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23 fun kids activities to keep them occupied this summer

This post is one that I really hope helps all of you who are looking after younger kids this summer, with a variety of fun kids activities to keep them occupied.

Fun kids activities to keep them busy over the summer

After all, the summer holidays are just around the corner, and with them come a mass of free days waiting to be filled – so rather than hear the cry of “I’m bored” all the time, why not have a few of these up your sleeve instead!.

I have also tried to give a variety of activities that vary on time needed, budget etc…. so there should be something for everyone.

TIP – Why not write each one down on a piece of paper and let the kids pick one when you have a free day – or sit down with them before the holidays and schedule in some of them to give them things to look forward to!

So – let’s get going shall we! – As always, if you have any ideas that aren’t listed here, please leave a comment at the bottom as that may be the exact idea that someone else would love to do with their children.

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#1 Create canvas art

This is a great and pretty inexpensive way to make something that lasts a lot longer than paper.

I did this with my daughter a couple of years ago as I wanted to put some art above her bed but was worried about a heavy frame with glass falling on her – a canvas ** is lightweight and looks great – and it really gets their creative juices flowing! You can also get them in a variety of sizes so you could do a set of three or one larger one – whatever takes your fancy!

Give them a blank canvas **, paints, stickers, glue and craft supplies ** and let their minds go!

canvas art - fun kids activities

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#2  Nature Walk

Get outside in the fresh air and explore a new place in your local area. It could be a park, a footpath or even around a beach if you are on holiday – but get them looking at whats around them more closely.

What about having a list of things to find, or taking photos of interesting things? You can make a simple walk much more interesting by creating a nature walk.

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#3 Chalk on the patio

A great and really inexpensive way to get kids busy is to get a pot of coloured chalks and let them create their own masterpieces on the patio. These can be washed off at a later stage, but will also add some summer colour to your outside!

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#4 Paint the patio

For those who prefer not to get so messy outside, what about the oh so simple yet oh so effective painting the patio instead! Get a pot of water and a paintbrush and kids can spend hours painting pictures that last until the sun dries them up…

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#5 Tea party with teddies

Why not invite all the teddies and dolls outside for a tea party! Grab a blanket and get everything set up – you could even ask their friends to come over with their favourite teddy to join in.

Have a cake, some sandwiches etc… for the kids to eat, and make a really fun afternoon tea or even a lunch.

fun kids activities - tea party with teddies

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#6 Learn a new skill

Whether it be time to get that bike riding cracked, or learning to swing by themselves – the summer is a great time to learn a new skill. There’s no school to tire them, and children love to learn (you don’t have to make it obvious though;o) )

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#7 Karaoke

One of the most surprising things I have found over the years I have had my daughter is that Karaoke is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, and for so many reasons.

I already had a karaoke machine as it’s good fun for adults too – but one day tried it with my daughter and now it’s a regular addition to our activities!.

Its fun, it gives them confidence, and it also teaches them how to read! Having to follow the words and keep up with the music is a challenge, but it really works as each word is highlighted as they need to sing it.

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#8 Camp out!

For slightly older children you could have a camp out in the back garden. Whether you camp with them or not depends on how safe and secure your garden is, but it’s a great way to get a feel for camping without straying far from home!

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#9 Baking

Most kids love to bake, so why not have a baking day! Get children to look at recipes they want to try, and maybe take them shopping for the ingredients which will get them involved in every part of the activity.

TIP – you could have a bake sale after all the baking, ask your friends to stop buy for coffee and buy a cake!, or get grandparents over for an afternoon tea.

Baking day - fun kids activities

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#10 Picnic

Why not take lunch outdoors! – go to your local park, or even just in your garden. Get the children to help make all the food and then enjoy a lovely lunch in the sun.

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#11 PJ day

There will be days of rain – living in the UK this is inevitable – but planning something good for these days can really help to keep enthusiasm and stop boredom setting in.

Why not have a pyjama day and cosy up under a blanket on the sofa watching a DVD, playing games, reading etc……

For young children this can also be a way to have fun while letting them have some down time as doing activities that use up their energy every day can be exhausting!

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#12  Dress up day

Why not let their imaginations run riot and have a dress up day!

Create outfits from bits around the house (there’s always a ghost from a sheet if you’re stuck!), and let them create a play or a game from their characters.

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#13 Sports day!

Have a few friends over and create a mini sports day in the garden.

Create a circuit of simple “races” for them to do, for instance, egg and spoon race – running race – obstacle course. All that running about will hopefully make them sleep really well and give you an easier evening!

