26 activities for the summer holidays

Alice Windsor
Specialist Health Editor at Bupa UK
16 July 2020
Next review due July 2023

With the school summer holidays almost upon us, children will be getting excited for the break ahead. Even if your children didn’t return to school, it’s a chance to relax from home learning and spend some quality time together.

But long holidays can mean forward planning to keep the kids occupied and entertained, especially with some activities still closed or having restrictions. Or perhaps you’re not keen to venture out into public spaces just yet.

As a mother of two, and friend to many other parents, I have pulled together 26 cheap and cheerful activities to do with your kids over the holidays.

26 cheap and cheerful activities to do with your kids

  • Draw five things in your garden or nearby park. Unleash your child’s artistic talent while enjoying the outdoors.
  • Pack a healthy picnic. Get your children to help you prepare a healthy picnic, as well as eat it! Get some inspiration for healthy lunch and snack ideas.
  • Have a water fight. On a hot day, there’s no better (or fun) way to cool down. Think water balloons, pistols and hoses.
  • Hacky-sack is back! How long can you and your children keep it up? Small bean bags work just as well.
  • Make colourful pizzas. All children love pizza. Chop up a variety of colourful vegetables and let your child ‘decorate’ their own.
  • Enjoy a family bike ride. Cycling is great exercise, not to mention the benefits the great outdoors holds for your mental health.
  • Camp in the garden. Camping doesn’t have to mean elsewhere. Use your own garden to pitch a tent and stargaze.
  • Blend up tasty smoothies. Have fun creating different combinations. Don’t just think fruit, but vegetables too.
  • Get creative with chalk. Use coloured chalk crayons to draw on paving slabs, your driveway or patio, or mark out hopscotch.
  • Make up a dance routine. Children love to dance, and it’s great exercise. Pick a favourite tune and have fun making up some moves.
  • Beach or park athletics. Use the sand or grass to create your own athletic games – try long jump, triple jump and 100m sprint.
  • Create a rainbow fruit salad. Use different coloured fruits to make a ‘rainbow’ dessert on a platter dish.
  • Ice cream treats. Plan to walk, scoot or cycle to a favourite ice cream parlour or cafe for a treat on a warm day.
  • Act out your child’s favourite book. Role play and acting develops your child’s imagination, as well as many other skills.
  • Build a den. Continue the creative play and build a fort, castle or pirate ship in the garden – or inside if the weather is bad. Use cushions, chairs, a clothes horse or play tent to get started.
  • Get creative together in the kitchen. Try some of Bupa’s simple, healthy lunch recipes.
  • Test out your green fingers. You don’t need a large garden to grow some flowers or vegetables. Buy some seeds and compost, and watch them grow.
  • Teach your child mindfulness. Learn to simply ‘be’ with your child. Focus on being present, absorb the sounds and smells around you, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are.
  • Hang a basket. Buy a few small, flowering plants, some compost and design a hanging basket or window box together.
  • Visit a local farm. Many farms are now open, with social restrictions in place. You may have to book ahead, so jump online and see where’s available to visit.
  • Have a kick about. Head to your local park with friends and set up a football match.
  • Set up an assault course. Create things to jump over, climb under and go round, adding in tasks such as star jumps and cartwheels in between.
  • Do some yoga together. Indoors or outside, yoga is great for the whole family. There are videos online showing children how to get started.
  • Explore local woodlands. On a particularly hot day, woodlands offer shade and cooler temperatures, as well as wildlife and plant life to spot.
  • Set up a treasure hunt. Gather some small objects, perhaps several toys or shells, and hide them around the house or garden.
  • And rest. Make some time to rest over the holidays. Read books with you children, enjoy a new film and most importantly, cuddle up to them. The summer will be over in the blink of an eye!

Alice Windsor
Alice Windsor (she/her)
Specialist Health Editor at Bupa UK

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