Keeping the kids entertained for free (or cheap)


I thought I would share my ideas on how to entertain children this summer. We all know how bored the kids get during the summer holidays. It's all very well going on holidays and days out but that gets very expensive! So I thought I would share with you some of my ideas to keep children entertained this summer. We try to make the most of being outside in the sunshine. If it rains, there's plenty of indoor activities to keep the children entertained.

1) Bubbles! ALL age kids love bubbles, even *I* love bubbles and I'm (suppose to be) an adult (such a big kid!) Add food colouring to the bubble mixture - make 'rainbow' bubbles. My kids love having a 'who can make the biggest bubble contest'
2) Go on a bug hunt. Give your kids an old ice cream or margarine container (of course make sure it's been washed out properly), add in some grass, leaves, sticks etc, add a few air holes to the lid and sides of the container and send them off into the garden for a bug hunt! We find all kinds of bugs.. lady birds, spiders (Eek!), caterpillars.. It's great fun! We also find slow worms in our back garden. 
3) Let them play in water. Now, my kids (especially my daughter who is five years old) LOVES to play in a bowl or a bucket of water. She'll wash all her plastic animals and make up games, she uses the container of water as a swimming pool and makes a boat. It's great! What kid wouldn't love this? You get really creative and add some pebbles and sad, perhaps make a 'beach'. We add a little food colouring or bubbles in the water to make it more fun. (Obviously never leave small children unattended especially with water!) 
4) Visit the park - always great fun! You could even go on a bug hunt while  you're at the park. You could take a picnic or a snack. Sometimes, on the way & way home to/from the park (we walk btw) we play 'The first one to spot a...' and then I give three things they have to find 'A post box' 'A blue car' and 'Something yellow' for example. (This is also good for keeping kids entertained when going on a long car ride) 
5) Go for a walk somewhere you have never been before. Recently we got out and explored out area a little. We found a lovely meadow with a wooden bridge and a huge weeping willow tree. It's seriously a really beautiful place. I can't believe I'd never came across it before. It's like, 10 mins walk away from our house!! Amazing. 
6) Let the kids take photos - Now, I don't know about anyone else's kids but my kids LOVE taking photos. Some of the photos the kids take actually come out quite good! They take such random photos... usually of there hand or of each other pulling funny faces. Some of there pictures I have printed out and kept. They do make nice keep sakes! 
7) Arts & crafts. I'm sure most of us parents have poster paints, paper and what not, in the back of the cupboard somewhere. Dig 'em out and get creative! Add in some glitter and glue and make something sparkly to hang near the window so the sun catches it and makes it sparkle really stand out! Or make a card for someone, easy! You could even get the kids making picture frames for some of the photos they took themselves! The kids will love it. We save art & craft days for when it's raining. You could try.
8) Movie Time! When was the last time you had a family movie? day/night? Grab some popcorn, a juicy drink (why not add a straw to the kids drinks, be a bit like in the cinema, hehe), stick in the DVD put the cushions on the floor and chill. The kids will love it. What are your kids favourite movies at the moment? 
9) Make a cubby house - stick a sheet over the table outside add a chair or two round the edge, peg the sheet on. Ta Daaa, you have a 'cubby house' We usually put in some cushions and an old rug, make it nice and cosy! The kids love it. I use to love doing this when I was a kid. Looks like my Daughter likes it just as much:

(She dressed up as goldilocks)

10) Read - It's free to join the library. Sometimes during the school holidays the library will have special morning or afternoon sessions - arts and crafts, story telling etc. Check out your local library and see if they have anything fun going on. Read books to your children and have them read to you! You could even read in the cubby house. Well, I struggle to get up once I'm down that low LOL. I'm getting old, lol.
11) Board games - why not play them outside in the garden (if the weather is nice) rather than play them indoors? Our personal favourite is BINGO! Twister is a fun one to play outside or giant snakes and ladders. Such good fun! 
12) Water fight - Now this one can get a bit messy if you don't have an outside tap (like us!) I put a bucket of water outside so we can fill out water pistols/balloons/squirty bottles up from the bucket. Much less mess. Just make sure you have a towel (or six) ready for when the kids want to dry themselves! Usually after the water fight I give them all an ice pop or ice lolly, while they sit in the garden and dry off! I personally love a good water fight and so do the kids. Hehe. 

So there's some of my ideas on keeping the kids entertained during the summer holidays for free or cheap. While making very happy family memories, too. 
What do you do to keep your kids entertained and make sure they're having fun? 

Sarah xXx 

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  1. What a great list, very similar to what we get up to too, except the bug thing as my daughter is very girly and bugs/creepy crawlies are a big no no. Hope you have lots of fun this summer #mmwbh

  2. Fantastic idea list for kids summer activities. I love it. Buba would love the bug one for sure. MM always just tries to eat them all. Grossing mommy out. lol Sounds like you will have a great summer vacation. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme


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