5 Almost Free Things To Do With The Kids During The Summer Holidays

We’re a week in to the Summer Holidays and already this mum has spent more than she does in a normal week as two adorable (sometimes) little girls are at home a bit more. Entertaining smaller children takes time, effort and quite often money. Unfortunately, in my world there is not a bottomless pit of money for the summer so here are a few things I’ve discovered that we can do which won’t bankrupt me.

The Park

Never underestimate the power of the park. Over the course of the year we’ve done a tour of all the parks in our home town. Sometimes we’ve visited several in a day; they often have different things to play on. The girls now have their favourites and we can take a picnic to make the trip last longer. Note: remember to pick a park with age appropriate equipment, there’s nothing worse than trying to boost a 2 year old on to a wooden platform just so they can go down a slide and then want to go again.

The Beach

If you don’t live near the beach then I totally understand that this will not be free or anything close. If you do live near to one, then pick up some towels and a picnic and go. Most children couldn’t give a stuff about the weather when it comes to the beach; they just want to go (I have great memories of building damns in the sand on the beach at Portwrinkle in the pouring rain, I didn’t care it was fun).

Invite a Tree to Tea

This is an initiative launched by the Woodland Trust to raise awareness of our native woodlands. If you go to their Facebook page it will direct you to the website and instructions of how to send off for a free activity pack for a tree related picnic. We haven’t had our picnic yet but see below for the activity pack. There’s also a competition to win £1000 of Sainsbury’s vouchers.

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Visit your local library

Thanks to austerity libraries are getting thinner on the ground and they need your support. Also, reading to your children and getting them to read to you are vitally important to their well-being and academic success (sorry English Teacher hat just slipped on there). To encourage reading hundreds of libraries around the country are encouraging children to take part in the The Big Friendly Read this summer. Your child is encouraged to take out and read books, every time they return a book they get given a Roald Dahl themed collector’s card to put in a special wallet. Once they have collected all six cards, the child is given a medal. We started this week, after some initial reluctance from Bebe, she seems to have embraced the idea and read one of her books to Himself last night word perfect. Cue proud parent moment. The Big Friendly Read runs until September and costs nothing.

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Find out about wildlife

You can download spotter sheets for wildlife in all sorts of different areas from the internet. Or, if you’re mildly obsessed like us, you might already have some spotter’s guides for children. You can also try googling Wildlife Trusts in your area and see if they are offering any children’s activities over the summer. Dorset Wildlife Trust has two separate reserves in our area and they are both offering activities throughout July and August aptly named ‘Caterpillar Kids’ and ‘Cuttlefish Kids’. Each activity costs £2.50 and children do need to be accompanied.

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If you have any other suggestions for cheap and fun activities please feel free to add them below.


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