School’s out for summer! And now comes the tricky part where you have to keep the children entertained for the next 6 weeks without bankrupting yourself. And with parents believed to be spending around £2,600 a year entertaining their children1, this could be easier said than done!
That’s why we’ve come up with ten things you can do with your children over the summer that won’t cost you a penny…
1 Explore your local country or forest park
Country and forest parks are perfect for a free day out in the sunshine. They’ll often have a playground, nature trails and woodland tracks you can explore and are a great place for the whole family to get some fresh air and run around. Many also put on special summer holiday events, so it’s worth checking in your local area for any of these.
2 Take in some art
If you get a spot of rain over the holidays, a great place to head is your local art gallery. You can take in the exhibitions for free and broaden your children’s eyes to some creativity! You’ll often find galleries have a children’s area where they can sit and draw or make some crafts too, which is a great way to keep them occupied.
3 Do a car boot sale
Why not get your children involved with a local car boot sale and get them making some money for themselves at the same time? Get them to clear out any of their toys or clothes that they don’t use or wear anymore and then they can help you price them up and make eye-catching signs for your stall. If you man the stall together, you could have a lot of fun and make some cash at the same time!
4 Visit your local free farm
Having a trip out to see some cute animals doesn’t necessarily have to cost a small fortune, as there’s lots of great free farms open around the country. From cuddling cute rabbits and guinea pigs to helping milk cows, it’s always a fun day out for children of all ages. You can often find urban farms within city centres now too, which means you don’t always have to travel far either.
5 Head to the beach
If the sun’s shining you can’t beat a day at the beach. Take a football, a bucket and spade or a Frisbee and you can keep the kids entertained for hours. There’s nothing better than a paddle in the sea and luckily it’s all free too!
6 Discover what’s on your doorstep
This summer holiday, make it your mission to discover more of your local area. Get together as a family and come up with a plan of action for where you want to discover. Challenge the kids to create a map or an illustrated list of their favourite new “discoveries” – which may be something they can show their classmates when they go back to school in September.
7 Visit your local library
Libraries are hidden treasures when it comes to keeping children entertained, especially if the sunshine we’ve been enjoying takes a bit of a break. You’ll often find dedicated areas for children’s books and films too, so they can enjoy seeing what’s on offer and then check them out to borrow. You could always get a movie marathon set up with friends and rent some films from the library to watch.
8 Go on a bike ride
Bike rides are one of the best free ways to get out and about during the summer. You could take things off the beaten track and explore local woodlands or countryside, or head to a local park where there are usually nice wide pathways, which are great for bikes. It’s also a great way to get children active too!
9 Visit a museum
Another great rainy day activity is heading to a museum and many of these have free entry, which is perfect! Also, remember to see which local museums you can find, as often children can get more hands on here than they can at the bigger national museums and get to grips with interesting facts from the past.
10 Go Geocaching
If your children are fans of technology and the latest gadgets, why not give geocaching a go this summer. It’s an outdoor activity and you use your mobile phone and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, known as ‘geocaches’ or ‘caches’ that can be found at locations marked by coordinates all over the world. It’s also a great way to help your children get to grips with maps.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful for your summer plans. If you have any other things you like doing with your children for free, let us know by tweeting us @useyournoddle.