50 ways to keep the kids busy this summer

I think we’re all running out of ideas for keeping the kids busy this Summer.  Normally the holidays are a welcome break where we can explore our inner child and relax a little. However this year I do feel like there are a lot of mums (and dads) like me who have pulled out all their best tricks during lockdown and now left in a bit of a panic.

We all know that letting the kids be bored is good for them, however bored children can also equal naughty children and quite frankly I’m too tired.  I think if I have a back catalogue of ideas I can whip out when needed they’ll have something they can look forward to and it will make a happier and more relaxed home environment for everyone.

So I’ve done some brainstorming, with the wonderful help of our Instagram and Facebook communities and here we are, 50 ideas on how to keep the kids busy this summer: 

  1. Camping in the garden (or the living room). No matter the weather we can still camp at home.  Set up your tent inside, or outside, and fill it with cushions and pillows to make a cosy den.  Then let them have melted marshmallows and tell spooky stories – make a real evening of it.
  2. Turn the house into a hotel and make the kids the managers.  They have to operate all parts of a hotel including the cleaning rota, menu planning, greeting guests, evening turn down, the spa.  They can make lots of signs to go around the hotel and draw up the menus too! This should keep them busy for a while!
  3. Trip to the woods. If you’re lucky enough to have woods nearby make sure to have lots of trips down there and let them build dens and climb trees.  We all know nature is a kids best toy so let them use their imagination!
  4. Learning the names of local wildlife. From birds, flowers, trees, plants and bugs it’s is a great activity for the whole family.  I recommend ordering the Collins I-Spy books.
  5. Tie-dye kits. Get a little funky with a Tie Dye kit and some old t-shirts (or splash out and order new ones!) Tie-dye is all the rage right now and they’ll love learning how to do it!
  6. Simple cardboard box game. How about challenging them to make up their own game.  Leave them with a cardboard box and let them get creative – give them an hour and see what they come up with.
  7. Plan a long walk in the country. If you’re after a quiet evening how about planning a long walk into the day, tire them out with the adventure then tuck them in nice and early
  8. Take a dip in your local wild swimming spot. We’ve recently found the wild swimming website which shows all your local swimming spots! How about taking them for a swimming trip to one of these places!
  9. Picnics in the park. Plan something simple like sausage rolls, chopped carrots and some little sandwiches then head to the park and eat on a rug (although keep away from dogs who might want to pinch the sausage rolls!)
  10. Paint flower pots. Pull out all the old tester paints you have lying around and put them to good use giving all your old pots a nice makeover.
  11. Bake cakes. From cupcakes to banana bread to full blown triple tiered occasion cakes this summer is the perfect time for kids to get creative in the kitchen.  Why not encourage them to bake something for a special neighbour and pop it round in a safe way.
  12. Movies in sofa dens with homemade popcorn.  Everyone loves a movie night and kids are no exception. Kick over the sofa and drape it in blankets, fill it with cushions and set up a den in your sitting room ready for the movie.  It’ll be a mess for the evening but the memories they make will be worth it! 
  13. Trip to the pet shop.  No I’m not saying you need to buy them a puppy, but sometimes a trip to the pet shop or garden centre to look at the fish and the rabbits is a great way to spend the evening.  (if you’re strong enough to face the ‘can we get one’ nagging on the way home!)
  14. Decorate their own masks.  Order some plain masks from Amazon and some fabric pen sets and get the kids to decorate their own masks.  You never know, perhaps they’ll like wearing them more if they’re covered in rainbows and unicorns or something.
  15. Play with their toys. Over the years your kids have been given SO many toys.  How about give them an afternoon to explore and rediscover each one
  16. Pressing flowers.  Explore the garden and the park and let them pick out their favourite flowers, then teach them how to press flowers between two pieces of paper in a heavy book (if you don’t have a flower press kit).  If they work out well you could display them in a glass frame and hang them in your kids room!
  17. Writing and sending letters and cards.  The forgotten art of letter writing but actually I loved having a pen pal as a child.  How about encouraging them to write to someone in a care home who is perhaps extra lonely right now.
  18. Sock puppets.  An old school classic and super simple, you’ll find loads of youtube tutorials to guide you on how to create sock puppets, from there it’s 100% imagination!
  19. Putting on a play. Pull out the dressing up box, chuck in some of your old clothes or costume jewellery and tell them to create a play and perform it to you.  It must, however, have a beginning, a middle and an end and the end shouldn’t be too far from the beginning. 
  20. Sew cress heads and run some experiments.  Who says learning has to stop over the Summer holidays? Why don’t you order some seeds and experiment with their location and temperature to see the impact on the seeds.
  21. Making an item of clothing.  This could be knitting a scarf or sewing a skirt, teach them some life skills and follow a guide to make their own clothes.  Plus you’ll be doing your bit for a more sustainable lifestyle!
  22. Up-cycling. Building on the sustainable lifestyle why not pick out some old furniture you have or find something in a charity shop and make it a team project to upcycle it.  Perhaps this is one for the slightly older kids though if they’ll be using sandpaper or glue.
  23. Menu planning and presenting a dinner party themselves. Ask them to come up with the menu for the next days meal and help them cook it, then let them offer it as a meal to you and pretend they are hosting a dinner party.  It’ll be a great skill for them to learn!
