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Thrifty fun: Over 50 free and fun activities for kids in the school holidays

School Holidays! Hooray! There does seem to be a point in the second week where you start coming up with mental lists of things to do in the holidays. Things that are neither boring or expensive.

Here, from the depths of many childhoods past, is an epic list of FIFTY mostly free summer fun activities for kids. Double hoorays! And many, many of them require only very limited parent interaction! Triple hoorays!

And remember, do add your own in the comments….

Get musical
1 – Make some instruments (click here for six homemade musical instruments)
2 – Have a big jam session
3 – Make up a song
4 – Record your song


Papier Mache
5 – Dedicate a whole table in your house to a papier mâché landscape. (This is such a classic childhood activity – every family needs to do this at some point! Click here for a how to on that.)
6 – Build a papier mâché mountain with a cup in the top- make lava with a bicarbonate of soda and vinegar mix. Add food colouring for extra effect!
7 – Make a pinata just for the hell of it! (Click here for a how to)

Outside
8 – Grass sledging- steep hills and plastic trays = epic fun! (Click here for a how to on that!)
9 – Chalking on the street (it feels so naughty)
10 – Plant a garden (round up spare seeds from neighbours- they will love taking part in this! The kids will love it too!)
11 – Put some plastic figures in blocks of ice- give your children tools to bash, dig and chisel them out.
12 – Spend the morning building boats (so many great ideas if you click here from Red Ted Art)
13 – Spend the afternoon floating boats at the pond in the park
14 – Organise an Easter egg hunt – all your round, I say. Simply replace eggs with “something to eat”
15 – Organise a treasure hunt – click here for printable nature treasure hunt sheets from Seeds and Stitches.
16 – Organise a scavenger hunt- a list of items to find, first team back wins
17 – Find a patch of field, bury some treasure, give kids a spade each = day long archeological dig!
18 – Do some geocaching (google it- totally fascinating for older kids!)
19 – Record a nature documentary
20 – Build a go kart – click here for how. This is really the day that keeps on giving – you help your child make it, then they spend another day decorating it, and the rest of the summer racing it.
21 – Organise a go kart race

22 – Make cup and string walky talkies (I spent my whole childhood making these)

Box fun – it’s a classic!
23 – Build a marble run
24 – Build a cardboard city
25 – Build a dolls house out of shoe boxes (shops will happily give you a million!)
26 – Build a cardboard puppet theatre
27 – Make sock puppets
28 – Put on puppet show

Sit down fun
29 – Learn how to play checkers (click here for everything you need to know!)
30 – Host a tournament of checkers
31 – Learn how to finger knit – click here for how!
32 – Then go and yarn bomb a tree. (in a beautiful way, with all finger knitting you’ve been making)
33- Make peg people
34 – Paint stones- a stoned crowd

35 – Organise neighbourhood car washing for real money!
36 – Painting the fence/ garage door with water
37 – Water balloon target practice
38 – Massive neighbourhood water fight (see all of the above)
39 – Visit a car boot sale- kids can pick up quite a lot for £1!
40 – Sell things they have made at a street market stall on driveway

Because… you know… bananas.
41 – Draw on bananas with a biro (you will never know how much fun this is until you try it!)
42 – Make little paper outfits for the banana people you have drawn on.
43 – Make banana smoothies- with all the extra the children want- peanut butter is a TREAT!

Crafty shenanigans

44 – Make play dough – click for recipe
45 -Make edible finger paint – click for recipe
46 – Make air drying clay – click for recipe

47 – Let them makeover an item of their room furniture with paint. Scary, but also completely awesome.

48 – Build a worm sanctuary – click here for a great how to.
49 – Dig for worms, rescue worms

50 – Make a kite
51 – Do some litter picking and then make a kite out of plastic bags (click here for a how to!)
52 – Fly kite

*finishes with a song*

“Let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest heights! Lalala etc etc”

And you thought you didn’t have a big enough list for free and fun activities for kids? And Did you have any favourite free activities as a kid that would go down well these holidays? What free things do your kids love doing in the summer?

6 comments on “Thrifty fun: Over 50 free and fun activities for kids in the school holidays

  1. My all time favourite is taping down a large piece of bubblewrap to a hard foor – run, crawl, dance on it delighting in the joyful popping sound! Much time can be passed trying to get all the bubbles popped.

  2. I used to love making “perfume” with water and rose petals form my nan’s garden, then trying to sell it to her poor neighbours!!

    Also making dens and putting leaves and insects (I liked really greenflys as a kid?!) in a box and making them my pets :)

    Oh my goodness and the best thing ever… Hanging upside down, drawing a face on your chin and making chin people (recording yourself doing it is a must!!)

    Like this (gutted I couldn’t find videos of me and my husband doing them!)…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY6ENg47JWM

    L x
    Laurenne @ This Mummy recently posted…Living Below The Line: Day 3My Profile

  3. All of these ideas are brilliant. I would like to add building a den. Inside/outside depending on weather/space. Blankets, string, pegs, chairs, whatever you can find… Then read/play games/sleep inside the den. Hours of fun. xxx
    Katie recently posted…Spot the differenceMy Profile

  4. Pingback: Mum’s Summer Bucketlist #HealthHop | Life surrounded by Blues

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