With the school holidays fast approaching, and our first holiday aboard booked, I am looking for some cheap or even better free activities to do with mine over the summer holidays. I knew I couldn’t come up with lots of ideas by myself, so I got asking the world of bloggers to see what they suggested too! 

Please feel free to comment with your ideas too, I would love to hear them. 

22 Cheap Summer Activities For Kids 

Visit National Trust 

We have been a member of National Trust venue for over a year now, we thought we would give it a try, not thinking we would love it as much. However we do, you can see some of our days out on my blog, so far Stourhead is my favourite Renovation Bay-Bee


We all love bubbles right? Something I would recommend to any parent.. toddlers love bubbles especially my toddler! Alyssia thinks it’s absolutely hilarious everytime I blow the bubbles & now that she’s that little bit older, she trys to catch them. Bubbles are very cheap too! Mummy & Liss 

Foil River Run 

Use Bacofoil, tearing a longish strips off, and folding up the edges before filling it with water. Baby Foote 

Giant Chalk Drawing 

Chalk in the garden! Or even in the park. Only takes a little bit of space. We do hop scotch and draw big cars and buses the little one pretends to drive. He loves it. One Small Human

Visit Your Local Library 

Visit your local library, they usually have activities, crafts and reading sessions on throughout holidays. Boo Roo and Tiger Too 

Make Sensory Dough 

We tried a really simple, 2 ingredient sensory dough, check out how to make it.  My Family Fever 

Explore Your Local Area 

Utilise your local parks, splash parks and National Trust areas. They are usually free, and offer endless hours of entertainment. My Family Fever 

Science Experiments

Can you make an egg bounce? Not only did he have loads of fun but he also was learning at the same time – never a bad thing when they’re off school! Go and see how he got on, and give it a go yourself? Twinderelmo 

Visit Friends and Family 

Rather than untidy and mess your own house visit family or friends and mess theirs instead! It is free to visit, you can get a coffee and the kids can explore a new environment. The Mum Diaries

Mess Free Painting 

Mess free painting – cheap and easy to prepare. We’ve done it outside in nice weather and inside on rainy days. If you do it on a window or glass door, the kids can make their own suncatchers! Tightwad Mama

Make Paper Kites 

To make these paper kite birds, that will not only bring your little one fun while creating (age depending) but also in playing with them afterwards, you only need a handful of things. Scandi Mummy

Glow Stick Lanterns

We just love these glow stick lanterns. They’re so quick to make, gorgeous bright colours and make a great little decoration for when you’re camping or out in the garden on summer evenings. Daises & Pie

Make Your Own Treasure Hunt 

Make your own treasure hunt, great to keep kids interested on a walk, and I love that there was a treat hidden for them at the end! Emily and Indiana 

Throw Sticks and Stones 

Find a river, and practice their throwing skills, and get throwing sticks and stone into the river! This is just one idea out of 100 ideas on Life As A Mums Blog 

Dobbies Garden Center Free Activities 

If you’re near a Dobbies garden centre, they run a monthly Little Seedlings club which is free for 4-10 year olds on a Sunday. You need to book and a parent must attend. It lasts around 45 minutes to an hour. Midwife and Life 

Make Nature Brushes 

I love this idea, because it keeps them busy creating the brushes, what materials they can find, and which ones work best. Then seeing what patterns, and materials they can use to paint! Pink Pear and Bear 

Rock Pooling 

I remember doing this when I was a child, I have very fond memories. How about purchasing a net, bucket and head off rock pooling. Family Travel With Ellie

Create A Fort Out Of Pillows and Blankets 

Making a fort appeals to kids both old and young, Lucas is 16 months and has started gathering the cushions from the sofas. Gather up any materials you can find such as pillows, blankets and cushions. You can set these items up any way that you want; the sky really is the limit. Once you have your fort ready to go, gather up some books and toys and play inside. Chilling With Lucas

Create A Cardboard House 

Make a DIY Cardboard house with a car seat box (or similar) The Happy Weaner

Grow Vegetables

I love the sound of growing vegetables, it is a simple but rewarding task for kids to do with you. Mummy Times Two

I’m bored Printable 

I spotted this ‘I’m bored printable’ that I think is a perfect addition to your family!Frugal Family

Nature Art 

We started the day by going on a short walk collecting sticks, leaves and flowers to create a nature collage. We even found a feather and a couple of pine cones (we saved these for another activity). The ladybird loved hunting for suitable things and collecting them in her little bag. We also collected a few bits from our garden when we got home. If you have more plants in your garden than we do and time is short, you might not have to go on a walk at all. The Ladybirds Adventure

Thank you for all the fantastic bloggers who put their ideas forward, they are all great ideas and I will be sure to try some of them out over the summer holidays! 

Are you looking for Cheap Summer Activities For Kids or even free Summer Activities For Kids? The take a look at this great list of summer activities for kids to do over the summer holidays.





  1. We are debating joining the national trust. I think we will go for it, there are some amazing places to visit!

    • There are so many lovely places, I think you should! We have made so much use of ours

  2. kerry norris Reply

    Fab list. I’ve saved this as this is my first summer holidays so i’ll be searching for ideas x

  3. These are such fab ideas Steph! I love the national trust idea. I might get a membership for us and visit a few over the summer holidays. There is so much to do in the summer even exploring around your local area. Last year we did that and found some little hidden gems. xxx

    • Look into the National Trust membership, as we really love ours, and I didn’t think I would!

  4. Gemma Louise Reply

    Some great ideas 🙂 I love National Trust places, always so pretty x

    • Thanks, National Trust places are becoming so popular now for families, I love it!

  5. some fab ideas! We love getting the chalk out and creating pictures or games!! We made a massive hop scotch once! Summer doesn’t have to be costly

  6. Some fabulous tips here. We are National Trust and English Heritage members so have lots of day trips planned for the summer holidays

    • I am tempted by the English Heritage one too, my son loves history so it would be great fun for him

  7. A great list! Stourhead is by far my favourite National Trust property. There’s just something so atmospheric about it. I love the idea of making a cardboard house.

  8. I think that visiting national trust properties or grounds is a great way to spend summers. Plus many of them are free as well x

  9. What a fantastic post! I’ve saved it to my favourites to look back on over the summer – thank you 🙂

    • No I haven’t, we keep saying we must try this out…..this is a must this summer holidays!

  10. With a massive summer holidays ahead I really needed these ideas some fab ideas here love the river running pinning this for later!

  11. Dean of Little Steps Reply

    Fab ideas. We love rock-pooling too 🙂 We’re also members of the National Trust and English Heritage, during the summer holidays, when finding something to do, we always search for any of their properties around 🙂 So worth the membership, especially when you have young kids 🙂

    • We have used our National Trust memberships so much, even when going on holiday to explore new places

  12. You have some fab ideas here. The science experiments one is something I am sorting for when my son is off school, he loves anything to do with science. Ive already started to buy bits and bobs for different experiments we are going to try. The rive run is a fab one, my 2 boys could have races so i will 100% be trying this one as well.

    • I am planning on doing that one for sure, my 3 kids would love them, aged 8-12!

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