School’s out for summer…Yay! Or Arghhh!  Depending on where you stand.    The long school holiday is the time when we lose our free childcare.  We have to think of STUFF TO DO.  And hope that it’s not gonna rain all summer.  Of course it’s great to spend time with the family.  But six weeks?  SIX WEEKS!   We’ve come up with a few activities for primary school age kids.  If you’ve got any more ideas, let us know.  It’s six weeks, we need lots.

If you work from home school holidays can be a challenge. But it’s best to accept that your working day will be disrupted rather than getting annoyed.  Whether you can spare the time to play with the kids, or need something to distract them while you work, have a bunch of activities ready to pull out of the bag.

Stuff to do with your kids in the school holiday

Chuck ‘em outdoors.

If you’ve got a safe space for them to be outside, that’s where they should be.  Raining?  That’s what coats are for !

Set some challenges: build a den, dig a hole, learn to juggle

Water.  Water is the best fun.  If you haven’t got water pistols and cannons, try empty washing up bottles, and balloons filled with water.  They’ll soon find a way of maximising the fun out of that.  Have a towel ready for when they’ve done.  For little ones, fill an old baby bath or washing up bowl with water and provide beakers, plastic bottles, kids’ tea sets, yoghurt cartons, large spoons and let them at it.  Again, towel.

School Holiday Stuff to do in the City

Ready Made Activities Check your city’s websites – councils and museums usual run summer activities for kids – craft, sport, creative play, that sort of thing.

Shopping Taking the kids with you on a shopping trip can be a nightmare.  So don’t fight it, turn it into an activity.  Set them a treasure hunt.  Provide a tick list of things to spot, like those old I-Spy books we had, but specially adapted to your kids.  Don’t expect to be able to do a full afternoon’s shop without moaning.  Timetable in some café breaks or sit-downs.  Icecream for final reward?

School Holiday
Set the kids a DIY I-Spy challenge


Cooking afternoons – bake a pizza and a pudding for tea

Tea-party for friends/dolls/teddybears – get them making buns and sandwiches with their fave fillings

Build a den.  Provide blankets and sheets and cushions.  Help younger children but if they can do it themselves, let them get on with it.  Tea-sets, teddy-bears, etc optional.

Write or draw a journal.  Whether it’s on the laptop with accompanying photographs, or a notebook and felt tips, set them a challenge to keep a diary for a week.  It can be true-to-life or total fiction.  Let their imaginations run wild.  Don’t worry about the final result, just let them enjoy it.   If you’re out and about some days, they can collect “souvenirs” to add to their journals (till receipts, tickets, postcards, feathers, sweet wrappers, whatever they fancy holding on to.

Have a film day.  There’s always gonna be a day when it’s just horrid outside, and everyone’s a bit demotivated.  Have a film afternoon.  Invite friends round if you can cope with more kids.  Make popcorn and snacks in the morning (see, there’s another activity!).  Arrange the chairs, close the curtains.  Serve snacks in the “intervals”.  By evening, you’ll all be square eyed and ready for something different, so get round the kitchen table for a fish and chip/burger/pizza supper, with special drinks and silly straws.

Model-making Invest in model making kits and commit the kitchen table to construction for a week.  If you get age/ability suitable kits this should be pretty self-maintaining a lot of the time.

Next week:  Prising Teenagers out of their Rooms

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