15 things to do with the children this summer without spending a fortune

As a parent with the summer holidays stretching ahead of you, you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to keep the kids occupied for the next few weeks. Here are some low-cost or free activities to get the holidays off to a fun start…

1. Climb a tree
What child doesn’t love climbing trees? If there aren’t any suitable ones in the garden or park, try keeping an eye out for organised tree-climbing events for a safe way to get them up into the boughs.

2. Selfie with an animal
Who can capture themselves on camera with the most unusual animal? This could be a competition that runs to the end of the summer, with a prize for the best effort.

3. Camping in the garden
Set them up with a tent in the garden and they can enjoy all the fun of a camping expedition – without having to head out into the wilderness with no toilets and showers!

4. Berry picking
From strawberry picking at your local farm to foraging for blackberries in the hedgerows, this is an activity that’s sure to go down a treat.

5. Build a den
Whether it’s on the garden lawn or hidden in the local woods, den-building is good old-fashioned fun that will get them out into the fresh air.

6. Make a hedgehog house or bug hotel
Get the kids to turn your garden into a haven for wildlife by helping them to construct a simple hedgehog house or bug hotel.

7. Bake cakes for neighbours
If you’re prepared for the kitchen to get a little messy, have them bake simple treats such as cupcakes or cookies and take them round to the neighbours.

8. Fly a kite
Extra brownie points if you can get the kids to build their own kites and get them flying.

9. Make fruit lollies or kebabs
For a refreshing yet healthy treat on a hot summer’s day, you can’t beat fresh fruit. Buy an assortment of fruit and get them to make kebabs, or use fruit juice to create simple frozen ice lollies.

10. Bug hunt
Who can find and identify the largest number of different bug species?

11. Treasure hunt
This can be as simple or complex as you like. The easy way: hide objects around the house and garden for them to find. The more challenging way: write cryptic clues and set a trail for them to follow around your local neighbourhood.

12. Write and post letters
Letter-writing is a dying art in the age of the smartphone, yet we all appreciate getting something handwritten in the post. Why not encourage the kids to write letters to their friends and family?

13. Random acts of kindness
Whether it’s washing a neighbour’s car or putting food out for the birds, this is a lovely way to spread joy this summer.

14. Make pizzas
Pizzas are simple to make, but great fun for the kids to get involved with. Get them to put together bowls full of different healthy toppings and then they can design their own pizzas.

15. Picnic in the park
Finally, no summer would be complete without a picnic, so make the most of the good weather by heading down to your local park armed with a blanket and a basket full of treats.

This content was reproduced from a fantastic and original idea from the lovely Stephanie Ann Williams who gave her kind permission for us to share it with you.