summer. I’m on a quest for the perfect summer activities for preschoolers…those that are age appropriate, combine fun and mental stimulation, and are easy on the wallet. I know, I know, these so-called perfect summer activities for preschoolers sound like a figment of my imagination, but they aren’t.
After much searching through the tangled web of the Internet, I found 25 free (or nearly free) summer activities for preschoolers. Below, I’ll share the fruits of my labor with you. I stand by each one of these activities and plan to do each one over the course of the summer.
For more free (or nearly free) summer activities for preschoolers and kids of all ages, go here.
To stay up-to-date on fun activities for kids, follow Freebie Finding Mom’s Activities for Kids Pinterest board.
25 Free (or Nearly Free) Summer Activities for Preschoolers
1.) Wet ’N Wild – If your little one is like mine he’ll have a blast doing anything at the pool. My son can pour water in a bucket, dump it out, refill it, and dump it out again no less than 50 times before he gets bored. Invest in some inexpensive pool toys and you’ll buy yourself hours of fun.
Note: If you don’t have access to a community pool, you and your little one can still enjoy this summer activity for preschoolers. Purchase a kiddy pool on Amazon for $20 or less.
2.) Get Crafty – Head to your local craft store with your little one and see what catches your fancy. You can also peruse Pinterest (may I recommend Freebie Finding Mom’s Crafts for Kids Pinterest board?) for fun and frugal ideas. If, like me, you aren’t much of a DIY-er, consider going with all inclusive kits because they require a little less creativity and ensure you don’t forget any essential materials. Here are some great crafty summer activities for preschoolers:
3.) Once Upon A Time – When the weather isn’t cooperating or you simply need to beat the heat for a while, one summer activity for preschoolers that’s always fun and free is story time at the library. Check your local library for times.
4.) Add A Little Curb Appeal – My little guy loves sidewalk chalk. This summer activity for preschoolers is loads of fun and pretty darn cheap plus it allows little ones to exercise their creativity.
5.) A Bubbly Personality – Blowing bubbles is easily my son’s favorite activity. Rain or shine, he’ll beg to be taken outside to play with bubbles. If you have a bubble lover, I highly recommend bubble wands. You can find wands to make ginormous bubbles or simply to make a lot of bubbles at once. This fun summer activity for preschoolers provides hours of fun for only a few dollars. Get your bubbles and bubble wands on Amazon.
6.) Playing Around – Head to your local park or playground for some free summer fun. Not only will this summer activity for preschoolers help your little one burn off excess energy, it’ll also exercise his or her social skills.
7.) It’s A Zoo In Here – Take your tot to the zoo this summer. This summer activity for preschoolers (or any child really) is a great way to combine fun and education. Your little one will have a blast learning to identify animals and the sounds they make. Check with your local zoo to see if any days or times offer discounted admission.
8.) Artist In The Making – For Father’s Day, my son and I painted pottery at a child-friendly studio and it was truly a blast. For just $10 he painted a coffee mug for dad (and made a massive mess that I, for once, did not have to clean up).
Note: If you can’t go to a pottery studio, bring the pottery studio to you with at-home pottery kits.
9.) Fight Brain Drain – Head to the local children’s museum to keep your child’s brain sharp over the summer. Check the museum’s website for days or times that offer discounted admission.
10.) Bookworm – Encourage your little one’s developing reading skills by signing them up for a summer reading program. This summer activity for preschoolers offers some great incentives like free pizza, baseball tickets, and stuffed animals. You can pick up great books for preschoolers and books for kids on Amazon for just a few bucks.
11.) Bon Appétit – If your child is a little chef in the making (or just enjoys getting his hands dirty), cooking is a fun and frugal summer activity for preschoolers. You can pick up age appropriate cookbooks, cooking utensils for kids, and kids’ aprons on Amazon.
Note: If you’re baking sweet treats, don’t start the activity right before lunch. You and your little one will inevitably snack on the ingredients and a sugary lunch for an already rambunctious toddler is not a good idea.
