I’m reposting this from last year because it’s still timely. The linked article has about 50 suggestions for older kids to have fun this summer without a lot of money.
Don’t forget you can earn money babysitting, mowing lawns, doing chores for people, etc. Work on a project that will help others. Take a Red Cross Lifeguard class so you could be a lifeguard in the future. Teach something to the younger kids in the neighborhood. Learn to knit or crochet–make some gifts for your family or friends. Learn to sew & make some simple skirts or tops. Learn to cook & make a meal for your family once a week or so. Start an exercise program for you & your friends. Have a clothing swap with your friends. Record family stories. Interview your oldest relatives about their lives. Film it or write it down. Trace your family tree. Learn to paint. Learn to do your own manicure/pedicure. Learn to iron a skirt, a shirt, and a pair of pants. (You’ll be glad you did.) Learn to sell on ebay. Make crafts to sell on etsy.com. Organize a family outing. Learn about camping.
Do some things that will look good on a college application, like # of volunteer hours at a hospital if you are going into a medical career. Volunteer at the animal clinic if you want to be a vet. Help the tennis coach if you want to be a coach someday. Help at vacation Bible school if you want to be a teacher.
Talk to everyone you meet about where they work & what they like about it & what they don’t. Ask if they know of any jobs for kids your age. This is called networking & the sooner you learn it the better off you’ll be. Many places will take you for free this summer & will pay you the next summer after they see what a good help you are. Volunteer hours at most any place will be a plus on a college or job application. If you are too young to get a paid job or there are none to be had, put in the volunteer hours rather than just sitting around all summer.
Read some of the classics & find out what all the fuss is about. On college applications they often ask what are your favorite books & why. You might as well get some read to put down.
Make a list of things you want to do this summer & check them off as you do them.
Click title for link to more ideas. Also click on any of the labels below this post for more fun projects to try.