The school summer holidays can require a good bit of amusement planning for parents. It can be tricky to come up with ideas that don’t cost anything too so we asked Mykidstime parents to recommend their best tip for amusing your kids during the summer holidays that doesn’t cost money.
They made some fabulous suggestions! We love these tips from parents for free things to do in the summer with kids – and we think you will too!
Fun and Free Things To Do In the Summer
Finding free things to do in the summer holidays is a dream for parents, and having a bank of ideas and recommendations from other parents is even better!
Take inspiration for your summer days with the list below.
Check Out Your Local Library
Diane advises checking what’s on at your local library. Many libraries offer summer reading programmes, workshops and storytelling sessions for kids. My two daughters love having their own library cards, picking some books and going up to the counter to check them out.
Give your child a bucket of water and big paintbrushes and get them to “paint” the garage, the shed or the fence. Or give them water in spray bottles.
Or have them wash their toy cars to get them all shiny and clean.
Fly a Kite
Ciara says her kids love flying a kite, “We had a neighbour’s cat join in the fun chasing and catching the ribbon at the end!” while Tricia says her children “love making paper kites and then flying them”.
Parks and Forest Walks with a Picnic
Mum Lisa said her kids like nothing better than packing a picnic and heading out to the park or to a nearby forest for a fun walk followed by eating al fresco.
A Game of Uno
Lots of parents said Uno was a favourite free activity for their family.
And if you get fed up with Uno, check out these 15 fun card games to play with kids.
Mum Nikki says “A bike ride to the local park with a picnic is always a winner” while Dad Tom says, “We’re lucky there’s a good cycle route around a lake nearby which the kids love heading out to.”
Build a Fort
Emily says “We build a pillow fort in the living room when it’s too hot outside and the kids have great fun. They can even have an indoor picnic. Then when it starts to cool down outside they love playing with water anything – hose, balloons, water guns! Anything to get them wet!”
Mums Jennifer and Fiona recommend nature walks. Jennifer says “We love long nature walks with a list of things they’ve to find, then they tick off their list as they find them.”
Download our FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids to take with you on walks.
Mary says “Give your child some chalk for outside and they can do hopscotch, draw out a whole town. It shows their fantastic imagination”.
Head for the Beach
Tracy says her kids love walking to the local beach where they have fun surfing, rock jumping, or playing with a ball. Pack up a big bottle of water and some sandwiches and you’re all set.
Camp in the Garden
Set up a tent in the garden or backyard and enjoy some free camping (with the comforts of home nearby).
Hold a Treasure Hunt
We love this suggestion from Anne Marie who says she puts “chocolate coins or wrapped sweets around the house or garden and they spend ages searching for them”.
Not sure how to set this up? Here are some tips for how to set up a kids treasure hunt. Or if the weather is too rainy or too hot, try an indoor treasure hunt.
Mum Jill says “My two always adore bubbles. We have even made our own bubble mix which was great fun mixing and stirring and then testing. There’s always big excitement when they manage to blow a double or even a triple bubble!”
Cook With Your Child
Deborah suggests cooking with your child: “It’s great bonding and skill making all in one. Plus they need to eat!”
Hold a Games Day or Movie Day
Joanne recommends holding a (board) games day. Or if the weather isn’t so great, have a TV/DVD afternoon with homemade popcorn.
(She also shared a top tip to “Have your kids go to a friend’s house one day and their friends come to yours then in return to give parents a child-free day each!!”)
Back Garden Art
Audrey suggested “A big roll of paper and some crayons or paints in the back garden with a picnic or tea party afterwards”.
Sally says her family loves geocaching. “Download the free app and you can see what’s in your area!”
Just Spend Time
Antoinette says “No matter how much money you spend on children, it’s the little things they remember the most. One of my son’s favourite memories was the day we had a picnic under a tree when it was raining with hot chocolate in a flask – he still talks about it years later”.