Summer holiday ideas

Having no school for six long weeks means plenty of opportunities for excitement and exploration. Here are a host of low cost, boredom-busting ideas.

  • At the start of the holidays buy a packet of sunflower seeds, let the family plant their own and see whose sunflower grows the tallest by the end of the summer.

  •  Chalk is easily washed off paths/pavements. Draw circles with different numbers inside them.  Grab some damp sponges and see who can throw theirs inside the circles.  Add up the scores with three throws (please ensure children are supervised near roads).
  • Freeze small toys in a block of ice by half filling a plastic container with water, adding toys and popping in the freezer.  Top up with more water and freeze again.  Give children spoons and/or squeezy bottles filled with lukewarm water to dig out their hidden treasure.
  • Build a den on a rainy day.  All you need is two chairs, a sheet/blanket for draping across them and some clothes pegs to keep the sheet in place.
  • Wash the car – while you might think it a chore, washing the car is surprisingly fun for small people.  Fill a bucket with soapy water, give them a sponge and let them go wild!
  • Create a bug hotel – help kids to fill a jam jar with twigs and leaves, then go bug hunting for guests.  Make sure an adult carefully puts some air holes in the lid.  Don’t forget to let the bugs ‘check out’ after their stay.  Alternatively, go for a walk, gather sticks, pine cones, bamboo and create one like this.

  • Threading a daisy chain is a traditional summertime skill that children will use throughout their childhood.  For younger children, they could find the daisies for you.
    • Look for daisies with short, thick stems.
    • Use your thumbnail to split the daisy stem in the middle.
    • Thread the stem of the second daisy through the slit.  Repeat the process.
    • When your chain is long enough, thread the stem of the last daisy through a small slit at the top of the stem.
  • Make a crown – each time you go on a walk, encourage the children to keep an eye out for bird feathers, leaves, grasses and flowers.  Make a simple crown out of paper and help staple or glue the items on to it.
  • Collect shells – if you are planning a day out at the coast, use a bucket and spade to scoop up shells on the beach, take them home, rinse them and use them to make pictures.
  • Blow football – use Tupperware/take-away containers to create a goal at each end of your table/on the floor.  Players must use a drinking straw to blow a ping pong ball into their opponent’s goal.