Five low cost ways to inspire and entertain the kids this summer

Kids doing arts and crafts outdoors
Here's our top summer projects to complete with the kids this summer

School’s out for summer and if you’ve got kids to entertain over the next few weeks you may be scratching your head in terms of new ideas to keep them happy without spending a fortune. We’ve got some perfect low-cost solutions to get them outdoors wherever possible, although many can also make perfect rainy day projects.

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Go on an adventure

  • A heppy girl holding a plant inside egg carton
    Make long walks exciting by turning it into a scavenger hunt
  • A little girl holing a magnifying glass while on a scavenger hunt
    Make long walks exciting by turning it into a scavenger hunt

It can be hard to tear kids away from the sofa with the prospect of a ‘nice long walk’ but you can add some fun to your family strolls and grab their attention with a simple scavenger hunt, by providing them with a list of items they need to find along the way. The beauty is that you can tailor this activity to suit all ages – even toddlers can join in if you use pictures rather than words, and you can use it to encourage them to learn to read new words or practice with numbers. They’ll have completed the walk in no time without even realising it, helping them stay fit and healthy and using their brains along the way.

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Get creative with nature

  • Two girls painting pebles
    Turn pebbles into a work of art
  • Picture of someone creating a picture with flower petals
    Press flowers to preserve their beauty
  • Kids outdoors doing arts and crafts
    Let your little ones be creative in the outdoors

There are so many ways to get creative with items found outdoors, all you need are some simple art supplies which are available from most supermarkets and high street retailers. This is a great indoor or outdoor activity depending on the weather and can be tailored to your location – using items found on a beach, in a forest or simply from the back garden. Some of our favourite activities include painting pebbles in bright colours or making driftwood or shell pictures. There’s a big trend at the moment for painting pebbles and leaving them for others to find which will add an element of excitement to this activity. Another great idea is pressing flowers and using them to create beautiful handmade cards and pictures for friends and family. This can be turned into another great educational opportunity, helping children learn about the many trees and flowers they can find on their doorstep.

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Make a space to call their own

  • A girl playing in a den
    Create a play den outdoors
  • Father and daughter creating a den
    Create a play den outdoors

Let their imagination run wild and challenge them to create a den from things they find around the home or garden. You might have to put up with a bit of a mess but they will love creating their own little space to play or read while you get on with other things. The more blankets, rugs and pillows they can cram in, the cosier it will be, and they might even want to use it as a makeshift tent for sleepovers with friends. Challenge them to find inspiration for a pirate’s cave or a unicorn narnia – the options are endless.

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Give them a soaking

  • Kids playing with water balloons
    Stay cool this summer with a water fight
  • A bucket of water balloons
    Stay cool this summer with a water fight

There’s nothing better than being drenched in ice cold water on a hot summers day, right? The sound of kids squealing with delight during a water fight would suggest so! If you don’t have fancy water guns a few water balloons are all you need. Maybe create a ‘dodgeball’ type game with the kids competing to run from one side of the garden to the other while avoiding a direct hit. One things for certain – you won’t be able to avoid jumping in on the fun and getting wet!

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Create a classic garden friend

  • Two kid size scarecrows in the meadow
    Create scarecrows from old clothes
  • Scarecrow wearing a blue shirt and a straw hat
    Create scarecrows from old clothes

Have a wardrobe clear out or pop to a charity shop and get the kids creating their own scarecrow. All you need is a couple of wooden sticks or canes, some string, some old clothes and some straw. Secure the sticks to make your frame, create a head with some old tights stuffed with straw and then get creative with an outfit. Scarecrows come in all shapes and sizes, so let them go wild and see what they can do – maybe challenge them with a theme or get them to create a version of their favourite character from a book or film.