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#14 Dolls House

Create a dolls house – we were lucky enough to get a cardboard kit for my daughters birthday last year and so we had lots of fun putting that together, but you can easily make something using old cardboard boxes.

The fun comes in decorating it all and playing once it’s finished – this can really provide hours of fun!

fun kids activities - dolls house making

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#15 Open a restaurant

By this I purely mean make your home into a mini restaurant for the day.

Get kids to make menus, shop for the food, create a restaurant table and help with prepping and cooking the food. Invite friends over for tea, or simply have a fantastic family tea – this not only keeps them busy with a variety of different things throughout the day, but also gets tea on the table!

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#16 Treasure Hunt

This is one of my daughters favourite ways to spend her time.

Take it in turns to create treasure maps and hunt for a treasure. The beauty of this is that you can make the clues and the map harder as the children get older, and treasure could be some sweets, or a token for a trip somewhere later in the holidays (the zoo for example)

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#17 Make a den

This is a good indoors and outdoors tasks – so can take weather out of the equation – but den making can be a great way to spend an afternoon!

We were with friends last year and created a fantastic den on a walk in a forest, as we had access to lots of branches, twigs, leaves etc.. that were lying around having fallen from the trees, or you could stay indoors and use blankets, boxes etc….

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#18 Open a shop in the garden

Create a shop using a tree house or just a table with decorations on – and get children setting up a shop! You could use crafts that they have made over the holidays, things that they have baked, pretend items such as ice creams (my daughter always creates an imaginary ice cream stand when she’s outside) – whatever level you want to go for, this works really well!

till to open a shop - fun kids activities tree house for creating a shop in the garden for a fun kids activity this summer

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#19 Photographs

Children love to take photos – so why not let them take some photos, print them off, and create a gallery in their rooms or in an album?

You could let them take photos of a specific theme (garden flowers, animals at the zoo, the beach etc…).

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#20 Lists for trips out

When going for a day out, or in the car on a longer journey, why not create some lists of things to find. They can tick them off as they see them, or you could make it into a bingo style sheet of paper where they get something (maybe a favourite song on the radio etc…) when they find everything in one line or find everything on the page.

Some ideas would be:-

  • In the car – road signs, license plate numbers, car colours, specific points of interest etc…
  • At the beach – seagulls, ice cream, crab, pebbles etc…
  • On a walk – duck, beetle, red flower, acorn etc…

Again this is one that you can make harder for the children as they get older, so even with a variety of age groups you can keep them all entertained.

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#21 Gardening

Whether its just a small pot on a windowsill, or an entire garden – kids love to get their hands dirty and plant/water etc…. One great idea is to let them have their own section of the garden to keep as they want – they could try and grow vegetables, or flowers etc…. – whatever takes their fancy.

planting seeds - fun kids activities planting for the windowsill - fun kids activities growing cress - fun kids activities

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#22 Girls pamper day

This is a biased one as I have a little girl, but I think it’s worth putting in…

Create a spa at home, and do their nails, have a face pack (use a banana!), give a massage, have a bubble bath etc…. – lots of fun and really easy!

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#23 Last but by no means least…. theme each week

If you want to get really creative then why not have a theme for each week of the holidays! This makes each week new, and the holidays much more exciting! (you don’t end up with a routine for the holidays which some people hate to see as it’s too much like when the children are at school).

What about:-

  • A country a week – cook from that country each night, look at the language, have crafts related to that country etc… (great for getting excited about a holiday there!)
  • A film a week – have a DVD a week and then create lots of things around that film – what about having a play where they try and reenact the film, or drawing a canvas for their room of their favourite characters, or colouring in etc….
  • One week have a sports theme – do a sports day, play games as a family, learn to ride the bike etc…
  • One week have a stay at home week where you have your PJ day, spend the night camping in the garden etc… and just enjoy being at home with nowhere to go
  • One week have a family/friends week where you catch up with everyone you can – organise visits to people further away, have friends for tea etc….


23 fun kids activities to keep them busy - loads of great ideas for you to try with your children

So – do you have a favourite? Let me know below, I’d love to know what fun kids activities you are planning this summer…




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4 Responses to 23 fun kids activities to keep them occupied this summer

  1. Kirsty Jul 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi Chrissy, I’ve really enjoyed reading your article. There are so many great ideas and I will definitely be trying them out.

    • Chrissy Halton Jul 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      Hi Kirsty – so pleased you liked the article – hope you have fun this summer doing some of the activities!

  2. Eve Jul 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Lovely ideas! Can’t wait to try some.

    • Chrissy Halton Jul 14, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Thanks for the lovely comment Eve!

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