Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Colored Pencil Rubbings


Colored pencil rubbings are such simple crafts. I can’t believe I didn’t remember to do this with my 4-year-old until this late in July! It’s a fun and easy craft, and kids love it! Check out the pictures of our rubbings below. We just walked around our yard and picked up the things we needed for the craft, grabbed some paper and colored pencils and we were set to go!

What are your favorite summertime activities? See more ideas for frugal summer fun here.



Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Our Nashville Trip (Report)


We have been in Nashville all week while my husband attends a conference for work. We’re staying at a nice downtown hotel, and I guess I’m used to “budget” hotels that give you free breakfast, free wifi, free parking, and all kinds of other perks to win your business. I was shocked to learn that there was no breakfast, internet is $13.95 per day, the water bottle in the bathroom costs $5, and you have to pay $8 every single time you leave the self-park garage. I had all kinds of ideas for things I was going to do with the boys “out on the town” this week, but I felt like some of my plans were foiled with the parking situation.

I was also looking forward to taking the boys to the pool. On our first swim we discovered that it is a salt water pool, which I’m sure is better for you than chlorine, but that salt water sure tastes gross if you happen to get any in your mouth!

The other challenge has been the weather. Nashville has seen some record temperatures while we’ve been here, and going out has almost been out of the question.

So…here are some of the fun, frugal things we’ve found to do this week. We have adjusted to the salt water and made great use of the pool. We’ve enjoyed some PBS Kids (we don’t have cable at home, so it’s a big treat). We attended a free performance of the King’s College Cambridge Choir at a church here in town. Oh, and I spoke with a manager who graciously waived the $13.95 internet fee for me this week. Phew!


On a special trip to the food court at the hotel for lunch with daddy on Monday.


We took a walk on Monday night when the temps finally dropped a bit. There are lots of things to see in the Music City!


We found out that the library had a reading time on Tuesday morning, and it was just a short walk from our hotel! Fun!


Daddy had Tuesday night off, so we went to Panera and saw more sights around the city.

The next Billy Graham?

Wednesday, July 4th was HOT at 103 degrees, so we found some things to do indoors. Walking around the Opryland Hotel was so much fun! I hadn’t seen it in 24 years, and they have done some amazing expansions.

Still trying to duck the heat, we walked around Opry Mills and had an afternoon snack at the Rainforest Cafe.

Quick stop at Kroger, and we enjoyed a little 4th of July party in the cool of our hotel room. 🙂

A few more days of this trip left. It’s 103 degrees again today, so we’re getting ready to head down to the pool!

See more ideas for frugal summer fun here.



Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Fourth of July Windsock

The Better Homes and Gardens website has some awesome ideas for 4th of July crafts and projects. Here’s one of my favorites: How to Make a Fourth of July Windsock.


This post is part of my series, Ideas for Frugal Summer Fun.   

See more ideas for July 4th here.

Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Make Your Own Freezer Pops

We’ve been enjoying the new Berry Burst juice from Aldi (read my original post about it here). The other day we picked up some inexpensive freezer pop molds and made popsicles. The boys LOVED them, and they were the perfect treat for a hot day.

What’s your favorite homemade summer treat? Share a comment! 🙂

See more ideas for frugal summer fun here.

Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Clothespin Crafts

If you have some clothespins around the house, Myra of My Blessed Life will show you some creative things to do with them, including these days-of-the-week organizational clothespins!


This post is part of the series: Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun.

Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: How to Build a Cornhole Toss

This is such a fun idea from Hoosier Homemade; I had to share it!  See more ideas for frugal summer fun here.

How to Build a Cornhole Toss.


Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: 50 Crafts for Kids!




Thanks to The Long Thread for this awesome list and picture!  See more ideas for frugal summer fun here.


50 Ways to Get Children to Love Reading from Read-Aloud.


Tie Dyed t-shirts from Kaboose.

Bubble Mixture from Suite 101.

Sunprint Tutorial from The Light Garden.*

Seashell Garden from Urban Organica.

Hammered Flower and Leaf Prints from Build/Make/Craft/Bake.

