The six week long summer holidays can be hard to fill, and expensive too! However, there are ways to balance more expensive activities with free or cheap alternatives in or out of the house.
Below is a list of 15 ideas to help you and your children have fun this summer.
Building a den. This is a fun and creative way to encourage imaginative play for your child. You can do this in or outdoors, and make it more exciting for your child by bringing their toys inside the den! All you will need are blankets or sheets, and something to prop them up with such as chairs.
Create a treasure hunt. This is a good way to encourage your children to explore and utilises their natural curiosity. You can hide your own objects, or create a list of objects that are already around. This can be a written list, or have photos if your children are unable to read yet. You can offer a reward for finding all the treasures too!
Games tournament. Using board games, you can get competitive with your children! There are also plenty of board games that will help with their learning, so it can be both educational and fun for your children.
Camp in the garden, or have a sleepover! You can set up a tent in the garden, or set up to sleep in the living room together and watch a movie. This can be a really good opportunity for bonding and spending quality time together as a family.
Set up a mini festival. This works best if you have more space, however the most important part is to setup mini areas around your garden or house designated to different activities. These can include a story area, arts and crafts zone, hair braiding or face painting, and a refreshments table. All the fun of the festival with no travelling needed!
Go geocaching. This is a free to download app that takes you on a real life treasure hunt! You take something with you to replace the item you find in the geocache.
Rock hunting. This takes a little research sometimes, however if you check a social media site like Facebook fir your local area and the term “painted rocks” you will find them! You can take photos of them when you find them, and then re-hide them - these are not made to take home. However, it could be fun for you and your children to make their own painted rocks to leave behind for others to discover.
Park hunting. Find a new park that you haven’t explored before! You can find new ones by checking your local council’s website for a list of parks. If not, you can always try travelling a little.
Do a treasure trail. These are a fun and cheap way to explore either your own area, or a new place entirely!
Go fruit picking. This will help wile away a few hours, and is always a hit with children! You also get to take home a selection of fruit for you and your family to eat.
Go to a museum. A lot of museums and art galleries have free entry, and tend to host special events and activities for children during the summer holidays. It’s also worth checking out smaller local museums too!
A day at the beach. This may be more difficult here in the Midlands, but there are still beaches available within two hours of driving! There are also plenty of things to do at the beach, such as making sand castles, exploring rock pools, and flying kites.
Visit a theme park. There are plenty of theme parks or water parks that cater specifically for younger children! These are perfect for nursery age children and will have age appropriate rides for them to enjoy.
Visit a national trust property. The National Trust has properties all over the country to choose from! Most of them have adventure playgrounds, as well as pretty gardens, trails, workshops, family activities, and cafes.
Go to a fair or festival. There are loads of local summer festivals happening all over the country! Keep an eye out for local events that will have fun activities for children.
Remember that the summer holidays don’t have to be extravagant - making sure that your children are happy is the most important thing. Balancing days out with fun activities at home is the best way to keep your children entertained, and as you can see from this list, doing that doesn’t have to break the bank!