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9 free summer activities for the whole family

With the summer school holidays fast approaching there’s only one question on parents’ minds. How do you keep kids entertained for 6 whole weeks?! We’ve put together our favourite free summer activities, to help keep your little ones happily entertained throughout the holidays.

childminder with qualifications looking after children outside

Free summer activities: for outdoor adventurers

Create a nature map

Keen for your family to be more in touch with nature? Take some card and pens to a local park or green space, and design a nature map of the trees, wildlife or ponds you pass along the way.

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Have a garden camping trip

Pitch some tents in the garden, roast marshmallows over the campfire and sing some campfire songs to have the real camping experience!

Create a chalk maze

Have some colourful chalk lying around? Create a fun maze to help your little ones develop their problem-solving skills.

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Free summer activities: for creative kids

Mud painting

Mud painting is the perfect free summer activity for messy-play loving little ones! Collect mud into several bowls (rainy days are a good time for this activity). Then, add a few drops of food colouring and washing up liquid to each bowl. Mix everything together with some water (we did warn that it’s messy!) and paint away.

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Create natural collages

This ties in nicely with the nature map activity. During a peaceful nature walk, keep your eyes peeled for leaves, flowers and shells, which you can take home to collage into museum-worthy masterpieces.


Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, is fun for all ages. Check out the BBC’s beginners’ guide to origami.

Free summer activities: for active kids

Set up a DIY obstacle course

Use everyday items, such as buckets, planks of wood and balls to create a fun obstacle course for little ones. If you don’t have a garden, you can do this in a local park or green space.

At-home sports day

Set up an egg and spoon race, obstacle course and wheelbarrow race for hours of competitive fun.

Practice flying a DIY kite

Perfect for a windy day; follow this guide on how to make your own kite and let the kids run wild.

Whether your little one is an outdoor adventurer or a creative kid, we hope our activity ideas help to keep them happily entertained throughout the summer.

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