The thought of keeping your children occupied this summer might seem like a daunting prospect, so we’ve put together a list of fun free activities to inspire you and your family.
1. Nature walks
Embark on a countryside expedition at your local park or woodland and captivate your kids with the magic of wildlife. Hunt for ‘treasure’ such as pine cones, acorns and wildflowers or investigate what insects you can spot. Take a magnifying glass for seeking out animal footprints, or go foraging for blackberries in the hedgerows.
2. Kite flying
Make a kite with recycled materials and watch it soar through the sky! All you need are some sticks, tape, string, scissors and plenty of fabric or paper. Be creative with diamond or box shapes and crazy colourful designs.
3. Get active!
There are hundreds of sports activities that will keep your family fit this summer. Why not try rounders, back garden bowling, frisbee or hide and seek? Splash about with water fights and bubble chasing, or build your own obstacle course in the garden.
4. Make the most of your garden
Kids love the excitement of waiting for a seed to sprout, and gardening is a great way for them to learn about plants. Herbs, vegetables and sunflowers are perfect for first-time growers, and if you don’t have a garden, try a window box.
5. Get creative in the kitchen
Have some culinary fun making summer foods, like homemade ice-cream, fruit juice lollies or fresh fruit salad. Then enjoy your picnic feast in the sunshine!
6. Catch your own dinner
Take a net down to your local riverbank or harbour to see what’s biting. Don’t forget to take a picture of your first big catch! Or for a truly British seaside pastime, try crabbing – all you need is string and some bait, but watch out for nasty nips!
7. Summer sledging
Why wait for winter? All you need is a flattened cardboard box and a hillside and you’re all set for some summer tobogganing. Budding adrenaline-junkies will go crazy for the thrills, and it’ll channel some of that endless energy into a fun-focused activity.
8. Build a den
Have a holiday in your own backyard by pitching a tent in your garden, or simply hang sheets over the washing line to create your very own teepee. Have a barbecue, tell stories, play games and have a campfire sing-along – it’s the perfect way to spend some quality time together as a family.
Scour the seashore for some littoral loot such as seaweed, shells, interesting pebbles, driftwood or sea-smoothed glass and then use your treasures to make a sea-themed collage. Or have a sandcastle-building competition to see who can sculpt the finest fortress.
Find your local sedimentary rock spot and search for ancient dinosaur relics! Coasts, quarries and farmland are the best places to look, and all you need is a keen pair of eyes.