girl looking through home made binoculars

School’s Out For Summer: Awesome Outdoor Activities To Beat The Holiday Boredom

Published 26th July 2021
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School’s out and the kids are spending some well-deserved chill-out time at home, but are you racking your brain for ways to keep the kids away from their TV and tablets during the summer holidays? Stop the frustrating search now! We’ve hand-picked a fantastic selection of outdoor activities to help your little ones enjoy a summer of fun in the sun - all while keeping their minds alert and engaged ready for when they head back to school.

Divided into three sections, we have a range of both mentally stimulating and exciting outdoor activities for all kinds of budding personalities. From sporty extravaganzas that’ll keep any bundle of energy entertained for hours to crafty kits that’ll nurture the creative streak in any artistic little one, there’ll be no sign of boredom in your home this summer. Don’t believe us? Carry on reading to discover how you can tempt them outdoors without breaking the bank!

Build your own backyard sports day!

kids enjoying a sack race

For the little ones that just can’t sit still, there’s no better option than a summer holiday sports day! Taking place in your own backyard, this event needn’t be costly, nor complex. Simply snap up a selection of lawn games or sports day necessities such as hessian sacks, bean bags, a pack of eggs, and a couple of cones, then invite a few of their friends over and you’re good to go!

To prevent their attention from dwindling throughout the day, it’s best to opt for a variety of different short races and speedy games that won’t bore them, tire them out, or encourage them to spend long periods of time under the sun. From the traditional egg and spoon and sack races to seeing who can throw the bean bag the farthest, there’s no hard and fast rules that you need to stick to, so you can be as inventive and original as you like!

Luckily, you can either put together an affordable sports day using bits and pieces you have in the shed or delve into our online range of lawn games that will entertain the whole family! Chock-full with dedicated sports day sets as well as giant outdoor games and even individual accessories like cones, hessian sacks, and bean bags that always come in handy, planning and hosting your very own sports day just became so much easier.

Make a splash with water sports

little girl surfing

Another awesome option for the adventurous souls, why not try taking a dip to cool off both yourself and the kids this sweltering summer? With so many options to explore, including outdoor swimming, paddleboarding, and even windsurfing, there’s no shortage of on-the-water activities that you and your little ones can enjoy together during their time away from school.

One of the best ways to introduce your water-loving child to water sports like surfing and paddleboarding is by building up their confidence with a bodyboard first. Compact, lightweight, and easy to both use and hold, a bodyboard can make your energetic kid’s coast staycation or trip to the local beach way more exciting than simply building sandcastles all day.

These colourful 91cm bodyboards, for example, boast vibrant and exciting marine wildlife and animal designs that are sure to grab your little one’s attention and encourage them to take the plunge as they learn to balance their weight on the board. Once they’ve built up their confidence, they can gradually transition to surfing or paddleboarding - whichever inspires them the most!

Choose biking instead of boredom

boys sat down after a bike ride

One way to see the sights without hiking up hills is to make the journey easier by choosing to take your bike instead. An outdoor summer holiday activity that the whole family can get involved in, you can pick up everything from balance bikes and tricycles to kid-friendly bikes with stabilisers, and of course, robust adult bikes right here on OnBuy. Simply pair your bike with some vital protective gear to defend against bumps and scrapes to their knees and noggins, and you can explore winding bike paths and sprawling parks alike with ease.

To make biking even more exciting for your little one, why not stop off at their favourite park or pay a visit to one of their friends? Alternatively, you could even take a delicious picnic with you to turn a morning bike ride into a full day affair as you split up your day with an affordable and al fresco lunch. Finish off with a cool and refreshing ice cream, and you have the perfect summer holiday day out!

Not to mention, if your kids get tired along the way or some of them would prefer to take in the views instead of pumping their legs, then you could always invest in a bike trailer or a child seat that handily attaches onto your own bicycle. Beloved family pets could even sit in the attached trailer as you speed along to ensure no furry member of the family gets left behind!

