Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is almost done building a new website! Please take a sneak peek or read about our redesign process.

Extension > Family > Live healthy, live well > Healthy Summers > Summer Family Fun on a Budget

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

Healthy Summers

biking downtown

Summer Family Fun on a Budget

Laura Perdue, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

June 2015. Reviewed May 2017 by author.

English | español

As the school year comes to an end, you’re probably thinking about ways to keep your kids busy and active this summer. According to Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, youth ages 8 to 18 spend an average of more than 7½ hours a day, seven days a week, engaging with media. This includes television, cell phones, computers, and video games.

This kind of screen time far exceeds the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Media and Children recommendations to limit media use to no more than one to two hours per day. Instead of using media, kids should be encouraged to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imagination in free play.

Activity Ideas

If you limit the amount of time your children are allowed to use media this summer, undoubtedly you’ll hear the familiar complaint, “I’m bored!” at some point. How can you help your kids avoid boredom without spending a fortune on activities this summer? Here are a few ideas:

Wherever you live, there are many more free or low-cost activities you can do with your family this summer. For more tips, see the following related resources.


American Academy of Pediatrics. (n.d.). Media and children.

Rideout, V. J., Foehr, U. G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010, January). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18-year-olds. Menio Park, CA: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Related resources

Discounted Entertainment for Families — Get ideas for discounted, low-cost, and free entertainment options to get your family out and about in your community. English | español

Nearly Free Family Fun (PDF) — It doesn’t have to cost a lot to stay active and have fun together as a family. Also available in Spanish: Diversion familiar casi gratuita (PDF)

Setting spending priorities — You'll need to develop a spending plan to help you pay your bills if your income is reduced. Part of the Getting through tough times series. English | español

Wonderful Low Cost Summer Activities for Kids and FamiliesCooperative Extension — Get ideas for low-cost summer activities for kids and families that help families keep their hard-earned money in their pockets.

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy