summer activities


Over 150 Low cost and no cost summer activities 11

Summer holidays, you either love them or hate them.  I am never sure about which camp I am in.  I love spending time with the children but do worry about the cost of summer activities.  I relish not having to get up each morning and giving up the school routine, but I don’t like hearing the words “I’m Bored”  That is why I came up with the bored jar (about four years ago).


Summer Holiday Planning and Activities 8

Just because we are having a free range summer, it doesn’t mean that we can not plan some activities and ideas for things that we want to do as a family. I was inspired by Frugal Family’s post on how they plan their summer holidays to share how we plan ours.

So this morning we all sat at breakfast and decided on things that we wanted to read, do, make and places we wanted to go. I sat and wrote them all out on Post-it Super Sticky Notes from 3M . The boys would have had we had more time and will any additional ones!

We used a different colour for each of the activities and then used some lovely heart ones for major things and day trips we are planning.

Our list this year is wonderful and wide ranging and includes:

Visiting lots of different parks – We tend to take a picnic with us.
Visiting local museums and art galleries – I tend to tie this into times when they have free activity sessions on. Your local council is a great source of information on this.
Woodland centres and forests. The Forestry Commision has an enchanted wood at Dalby Forest with a magical adventure play area with a fort, storytelling seats and carved insects hiding in the trees. They also have some great free fairytale activity sheets and ideas too. The woodland trust also has a great Nature Detective website with over 150 ideas for free things to do.
Visit the cinema and bowling alley. We always make sure we look out for great deals and this summer Cineworld have some great family deals, which I featured on A Thrifty Mum.
Outdoor play – including cricket, football, rounders, minibeast hunting, camping out in the garden, playing with friends, cycling, scootering and having their own olympic games.
Making and baking – I always encourage the boys to be as creative as possible and this summer they are going to make their own cakes, pizza, biscuits and picnics. They also want to make a windchime, birdfeeders and dream catchers. I think that it is always fun to collect items from your trips to places and use them in your crafting, such as shells and pebbles from the beach, which can make rock monsters and memory stones.

The Mad House

Thank you to Post-it Super Sticky Note for provided me with lots of Post-it Super Sticky Notes to write our activities on. Did you know that they are so sticky that they are going to cover a London Taxi in them and drive it around London to prove it. You can get your name on a Post-it Super Sticky Note, that will then be stuck on the Taxi by visiting their Facebook Page www.facebook.com/PostitUK. My name will be on the Taxi! Six people will be invited to remove a note off the taxi and if your name is on it then you would be a winner.


Summer holiday Love it or loath it 13

I took the boys to school this morning, which calls for a celebration in itself. But I was shocked to hear the amount of parents bemoaning the holidays and saying “roll on September”, even more so as there children could hear them say this. I appreicate not everyonbe enjoys the holiday time as much as I do, but really why would you be so misaerable to spend time with your children. I judt don’t understand why people would have children if they didnt like spending time with them.


Flamingo Land 4

Today was in inset day (teacher training) at MaxiMads school, so MadDad took the day off and we exchanged some Tesco Club Card points for vouchers and decided to go Flamingo Land for the day, hoping that the fact that the children were all back at school and that it wasn’t a weekend would mean shorter queues. We woke up and the sun was shinning, so I packed a picnic, towel and a spare set of clothes for the minimads and we set off. We arrived at 10am and were only about the 40 car in the car park.  The boys were very excited and jumped on to the first ride they saw, the more »


Making Chocolate Coins

I picked up a chocolate coin maker from Marks and Spencer in the January sale for £1.50 and have had it in the cupboard since then, well me and the mini’s had our first attempt at making our own coins. You can only make four at one go and need to use cooking chocolate, but it was great, if not messy fun. MaxiMad melted the chocolate in the microwave and then poured it in to the four moulds that we have. I then popped them in the fridge to set, whilst the two of them licked clean the jug!! Once they were set, we took them out of the moulds (we more »


Enjoying a break in the rain 2

We have tried to make the most of today, as the Mini’s are pretty much over their virus (poss swine flu). The day started with nude wii (only the boys of course – I would scare the neighbours) So we have been to the supermarket, been to the park on the way home. Called at the opticians to pick up MiniMads new glasses. An ice cream with monkey blood and sprinkles (raspberry sauce to the uninitiated), whilst I unpacked all the shopping. Magic painting, I do have more than one book, but both boys wanted to do the Backyardigans, so they shared and they shared really well. Whilst the boys painted, more »


Wax relief painting

As both the boys are still not fully recovered from what we think might be swine flu, but also just may be a nasty virus, they are not allowed out of the house and are getting a little stir crazy. Even the garden was out of bounds for most of today due to torrential downpours, so I decided to do a really simple art project with them. I took a candle and drew a picture (very simple picture, as I am no artist) on to some paper and then gave them free rein with the water colour blocks. They loved seeing what was coming out, although they did have a tendency more »


