Thrifted Summer Fun for Kids

I’m sure in your house this year, much like mine, summer was celebrated with everything wonderful as soon as it kicked off in June. The kids hit the beach, ran through the sprinkler a few times, splashed around in a wading pool…and now they sit on the couch repeating over and over that they’re bored. Does this sound familiar?

It’s time to show them that summer fun comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. Here are some fun (and thrifty) ways to have a blast with the kids this summer.

Get Crafty

Hit the craft section of your local Goodwill and seek out what others have cast aside. Maybe it’s old box of ribbons, sewing patterns, scrapbooking materials, wooden letters or acrylic paint—there are options upon options when you look around. Have the kids use their imaginations and come up with some fun ideas on how to use these new items. They’ll have a ball and keep their brains sharp!

Craft supplies on Goodwill shelves


Grab a Kit

Also in the craft section, you’ll likely come across craft kits that will keep your kids busy for hours. Think DIY kits for friendship bracelets, nail design, bedazzling, rainbow…you get the idea. When I was little, I had a little rubber dolly creator kit that was set up like an Easy-Bake Oven. My sisters and I would play with that for hours on end, learning by creating.

Buy Books

Books are good for more than reading (though those are great too). Be on the lookout for activity books that will give your kids loads to do. I stopped at Goodwill and found a copy of “The Toddler’s Busy Book” and it was exactly what I needed. Browse the How-To section while you’re there and see what you can discover!

Sand toys and sidewalk chalk on Goodwill shelves


Get Outdoors

Yes, summer is all about enjoying the great outdoors. So how can you embrace that without it getting too repetitive? Goodwill has all you need to enjoy summer. Ranging from buckets and shovels to sidewalk chalk to water guns — even paint brushes. I once heard from a mom that filling up a bucket with water and letting her kids “paint” the driveway or deck was a hit. (I tried it myself — they had a blast!)

Plastic buckets and paint brushes on Goodwill shelves


The best part? You don’t have to pay retail price for items your kids will likely outgrow soon! The options just keep going from shelf to shelf. So next time you’re at Goodwill, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the countless options that can help your kids enjoy summer while it’s still here.


Guest Blog by Sarah Carlson, RealHousewivesofMN.com