Get creative to support creatures and critters

grandson and grandad doing woodwork

If your little one is more creative than sporty, don’t worry; we also have a tempting selection of outdoor school holiday activities for the crafty kids to get stuck into, too! 

Seeing as you’re tempting your tots and teens to get outside, why not get stuck into a nature-themed craft? Put their creative skills to work as you attempt to create a hide for all manner of wildlife to snuggle up in. Regardless of whether they want to make a shelter for bugs or a home for hedgehogs, there’s a wide variety of crafting kits that can make a huge difference to your local wildlife.

This Grafix Make Your Own Look & See Birdhouse Activity Kit, for example, is suitable for imaginative kids as young as five years old and can be tackled outdoors to ensure minimal mess. Containing seven individual wooden pieces that glue easily together to create a haven for your garden’s feathered friends, as well as a selection of brightly-coloured paints, a paint brush and instructions, assembling this bird box is no hard task!

Thanks to these six included paints, your child can spend as long as they like making this birdhouse bright and beautiful - just remember to ensure they have plenty of shade to happily paint under if the sun is shining! Once it’s been painted to perfection by your budding little artist, you can either hang it from a nearby tree or use the three included suckers to stick it to a window. Wherever you decide to place it in your backyard, the open section gives your kids a fascinating insight into the typically hidden lives of birds.

Seek artistic inspiration from nature

little girl painting on a leaf

Like many successful artists, why not inspire your kids to get creative by exploring all the organic wonders that nature offers? Regardless of whether you take your creative little one to a scenic area for them to paint their heart out or simply into the backyard to draw around some leaves, letting their minds run wild as they paint outdoors makes a refreshing change to being stuck inside finger painting.

Simply stock up on child-friendly paint, a range of paint brushes, and a pot for water, and who knows how many striking summer masterpieces they might produce! Best of all, all their artistic exploits will be taking place outdoors, so you won’t have to worry about any spilled pots of bright red paint soaking into your carpets or fragments of leaf being dotted around your home.

However, if you’re searching for some nature crafts that revolve around the natural world, then we strongly recommend flower pressing. All you need is a heavy spare book (featuring absorbent paper pages!) and a variety of different summer flowers to press into the pages. Not only will they have fun collecting the flowers from around your garden, but in just a matter of days, they should be dry and ready to be arranged in a frame! The finished flower-packed frame can even be hung on their bedroom wall as a beautiful memento of this outdoor school holiday activity.

Design and construct an outdoor play den

Children making an outdoor play den

Crafting doesn’t have to be confined to the indoors! Indeed, this next outdoor activity simply wouldn’t work as well in your home, so we recommend taking your kids to your local woodland and channelling your inner Scout leader as you lead them in the creation of a rustic outdoor play den. Best of all, you’ll have all the natural tools and building materials you’ll need scattered around the woodland area that you visit, so you won’t have to worry about lugging anything along with you.

While there's a huge number of different play den styles you and your little ones can try to tackle, this is the perfect time to encourage them to unleash their creativity and even come up with their own designs! However, if you want to erect a basic den to kick off construction, you should start by collecting small sticks and branches, and then prop them up against a sturdy tree trunk. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, then this is a great outdoor activity for kids to try out.

Once they’ve got the hang of den building, you can move onto a range of other woodland survival skills including growing plants/food from seeds, helping them to find their way using a map and/or a compass, and even splashing on some face paint to camouflage themselves. A chance to express themselves as well as build vital survival and teamwork skills, these creative outdoor activities can easily fill a whole summer holiday weekend!

Line up a lively nature trail

kids walking along a tree trunk

For kids with a curious nature, it’s a good idea to encourage their passion for knowledge by lining up a range of interesting outdoor activities. First and foremost, we suggest taking them to your local nature trail. No doubt littered with interesting areas including ponds, forests, and plenty of spaces where creepy crawlies like to hang out, a nature trail is often free to access and lets kids learn organically at their own pace.