A work in progress

One of my Friends mentioned that they had used blackboard paint on the door of their playhouse and I had a light bulb moment – ding! We used the boys birthday moneys last year to get them a playhouse and at the time painted it in two shades of green as they had requested. I also knew that we had a tub of bright blue chalkboard paint that we had used to paint the top of the small table in their bedroom, so we all set about sprucing up the playhouse. MadDad gave the whole of the house another coat of the protective paint, I painted the door and the two more »


Danby Village Show

Me and the boys went to Danby Village Show this afternoon with friends and had a great time. It is a traditional agricultural show and very popular, as it is set in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Danby is a lovely village. It was made all the nicer as the sun continued to shine. The main event was the appearance of the Glaisdale Fox hounds in the main arena and I was really surprised by Maxi Mad as he stroked one of the Fox Hounds (he is scared of dogs). This pack has established since 1877 and now hunt within the grounds of the law. The boys loved more »


Stone Bugs 1

Today was another raining British summer day today, so we decided to paint some stones that we collected the other weekend at the beach. The minimads have been examining bugs and lady birds lately in the garden, so I thought we could make our own colourful stone bugs. This was a really easy activity for them and they both wishes we had collected more, so we will next time and I will varnish them and we can give them as presents to family. They basically painted them in poster paint of their chosen colour and then let them dry. Then they did the detailing and stuck on googly eyes. They turned more »


Drink Bottle Skittles 3

MaxiMad has wanted to make skittles from drinks bottles for a while, so we started collecting the bottles (thanks Grandma) and once we had 15 we decided to make a start. I knew it was going to be a long and messy project so was prepared for this and PVA’d the bottles, so that the paint would stick. The boys decided to do a first coat of white paint, so I added a little PVA to the mix and let them slap it on. That took a day to dry. I then added another coat overnight, to fill in any gaps. Today we decided to paint the bottles in bright colours, more »


Rain Catchers 4

This afternoon as one of our crafts is a do a little bit of a time one, the boys wanted to make rain catchers, like they had seen on Cbeebies. I was hoping for a little less rain this summer, but it is Britain!! This is our interpretation of it, as we couldn’t find the information on the website!!! We took a couple of water bottles and I cut the top third off and we turned it upside down and fitted it in the bottom two thirds of the bottle to use as a funnel. We then taped the jagged edge at the top with some inexpensive electricians tape (I had more »


Baby Steps

We have spent the afternoon outside scootering (if that is the right word). The eldest MiniMad is quite proficient on his scooter, but his younger brother is not so keen. He wants to be able to just do it like his big brother and refuses to use a larger wheeled scooter – one of the challenges of a 15 month gap between the boys. So we have been working on the premise of baby steps and he has really enjoyed this afternoons practice and what I thought would be an hour out at the most has turned into a nearly 4 hour scooterthon!!! I think once he got it, he just more »


Paper Plate Craft

It has been very wet here again so we decided to crack open the craft cupboard again and this time so something with paper plates. Each of the boys decorated their paper plates with water colour tablet paints from the pound shop. Then they cut out images from the Tesco Magazine (any food magazine is perfect for this and I am not one for throwing much away) Then they stuck the food to their plates If you have older children you could use this activity to start doing different food groups or you could used tissue paper to make the food. If you have younger children, it pays to have some more »


Noahs Ark Childrens Centre

We spent most of the day here today and it is a great place. Full of things the children can do, not just the obligatory soft play, slides, ball pool, trampoline, but also crafts, dressing up, jigsaws, play dough, kitchen area and reading area. I took my 4 year old niece too and we had a ball. We spent a lot of the morning on the active things going down the slides and just running off lots of energy. We then had a lovely healthy lunch (they don’t serve chips or fizzy drinks), all three of the children ate really nicely and enjoyed their food. We then went to the craft more »


Pine Cone Bird Feeders 1

The MiniMads and I went to the local sure start centre this afternoon, for some Amazing Animal and Bug fun and the boys loved it. The weather was kind and the rain held off, so they went on a bug hunt, enjoyed looking at them in their bug catchers. Drew the animals as best they could. Finlay did worms, which were just brown lines, but they were worms none the less. We also sang animal songs and read animal stories and made Pine cone bird feeders with lard and seeds. It was so easy to make, just mix the lard with seeds and oats with your hands – lovely messy fun more »


A little bit about us all and the start of the holidays 7

We are a family of five, trying to get through life in a happy, but somewhat chaotic house. I am a little obsessive, MadDad is practically perfect in every way and the MiniMads are happy, joyful, curly haired monsters aged 4 and 3. We also have a really old long hair white cat Mr Smudge to you and me, he kind of comes and goes as he pleases. MadDad works Monday to Friday to keep us in pennies and I am a SAHM, who is going to tentatively start work part time over the summer at home. This is our first summer before the eldest MiniMad starts school and is a more »




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