girl playing in water on inflatable

Parents, Don’t Panic! Here’s How You Can Survive The Summer Holidays At Home

Published: 21/06/2021

When all the tests are done and the school year comes to a close, many parents find themselves stumped for ideas on new and exciting ways to keep their kids entertained. With the summer holidays creeping ever closer, now’s the perfect time to plan ahead and get everything you need to make this the best summer on record! 

With international travel still a little tentative, many of us have resigned our luggage and swimsuits to the back of the closet for another year and are looking for new ways to beat the boredom from home. However, you may feel like you’ve already explored every avenue during the lockdowns over the last year or so, making this year’s summer holiday planning even trickier than before - and you’re not the only one! Luckily for you, we’re here to help!

From outstanding outdoor activities for those sweltering days in the sun to imaginative indoor ideas for when the weather takes an inevitable turn, we’ve put together some of our favourite boredom busters that the whole family can enjoy together. The best part? None of them involve screens, so you can be sure they’re resting their eyes while still having a great time. 

Summer holidays at home have never been so much fun!

Rainy day? Craft away!

kids crafting

As much as we would like to think otherwise, the sun hasn’t always got its hat on during the summer… For the days when going out isn’t possible, or when you just want to stay at home, getting crafty is the best way to keep the kids entertained. And if you can recycle some things in the process, even better! There are so many fun things you can make from your recyclables - and all it takes is a couple of art supplies and a splash of imagination to get started! In need of a little inspiration? Here’s a couple of ideas to help you on your way!

Bird feeders can be made using almost anything. From old cartons to toilet roll tubes, whatever you have lying around can help to encourage birds into your garden. To recycle old milk or juice cartons, simply cut out sections on each side, leaving the corners, base, and top intact. Decorate however you like (paint or paper maché work really well) and add some garden twine to the top to hang from a hook or tree. Fill the bottom with bird seed and watch your feathery friends enjoy a tasty meal! 

Making a bird feeder from a toilet paper tube is much simpler and makes a fabulous five-minute craft for when the creative mood strikes! All you need for this is an empty tube, some peanut butter, and a generous amount of bird seed. Simply pour some natural peanut butter onto a plate or shallow dish and roll the tube in it, making sure to get a good coating before dipping it into bird seed. To ensure a firm hold, we recommend pressing and patting the bird seed onto the tube. Then, thread a string through the middle and hang in a tree beside your carton bird feeders. The robins, tits, and finches in your garden will love this protein-rich treat! 

Finally, if you’re a plant lover looking to grow some greenery with your children, don’t throw away those old egg cartons - turn them into seedling trays! The cardboard material soaks up water, keeping the soil moist to encourage growth. Grab your compost and seeds suitable for planting in the summer, fill each section with a good amount of soil, plant the seeds according to the instructions on the packet, and water generously. Keep safe in a greenhouse or planter box and watch them grow!

Colour scavenger hunt

scavenger hunt for kids

If you tend to walk similar routes every day and want to spice up your afternoon strolls, take your children on a colour scavenger hunt! Not only a great way to burn off some energy, blow away the cobwebs, and get some sought-after vitamin D, creating a scavenger hunt is a sure-fire way to thrill even the fussiest of tots. You could even create a theme if your little ones love getting into fancy dress! Think pirates searching for treasure, inspectors on the hunt for clues, or even explorers looking for survival tools in the wilderness - the only limit is your imagination! You’ll need some simple items to start with, but the kids will love being on the hunt as you walk.

For a colour scavenger hunt, you’ll need:

First, take your paper squares and stick them to the front of the paper bags. You’ll want one of each colour on each bag. Once the glue has dried, you can assign each explorer their own colour, and you’re ready to let the hunt begin!

Now, for the hunt. For this, the location really doesn’t matter - it can be around your neighbourhood, at the park, in the woods, or on the beach - wherever you enjoy walking! The rules from here are simple: the hunters must discover as many items as they can that match the colour on their bag and collect them as they go. They’ll be racing around in no time, picking up whatever green leaves, grey stones, and pink flowers they can find! It will keep them busy and will help young children learn to identify colours - bonus! 

It’s a good idea to set some ground rules before kicking off the fun. We suggest only allowing plants, flowers, and leaves that have naturally fallen off the trees (no picking allowed!), as well as establishing a call or noise to signal that they’ve found something for a parent or guardian to inspect before picking it up, just to be on the safe side.

Sun’s out, (water) guns out!

kids playing with water

We’re all crossing our fingers that the coming summer is long and hot, and what better way to beat the heat than with a good, old-fashioned water fight? OnBuy has everything you need to pull off an epic water fight that’ll burn off steam and keep everyone cool this summer!

