Six full weeks off school? Those words are simultaneously create a sense of joy in the hearts of kids and anxiety in the hearts of parents. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, I love having my kids to myself and being out of the strict school routine for a bit. But I’d be lying if i didn’t say that the school holidays (especially the summer break) don’t make me anxious. How do we stop boredom from creeping in? How to we keep them occupied and happy for six whole weeks? This is the reason I’ve created this post, to give others like myself inspiration for easy, cheap and fulfilling activities for kids during the long summer break.
*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I’ll make a percentage of the profit made from any sales made through the link.*
1. Make Fruit Kebabs
Kill two birds with one stone with this activity. Not only does it get all those lovely vitamins and minerals into your kids, but its such a fun activity! Let the kids help cut the soft fruits with a butter knife, and encourage them to create a pattern: Apple, strawberry, banana. grape, orange and repeat! Kebab skewers can be sharp so remind them to take extra care when piercing the fruit.
Gardens are hard work at this time of year, so why not encourage the kids to get involved. Younger kids can help with planting, watering, pulling weeds and sweeping and older kids can even have a go at mowing, bush trimming and deadheading. There is something so rewarding about having a beautiful outdoor area that you’ve created and children feel this sense of pride too. This is also a great opportunity to talk about how plants grow and reproduce and introduce the idea of life cycles. You could even get some kid friendly gardening tools such as THESE.
3. Summer Crafts
Who doesn’t love getting crafty? Perfect for a rainy day or just a long summer’s afternoon. Why not have a go at Tie Dying a t-shirt to make a funky custom item of clothing, perfect for sunny days. Happiness is Homemade have a fantastic instructional post. Or for super easy Tie Dye, you could buy a ready made kit.
Alternatively, check out THIS post for 6 Super Summer Craft ideas.
4. Summer Baking
Another popular activity with my kids, and another great one for rainy days or when the sun becomes too much outdoors. Fantastic, summery ingredients include strawberries, raspberries, honey, lemon and peach.
We’re planning to have a go at THIS at some point:
Or alternatively, check out BBC Good Food site for inspiration.
5. Nature Scavenger Hunt
A fun and exciting activity in all the seasons, because each season provides different natural treasures for children to find. Print out a list , such as this one, and get kids to tick the items off as they go (Or make your own!).
Older children could take pictures of the items, younger ones could collect some things in a little basket. Great fun and helps children to really get to know how the countryside changes throughout the year.
Another fantastic boredom busting activity is to find your local Pick Your Own fruit farm and spend the afternoon picking the plumpest, juiciest fruit that you can find. I find that prices are much cheaper than supermarket prices, as this cuts out the middle man, and you’re guaranteed to get the best quality and freshest selection because you’ve picked it yourself.
Check out our PYO post HERE for inspiration.
7. Mud Kitchen
Mud kitchens are so versatile, this is basically because anything goes! There’s a reason that you’ll find one in every early years setting and every childcare professional’s home and that is because they provide endless opportunities for open, sensory, imaginary, outdoor play. Fantastic for boredom busting, the favourites at our mud kitchen are garden soup: [Pic] and mud and pebble cakes. But honestly, the possibilities are endless, just let them use their imaginations and don’t worry about them getting dirty… it’s all part of the fun!
My husband makes beautiful mud kitchens by hand, and these can be customised and personalised to the needs of your child. Check them out here:
8. Make Lemonade
A summer classic. Nothing says summer like an ice cold glass of homemade lemonade. It’s great to get the kids involved in making a yummy batch and gives the opportunity for mathematical language such as volume, capacity and measures as well as a tasty treat.
We love this recipe: Childhood 101
9. Sidewalk Chalk
This is a lovely, easy activity and one that will keep kids occupied happily for an afternoon. You can get the chunky pavement chalk for a couple of quid at your local bargain shop or supermarket, and then challenge them to create a masterpiece on your patio. The beauty? It washes straight off in the rain!
10. Try a science experiment.
There are so many kid friendly science experiments to create that wow moment in kids. Fantastic for not only learning, but for keeping those little minds wondering about the world in which we live. Check out these examples HERE
11. Visit the library
During the holidays, many libraries have reading challenges that are great fun to get involved with. Its definitely worth a trip to your local library to see what they have on. Check out our list of fantastic summer themed books HERE for some inspiration.
12. Small World Play
Another fantastic activity for sensory and imaginary play. Set up a scene in a clear container box, these can be based on your child’s current interests, or could be seasonal. Gather some materials and small toys and create a small world for them to play with. This kind of play really stretches their imagination and keeps them entertained far longer than just ordinary toys, in my opinion. Last week, we created this Dinosaur land, and Duckling played happily with it for days! It was so easy to set up too. We used green food colouring to make swamp water, gathered rocks and pebbles from the garden and then used small branches to make foliage. Once she added her toy dinos it looked fantastic and she got so much imaginary play from it!
So that’s it. Hopefully this provides some inspiration for easy, cheap and fulfilling activities to keep your kids occupied and happy during the holidays. Please comment below with your thoughts on these activities and if you have any other boredom busters that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them.