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 rollercoasters 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.

Check out these fun foodie activities that won't break the bank, and see our kids' activities hub page for plenty more ideas. We have helpful tips on keeping your kids active or keep a group entertained overnight with our top activities for kids’ sleepovers. And while we hope that summer will be an endless collection of sunny, beautiful days, we know to expect rain and be prepared for it: our best indoor activities for kids is a great guide for keeping kids occupied when they can’t enjoy the fresh air.

Baking with kids

Baking with kids is a lovely way to spend time with them while teaching some ever-useful skills for the future in a fun and creative environment.

1. Simple iced biscuits

Simple biscuits

Let your young ones’ artistic flair thrive with our simple iced biscuits. They’re the perfect mix of educational and fun as you can practice spelling while decorating.

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2. Chocolate rice crispy cakes

Chocolate rice crispy cakes

Or throwback to your childhood with our classic chocolate rice crispy cakes – you’re never too old for chocolate and sprinkles!

3. Chocolate concrete with caramel sauce


Our chocolate concrete with caramel sauce is a great building block for a fun afternoon. You could even construct your chocolate hut using buttercream for cement. And while you have some buttercream ready, why not enjoy our easy vanilla cupcakes? With just four simple steps, children can take the lead.

4. Watermelon sugar cookies

A selection of watermelon sugar cookies

Harry Styles fans will particularly love these cute, fruit-shaped cookies, but that's definitely not a prerequisite for enjoying this activity! They do take a little more work with the red and green doughs, so this is an activity that will probably need a fair amount of adult involvement. If your kids can't get enough watermelon-themed bakes, try our watermelon doughnuts next.

5. White chocolate unicorn bark

Shards of white chocolate colourful bark

Kids can have limitless fun playing around with colour combinations for this white chocolate bark. Use whatever sweets, mini marshmallows, sprinkles and other treats you have lying around.

6. Garden carrot cake

A little girl decorating a carrot cake

This bunny-themed carrot cake is great for baking with kids as it is vibrant and fun but can be made in four simple steps. If you’re cooking with older kids, it’s great for teaching them how to use a piping bag, but if you want to try this recipe with younger children, don’t let this fiddly technique stop you. You can still get a similar grass-like effect by spooning on the icing and texturing it with a knife or a fork.

7. Unicorn poo meringues

Colourful meringues decorated with faces

These fun, emoji-inspired bakes have been given a unicorn glow-up. Kids will love using ready-to-roll black and white fondant icing to make the faces for the meringues.

Discover more ways to make magical unicorn-inspired recipes.

8. Cake pops

Cake pops topped with sprinkles on a board

Cake pops never fail to go down a treat. Depending on the age of the kids, they may be able to help out with baking the cake itself, if not they can get involved with the fan part of rolling the cake mixture into balls, dipping them in chocolate and sprinkling on hundreds and thousands.

Discover more brilliant kids' baking recipes.

Cooking with kids

Teaching kids the joys of navigating their way around the kitchen is a great way to spend the holiday. Here at BBC Good Food we have developed a series called Kids’ Kitchen of videos and recipes with the intention of teaching kids six essential skills in order to create a variety of delicious dishes from scratch.

9. Pizza with homemade sauce

Margherita pizza topped with basil and cut into slices

Our pizza with homemade sauce is a fun recipe to make with children as they can get messy kneading the dough. It also gives them the freedom to decorate their dish with whatever topping they like best, teaching them about flavour pairings.

10. Sticky lemon & sesame chicken

Chicken with noodles and pak choi

A dish that will be a winner with kids of all ages is our sticky lemon & sesame chicken. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes in the oven and let your young one practise measuring the quantities of the sauce ingredients with a measuring spoon. Then coat the chicken in the sauce and return to the oven for a further eight minutes to thicken the sauce.

11. Teriyaki salmon parcels

Piece of salmon on top of green vegetables inside some aluminium foil

Another Asian-inspired dish that is great for cooking with kids is our teriyaki salmon parcels. This recipe was written with bold instructions for the children. This is great for keeping kids involved and practising their reading and comprehension.

12. Veg & cheese rolls

Pastry rolls stacked on a plate filled with vegetables and cheese

For a vegetarian option why not try our veg & cheese rolls? Make a friendly competition of seeing who can grate the most veg.

13. Baked vegan korma

Oven dish filled with cauliflower, green beans and chickpeas covered in spices

Get the kids to help make this vegan take on a korma. With a clear list of ingredients and step-by-step method, the recipe is ideal for children aged seven to 11 who are learning to cook.

14. Easy chow mein for kids

Spotty green bowl filled with chicken chow mein

Let the kids make the classic takeaway favourite with chicken, red pepper and spring onion, coated with an easy soy, tomato ketchup, ginger and garlic sauce.

15. Spaghetti & meatballs with hidden veg sauce

Spaghetti and meatballs with a tomato sauce

Serve up to six kids (plus two adults) with this classic spaghetti and meatballs dish with added health benefits from blitzed courgette in the sauce. Even self-professed courgette-hating kids will struggle to detect the veg when it's blended in with the tinned tomatoes and garlic!

