With the summer holidays here for most people (or about to begin for the lucky ones who got an extra week of school) it can be seriously hard keeping everyone entertained 24/7. Whilst it's perfectly acceptable to sit around and do nothing, I could happily do it all day, my boys would not take as much enjoyment from it as I would - they need to be kept busy. Funds are unlimited so not everyday can be a day out and we all have things we have to get done at home too, so I've put together a list of 27 things you can do this summer with your little ones that wont break the bank.

  1. Make scrapbooks of all your summer adventures.
  2. Water fights
  3. Buy a disposable barbecue & get the littles involved with cooking in the garden.
  4. Go on a local train / bus ride (toddlers LOVE this)
  5. Build a fort / den.
  6. Grab a cheap tent and have a mock camp out.
  7. Use a bag of soil with rakes, spades and buckets for some cheap messy play.
  8. Balloon tennis
  9. Draw on the path with water and paintbrushes
  10. Freeze animals in ice and then dig them out.
  11. Make homemade lemonade
  12. Make treasure maps and go exploring.
  13. Bug hunts!
  14. Have a complete pj day
  15. Washing up bowls and soapy water - give toy cars a 'car wash'
  16. Make fruit kebabs
  17. Coke and mentos, make fireworks.
  18. Aquabeads in the water tray or paddling pool.
  19. Cutting and sticking from magazines (or the argos catalogue is a winner)
  20. Have a teddy bears picnic
  21. Make necklaces using dry pasta or cheerios
  22. Visit the UK free zoo - Pets at home
  23. Paint with kitchen utensils, fruit or veg
  24. Leaf threading
  25. Create a 'bored' jar with simple activities
  26. Paint rocks or pebbles then hide them
  27. Go puddle jumping, or catch rain water in jugs

It's really hard to get activities that are suitable for those under 5, especially when you have more than one child and they're at totally different stages but most of these ideas can be adapted to suit. I worked in childcare for five years so I've tried and tested almost any messy or creative play idea you can think of. We all know toddlers get bored easily, so the last thing you want is to have set up some massive elaborate activity for them to decide they don't like it when you're two minutes in. Hopefully there are some ideas here to keep even the most fickle little ones entertained this summer.


  1. I love the idea of making a scrapbook of your summer holidays! My kids also love to build a den xx

  2. These are such great ideas. Definitely something we will be trying out.

  3. We have a similar set of ideas for us this year. It’s going to be fun filled.

  4. Throw back to my childhood! Mum always made us do scrapbooks during the holidays, and your post has made me want to start doing it with my kids! x

  5. These are amazing ideas! This needs a Pinterest button as it’s so useful!

  6. Uk free zoo is the best one! Love it x

  7. Lovely list of free actoactivi to do with the kids to make summer holidays fun and special. We are huge fans of making a summer holidays scrapbook filled with our adventures and memories.

  8. Thank you for these! Such a great list! Will
    Definitely be using!

  9. amazing post ive possible borrowed this list my two are going to love this

  10. Amazing ideas Em! I can remember cutting out of the argos mag when i was a kid haha xx

  11. Great ideas here, water fights are a firm favourite for us! xx