  24. Glass and pottery decoration. It doesn’t need to last forever but it’s a new surface they’ll paint on and I’m sure they’ll love it.  Try and get pottery pens that you bake in the oven.
  25. Redecorate their bedroom/s.  Perhaps now is the time to let them have full creative control over exactly how they want it, when else will they have unicorns painted on their walls or dinosaurs running across the ceiling?! Don’t be too precious about it, remember you can always paint over it! 
  26. Make a mosaic. Use some old crockery you don’t like anymore, or make a trip to a charity shop and buy some lovely patterned china.  Smash it in a tea towel (not too small) and then have a go at making it into a lovely mosaic.
  27. Make a coconut shy. The summer fete’s have been cancelled but you could have a go at some DIY and bring the fete to yourselves this Summer.  What would their favourite stand be?
  28. Learn to juggle. The beauty of this, they don’t even need juggling balls to learn.  Start them off with three oranges and see whether they can create a circus performance for you by the end of the day.
  29. Learn a TikTok dance routine together.  It’s a craze, but it’s one we can embrace.  Let’s learn a TikTok dance together and maybe even perform and record it.  Never know you might go viral!
  30. Put on a family talent show. Pick the talents and everyone practices for a few hours, then at a set time you call your family (perhaps Granny and Grandad would be interested?) and perform to them, perhaps their cousins could get involved too!
  31. Challenge yourselves to a National Shout Out on the Radio. Call up your local radio stations, enter every competition, insert every anecdote, plus we know radios love a cute little person’s voice!
  32. Film nights and TV series.  Pick a TV series or movie the whole family will love and have a night in with a takeaway, dinners on laps and a good film.  There’s nothing better!
  33. Put on a disco. Pick out their favourite tunes, let them dress up in their fanciest dresses and maybe even treat yourselves to a flashing disco light and a glitter ball.
  34. Earn some pocket money. Give them jobs around the house to start earning pocket money, this could be anything from emptying bins, hanging out the laundry to filling the dishwasher and making cups of tea.
  35. Learn to make friendship bracelets. There are loads of tutorials online for really cool, unique weaves to make bracelets, they can make them for their friends when they go back to school in September.
  36. Start and finish a really good book.  Perhaps now is the time to inspire their love of reading, if they don’t love it already,  Find a tick list of great books for their age bracket and order them so you can start working your way through.  Perhaps it’s time to start Harry Potter?
  37. Sleepovers. Whether with a friend or a sibling kids love a sleepover.  Lay out their blankets on the floor, let them play some games together and take them to pick out a midnight feast.
  38. Lots and LOTS of painting.  Join me on Mondays and Saturdays for art classes.  I’ll give you 30 minutes peace while I teach them how to paint anything from flowers to beach huts.  You can also think on a bigger scale, what about giving them a giant piece of wood to paint that you pop in the garden or something.
  39. Puzzles and board games.  It’s a skill we all need to learn, to sit quietly and play nicely and a puzzle is the perfect way! It’s also great to have a stock of games to pull out on a rainy day!
  40. Painting shells.  Take a trip to the beach and pick up lots of shells from the sand, then when you have a quiet day whip out all the shells and your paints and encourage them to get creative and paint something cute on the shells!
  41. French cricket.  Suggest a game of french cricket, if you have enough to play! You can find out more about this fab family game here
  42. BBQs. Organise a BBQ with a neighbour or one of their friends families, make sure you’re practicing social distancing but give the kids a chance to play together and burn off some energy.
  43. Bike rides. If you’re kids are old enough to confidently cycle, how about taking them on some cycles around the local area, or even driving the bikes out to somewhere further afield and showing them somewhere new.
  44. Teach them a new skill.  This one is a little more niche, the skill could be anything from sailing to tying knots, from chess to headstands.  Pass on your knowledge at the same time as helping your kid find a new passion.
  45. Flying kites.  An oldie but a goodie, there’s nothing more nostalgic than heading to the park or the beach and getting that kite up in the air.  It’ll also burn off some of that excess energy running around trying to get it in the air if the wind isn’t too strong.
  46. Step challenges. How many steps should your kid be doing each day and are they hitting that? It’s easy with no school and no routine to be tempted to play a lot of video games and stay in, however let’s make sure we’re all hitting our step targets.  Make it a family competition and see who wins each week.
  47. Set up a mini spa.  Perhaps turn the house into a spa for the afternoon, play relaxing music and light candles.  They could pamper you with your nails being done, hair styled and maybe even a massage or vice versa.  Kids seem to love these games!
  48. Bark rubbings and leaf prints.  The simple things in life are often the best.  Take an oil pastel and a piece of A4 and rub it against some trees to see what the effect is, you could even go out and pick some lovely leaves and do the same thing. Perhaps you’ll be left with some lovely artwork to hang on the fridge!
  49. Record your own podcast. We love podcasts at TIN HQ, so the idea of helping daisy record her own podcast where she interviews friends over zoom or family around the house and shares her daily insights I think is really rather lovely.
  50. Have a go at Borrow My Doggy.  If you don’t have a dog to walk yourself, why not register on Borrow My Doggy and find a kid friendly dog who’s parents need a little extra help to buy zolpidem online USA.  This is a great way to get your kids used to dogs as well as a source of extra exercise.

Let us know how you get on and share any other tips for keeping the boredom at bay this Summer on our instagram tagging @thisisnessiecom.