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.
Baking with kids
Baking with kids is a great way to spend time with them while teaching some much-needed skills for the future in a fun and creative environment. 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. Or throwback to your childhood with our classic chocolate rice crispy cakes – you’re never too old for chocolate and sprinkles!
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.
It’s excellent preparation for the upcoming Father’s Day. We have many beautiful Father’s Day cake recipes worth trying, but our lovely lemon curd & blueberry loaf cake is one noteworthy contender. With only 20 minutes of prep, this fuss-free cake is an excellent addition to any afternoon tea but is striking enough to fit centre stage for important celebrations. Invest in one of our best rated cake stands to show off your fabulous bakes.
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.
Our pizza with homemade sauce is a great recipe to make with children as kids can get messy kneading the dough. It also gives them the freedom to decorate their dish with whatever topping they like best, thereby teaching them about flavour pairings.
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 remove from the oven, coat the chicken in the sauce and return for a further eight minutes to thicken the sauce. Voila!
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.
For a vegetarian option why not try our veg & cheese rolls? Make a friendly competition of seeing who can grate the most veg.
Discover more fantastic kids' cooking recipes.
Arts & 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.
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. 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.
Why not pair your love for lowering your waste output 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! Decorate your paper mache bowls with homemade potato stamps to ensure that your old spuds also don’t go to waste.
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 flavour with your favourite scented essential oils, though the ingredients might have to be gathered in advance. We have tracked down where to buy citric acid for you.
Yoga for kids
Yoga is a great way to encourage children to exercise. It boosts flexibility, tranquillity and improves listening skills if children are following instructions. 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.
Music with kids
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 lollypop stick and some glue, you can create a fantastic woodwind panpipe.
Find more inspiration on instruments kids can make.
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...