42 summer activities for kids
Keep the little ones busy over summer with 42 fun activities, one for each day of the holidays. Discover anything from science experiments to baking projects and more.
Spend those long summer weeks with the kids doing enriching crafts, educational science experiments and fun baking projects. We've got plenty of inspiration for keeping the little ones busy and entertained while learning new things.
Celebrate a special occasion with our birthday ideas for kids at home including a spa day, afternoon tea or a pizza party. Plus, keep them entertained with our kids' party games including a treasure hunt or an athletics competition. Older kids will love our summer party ideas for teenagers.
Get the little ones in the kitchen with our kids' cooking recipes for wraps, pizzas and pasta. Or feed the whole house with our summer family recipes including simple traybakes, epic salads and hearty burgers.
42 ways to keep your kids entertained this summer
1) Plant fruits and vegetables
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 & veg for kids to grow guide.
2) Bake a sweet treat
Keep the kids occupied over the holidays with an easy baking project. Our top 10 kids' summer baking projects is loaded with great kid-friendly recipes, from blondies and blueberry muffins to scones and more.
More like this
3) Use an egg box for crafting
Egg boxes are fabulous for crafting: they have an interesting shape, are easy to cut or tear and can be turned into all manner of fun things, from a colourful caterpillar to a treasure chest as explored in our top 10 egg carton crafts for kids.
4) Make slime
Slime is always a fun activity that will keep kids entertained for hours. Our homemade edible slime recipe is easily made from everyday kitchen ingredients, including cornflour and coconut milk, and doesn't require borax.
5) Make a mud kitchen
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.
6) Make a fairy door
Spend more time in the garden with this fun fairy door craft. These popular decorations can be added to trees, walls or fences in the garden, or stuck onto a child’s bedroom skirting board to allow the fairies to come and go as they please. See how to make a fairy door or more easy garden crafts.
7) Make homemade ice lollies
Let the kids cool down in style with some easy-to-make ice lollies – the perfect treat on a hot summer’s day made from whole fruit, purées, juices or yogurt. Our best ice lollies for kids are simple enough for little ones to help out in the kitchen.
8) Go camping
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.
9) Make a walking rainbow
Stuck inside on a rainy day? Try a simple walking rainbow science experiment with just kitchen roll and fool colouring. Juliet Sear demonstrates this fun experiments which will result in a stunning rainbow.
10) Assemble homemade instruments
Explore the enriching world of music with some easy homemade instruments. Encouraging creativity and play while the kids are home from school is more important than ever, so spark their imaginations with these colourful designs. Make an elastic band guitar, paper panpipes, mini harmonica, maracas or a tin-can drum.
11) Keep kids active
Make sure the little ones are getting their exercise in with our top 5 ways to keep kids active. Kids that are getting a good amount of exercise will feel the benefits in everything from bone and muscle strength to concentration skills and mood. Try going for long walks, have a water fight in the garden, a treasure hunt or a fun dance.
12) Paint some rocks
Gather some smooth and fairly flat rocks from outside and paint them in vivid summer designs. They’ll brighten up the garden at any time of year, or you can use them as a paperweight, mantlepiece decoration or pick a larger stone for a homemade doorstop. For more details, see our easy rock painting for kids guide.
13) Bake a loaf of bread
Teach your kids basic bread skills and get creative with our fun baking recipes. Our easy, child-friendly breads include hedgehog rolls and a simple loaf. See our top 5 bread recipes for kids for more ideas.
14) Have a family film night
A night in with the family can be one of life’s simple pleasures if you do a little prep to make it an occasion, such as laying a picnic blanket out for the kids and whipping up a few treats. See our guide to the ultimate family film night for recipe ideas including popcorn, homemade slushies and the most amazing s’mores dip.
15) Play with salt dough
Making a batch of salt dough is always a good idea when stuck inside on a rainy day. Children will love using their imaginations to create all sorts of exciting objects and hours of fun painting their creations. All you'll need for this simple salt dough recipe is flour, salt and water.
16) Fold origami shapes
Origami is a simple craft that doesn’t require any special equipment – all you need to get started is a piece of paper! For a rainy day activity, we’ve chosen three ideas for kids and beginners to try. Learn how to make an origami frog, butterfly and dog with our easy origami for kids.
17) Make elephant toothpaste
Elephant toothpaste is an exciting science experiment for children to learn about chemical reactions. It gets its name from the fast-moving foam produced, which looks like a giant tube of toothpaste being squeezed. See how to make it with our elephant toothpaste recipe.
18) Go on a picnic
When the sun comes out, so do the picnic blankets. Spending an afternoon in the park in always a fun summer activity for the whole family. Create a menu of sandwiches, salads, pies, sweet treats and refreshing drinks with our best family picnic recipes.
19) Make a bath bomb
Try making your own homemade bath bombs for an easy kitchen project that kids will love – give these as gifts or use them to make bath times more fun. Experiment with colours, add flowers from your garden and use different shapes. Once you have the main ingredients, it’s really easy to adapt this bath bomb recipe to what you already have at home.
20) Have a pizza-making party
This is a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Our guide to pizza party ideas has so many handy tips and tricks for how to host the best one. Of course, it all starts with great pizza, and we've got recipes for classic, gluten-free and keto bases, so you can get involved no matter your diet.
21) Plant a herb garden
Creating a herb garden is an easy way to teach young children how to grow their own food. Many herbs are easy to grow and have fragrant leaves, providing additional interest to young minds. See how to plant a herb garden including how to grow from seeds and plant in pots.
22) Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is useful for children and adults alike, with kids as young as nursery age learning about it in school. Mindfulness is paying attention, noticing what’s happening outside of you, as well as your thoughts and feelings, and letting it all be as it is. Try our mindfulness exercises with your little ones as a way to relax and unwind.
23) Make garden wind chimes
Pop outside with the kids and gather some simple materials to make this colourful craft. There are lots of different ways you can make wind chimes for your garden, but we’ve chosen this method using colourful painted sticks so that it’s easy enough for kids to make. See how to make garden wind chimes with our complete guide.
24) Enjoy an afternoon tea
Have a kid-friendly afternoon tea, complete with scones, sandwiches, cakes and fruit punch. Why not get creative and try our loaded open sandwiches that are piled high with flavours such as egg, ham and cream cheese. You could also help them make their own jam to go with their scones. Pick one of our jam recipes for a delicious homemade preserve.
25) Make bubble mixture
If you’ve run out of store-bought bubble mixture or need a quick entertainment idea for the kids, it’s easy to make your own bubbles from washing-up liquid and water. Learn how to make bubble mixture and find ideas for making your own bubble wands.
26) Blend up a smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to cool down over the summer. Whizz up one of our kid-approved fresh fruit and veg-filled smoothies, packed with health benefits. Try our refreshing watermelon smoothie or one of our best smoothies for kids.
27) Design a puppet theatre
This cheap and easy kids’ craft transforms an old cereal box into a puppet theatre – with free characters for you to print and colour in at home. See how to make a puppet theatre from scratch with our simple guide.
28) Make pom-poms
Homemade pom-poms are a quick and budget-friendly craft that kids will enjoy making – you only need wool, cardboard and scissors to make one. Add a pair of googly eyes to make it into a pet! Learn how to make pom-poms with our step-by-step craft guide.
29) Make some fun cupcakes
In keeping with summer, have a go at making these fun flowerpot muffins served in terracotta garden pots. Double chocolate chip muffins are topped with rice paper flowers for these eye-catching cakes.
30) Frame a photo
All you need for this easy garden craft is some sticks and twine. Just be careful of splinters and thorns while searching for the perfect twig! You can leave the photo frame plain for a rustic look, or kids might like to paint it in a bright colour. To finish, add your favourite family photo or get the children to draw their own picture for the centre. See how to make a stick photo frame with our easy guide.
31) Do some yoga practice
Unwind this summer and do some relaxing yoga poses with the kids. Little ones will enjoy spending the time together and finding inventive stretches to practice. Find some simple videos online or try our fun yoga for kids.
32) Treat them to a dessert fondue
For an easy dessert make up some refreshing fruit skewers with chocolate dip for a fruity fondue dessert. They be great for serving outside after a barbecue and will avoid any chocolatey mess inside!
33) Draw with ice lolly pens
Cool down this summer with these frozen ice lolly pens. Juliet Sear shows us how to make these fun treats – they can be eaten and used to draw with. Kids will love to create their own artwork and let their imaginations run wild.
34) Sensory play
Giving kids the freedom to be messy is not only good fun, it can help develop their hand-eye coordination and basic motor skills, too. Try our sensory play ideas with your little ones to keep them occupied and help them learn. Make a batch of rainbow spaghetti, blow some bubbles or do an ice block treasure hunt.
35) Mix up a batch of mocktails
Looking for some afternoon refreshment? Keep the little ones hydrated with our mocktails for kids including watermelon lemonade, peach iced tea, ginger beer and more. Make a big batch for a kids party or pack a flask for a picnic.
36) Make a bouquet of paper flowers
Celebrate colourful blooms with our easy paper flower ideas. Paper flowers crafted from card, crepe paper, tissue paper or even materials found in your kitchen look really effective. Learn how to make very easy flowers for kids and more advanced methods for grown-ups.
37) Have a pancake board brunch
Our pancake sharing board would make a great weekend treat for the kids. Make the pancakes and cook the bacon first and keep warm while you assemble everything else on the board. Fill with fruits, sauces and jams for a delicious start to the day.
38) Make a healthy snack
Making your own snacks can be a healthier and cheaper alternative to shop-bought versions. Making your own recipe puts you in control of the ingredients and therefore they are likely to be lower in sugar, salt, saturated fat and additives. See our healthy snack ideas for crisps and biscuits made from fruits and vegetables.
39) Play with papier-mâché
Papier-mâché is a versatile craft material that can be used to build a number of projects. Make some at home with just newspaper, flour and warm water. See our papier-mâché recipe for detailed instructions and craft ideas.
40) Teach them some new kitchen skills
If your little ones are new to the kitchen, check out our Kids' Kitchen series that teaches children basic culinary skills. Our videos, recipes and advice will guide you and your children through essential skills and get them confident in the kitchen.
41) Make a bee flowerpot
These friendly flowerpot characters are the perfect way to get kids buzzing about planting their own herb garden, with the added bonus of being really enjoyable to make. Paint a small terracotta pot and decorate with eyes and antennae. See how to make a bee flowerpot for more details.
42) Go foraging
Make the most of the fresh country air and take your kids foraging for wild foodie treats. Be sure to read up on our beginner's guide to foraging which explains what to pick and when. Discover the wonders of your local area, finding wild food including elderflower, wild garlic and fruits. Once you've got your loot, search the ingredients on our website to find the tastiest recipes.