Free Summer holiday fun
Looking for ways to entertain the kids this summer that won’t break the bank? Since we live in such a changeable climate, it’s wise to have a back-up list of plans for rainy as well as sunny days.
Here are a few free Summer holiday fun ideas to keep them busy, whatever the weather:
Fun in the sun
* Plan a picnic: get the kids to plan a nice healthy lunch that you can all enjoy, then give them each a job to do to help get it ready. When you’re all packed and ready to go, head on down to the local park with a ball or a Frisbee and get some fresh air while you enjoy your hard earned feast! Most supermarkets or discount shops have cheap picnic equipment, and Primark have funky picnic blankets for around £6.
* Go on a nature trail: Most children, especially younger ones, can’t resist letting their imaginations go wild in a wood or forest. Play hid and seek around the trees, take a book of wild flowers and trees to see how many you can identify, or just start a collection of interesting pebbles, sticks or leaves that you can make a picture with when you get home. If you are near a beach, get your wellies on and grab a cheap fishing net from the local seaside shop and see what you can find in the rock pools.
* Visit a castle: Get a taste of UK heritage and visit one of the many castles dotted around the country. The kids will love looking in the dungeons and exploring the secret passages.
Some castles require an entry fee but offer lots of activities and facilities, such as Warwick Castle, while ruins may be free or require only a parking fee. Most will allow you to eat a picnic in the grounds, saving you the cost of food once you get there – check online before you go.
* Set up a garden challenge: Kids love a challenge, and there’s nothing like a spot of healthy competition between friends or siblings to keep their attention! Gather buckets, garden canes, old sheets – anything you can use to make a course of jumps, tunnels, even a water jump with a paddling pool if it’s warm enough – make sure it has a non-slip lining though. They can even get the dog to join in!
* Rethink museums: The UK has loads of museums and art galleries, many of which are free to the public. Don’t assume that the kids will be bored – you never know what might spark their imagination. Try the Dartmoor Prison museum (family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children for £9) for a historic and gruesome look at life behind bars, or the numerous science museums and planetariums up and down the country.
* Set them a challenge: for days in with purpose, get them to plan and make a meal, take them shopping for ingredients, and finish with some home-baked biscuits. 4ingredients.com.au has loads of easy recipes with four ingredients or less – easy enough for even the most novice of chefs! If cooking isn’t your thing, set up a science project.
* Don’t be afraid to go outside: Invest in some waterproof outfits or just bundle up in macs and wellies; the worst that can happen is you all get a bit wet! Leave some towels, dry clothes and slippers lined up by the door for when you get home, then get the kettle on and enjoy a hot chocolate and a well-earned rest in front of a family film.
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