1. Reel ‘er in

A summer fishing trip is frugal fun for the whole family. It’s healthy for you, too — fishing burns calories, strengthens muscle tone and improves overall fitness. Spending time outdoors waiting for the perfect bite also helps your body absorb vitamin D, which helps keep bones, teeth healthy and even helps fight depression.

2. Grill it up

Hosting a cookout or neighborhood barbecue is a great way to get to know your neighbors and foster a sense of community. With their easy preparation and universal appeal, hot dogs might be the perfect summer food. And despite their reputation, hot dogs do contain some healthy vitamins and minerals, including several B vitamins, folate and vitamin E.

3. Watch your carbon footprint

There are countless free or inexpensive activities with low environmental impacts that families can take advantage of this summer. Why not plan a trip to the local park, the woods or a zoo? And while you’re at it, watch the air conditioning consumption; Turning the thermostat up by a few degrees is a simple way to stay cool while staying green.

4. Catch some waves

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that American children spend a whopping seven hours each day in front of electronic media. New research by the University of California, Los Angeles argues that these devices may negatively affect a child’s ability to recognize emotions. The beach is an iPhone’s kryptonite, however, offering hours upon hours of wholesome fun from sandcastles to swimming. 

5. Beach reads

Experts are united about how damaging a book-free summer can be to the young mind. Harris Cooper of Duke University notes, "Overall, children experience an average summer learning loss of about one month [in] reading and mathematics.” A weekly trip to the library will keep children curious and occupied while encouraging healthier reading habits as they grow older.