Money Wellness
Illustration of craft session
category iconmoney saver
calendar icon27 Jun 2024

10 budget-friendly ways to keep your kids entertained this summer

The school holidays are just around the corner, and you know what that means: the kids complaining all day about being bored while you’re trying to work and keep the ship afloat.

But money is tight and you can’t just stick them in front of the telly all day (as tempting as that is), so how do you keep them busy?

We’ve compiled ten budget-friendly creative activities you can teach your kids this summer to keep them quiet… I mean happy.

T-shirt bracelets

Children grow out of clothes in no time. Instead of throwing away all those old t-shirts, have you ever thought about recycling them into jewellery?

Turning t-shirts into bracelets is a creative, mindful activity that will keep your kids occupied for a good while. Cut t-shirts into thin strips and follow the steps in this tutorial.

You just need a few different-coloured t-shirts, a hot glue gun, and some bangle bracelets to wrap the t-shirt strips around. If you don't have a hot glue gun, lots of shops sell mini ones for a fiver - one of those will do the trick.

Milk carton birdhouse

If your kids are animal lovers, they’ll love building this birdhouse out of old milk cartons. Decorate your birdhouse with coloured paper squares and create the perfect perch from an old wooden spoon. 

Hang it outside your house, leave some seeds out and see who comes to visit.

Paper bag kite

Let’s go fly a kite! And we don’t even need to buy one. You can make your own with some sticks, glue, string and fabric/a plastic bag.

Tie-dye old t-shirts

Tie-dye didn’t die with the 60s. Tie-dye will never die.

Transform an old white t-shirt into a brand-new rainbow top with this addictive technique that will get the kids’ artistic juices flowing.

Tie-dye kits are affordable and straightforward to use. Follow the simple steps in this tutorial and you can’t go wrong.

Make your own slime

If your kids share the world’s obsession with the satisfying, gooey texture of slime, you don’t have to buy them any to appease their pleas. Make your own easily out of warm water, glue, food colouring and cornstarch. Get the kids involved and you can even throw in some glitter to up the ante.

When stored in an air-tight container, your slime will keep for a few days.

Paper plate frisbees

Nothing like throwing a frisbee around a park on a sunny day. Build a frisbee by cutting holes in the middle of paper plates and stacking them to create a doughnut. Decorate your frisbee with markers and enjoy!

DIY bath bombs

Get your kids excited for bath time by teaching them how to make these fragrant homemade bath bombs. All you need are a few common household items and some essential oils.


This Japanese paper-folding art is a great activity for your kids to throw themselves into on a rainy day. Budget-friendly, it only requires origami paper which you can pick up any craft store or order online.

The great thing about origami is that it’s fun for all levels, so once your kids get the hang of it, they can move on to more complex folds. Check out this guide with a few ideas to get you started. 

Ice cream stick photo frame

Did you know you can make a photo frame out of ice cream sticks? This easy craft can be enjoyed by all ages and makes the perfect low-budget gift.  

Basket toss

Don’t have a basketball hoop? No problem. Keep your kids active by setting up a throwing game in your living room with a laundry basket and a balled-up pair of socks.

Connie Enzler

Connie is a multimedia money-wellness-in-work expert, with a master's in multimedia journalism and over five years' experience as a digital writer and podcast creator. Connie is committed to making debt and personal finance information accessible to all.

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