When the weather’s good, it’s great to get outdoors with the kids. And with summer holidays just around the corner, now’s the time to start thinking of inexpensive ways to keep the little ones occupied outside. We’ve come up with a host of outdoor activities that are free or very inexpensive, making sure you don’t have bored kids on your hands, or an empty bank account.

Free outdoor activities:

1. A good old game of Frisbee

With sun on your side, you can’t beat a game of Frisbee with the family. Or football, tennis, rounders or any other ball game! Gather the whole family for this, it’s perfect for playing in the back garden, in a field after having a picnic, or when you need a break from building sandcastles on the beach.

2. Water balloon throwing:

Buy some water balloons, fill them up with water and tie them, then hand to the kids and let them throw them around! For added competition, get into pairs, throw the water balloon back and forth to each other – moving further apart with each throw. The trick is to keep the balloon from bursting, and the winner is the person who doesn’t get wet!

3. Potion making:

If the kids are fans of Harry Potter and all things magic or even fancy themselves as the next Nutty Professor, then why not let them create their own ‘magic potions’? This one can get a bit messy, so it’s best done outside.

You will need:

  • lab coat/white shirt – purely for getting into character!
  • goggles or face mask – for dramatic effect!
  • plastic bottles
  • funnel
  • jug
  • food colouring
  • bicarbonate of soda
  • vinegar
  • labels
  • pen
  • glitter
  • stardust confetti

Using the funnel, add water to the plastic bottles. Then pour in some food colouring of your choice. Add a couple of tea spoons of bicarbonate of soda and then a little splash of vinegar.

Let the fizz and bubbles commence! Why not add stardust and paint for added effect? Put the lid on the bottles and label up the ‘potions’. Just remember to tell the kids they’re not for drinking!

4. Kite flying

This is an activity where you need a good bit of wind – the seaside is usually the best bet. Kids and adults alike love a bit of kite flying and the colours look glorious on a hot summer’s day. Whether embracing a staycation or heading abroad, always be sure to pack the kites.

5. Create a mud pie

Let the kids get stuck into creating their very own messy mud pie! They can use the spoon for digging up mud, adding in water to make it more pliable. Work the mud into round balls then add flowers and stones for decoration. They may look like chocolate cakes, but they’re not for eating!

All you’ll need is:

6. Paint outsidekids colouring

As a parent, you’ll know how messy painting can get – especially indoors! So let’s take it outside and let them be as creative as they wish. This one can be done so easily with just paper, paint and a paint brush.

7. Make nature crowns

New kings and queens of the garden will be crowned with this fun activity! Get some paper and cut it into long thin strips roughly 2cm wide. Measure the strips of paper around your kids’ heads to act as a headband. Once you have the right shape, glue into place and set aside. Here comes the fun part! Get the kids to forage for interesting leaves and twigs and perhaps some colourful flowers that you can bare to part with! Next, glue on the foraged pieces to create pretty crowns.


So if you’re wondering how to entertain the kids during the school holidays, as you can see, it only takes a little bit of imagination…and it doesn’t cost the earth.

Don’t forget to share your summer activities with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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