It can be hard to keep children entertained over six whole weeks of summer holidays, and with scorching weather one day and rain the next, we can expect typical changeable British weather continuing throughout the months of July and August.
Here I have put together a list of frugal activity ideas which you can keep in your back pocket so that you have an activity ready to go no matter what the weather forecast. The best thing about these ideas? Most won’t even make a dent in your weekly budget- especially if you remember to pack a picnic lunch!
Make a water slide
If you have your own garden, or perhaps a friend or family member has a garden, a great way to spend a summer day is making your own water slide! If you are able to get hold of a long piece of smooth plastic sheeting or tarpaulin from your local hardware shop, this is the perfect base for a slide. The only other things you need to make a water slide are a hose pipe and some washing up liquid to create some slippery foam. You can definitely bring this out a few times over the summer holidays and kids will have so much fun with it.
Go to the beach
If you are lucky enough to live in a coastal town, the beach is an absolute no brainer for a frugal day out. If you pack your own lunch, all you’ll need to fork out for is some ice creams. The beach can offer so much from swimming and making sandcastles, to rock pooling and sports on the sand- children will be entertained for the entire day.
On a wet weather day in the summer, it can be easy to give in and spend money on a trip to the cinema or an indoor play centre. This is a great treat but if you’ve got a load of rainy days in a row it can be tough to maintain expensive days out during the holidays. Encouraging your kids to do crafts on days at home inspires creativity and is a nice alternative to days in front of the TV or games console.
Go to the park
The park is something you can do at least once a week if you have one nearby. It’s a great place for the kids to let off some steam, and you can bring bikes or scooters to help keep them entertained. The whole family can come along and get some fresh air and exercise and if you bring a packed lunch you can make a full day of it whilst staying frugal.
Make a den
Depending on the weather, the kids could make a den indoors or outdoors- I have never met a kid who doesn’t love the idea of a treehouse and a den is a good substitute. Get them reading some of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and they will be making up secret codes and passwords for their dens all summer long!
Grow some seedlings
Encourage your kids to help out in the garden and grow some of their own seedlings. Cress is always an easy one to grow, and since it grows so quickly kids can harvest their produce around one week later! If you want to go more adventurous you could even try growing some tomato or strawberry plants, and food always tastes better when it is home grown!
Visit a free city farm
There are lots of free city farms throughout the UK, especially in London. Here you can usually see sheep, pigs and goats roaming around- you can sometimes even buy special food to feed them by hand. You can also go fruit picking at some farms, and many will have fresh produce on sale at a farm shop.
Baking is the perfect frugal rainy day activity. Head to Aldi or Lidl and you can get all the ingredients you need to bake a cake or biscuits for a few pounds. If you have a few little bakers to entertain, biscuits can be a great idea as each child can think up their own biscuit designs.
Visit the local library
If you haven’t already got a library card, get one! Not only can you borrow the latest books (for FREE), but many libraries will also have free activity mornings or afternoons running throughout the school holidays which your child can get involved with.
Visit free museums and galleries near you
Throughout the country there are a ton of museums and galleries that offer free entry for both adults and children. Search online to find some places of interest near you that are child-friendly and most importantly, free to visit!