How to keep kids entertained this summer (part 1: home)

The final half term of school is upon us. Just six short weeks, and then school’s out for the summer.

If you’re wondering how to keep the kids entertained for a month and a half, then our roundup of the best UK parent blogs has plenty of ideas. In fact, we found so many great summer activities online, we decided to split the post into two parts.

Part 1 (what you’re reading now) is full of ways to keep children busy at home. Part 2 (to follow) has tonnes of ideas for family holidays abroad.

Happy reading!

Crafts on Sea

Younger kids will love giving these paper-bag cuties a haircut
Image: Crafts on Sea

If you’re looking for activities to do with younger children, Kate of Crafts on Sea has no less than 28 of them in one of her posts, including making dragonfly suncatchers and rocking paper plate crabs. One of our favourites is the paper bag haircut craft, pictured above. And to light up your kids’ imagination while also encouraging a love for literature, check out Kate’s wonderful crafts to go alongside popular children’s books like the Gruffalo and Supertato.

Dear Bear and Beany

Older children with a head for heights would love this ascent up Spinnaker Tower
Image: Dear Bear and Beany

A summer holiday just wouldn’t be a summer holiday without some exciting day trips to look forward to. For outings inspiration, try Dear Bear and Beany. Blogger Laura and her family have clocked up plenty of days out in the UK and share their reviews on the blog. Check out their adventures in Wales, Suffolk, Cornwall and beyond. A standout is Laura’s recent ascent of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower – something older children would definitely enjoy.

ET Speaks from Home

Folding paper aeroplanes on the family’s ‘letter A’ day
Image: ET Speaks From Home

Summer holidays can feel so disjointed when you’re struggling to find things to do. So how about theming each day of the holidays around a letter of the alphabet like Eileen of ET Speaks From Home? On letter A day, she taught her kids how to write their address and fold an aeroplane. They also ate an apple and played with toy animals. Working through the alphabet is a fun way to structure your activities – although you’ll need to get more inventive on some of the days. On day Q, for instance, Eileen taught her kids about quadrangles and quail eggs, and they made paper quilt patterns and queen’s crowns.

Diary of the Evans Crittens

Go hunting for minibeasts or craft your own
Image: OnlyZoia

Claire from Diary of the Evans Crittens has plenty of days out and craft activities up her sleeve each summer. But she’s not afraid of boredom:

Giving our children the chance to get a little bored is giving them the chance to be creative and use their imaginations – after all, necessity is the mother of invention!

Claire loves to get her kids crafting outdoors in the summer. Her blog has plenty of cute ideas to keep hands and minds happy, including the minibeast scene pictured above.

A Family Day Out

How about a tour of disused Aldwych Station?
Image: A Family Day Out

If you’re looking for day-trip inspiration to suit tweens and teens, then look no further than A Family Day Out. Christine’s blog has tonnes of outdoorsy adventures for older children. The family are big on camping and enjoying nature, but they also love a city break. If you’ve got any history buffs in the family, Christine recommends a tour of hidden London. She and her family got the chance to mooch around disused Aldwych tube station, whose platform served as an air-raid shelter during World War II. But before you book, please be advised that tours run by Hidden London have strict age restrictions.

A Mummy Too

Outdoor adventure for the brave at heart
Image: A Mummy Too

There’s a lot to be said for enriching your kids’ learning while they’re on summer break, says Emily Leary of A Mummy Too. That way you avoid the ‘summer slide’ – the phenomenon where children fall behind with their learning and then have difficulty getting back into it come September. Her blog has tonnes of holiday activities to keep kids’ learning fresh while they play over the summer. And if you fancy getting wild and adventurous this holiday, check out her post on Steve Backshall’s Brave Bones Club videos – five outdoor adventures you can recreate for next to nothing.

Boo Roo and Tigger Too

Life’s a picnic with Sarah’s fun ideas
Image: Boo Roo and Tigger Too

Make the most of summer at home with a holiday bucket list, like Sarah of Boo Roo and Tigger Too. And if you hold a family meeting and let everyone pitch in, there’ll be less room for grumbles later on. Sarah’s also got some wonderful ideas for making picnics something special – including a Mrs Nesbitt tea party a la Toy Story or a dino-picnic: “Take a bucketful of dinosaurs and have an awesome expedition complete with lava juice and Jurassic jam sandwiches.

Chelsea Mamma

These toilet-roll puppets are a perfect rainy-day craft for little ones
Image: Chelsea Mama

“No matter how many fun days out you have or just how many toys they have to play with, if they’re stuck in the house doing nothing but watching TV…. you know you’re going to be hearing the frequent ‘I’m bored’…” writes Chelsea Mamma’s Kara Guppy. Thankfully her blog has lots of rainy day craft ideas like these toilet-roll puppets, pictured above. Older children would love her terrarium building activity – a cool craft they can display in their bedrooms when they’re finished.

We hope you’ve found some new ideas here for things to do with your kids over the summer holiday. We’d love to know your plans too. If you’ve got a cool craft or terrific trip you’d like to tell us about, share it over on our Facebook page.

Lead image: Oleisa Bilkei

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