First, pick up a supply of water pistols - an absolute must for any watery battlefield. Next, fill a paddling pool and declare it a no-man's-land to serve as a refill station. While you’re at it, fill a good amount of water balloons and toss them in there too! Finally, don’t forget the towels - you’re going to need them when you’re done! Set them up by the back door along with a wash basket for the wet clothes so your house doesn’t get drenched by the cavalry.

All that’s left to do is arm yourselves with water pistols, fill your pockets with water balloons, and it’s go time! Whether you pick teams or opt for a free-for-all, there’s no losing at a water fight. Everyone's a winner as long as they’re having fun and keeping cool. When you’re all done with the battle and ready for an ice cream, make sure to clean up all the pieces of water balloon all over the place!

On-site staycation

camping site

Okay, so jetting off to sunnier climes may be off the table for many of us this summer, but who said you can’t still enjoy a vacation from home? For this one, we’re taking ‘staycation’ literally - meaning you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your garden! Yes, say goodbye to long, stuffy car journeys and the inevitable ‘are we there yet?’ question; this year, your garden is the place to be! 

As kids, we all enjoyed building a makeshift fort in our bedrooms and going on all sorts of imaginary adventures, so why not recreate the fun outdoors? Grab some blankets, bed sheets, and chairs, and send your kids out to build an epic den in the garden. Use the chairs as supports and drape the blankets and sheets over them. If they like, your kids can also collect branches and sticks from walks and use those to make a roof or walls for their den. Lay something comfortable on the inside and serve up an adventurer’s lunch or tea party to keep them out of the sun during the hottest time of the day. Whether they’re pretending to be princesses in castles or explorers in the woods, a den is the perfect way to enjoy the garden during these hot months. 

A step up from den making is camping in the garden! Quick, easy, and fabulously cost-effective, this is the perfect way to feel like you’re on an adventure in the wilderness - without having to fork out for a spot on a campsite! Pitch up a tent in the middle of your garden, stuff it with comfy blankets and soft pillows, and let the al fresco adventure begin! You can either ‘camp’ during the day or spend the night in the tent together, watching the stars and toasting marshmallows after a barbecued banquet. A true hit with the whole family, you really can’t go wrong with this idea!

Explore the great outdoors

children crabbing and fishing

We’ve all spent enough time at home this past year so we don’t blame you for wanting to get out and about a bit more this summer. Thankfully, the UK is blessed with endless possibilities for outdoor activities and days out!

Visiting a National Trust site can be a fantastic way to get out for the day and to learn something new while you’re at it. Whether you’re exploring the corridors of an ancient castle or adventuring in some old-fashioned gardens, pack a picnic, grab your reusable water bottles, and slather on that sunscreen! Eating al fresco is one of the best ways to have fun in the sun so make sure you’ve packed all of your favourite treats in a fun picnic basket. A bag like this 30L Insulated Cool Bag is the perfect way to keep your food and drinks cold during the morning, ready for when you’re ‘Hank Marvin’ and ready to enjoy your food in the fresh air.

Only got a few hours spare but still want to get out for a bit? Why not give crabbing a try? Crabbing is a really great kid-friendly alternative to fishing and can be done anywhere fishing is permitted. Whether you’re visiting a quay, the seaside, or have access to a pier, grab a crabbing net and bucket and get ready for the fun. All you need to do is set the bait onto the hook of the crabbing net and drop it into the water. Wait a little while and before you know it you’ll be reeling in all kinds of crabs! Pop them in the bucket filled with seawater and enjoy watching them. Just make sure you release them when you’re done so that future children can also enjoy catching these crustaceans.

Let the fun commence!

family playing in the garden

No matter what this summer might hold for your family, there’s nothing better than getting out, getting crafty, and having fun with your kids. So pack away the tablets, turn off the TV, and keep them entertained with these exciting activities instead! 

Looking for more inspiration on how to make the most of the warmer weather? Check out our extensive selection of garden and outdoor living blogs. From superb staycation ideas to garden party hosting hacks, we’ve got plenty of ideas to keep the whole family happy here at OnBuy! 

We also stock a huge selection of outdoor toys and games to keep you and your little ones entertained over the summer holidays. Showcasing everything from interactive lawn games to premium playground equipment, brilliant bouncy castles to terrific target games, there’s something to thrill every tot (and big kid!) on our online shelves. With a mass of games, toys, and activities in your amusement arsenal, you’ll be enjoying a whole summer of fun in the sun in no time at all! Okay, so we can’t promise the sun… but we can certainly guarantee the fun!