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Cheap Kids Outdoor Games and Activities

Updated on July 1, 2012

Cheap Summer Fun for Kids

Backyard fun is easy with these cheap kids outdoor games and activities. Supplying the kids with something to do outside doesn't always have to mean entering them into a sports league or signing them up for a class at the local community center. Those are great fun, but they cost money and mean you have more driving to do. Instead, make sure that there are fun things to do around the house.

If you want some very simple and fun outdoor games for kids at your home, check out these proven winners. They meet all of the required criteria. They are inexpensive so you can stock up on a few of them, they are fun for kids in a wide age range, and they are all easy for kids to use whenever they want to. On top of that, they don't take up much space, so you can offer all of this entertainment without giving up much space in your garage or shed.

Sidewalk Chalk

One of the greatest inventions ever made for kids from toddlers to tweens is sidewalk chalk. If you have a driveway, patio, or sidewalk around and want a simple way to keep kids entertained for a while, having sidewalk chalk on hand at all times is a necessity.

You can get a really big box of sidewalk chalk for cheap, and take out only the colors needed as the summer progresses. It's a good idea to keep the chalk in a small storage container since the boxes tend to break down after a while, and be sure to keep them out of the rain or the chalk will turn to mush.

For grandparents looking to keep something around the house for when the little ones visit that won't take much space, a container of sidewalk chalk is a stellar idea.


Every kids loves bubbles, and when it comes to fun outdoor games for kids, playing with bubbles always ranks right up there. The best part about bubbles is that they are cheap and you can even make your own solution if you want.

Of course, the simple and small bubble containers with an included wand are always popular, but the big jugs of bubbles will last a lot longer and can be kept in the garage out of the way, ready to be called into action on the perfect day.

To make blowing bubbles even more fun, add a few bubble accessories like a multi-bubble wand or one that will make huge bubbles. Kids (and adults) love those. That's all you really need for bubble fun. If you do want to spend a few more dollars, a battery operated bubble blower will fill the sky in no time with colorful, floating bubbles, but you will go through more solution this way.

Sprinklers and Fountains

A backyard pool is always a treat, but they can cost a bit of money. To keep the expense down and still offer a water toy, consider one of the many sprinkler toys or fountains that you can attach to a water hose for cool, refreshing fun in the sun.

These small items take little storage space and are very affordable, yet they allow kids to have big water fun on a hot day.

When selecting a water toy like this, consider the age of the children that might be using it. Some selections are really made for toddlers and won't stand up to use by big kids. On the other hand, some items made for big kids may not be as safe for toddlers. Consider how hard the water sprays and whether or not there is a place where water can pool up when making a selection.

In general, any water toy that is like a sprinkler is pretty safe and fun for all ages. Those that create a small pool of water should be considered carefully if you have small children around. Crazy sprinklers and water slides are always among the most popular choices.


What can be more fun when the wind is just right than to fly a kite. It seems that there are fewer kites around these days than a generation ago, but flying a kit outdoors is still a great time and, better yet, costs very little.

The investment for a starter kite and string is just a few dollars, but you can spend a bit more to get one that will last longer. Opt for middle of the road to keep this outdoor game affordable while maximizing value and fun.

Many kites come with a small spool of string, but a quick add-on of a more serious spool is a good idea, especially if you have a mid-sized kite that is made to really soar.

Remember, watch out for trees and stay away from power lines as they can be dangerous. If you neighborhood doesn't offer an open lot of field, a nearby park might be just the thing. Why not make it an event and bring along a picnic while you're at it?

Other Outdoor Toys

You really can't go wrong with the items above, but here are some more ideas for cheap outdoor fun.

Lawn games are a kit with kids, and you can grab a selection and keep them in a small area in a shed or garage so they are handy when needed.

Tossing games like Frisbee or Nerf football are great choices. For more kids, ladder golf or bean bag toss is also fun and durable.

When all the neighborhood kids come over, perhaps you could pull out a set of bases and keep a wiffle ball and bat for baseball, or a soft ball for kickball. Both are easy to play for all ages, cheap, and fun.

If you pick up a few of these inexpensive outdoor toys for kids, your lawn will keep the kids entertained all summer. Go ahead and put these cheap kids outdoor games and activities to work for you.

Have more ideas for cheap summer fun for kids? Please share!

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