Here’s a list of summer activities for children that are either cheap or free. We’re looking forward to getting even more ideas from you, for an ever longer list.
Top 40 ideas for a successful summer holiday
1. Try new parks, where you don’t usually go, preferably with a lot of shade. Grab along a blanket, a book and encourage the child to grab one for himself; add a Frisbee, tennis or badminton rackets, an inflatable ball, plastic toy shovels, a kite, board games, society games, a puzzle, cards etc. (though they should all be age-appropriate). Also pack a few healthy snacks and sandwiches, and you’re all set!
2. Talk to the parents of your child’s friends / playmates and organize a picnic in an easily accessible place. Kids play, adults socialize – this is a day that kids will happily remember.
3. Look through the event listings in your town and make a list of movies, concerts and other outdoors events (fairs, markets, exhibitions, plays) – that are age appropriate for the child. If you make a calendar, you will know exactly where you’ll be spending your evenings or afternoons, and you won’t waste time looking for an activity. Being organized can be quite helpful, even during the summer holiday.
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4. Visit the botanical gardens.
5. Visit the zoo. Bring your own snacks (so you don’t have to buy them from the store), a big bottle of water and a camera.
6. Dedicate a day to photography: with your mobile phone or a kids’ camera, pick a park or some other attraction and take pictures. You can then download the best ones and print them (yes, there are still places where you can print photos, and the prices are low) and, along with a pressed plant, you can turn them into an album. This idea will take up two days of your holiday.
7. Drive to the nearest animal farm. Take pictures, buy natural products and, at the same time, spend an educational and fun day with your child.
8. Each city has many interesting sights you can visit. And you will definitely discover new and exciting places, even if you’ve lived there all your life: memorial houses, small museums, places that hide old secrets. Kids like interesting stories and a visit to a museum will be a chance for them to discover new places.
9. Show your child your favorite spots from when you were a child. Regardless of the town – it could be the one you’re living in or you home town – while you’re visiting the grandparents.
10. You must have some Facebook friends who like fishing. Talk to them and maybe join them next time they’re going. Even if you’re not a fan, it might be quite an adventure for your child. And your friend will definitely find him a line of his own.
11. See what other interesting hobbies your friends have and try them: mountain trekking, sleeping in a tent, spelunking (you don’t need professional equipment, you can borrow it from your friends).
12. You can sleep under the stars in the back yard. And in the evening you can stargaze or you can print a few pages of trivia about astronomy and astronauts.
13. Go to the big bookstores, that have special reading corners, and read books, comics, albums, for free.
14. Pay attention to free events for kids: workshops, contests, creative activities etc.
15. Go to the town pool or, if you live close to the sea, take a day trip to the seaside.
16. Take daytrips: by car or by train. If the destination is 1-2 hours away, it’s perfect: a lake, a mountain resort etc.
17. Ride your bikes around town. And if you have older children, drive or catch a train and try some easy bike trails in the mountains.
18. Play mini golf.
19. Is your family blessed with a little artist? Go to the park and draw the landscape.
20. Does he like little do-it-yourself projects? Go to the park and pick leaves, cones, and branches and build something that you can later frame.
21. Call good old friends, cousins and uncles – who live in another town – and visit them on weekends. You save the money on accommodation, you visit a new town and you get to spend precious moments with friends and loved ones. These visits are wonderful.
22. Teach the child to play chess.
23. It’s hard to keep the child away from the TV or the computer? Pick three interesting books that you will read with him by the end of the summer.
24. Paint – with brushes or fingers – an interesting artistic project and you’ll definitely make some nice memories.
25. Rearrange a room together: put stickers on walls; change the setting of the furniture, sort through toys.
26. Draw a course on the pavement and race on your roller blades.
27. Don’t let any day pass without dancing for 10 minutes.
28. Learn jokes and riddles.
29. Put together a small treasure hunt – you can leave clues around the house that will lead him, step by step, to the treasure. You can also do that outside. For example, if you were planning on seeing a movie at an outdoor cinema, you can tell him riddles that will take him from one place to the other, until you’ve reached the cinema.
30. If you have a little girl, you can make your own bracelets. It’s an activity perfect both for indoors and outdoors.
31. Get one or two other friends of your kid and throw them a small theme party: with play dough, Lego, cards and any other games.
32. If you have a yard or are visiting the grandparents, engage in a fruit-picking contest.
33. Water guns! Kids love them. Don’t forget a change of clothes!
34. Here’s a simple and quick idea. Make postcards and greetings or personalize your own T-shirts or napkins – all with potato stamps.
35. Race with paper airplanes.
36. Have a family game night, a family cooking night, a pizza night – anything that suits your family.
38. Volunteer for a cause, and involve your kids in the work. Pick something that’s not emotionally draining for them. Try environmental activities: planting trees, recycling etc.
39. Start your own garden.
40. At the end of the summer, build a time capsule and fill it with pictures and things you collected and built during the summer. If you don’t want to bury it, you can just keep it in the house.
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