Cheap school holiday projects for kids
Want to keep the kids happy, inspired and busy this summer? There's no need to spend a fortune with our creative ideas for children of all ages...
Keeping active kids entertained during the school holidays can be a challenge, and it's easy to start feeling like every minute should be packed full of roller coasters and cartoons.
But sometimes, simply sitting down and helping your children create something imaginative (and tasty) is just as satisfying as seeing them hurtled upside down at a theme park – and much cheaper, too.
Check out these fun foodie activities that won't break the bank, and see our kids' activities hub page for plenty more ideas.
Create the building blocks for a fun afternoon – in chocolate form! This classic school dinner dessert is easy to make using a few basic baking ingredients. We've given it an update by serving with caramel instead of the traditional pink custard, but you can get creative with your toppings. Little builders could even construct their own chocolate concrete hut, cemented with buttercream and finished with sprinkles and sweets.
Discover more brilliant kids' baking projects.
Chocolate jungle jam jar
Bring out the Heston Blumenthal in your little chef with these fun and quirky jam jars. Getting busy with chocolate jungle swamp, coconut grass, icing creepers and jelly snakes will keep them focused for hours. Older children can get hands-on with the baking, while younger ones will enjoy filling the jars. Be warned, they might be so proud of their creations that no tasting on your part will be allowed.
Or, try a savoury twist by layering up these colourful rainbow salad jars for a feel-good lunch.
Play fancy dress with some homemade edible necklaces. Threading is a great task for concentration and hand-eye coordination, and loads of ingredients can be used, from soft fruit to popcorn or cereal.
Loop cereal necklaces
Use fruit laces or liquorice strings and thread cereal (we used Cheerios) onto the strings until they're full. Tie them securely, but be careful when pulling the knots to avoid breaking the edible strings.
Using a wooden skewer, pierce the popcorn, then thread onto fruit laces or liquorice strings with mini marshmallows to give different colours and textures. Also try pieces of fruit, such as green grapes and dried apricots, with soft sweets threaded onto fruit laces.
Promised the kids a half-term sleepover? Making pizza is a brilliant way to entertain a group of rowdy children. Have a big batch of dough at the ready and let them get on with the rolling and topping. Have all the topping ingredients out in little bowls and get the kids to taste things they might normally shy away from, like red pepper strips or mushrooms. Serve with hummus to dip the crusts in, so nothing goes to waste.
For a seafood twist, also try these tuna, olive & rocket pizzas, which make the most of simple storecupboard ingredients. Or transform pitta breads into sizzling salami pizzas, which will go down a storm at a kids' cooking party.
Fruit memory game
This is a fun way of introducing new fruits to children, as well getting them to eat some of their 5-a-day favourites, too.
Use an assortment of fruit such as: apples, apricots and bananas, sliced strawberries, a small handful of raspberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, grapes and cherry tomatoes. You will also need 10 paper cups. Once you have gathered your ingredients you can place one fruit under each cup. Write a list of the fruits you’ve used. Shuffle the cups around, then guess which ones are hiding the matching fruits as you work down the list. Eat the fruit when you get it right!
Fruity ice-lolly pens
Hot day? Cool the kids down and get them involved in a fun activity with these fruity ice-lolly pens. They will never have enjoyed practicing their handwriting so much, and are bound to enjoy experimenting with different fruity ingredients, too.
Tip – Ocado sell umbrella lolly moulds (£5 for a set of 6) that are perfect for the pen shape, but any thin ice-lolly set will work.
Check out more of our fun and fruity kids' ice lolly recipes.
Cool down on summer days by making these super easy and impressive watermelon lemonade cups. If your little ones are too young to handle a knife, then let them help by making the crushed watermelon and lemonade filling. All you need is a watermelon, citrus fruits, sugar and soda water, so this refreshing drink won't cost the earth and kids can show them off to friends at a party.
Find more refreshing kids' mocktail ideas
Get more kids' holiday inspiration...
Activities for kids
Rainy day cooking projects for kids
Summer cooking recipes for kids
Autumn cooking projects for kids
Top 5 easy bakes for kids
Good Food Kids' YouTube recipes
Fun Easter projects for kids
Kids' activities hub page
What will you be doing with the kids this holiday? We would love to hear your ideas...