Summer Holidays: 127 Great Ideas For Families

Anusuya Mukherjee
Jan 15, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Jul 12, 2021
Family on picnic on a bright sunny day
Age: 0-99
Read time: 9.1 Min

No more school for weeks! You don’t want them sat in front of a screen all the time, and you’ve exhausted all the usual jigsaws, board games and toys. Plus, it’s raining outdoors. What do you do? Fear not. We’ve got dozens and dozens of ideas for you to get stuck into. Let’s get cracking…

The Great Outdoors

Remember your own summer holidays? Seemingly endless weeks spent playing in the sunshine? Here are a few ideas to show your own kids the pleasures of the great outdoors.

1. If you’ve got a garden (or balcony), discover how to make your own bird feeder to encourage more wildlife to visit.

2 Alternatively, here’s how to put together a bird box to help nesting birds.

3. Bees and other pollinators can also use a hand. Help our stripy friends thrive with these seven ideas

4. … or else get busy with these bee-inspired craft projects.

5. Parents who don’t mind a bit of dirt might encourage their kids to make a mud kitchen.

6. Tried a garden scavenger hunt round the garden or neighbourhood?

7. Encourage green fingers by getting the kids to help you plant seeds (plus other gardening activities).

8. Try these water and sand-play activities.

9. Would you try wild swimming with your family?

10. Get into the sporty spirit by hosting your own Olympic Games.

11. Everyone has picnics, but have you tried glamming up your picnic

12. How about a teddy bear’s picnic?

13. Try these boredom-busting games that make the most of the good weather.

14. Take a trip to a beach, but read these cool beach hacks before you do.

15. Visit a nearby pond (or craft table) and leap into these frog-themed ideas.

16. Exercise outdoors the imaginative way, with forfeit hopscotch, movie role-play and other ideas.

17. Work your way through these family-friendly barbecue ideas.

18. No garden? Learn how to bring outdoor fun inside.


Crafting Ideas

Family riding bicycle

Image © serenko, under a Creative Commons license.

19. Have you explored our colouring pages? We’ve got hundreds of designs on every theme, to print out for the kids.

20. Make like royalty with these home-made royal crowns.

21. Who can build the best paper plane? The person who follows our pro-tips, that’s who.

22. Create your own slime with these yucky recipes

23. … or try the crunchy slime, if you dare.

24. Design and make a time capsule for your future self to discover… or to surprise whoever ends up living in your house after you.

25. Brighten your home with these beautiful 3-D paper flowers

26. ... or how about putting all those pipe cleaners to use, to make a bouquet?

27. Pipe cleaners also lend themselves to making creepy crawly spiders.

28. Make designer face masks to wear out and about. Or...

29. Make simple face masks for dolls and action figures. 

30. Or perhaps craft a pair of new shoes for a doll. 

31. And is Barbie needing some new clothes? Here’s how to make your own.

32. Making balloon animals is easier than you might think.

33. Do you know the trick for turning wax crayons into paint?

34. Turn just about anything into a book end.

35. Concoct your own Monster Spray, to help clear the bedrooms of any lurking nasties!

36. Make ornaments using footprints. It really is possible.

37. In other body-part-as-craft-tool news… make a thumb-print family tree.

38. Or else make a family memory tree that’ll last for generations.

39. If origami is your thing, fold your way to a new car, purse, dolphin or any of the other 30 animals in this origami list

40. All little kids love unicorns. It is the law. And here’s how to make your own unicorn horn.

41. Know how to make a candy dispenser out of Lego

42. Teach the kids some yarn skills with these woolly tips.

43. Or how about a spot of needle felting?

44. Amazing splatter paint art for those who don’t mind getting a bit messy.

45. Empty the recycling box and try one of these recycling craft projects

46. And here are seven brilliant craft ideas that use old newspapers and magazines.

47. Preschoolers will love these fairytale craft projects.

48. This IS the craft project you’re looking for: 10 Star Wars-inspired things to make.

49. Alternatively, here are 15 despicable craft projects inspired by the Minions.

50. Or can you catch all of these Pokemon-inspired craft projects?

51. Or maybe your child is more of a Harry Potter fan -- in which case, try these magic craft projects.

52. Beep, beep, beep… make your own robot from stuff you already have lying around.

53. The only thing better than ice cream is crafted ice cream. (OK, it’s not necessarily better… but a fun change.)

54. And while we’re talking about the cold stuff, how about these games and activities themed around ice?

55. Can you think of 27 things to do with a paper cup? We can.

56. How about 21 projects involving lolly sticks? Here’s the master list.  

57. Or perhaps 19 fun things to do with a paper plate

58. Make your own paper farm.

59. Or get stuck in to the papier mache to create your own animals.

60. Try these simple tips to decorate your windows

61. Did you know that the humble split-pin has endless creative potential? Make a book, a jumping jack or a bird of paradise.

62. How to make glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls.

63. Get lost in these a-mazing maze activities.

64. Make your own printing stamps.

65. Get stocked up on birthday cards by making your own.

66. Give your little stars some company with these 27 star-shaped craft projects.

In The Kitchen

67. It’s summer. What more could you want to make in the kitchen than ice cream?

68. And while the weather’s warm, you might want to make one of these kid-friendly salads.

69. Ever made a pizza cake together? Now you can.

70. Open your own tuck-shop… just for fun.

71. How to make a spa face mask using only kitchen ingredients…

72. ...And use it as part of a family home-spa day.

73. Create your own healthy alternatives to takeaway meals.

74. “Bake, bake, as fast as you can…” Make gingerbread people, 11 ways.

75. How to make simple salt dough, and then eight crafty things to do with it.

76. Why wait for pancake day? Try these creative batter-based treats at any time of year.

77. Plan and set out a themed picnic, either in the garden or indoors.

78. Get the kids involved in an indoor BBQ if the outdoors isn’t cooperating.

79. Get baking! We’ve collected together dozens of cake recipes here.

80. Get some early practice in for Halloween with these witch potions -- some are even drinkable! 

Keep Fit


81. Work on your fitness routine by trying some of these 30 ideas for indoor exercise with kids (plus five more here).

82. Go on a mini-outdoor adventure, with these games you can play while walking and exploring.

83. Have you nailed these simple yoga postures for beginners?

84. And here are another seven tips for practicing yoga with little ones.

85. Try these virtual PE lessons to keep the kids active.

86. Learn how to play tennis, in your own backyard.

Educational Fun

87. Turn your lounge into a time machine, and explore the past with these creative ideas.

88. Help your kids put together a gratitude journal, so they can record and remember all the reasons in life to be thankful.

89. Can you put together your own Roman helmet?

90. Soap. It’s been very important of late. But who knew that making it could be this easy? Perhaps one to do if you’re also making the mud kitchen (see ‘Closer to Nature’).

91. Maths can add up to fun, with these activities using playdough.

92. Use the opportunity to make improvements to their home-study space

93. … Or create a new laptop case for you or the kids.

94. Play at editor, and writer, and publisher, and photographer, by making your own magazines

95. … or comics. KAPPOWWWW!!!

96. Have you put together a family tree yet? Even if you have, here are 15 creative ways to make an alternative tree.

97. Learn about the world with these geography-based crafting tips

98. … Including these ocean-themed craft projects.

99. … Or perhaps you could travel back in time with these historically themed craft ideas

100. … Including these Anglo-Saxon craft activities or these Viking activities.

101. Take to the skies by putting the ‘craft’ back into ‘aircraft’...

102. … or make space for these astronautical crafts.

103. Learn to create art like the masters, with these 15 ideas.

104. Discover more about the Second World War, thorough these crafting ideas.

105. Make a foaming fountain of elephant toothpaste -- which is about as fun and frolicsome as science gets.

106. Build your own model Tudor house.

107. Kids never tidy their rooms, or help with the housework? Gamify it by making one of these chore charts.

108. Show kids how to make a paper clip float, and teach them about surface tension.

109. Are you up for the egg-drop challenge? Design a cradle or cushion to stop a dropped egg smashing.

110. Can you make a balloon inflate without using a pump or your mouth? Here’s how.

111. Run an experiment to see if tea can stain teeth.

112. Try one of dozens of further scientific experiments.

Fun And Games

113. Invent your own superhero, then dress up as them.

114. Bored of playing the same old card games? Make your own!

115. Manufacturers needn’t have the monopoly on making board games, either. Here’s a Clue on how to make your own.

116. Create your own indoor fort, with sheets, pillows and chairs.

117. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, here’s how to make the perfect outdoor den.

118. Avast! Here’s how to build ye your very own pirate ship

119. … Along with some pirate crafting projects. Don’t forget your hat...

120. ... You’ll also need somewhere to land it, so here’s how to make a beach in the home.

121. Of course, you could just watch pirate movies. Here’s how to turn your home into a cinema, without spending a fortune.

122. Hold a sleepover or slumber party, without the need for friends to visit.

123. Make your own softplay area within your home.

124. Got teenagers? Encourage them to take up one of these new hobbies.

125. Not going out to restaurants right now? Try turning your kitchen into one (make sure the kids tip the waiting staff).

126. Can DIY projects be turned into fun games? Here’s how to nail it.

127. And finally, you might not want to think about it just yet, but here are some tips on preparing the kids for starting or returning to school.


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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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