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7 fun indoor and outdoor kids’ activities

If there’s a school holiday just around the corner and you’re stuck for ideas to keep the kids busy, then read on! Our blog is packed with plenty of budget-friendly ways to occupy the little ones whatever the weather!

  • Rochelle - copywriter
  •  8min read
7 fun indoor and outdoor kids’ activities

1. Get them green fingered early

Nothing beats fresh air in the great outdoors, so if the weather’s good, get the little ones out doing a spot of gardening. Why not teach them how plants grow with some easy seed planting? Encourage the kids to grow their own giant beanstalk with ‘magic’ beans. Runner beans are really easy to grow into tall climbing plants. And they taste great too! Simply get them to dig away at soft soil using a plastic garden scoop, and then sprinkle in the seeds. Other easy veg to grow include cherry tomatoes, courgettes and carrots. Growing vegetables is a great way to teach kids about where their food comes from, and it’s perfect for promoting a healthy lifestyle.

If you have a plant that needs potting out, get them to safely dig out a small hole in the ground and gently push in the plant. A grow bag will do the trick if you have a small concrete courtyard with no ground to dig up. Just remember to put some holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage.

Plant seeds

2. Do some wildlife watching

Get a bird spotting book or look up bird types online and let them get to know which birds are in your garden. Make it even more fun by picking up a small pair of binoculars to really get them interested in wildlife watching.

Our top tips for spotting wild birds in your garden:

  • Put out some food on a bird table – make sure you keep the food varied to attract different breeds
  • Remember to be patient – it may take time for birds to come to your garden, especially if this is the first time you’ve put out food
  • Keep some binoculars handy – birds will soon fly away if you get too close, so watching from afar with some binoculars is a great idea
  • Be still – if you make a noise or move around too much, birds are likely to get scared and fly away
  • Keep a diary – note down the times of day, the type of bird you’re seeing and where abouts in your garden you spot them
  • Take pictures if you can – they’ll help you keep track of the birds you’ve spotted

You can always buy things like sun cream and beach balls when you're on your holiday, but if you can fit it in your case then by all means, pack it in!

Planning on getting some walks in on your trip? Don’t forget the trainers or hikers.

Top tip – vacuum pack your beach towels and large clothes to save on space

Kids busy

3. Make your own fairy garden

Don’t believe in fairies? Your kids will after making this! And what’s great with a fairy garden is you don’t need tonnes of equipment, just a few bits you’ll find in the garden…and your imagination.

What you’ll need:

  • Planting tray/pot
  • Bedding plants
  • Pebbles
  • Soil
  • Tin foil
  • Paper
  • Felt tip pens
  • Sticky tack/tape
  • Fairy lights
  • A small log (for the fairies to live in)

Fill your tray with soil, pop in the log for your fairies’ new home then plant some seeds.

Add white pebbles to your soil, making sure not to add too many so your seeds have room to grow through.

If you’re planning on a large fairy garden you can use the pebbles as a pathway leading to your fairy garden - the kids will love creating that!

Wondering what the foil’s for? Well wonder no more! Fold the foil into a boat or cup shape and fill it with water - it’ll provide the perfect place for the fairies to take a dip.

If your planter is looking a little plain, then get the kids to colour in paper and make pretty rainbows and patterns and stick them to the side of it.

Add pretty fairy lights and colourful bunting for a truly magical touch.

Kids busy

4. Build your own bowling alley

Once you’ve made this fun game it can be enjoyed outside in the garden, or when it’s raining it can be played indoors too!

To make your own tin can bowling, you’ll need:

  • Newspaper
  • 10 empty, clean cans
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Any art and craft bits you have
  • Coloured paper
  • Glue
  • Tennis ball

First thing’s first – let the kids have fun decorating the cans! This bit can be done either indoors or outdoors as long as you cover everything in newspaper to stop things getting messy! Get as creative as you can by decorating your cans with paint, coloured paper and crafty bits and pieces you’ve got at home. Be careful of sharp edges on the cans. Wait for everything to dry then take them outside and stack them up like you’d see pins in the bowling alley.

Take it in turns rolling a tennis ball at them – two goes each before play moves on, one point per can! Just decide how many goes you want everyone to have depending on how long you want the game to last!

Kids busy

5. Get your craft on

If the weather isn’t too great, why not get crafty indoors?

A super idea that goes down a treat with the kids is to take some old wallpaper or cheap lining paper and lay it out on the floor. Ask your child to lie on it, and trace around their outline. You can then give them this to colour, paint or decorate... you’ll be amazed with what they come up with!

Kids busy

6. It’s den building time!

Dens are great places for kids to get lost in their imagination. There are so many creative ways that dens can be made and they're perfect for all sorts of activities…from a picnic corner to story time hideouts, the possibilities are endless!

You'll need a lot of empty boxes and lots of sticky tape! If you have enough of them you can tape them together to make one huge fort! Boxes are ideal for cutting out turrets to resemble a castle, and we've even got creative with a drawbridge - perfect for preventing the enemy from entering!

Chairs and sheets can also create a hideout your little ones will love. Just place four chairs with their backs facing inwards, leaving plenty of room for the kids to crawl in and out. Throw over a sheet and hey presto!

7. Make a family time capsule

Time capsules are great fun to make, hide and find many years down the line! It’s really easy to make one – all you’ll need is a strong watertight container, and a few objects for the capsule. Try to pick an object that represents each member of the family, for example a few football stickers, photographs or a newspaper cutting.

Write a letter to go into the box – just make sure it includes the date, and details of who you are – and includes information about what life is like, which will be interesting for other people if they find the capsule many years down the line, for example how much things cost, current trends and popular TV shows. When you’re happy with your capsule, bury it in your garden, place it under a floorboard or even in the attic!

If you’d like to decorate your time capsule, head over to our arts and crafts section, where you’ll find plenty of handy things like pipe cleaners, glue sticks and glitter.

Do you have any other winning ways to keep the kids happy in the holidays? Let us know over on our social channels; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok