The summer holidays are coming up and they can be EXPENSIVE! Sometimes I think we can feel a lot of pressure to pack in trips away and days out but they’re not always possible and we might not able to afford them all of the time either. We’re a family with only 1 child but families but multiple children can end up spending a lot of money on a day out, especially if it’s to a well known attraction. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share some ideas of fun things to do in your home town with children for free (some activities might require things you already have at home).
A-Z walk of the town
Making an A-Z of your town on a walk “ I challenged my children to take a picture of every letter of the alphabet while we were out walking locally. Anything that begins with that letter from, P for puddle, T for tree to searching for the harder letters such as I, which made my little girl squeal when she saw some Ivy growing!A Suffolk Mum
We did this walking through our town and it really did make it fun for them looking around and coming up with sillier and sillier options for each letter. We ended up getting pretty liberal with definitions for the ones we were stuck on, so doing Karate together counted as K in the end! But, they managed most others and more importantly they didn’t moan about walking the same old route around the town because they were engaged in something new instead.
If a holiday isn’t on the cards this summer there are other things you can do instead. If you have a garden and a tent it would be a fun idea to pitch up outside and pretend that you’ve gone camping. Get the BBQ going and make some s’mores then tell stories to each other before bed.
One way to keep everyone occupied is to set up a treasure hunt around town. You could set up clues leading the children from one place to the next, only giving them the next clue when they get there. The prize could be a final stop somewhere like a shop for ice cream or for some time at the park!
Play at the park
Parks a great way to help the children blow off some steam and even better that they’re free. Our town has a few different parks so you might want to switch it up and go to a different one now and again. Parks are especially great for only children as it might mean that they get someone else to play with for a little while.
Find a bench in a sunny spot and do some fun mindfulness! It’s very unusual nowadays to sit quietly in a bustling town and not be rushing around yourselves or using your mobile phone to pass the time so really try to be in the moment and chat about what you can see, what you can hear, the smells around you. Maybe make up some stories about where you think passers by are going to or count all the dogs you see!Pink Pear Bear
Similar to a treasure hunt you could put together a scavenger hunt around town quite easily. You could add anything that you know the children will be able to find such as a car in a certain colour, a street sign beginning with a certain letter or different flowers. If nothing else it will get you all out of the house for a little while.
Visit the library
We love the library and Erin has been a member since she was a baby. It’s great for children to read over the summer holidays, and have stories read to them. Children can take out quite a few books at a time and you can go back and change them as many times as you like.
Some children really love nature, especially if it’s something they’ve been learning about at school. Going for a walk around town and talking about the nature you see is a great way to spend some time on a nice day. You can talk about the insects, animals, trees and flowers along the way and you might even want to take some pencils and paper and draw some things too.
Blue plaque hunts
If your town has any..go and find the blue plaques that tell you about notable people from the town and where they lived. Gets the kids out walking a trail, finding out the history of your town and a hit of fresh air too!Lizzie Somerset
Have a movie day
Sometimes spending a day at home is a great way to do something where you live. If you’re struggling for something new to watch there’s usually loads of options on Netflix or Amazon Prime or you could have a DVD swap with some friends. Get some popcorn, drinks and snacks and snuggle up on the couch for a chilled out movie day.
Chalk drawing contest
If you’re spending a lot of time in the garden this summer then you’ll probably need to think of some new things to do with the kids. You can’t beat some old school chalks and drawing on a patio or pavement. You could all have a competition to see who can do the best drawing, maybe doing different categories each time.
Go on a “litter clean-up” walk
It’s really important to teach our children to look after the area where we live. It’s a shame to walk around and see litter everywhere. You might already have a litter picker so why not get the children out for a walk and take some bin bags with you as well and have a bit of a clean up as you walk around.
Go for a picnic
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Technically this one isn’t completely free as you will need to take food with you but you can always just use things you already have in at home. Picnics don’t have to be fancy and you don’t have to do anything special. It will be fun to take a blanket somewhere and sit and eat sandwiches in the sun!
Jump in puddles in the rain
It’s easy to think that being outside means needing the weather to be nice. There’s no reason why you can’t get out and have fun when it’s raining though. Get your rain coat and wellies on and go and jump in some puddles. You children will definitely thank you for it!
Summer holidays are designed for later nights and adventures so maybe do something that the children have never done before. Get outside on an evening, wrapped up warm, and lay on the grass somewhere and look up at the sky. Try to see if you can find any stars or even better, pick out some constellations.
Watch the clouds
Just like you can do with the stars, you can head out to a nice field or the park if there is a grassy area there. Take a picnic blanket and lay back and see what you can see in the clouds. We love to think about the shapes the clouds make and if we can see any that look like animals!
Is there something you like to do where you live that doesn’t cost anything? Let me know!