12.) Splashing Around – Running through the sprinklers is a time-honored summer tradition for many families. After all, what’s not to love? Heck, mom and dad may even join in. Check out all of the fun and inexpensive sprinklers available online.
13.) King Of The (Sand) Castle – As long as your child is not prone to eating inedible things, playing in a sandbox is a great way to exercise creativity. This summer activity for preschoolers is a lot more affordable than you think. You can get your very own sandbox for under $50. If your local park has a sandbox then all you’ll need are some sandbox toys to get the party started.
14.) Eat Out – Pack a lunch and head outdoors for a picnic in the park. This will seem like quite an adventure for your little one; plus, sometimes changing up the venue can motivate kids to eat foods they otherwise wound not consume. Here are some great healthy cold lunch ideas and toddler approved lunch ideas for your picnic.
15.) Summer Camp – Traditional summer camps can be expensive; however, many local parks, zoos, and nature centers offer day camps that are less expensive (in our area park camps cost about $14 a day). While not free, these camps do offer loads of fun and educational summer activities for preschoolers such as hikes, games, crafts, and more.
16.) Old McDonald Had A Farm – When you have a preschooler, just heading to the local farmer’s market can be an adventure. Your little one will enjoy the music, vibrant produce, and often a sample or two. Check out this video of me and my little one at the farmer’s market.
17.) Hit The Open Road – Whether your little one is old enough to ride a bike or still needs to be strapped to the back of yours, bike rides are a fun and frugal summer activity for preschoolers and kids of all ages. 🙂
By the way, my friend raves about glide bikes for kids learning to ride. I got one for my son though right now he likes to walk beside it and pull it along. I’m hoping that one day he’ll want to jump on the back of it.
18.) Green Thumb – If your little one enjoys making a royal mess, consider gardening as a summer activity. Here are some tips on the best plants for kids. Get your child geared up for gardening with some of these age appropriate books on the topic.
19.) You Must Be This Tall – If you’re fortunate enough to live near an amusement park, consider checking it out this summer. There are few summer activities for preschoolers that are more exhausting (for everyone involved) than amusement parks so your little one is practically guaranteed to take a nice long nap later that day. Check out the amusement park’s website to see if you can save money on certain days or by purchasing tickets at certain retailers.
20.) Fire Drill – If your child is like mine, every time he sees a fire truck it makes his day. Encourage that excitement by visiting your local fire station. Check your city’s website for special events at the fire department as well.
21.) Cool Off – Make homemade smoothies or homemade popsicles to beat the heat this summer. These are healthier than ice cream but just as delicious. This fun summer activity for preschoolers is a win-win. Not only do you and your little one get to have a blast making these sweet treats but you then get to kick back and enjoy one. Make popsicles in a variety of shapes and themes with these creative popsicle molds.
22.) Up Late – If your little one is old enough to stay up past dark, give them a thrill this summer by letting them stay up late and catch a lightening bug or two.
23.) Take Me Out To The Ballgame – Even though your child is too young to follow the action, a ballgame can still be a fun summer activity for preschoolers. With the clapping, sticky treats, mascot, and all the enthusiasm your child will still have a blast.
24.) Tiptoe Through The Tulips – As I mentioned before my son loves putting water in buckets and pouring it out, so I have put his passion to good use by having him water the flowers. Motivate your little one to participate in this helpful summer activity for preschoolers by purchasing a special kids’ watering can.
25.) Walk It Off – Whether your child is old enough to walk or still needs to be pushed in a stroller, take this summer to explore the area you live in. Point out various objects you see along the way and use descriptive words when naming each. Make your walk educational and help your child learn to identify these common objects.
There you have it! 25 summer activities for preschoolers. Make this summer the best yet by loading up on fun while saving on money.
Can you think of other fun summer activities for preschoolers? If so, share them in the comments.