Painted Rock Crafts from Martha Stewart.

Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Kaboose.

Make a Kite from Storm the Castle.

Paper Bag Wind Sock from Canadian Living.

Paper Boat that Floats from wikiHow.

Mosaic Bird Bath from The Seattle Times.

Footprint Garden Stepping Stones from Make Baby Stuff.

Sidewalk Chalk from Alpha Mom.

Sidewalk Chalk Paint from ohdeedoh.*

Grass Head Monster from Activity Village.

Stone Dolls from Maya Made.

How to Play Hopscotch from Quiet Fish.

Build a Fairy House from Light-Beams Publishing.



Homemade Playdough from The Long Thread.

Flower Pinwheels from Alpha Mom.*

Recycled Crayons from Make and Takes.

Fairy Wings from Threadbanger (see our kid version here).

Kaleidoscopes from Se7en.

Pressed Flower Art from Mom in Madison.

God’s Eyes summer camp yarn craft from Wise Craft.*

T-shirt weaving from Alpha Mom.*

Tissue Paper Butterflies from Marie for Design Mom.*

Make Your Own Fingerpaint from The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Clothespin Dolls at Going Sew Crazy.

Vacation Memory Jars from Martha Stewart.

Cardboard Dollhouse from Esprit Cabane.*

Scratch Foam Block Printing from Glitter Goods.

Dr. Seuss inspired ooblek (like gooey liquid playdough) with Skip to my Lou.

Watercolor Resist Painting from Bookhou Craft Projects BloesemKids.

Recycled Newspaper Beads from A Storybook Life.*

Tin Can Stilts from Kaboose.

Rain Sticks from Creative Kids at Home.

Party Poppers from Little Birdie Secrets.

Tension Rod Puppet Theater from Sycamore Stirrings.

Mexican Metal Tooling from Restoration Place.

Colorful Bean Bag Balls from Family Fun.

Canvas Checkerboard from Martha Stewart.

Friendship Bracelets from wikiHow.

Fabric Scrap Braided Necklace from cakies.



Make ice cream in a coffee can from Homemade Ice Cream Makers.

Watermelon Carving Ideas from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

10 Frozen Treats for Summer Family Fun.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from Soule Mama.

Raspberry Lemonade from Joy the Baker.*

*pictured above.


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Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Themed Picnics

We have really been enjoying outdoor picnics this year. I got creative the other night and pulled out some extras from a past birthday party and we had a Toy Story-themed picnic. The boys loved it!

Do you enjoy taking the family on picnics? What ideas can you share with us? See more ideas for frugal summer fun here.


Enjoying some brother time after dinner. 🙂

Ideas for Frugal Summer Fun: Today’s Library Trip

Summer Fun Idea: Take a weekly trip to the library.

We had a fun trip to the library today. We discovered that the library is in the midst of launching their summer reading program! We also enjoyed a play time in the children’s area. A library trip is so simple and yet the kids enjoy it so much!

Any favorite summer reading ideas for little ones?

See more posts in this series here.

Ideas for {Frugal} Summer Fun: Today’s Stable Visit

I’ve been trying to get creative with fun and frugal activities for our boys this summer. I’ll be sharing my ideas (and yours if you leave me comments!) in this series throughout the summer. Be sure to sign up for my free e-mail so you don’t miss it!

Today we had an awesome opportunity to go see 30 horses at the stable where a friend of mine keeps her horse. The boys had never been to a stable, so it was an amazing experience for them. It was super fun for me because the smells that met me when I walked through the door sent me whirling back to my childhood. My Grandpa took me often to visit and ride his horse at a stable similar to the one we visited today. Such great memories.

Here was our fun {free} adventure today:


Boy #2 was not so sure about the whole thing at first!

For Boy #1 it was LOVE at first sight!


We even saw some donkeys!


The countryside was absolutely GORGEOUS!


We were being watched!


Boy #1 got to sit on Cortez!


We got a demonstration of trotting and galloping!


We had such a great time. Thank you, Val! :)

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