Buttercup Learning
June 30, 2022

8 Outdoor Summer Activities that won’t break your budget

Summer is the perfect time for families to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. If you're looking for fun outdoor summer activities to do with your kids, then look no further. We've got eight great ideas that will keep everyone…

Summer is the perfect time for families to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. If you’re looking for fun outdoor summer activities to do with your kids, then look no further. We’ve got eight great ideas that will keep everyone entertained and happy:

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to keep your kids entertained. There are plenty of easy and inexpensive outdoor summer activities that will help you make memories and have fun together. 

Here are eight great ideas for keeping your youngsters occupied this summer:

1) Make a bird feeder

2) Make mud pies

3) Treasure hunt

4) Water fight

5) Make a birdbath or fountain

6) Pop up tent or teepee

7) Go on a picnic

8) Create an outdoor art gallery with chalk and pavement paint

Children can get bored easily, so it is important to find activities that keep them engaged, especially if you are at home working this summer. There are plenty of cheap activities that will keep kids entertained.

Summer is the season for outdoor fun. Grab your hat and sunscreen and head outside with your little ones for some summer-inspired activities!

Bird Feeder


Make a bird feeder

Birds are fascinating creatures, and watching them from a comfortable distance is an excellent way for children to learn about nature. You could try making your own bird feeder as a fun activity for kids. There are many types of bird feeders you can make, including ones that hang from trees or windows, and ones that have food inside! You can also use it to teach your child about different types of birds, how they fly, etc. We love the simple and recycled bird feeder from the RSPB.

A boy in blue trousers and a white tshirt makes mixes mud pies in a green bowl.

Make mud pies

Mud is great for small children because it’s messy but doesn’t pose any major health risks if they get it on themselves. It’s also very tactile and sensory, which helps your child develop their fine motor skills. All you need is some clay or soil from outside, water and something to mix it all with (such as an old plastic container). You could even add in some natural materials like flowers or leaves if you want! Take the mud from areas that haven’t been visited by cats.

Treasure hunt

Treasure hunts are great fun and they don’t have to cost anything at all! Take a walk around your local area with your child and see what kind of things you can find along the way. In another alternative, your child could become the ‘treasure hunter’ who must locate a special object, such as a pebble or rock (which will then be placed in a treasure collection spot in the garden). This could be taken a step further by arranging the pebbles into a pattern or design. Pebbles can also be decorated with fine liner pens. 

Water fight

For a cheap and fun activity, try setting up a water fight in the garden. You can use buckets, hoses or even water pistols to make it extra fun for your children. A water fight is always a fun option for kids, especially if it’s on a hot day. You can even make it educational by using different coloured water. This is a great way to teach them about colour mixing. Instead of water balloons, learn how to fold paper and make your own paper water balloons. This video shows you how to make an origami water balloon also known as a water bomb.

Make a birdbath or fountain

If you want to keep things educational, then making a birdbath or fountain is a great way for children to get involved. Make your own birdbath or fountain with rocks and water and watch the birds come flocking! My kid loves doing this and I’m sure yours will too! It doesn’t have to be big but it does need to be shallow so that birds can bathe in it without getting their feathers wet. You should place stones around the bathing area for birds to perch on while they bathe, and plant plenty of plants nearby for them to hide from predators if they become alarmed. The RSPB has guidance on how to make your bird baths and where to position them.

For simple bird identification with young children take a look at our Great British Birds Print available to buy as a physical print or delivered as a digital download. 


Pop up tent or teepee

Get all set up with an outdoor tent or teepee inside the house. 

This will encourage kids to get outside and enjoy the sun whilst playing games and having fun with friends. They can be used as a shelter from the sun or rain, or for sleeping under the stars at night. If you don’t want to buy a tent, save money by renting locally with Tentshare. You could even add some cushions from home to make it more comfortable! 

Try making your own indoor teepee from old sheets and bits of fabric. For more information about how to make a teepee, check out this how-to from Personal Creations. 

Go on a picnic

Going on a picnic is a great way to spend time together outdoors without spending too much money as most of what you need can be found at home already! Picnics at home in the garden, local park, or beach are an inexpensive way to spend time together as a family without having to pay expensive entrance fees or buy takeaway food. Pack some sandwiches, snacks, fruit, and water bottles and take your picnic blanket out with you! If you don’t have any blankets, try using bed sheets or a towel instead – they’re usually cheaper than blankets but just as comfortable! It’s a great way to spend time outdoors, relax, and learn about nature. For example, you could take a nature walk first before having your picnic lunch or dinner. You could have a look at what wildflowers grow near where you live or look at different types of trees in your area. 

Create an outdoor art gallery with chalk and pavement paint

Children love to draw so why not create an outdoor art gallery this summer where they can let their imaginations run wild? All you need is some pavement paint (available from most DIY stores), and non-toxic chalk (available from craft stores). Children can use their creativity to create pictures on the pavement and then watch them magically disappear when it rains!

Share your outdoor summer activity photos with us on Instagram by tagging @buttercup_hello for a chance to win a digital download version of one of our nature prints this summer. 

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