16. Fajitas

Fajita wrap with chicken, cheese, coriander and lime on top

Fajitas are a great meal to help kids get confident in the kitchen. Zesty marinated chicken is topped with a homemade red pepper salsa and creamy guac for a flavoursome dinner the whole family will love.

17. Kids' club sandwiches

Club sandwich on a decorative background

While parents can get to work on grilling the bacon for these tasty little sandwiches, kids will love to help assemble them and pop the paper-topped cocktail stick in for the finishing touch. They could even form a part of a kids' afternoon tea party - see our afternoon tea activity further down the list.

Discover more fantastic kids' cooking recipes.

Arts and crafts for kids

Arts and crafts are a great cheap activity for kids over the summer holidays. There’s no need to break the bank as we have gathered several fun options for experiments and activities that use only regular household items.

18. Playdough recipe

Girl playing with playdough

Discover the fun of creating your own play dough. This easy-to-follow play dough recipe is one of our favourite indoor activities using just plain flour, table salt, vegetable oil and water – plus whatever food colouring you can conjure up from the back of the cupboard. Kids can use biscuit cutters to press out shapes or make their own models.

19. Edible slime recipe

Hands holding blue slime

An equally popular plaything is slime. Our edible slime recipe uses only coconut milk, icing sugar, cornflour and food colouring to create a stretchy substance that kids won’t want to put down.

20. Paper mache

Two children making paper mache

Pair your love for lowering your waste with your child’s love for getting messy Paper mache is a great way to give old newspapers a second life, and there are few feelings as satisfying as peeling PVA glue off your hands!

21. Potato stamps

Potato stamps

Decorate your paper mache bowls with homemade potato stamps to ensure that your old spuds also don’t go to waste.

22. Bath bomb

Round bath bomb and star shaped bath bombs next to bowl filled with bath bomb mix

For those aspiring chemists, this one is fascinating. Learn how to make your own bath bomb. A great personalised gift for loved ones as you can fragrance with your favourite scented essential oils, though the ingredients might have to be gathered in advance. We have even tracked down where to buy citric acid for you.

23. Ladybird rock painting


Kids will have a great time painting their own little critters with very minimal resources. Find a smooth stone or two, then simply paint with the design of choice - the brighter the better!

24. Make salt dough

Salt dough being painted

Salt dough is a very inexpensive activity which allows your kids' creativity to run wild. Simply requiring plain flour, table salt and water, which most likely you will already have in your cupboard. We've got lots of ideas to help get the creative juices flowing - how about salt dough cupcakes for a teddy bear's picnic or fruit and veg to play shop with?

Activities for kids

25. Yoga for kids

Child doing yoga

Yoga is a great way to encourage children to exercise. It boosts flexibility, tranquillity and following instructions improves listening skills. Our yoga expert Charlene Lim has created a fun yoga for kids sequence. Read it aloud to your little ones and play along with each character you meet – throw yourself into the sound effects and you'll get just as much enjoyment out of it as the kids.

Yoga is a great way to teach children the benefits of mindfulness. Once your children are in the right headspace, why not try out another of these 10 mindfulness exercises for kids.

26. Music with kids

Panpipes made of straws

It's never too early to start developing your musical ability. And what better way to keep kids occupied during the summer holidays than by having them not only play an instrument but make it, too. The kids will have a whale of a time making and decorating their one-of-a-kind instruments.

Raid the recycling bin for a tissue box, some elastic bands and an empty kitchen roll tube, and create an elastic band guitar. Rock and roll, not your thing? Using only paper straws, a lollipop stick and some glue, you can create a fantastic woodwind panpipe.

Find more inspiration on instruments kids can make.

27. Plant fruits & vegetables

A child watering a plant

Make the most of the warm weather and spend some time outside. Encourage kids to grow their own fruits and vegetables such as courgettes, beans, tomatoes, salad leaves and strawberries. To learn how to grow your own crops, see our fruit and veg for kids to grow guide or how to grow your own herbs.

28. Make a mud kitchen

Kids using kitchen utensils with mud

Mud kitchens are the perfect way for kids to engage in make-believe play in the garden. It's a great activity to set up that kids will return to day after day. Read our mud kitchen ideas guide for the basics including craft ideas and which toy kitchens and accessories to buy.

29. Go camping

Family walking in front of a teepee tent

Plan a family camping trip to celebrate the great outdoors. Our easy family camping recipes make it simple to cook meals around the campfire and pack snacks on the go. See our packed lunches, sausage skewers, melty marshmallows and more.

30. Make an afternoon tea

Girls decorating rose & pistachio tea cakes

Afternoon teas can cost a small fortune these days, so why not encourage the kids to make their own version at home? Kids will love to see the fruits of their labour turn into easy scones, sandwiches and cakes, perfect for a special occasion at home.

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...

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