7 School holiday activity ideas to keep kids and teens entertained this summer

Around the UK the summer holidays are starting and families have a long six weeks of fun stretching out ahead of them. So, what can you do with your kids to fill those days with entertaining, educational and fun activities? Here are some ideas...

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Gardening day

When the weather is as lovely as it has been this week, why go any further than your garden? Not only is it a safe play space for your kids, but they can learn something too. Get them involved with gardening by encouraging them to dig, plant flower plugs and sow seeds.

For little ones, a bioplastic garden playset will help them play the part of head gardener, enabling them to water crops, rake the soil and dig planting holes. There are some veggies that you can still sow now, such as broad beans and beetroot, to get a harvest later this year. Children will love to see their seedlings developing and eventually get to eat the goodies they’ve grown.

Picnic day

July is National Picnic Month, so why not make your own picnic and enjoy an al fresco lunch? You don’t need to travel far to enjoy a picnic – the local park is an easy-to-walk-to spot, or you could even just lay a picnic blanket down in the garden at dinner time.

The thing that really turns a picnic into an occasion is the preparation. Children can get involved with making the sandwiches, choosing fruit and popping a bottle of water in the cool bag. Then you can pack up everything together in a cute wicker-print foldable cool box (this one above is from the RNLI so it helps the charity too) and add some ice packs to keep everything chilled in the hot weather.

The prep stage helps to build up the excitement for the adventure and that’s the case whether you’re just taking a small zip-up lunch bag with some snacks to the town square or enjoying a full dining experience loaded into a massive hamper.

Exploring day

Speaking of a picnic, you could always take yours on an adventure further afield. I think the summer holidays are perfect for exploring a castle or stately home – they’re always cool inside and often have picnic spots and play areas for the kids to enjoy outside.

I recently visited Houghton Hall in Norfolk and I thought it would certainly keep the kids busy with the impressive sculpture trail and gardens. Plus, there’s a model soldier museum that’ll enchant little ones as they peer into the vintage cabinets.

Do your research and find an ancient site or manor house nearby to you. The family will be able to learn all about the history of the location and enjoy a full, fun day out together.

Beach day

When it’s just too hot to stay inland, the best places to visit are seaside locations and riverside towns. It’s always a few degrees cooler by the coast and sea breezes are sure to keep your temperature down. That said, always cover up with SPF when you’re out and about this summer – I’ve shared my favourite child-friendly SPF in my natural skincare blog post here.

The only other essentials you need for a day at the beach are a bucket and spade (of course!). Again, choose a bioplastic beach set for a sustainable way to enjoy the seaside. This one above is from Dantoy and it’s made from recycled fishing equipment and contains no harmful substances.

Travelling day

When you’re travelling to and from your staycation holiday let, or driving to stately homes or seaside locations, you’ll need to keep the kids entertained in the car. Be sure to pack some travel games to play when Eye Spy runs out of steam.

I personally like playing a top ten naming game with kids, as it encourages them to think creatively to come up with answers that are less obvious. The one above is a handheld game so it’s small enough to stow in the car glove box and can be played as a family. It’s especially good for older kids and teens as it can be a challenge for them to come up with ten words on a topic.

Rainy day

It’s inevitable that there will probably be a few rainy days during the summer holidays, so be prepared with some games and building kits to keep little ones entertained when they’re stuck indoors. I’ve always recommended magnetic building kits to teach kids about design and forces and even the youngest children from age 1+ can build with MagiCube shapes.

Any building sets, including Lego, Geomag magnetic glitter kits, or even simple wooden bricks, help to spark kids’ imaginations as they construct a world of their own. Older kids can help younger children, which encourages team working and problem solving – see, they’re learning skills even while they play!

Learning day

Just because they’re not in school doesn’t mean youngsters can’t learn something while they’re enjoying their summer break. Make STEM activities fun during the school break with some more building kits – but this time, they’re ones that move!

The Newton’s Lab range has fun science-based kits that kids can use to discover the laws of physics, including a hydraulic claw, crane, periscope and painting pendulum. Again, building develops their problem-solving skills as well as their dexterity and understanding of forces.

What do you think of these ideas to keep your youngsters entertained this summer? Let me know if you have any other ideas for day trips or at-home days during the school holidays. I’d love to hear your summer plans so please leave me a message in the comments below. 🙂

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Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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