With the opportunity to spot everything from beautiful birds and fascinating fish to incredible insects and a wide variety of small animals, nature trails are abundant with captivating wildlife. Plus, they typically feature clear and helpful maps alongside information boards that kids can read to find out more about their local area, the wildlife around them, and where they are on their outdoor family adventure.

To prepare kids for this outdoor summer holiday activity, we recommend picking up some essential nature-watching supplies, including binoculars, a magnifying glass, and even a small, durable torch to allow them to see into dark and dingy areas where any number of bugs might be hiding! These popular Foldable 30 x 60 Zoom Compact Binoculars, for example, are compact, ultra-affordable, and ideal for encouraging curious kids to educate themselves about the world around them.

Set up a summer scavenger hunt

children on a nature scavenger hunt

Finding hidden goodies is a sure-fire way to lure any curious kid away from the TV and their games console, and one way to do this is by hosting your very own summer holiday scavenger hunt! Regardless of whether you choose to snap up and hide a selection of their favourite sweets or a variety of small toys around your garden, this entertaining activity is sure to encourage them to leave their gadgets behind and embrace the outdoors.

One of our favourite scavenger hunt ideas that won’t cost you a penny is to collate a list of leaf pictures from different trees and then encourage your kids to spot an example of each one as you take them either around your garden or to a local beauty spot or wildlife area. As they cross each one off their list, they can find out more about the tree species - satisfying their curiosity and their need for physical activity at the same time.

However, if you have more of a budget to entertain the kids with this summer, then you may want to splash out on a range of fantastic treats that’ll both delight and entertain them for hours. From small stuffed toys to compact colouring books and highlighters, your outdoor scavenger hunt could include all kinds of prizes and even stationery that they can use when they head back to school - just remember to wrap them up in case looming clouds decide to rain on your parade!

Have a kids’ campout

camping with the family in a tent

What better way to capture your child’s imagination than by taking them camping? A fond memory that children often keep forever, this fun outdoor family activity can be stretched across a couple days or even a whole week to suit your summer holiday plans. Thankfully, we have a huge collection of tents, sleeping bags, portable cooking gear, and lanterns that’ll provide all the home comforts your kids could want - without leaving them cooped up indoors!

For fuss-free camping, we suggest opting for a pop-up tent as they’re quick and oh-so easy to assemble. With no pesky poles to contend with, you won’t have to worry about the kids getting bored as you set up their sleeping area. It’s so easy, in fact, that they could even do it themselves, leaving you time to sort out all the other camping essentials.

Once you’ve set up camp in a scenic spot, you can take part in all manner of exciting outdoor activities, including fishing, cycling, and climbing, to fill up your family time and keep the kids entertained. Alternatively, you can also chill out around the fire and play board games - just don’t forget to pack plenty of marshmallows and torches for when the sun goes down!

Stock up on outdoor summer essentials

child getting sun cream

No matter which one of our school holiday outdoor activities suit your child’s personality and interests, it pays to be prepared! Don’t forget to pick up plenty of protective sunscreen and pack them off with a practical summer hat and sunglasses - you can never be too cautious when those toasty temperatures start to increase, and the last thing you want is a grouchy, burned, and thoroughly exhausted little one on your hands at the end of the day! Even with all of these outdoor necessities readily available, regular breaks in the shade and upping their water intake is also recommended to keep kids cool and happy while out and about.

So, whether you’re a camping beginner willing to learn at the same time as your kids or you’re eager to get stuck into some peaceful nature crafts, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to kid’s outdoor activities this summer. Need more summer holiday inspiration? Check out our dedicated selection of outdoor toys and games guides! From outdoor games for all ages to seaside supplies, we’ve got everything you need to enjoy the best summer holiday on record! 

Parents, don’t panic! The start of the new school year is just a stone’s throw away!

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