As summer rolls in and school wraps up, most parents face the yearly challenge of keeping their kids entertained without going broke on expensive activities. The last thing any parent wants to hear is ‘I’m bored…’. Fortunately, summer’s warm weather is the perfect backdrop for lots of fun, low-cost adventures that can keep kids engaged and active. Here are some affordable summer activities that promise a season full of fun for kids.

1. Nature scavenger hunt

Turn a simple walk in the park into an educational adventure with a nature scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for your kids to find, like a certain species of leaf, a rock that’s a particular type of mineral, or a feather. This gets your kids out and moving in the fresh air, and can also hone their observation skills and their appreciation for nature. It’s free, and they can do it just about anywhere outside.

2. DIY water activities

Who needs a pricey day at the water park when you can make your own backyard water wonderland? With a few inexpensive supplies like a sprinkler, or even homemade water balloons, your kids can have hours of cooling fun. Set up different water stations and maybe even a small inflatable or plastic pool. This is a great way to beat the heat, and the setup can be used throughout summer. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)

 3. Library programs

Many local libraries ramp up their kids’ programs during the summer months, making sure they have a variety of free activities—things like reading challenges, craft-making days, and educational workshops. This is a great way to encourage reading, but it’s also an ideal setting for kids to socialize and learn new skills. Check your local library’s calendar to see what they have coming up.

 4. Home gardening

Starting a small garden can be a fun and rewarding summer project for kids. Whether it’s a flower patch or a few vegetable plants, kids will love the responsibility of watering, weeding, and watching their plants grow. Gardening teaches patience and responsibility, and it doesn’t take much to get started—just a few seeds and some basic gardening tools.

 5. Host a bicycle rodeo

If your kids have bikes, set up some cones or other obstacles, and set up drills—maybe see how slow everyone can go through the course, and then how fast. It’s also a great time to show them how to do basic maintenance on their bike to keep it safe. Show them how to check tire pressure and use a pump to add more air, for example. And how to check their brake pads to make sure they’re working right and don’t need to be replaced. You can also have a bingo game or a trivia contest to help them learn the basics of bicycle safety.