8 Free or Frugal outdoor sunny day activities

**Collaborative post**

Finally, I spy something beginning with ‘S’…..It’s SUN!

It’s been missing in action for far too long now so we are making the most of it and spending as long as we can in the garden.

This weekend we have been in the garden from the minute we woke up or fishing in the sun by the lake and even this evening we’ve been making the most of the sunny evening by playing on the trampoline.  This week is a strange one for us, as the kid’s teachers are striking so we have a bonus 3 extra days off. Of course with the summer holidays looming I don’t want to spend a lot of money entertaining the children but when the weather is great, free fun is easy to find.

Our top 10 inexpensive outdoor games and activities for this week are:

  1. Hide ‘n’ Seek

    We don’t have the biggest garden however the kids always manage to find places to hide, even more so if the shed is unlocked or the grass is uncut, they can also extend this game to the house and they never get tired of hiding in the same places.

    If you have a smaller house/garden instead of hiding yourself you could hide a teddy/doll or toy instead.

  2. Den building

    The kids love it when I throw a large bed sheet over the top of their swing set and peg another to the front. This keeps them amused for ages – given the chance they would love to cut windows and doors into the sheets. I may have to invest in some supermarket cheapies or charity shop ones so we can draw windows on them or cut them.  This is also good for keeping the sun off of the kids and for creating a safe place to play away from the sun and makes a wonderful picnic area too.

  3. Water Play

    If you don’t have a paddling pool kids are more than happy with a hose or even a baby bath filled with water.  Both my kids spend ages filling watering cans and watering the plants and moving water from one container to another.  We often add a few drops of food colouring to make it a little more fun, or even warm water and washing up liquid to create bubbles.

    Lazing in the pool

  4. Park Fun/ Garden Fun

    Most of us have a park of some sort nearby to us and if we are lucky the equipment is safe and maintained. Ours is a little hit and miss sadly as the local teenagers have been known set fires on the equipment, break the swings and graffiti all over. There is also the broken glass which can be found lots during the holidays and weekends. Don’t get me wrong, its not always like this but when the teens are on a spree it can go on for weeks at a time and I don’t feel happy letting the kids play then.

    It goes without saying you need to be vigilant and if the equipment is broken or unsafe not let the kids play there, it is also wise to inform the council or whoever maintains the parks and if needed the police too. We love the park and will happily walk to the one further away in town as it is bigger and as overlooked by the leisure centre is a little more maintained.

    We also have lots of play equipment in our garden too – we have a wooden swing set, trampoline, seesaw/roundabout as well as the large paddling pool out, a sandpit/water table, swingball set and basketball hoop.

    The plus side to having these in the garden is the kids can play whenever they want to day or night, they don’t have to take turns waiting for the swings and I know there is no broken glass or dog poo in the garden. I can also let them play outside alone while I get work done or do the housework. If you are looking for children’s garden play equipment you can buy a complete climbing frame with playhouse, sandpit, swing set and slide or just a simple version of a swing set with a slide from fatmoose

  5. Bouncy castle

    This was a favourite of the kids when they were smaller, they were given one by a good friend of her grandparents, however, we forgot to store in the shed in a bag or box and the mice attacked it.  You can pick them up cheaply and are fantastic for using all summer round. if you have the room, or you could look into local parks/activity centres to see if they have any up during the summer. We are local to Lea Valley White Water Rafting Centre and over the summer they have inflatables up all summer, it costs £15 for 2 hour sessions however you can also purchase a summer pass for £45 and go as often as you like – this is definitely something I am looking at doing as we can walk there and have no holidays booked up this summer.

  6. Bike rides/scooters

    Great for all the family – you can all head off to the local park or along the bike paths if a little older and is safe to do so. We have Gunpowder park nearby to us which is great for heading off to on the bikes, fully enclosed and safe for the kids. We also like to head off down the Lea, although it does set my heart pounding with Harry wobbling near the water. Pack some drinks and snacks, pop on your safety gear and you are set for a great down of frugal fun – just don’t forget the first aid kit and a bike pump. I love heading out on my scooter with the kids.

  7. Fishing

    This is something we all enjoy, I used to go fishing with my Dad when I was young and now my children both enjoy fishing with their Grandad’s – a hobby they both love.

    Last half term we headed off on a caravan holiday with my parents ensuring the camp had a fishing lake so the kids, Paul and my Dad could fish, and this weekend we spent hours over at Lake John near us fishing with the kid’s new Whips – we got fed up untangling their reels when they had caught a fish and just pulled up their rods instead of reeling the line in.

    They had an amazing time, each catching well over 30 fish each, and some of those were really large carp. they love being outdoors and as long as they are catching fish and not spending too long without a bite they are happy.

  8. Picnics

    There is nothing better than eating alfresco in the better weather, be that a picnic on the ground, eating at a table outside or even a BBQ.

    The mess is contained and easier to clean up, my kids also tend to eat more if we eat picnic style. They can pick and play, eat some and then come back for more when they are hungry.

    Add a sun umbrella to create some shade, remember the sun cream if it is really sunny and relax. Add ice to drinks, make up some mocktails and enjoy the summer weather.


We will be spending lots of time outside while it’s sunny as you never know how long it will last.

What is your favourite way to spend the summery days?


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