Yippee! They’re here! The summer holidays are now upon us and we all have that carefree spirit!

Well – that’s the official line anyway, but what if you work, are worried about the cost-of-living crisis and have run out of ideas of what to do with your toddlers for 6 weeks?

That’s where we at Parenta are always happy to step in with some creative, fun and engaging activities that you can pass on to your parents for things to do that don’t cost the earth.

Get creative

If you have some paints at home, then why not consider some of these creative ideas?

  • Paint some rocks to decorate a pot or a windowsill. Easy things to paint are ladybirds, spiders, sun and moon, silly faces, numbers, simple words like ‘love’, ‘belief’ and ‘happy’
  • Make some mobiles for the garden using only what you can find in your garden or a park. Try weaving sticks together to make a star shape and then decorate them with leaves, flowers or other things you have around the house such as coloured wool or scraps of material. You could even use wool from some old clothes to hang shapes on the star to make a colourful garden ornament
  • Make some musical instruments out of recycled items as such as some drums out of old boxes or shakers by filling empty bottles with stones
  • Create a fairy or miniature garden. You can do this in a tray or section off an area in your own garden. Use twigs, sticks or lollipop sticks to create benches, swings and use old margarine tubs to paint as houses. See – you never know who you might tempt to move in!
  • Build a den in the back garden or your living room and let the children’s imagination run riot – use anything you can find – old towels/duvets/mops and buckets and transform your living area into a pirate haven, a safari hut or a spaceship off to the moon!
  • Make some home-made slime or sludge and get really messy. You can find some ideas online for some edible sludge here
  • Put on a show – you can improvise a well-known story or film that everyone knows. You can do this using puppets too such as sock puppets that you’ve made as well for some extra creativity points!

Get out and about

In the summer, there are a lot of free events that are run for children, but you just have to find them. Many companies run taster or free sessions of activities to advertise their services so look out for these.

Pop into your local library – a lot of companies leave advertising leaflets there and there are often free book readings or storytelling events run over the summer

Contact your local town’s website to see what’s on in your local area. Most towns, and even some villages now have a local website and there are often summer fayres to visit

Have a picnic in your local park – but arrange to meet up with a few friends to make it more of a social event. You could even have a theme such as a teddy bear’s picnic just to make it more fun

Visit your local stream or pond to do some pond-dipping or mini-beast hunting and see what amazing creatures you can find. There are lots of good resources to be found on the RSPB website which don’t cost anything, but you can use to have lots of fun

Organise a sports day with some friends. You can do it at your local park or a beach or lake. Think up some old-fashioned races such as the egg and spoon race, the sack race or the wheelbarrow race. You can make an obstacle course with some household items to create jumps, slalom and balance beams

Go on a treasure hunt around your town. A lot of towns have list of local walks, treasure hunts or heritage trails which are generally free but will show you more about the town you call home

Create a sensory lucky dip by filling different containers with simple household things such as soap, a feather, a leaf and some cotton wool. Cover the containers with a towel and get the children to feel each item to guess what it is. You can extend this into a learning task too by asking them to draw the objects and describe them

Get learning

The world is full of wonderful things to learn and explore so why not see what new things you can learn this summer? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Learn some country dances. There are a lot of YouTube videos that show you how to do different country dances such as the “Gay Gordons” or Western line dances like the “Electric Slide”. The good thing is that you get to see how they’re done and you get the music, so put your dancing shoes on and learn something new
  • Collect some leaves from different trees and see if the children can identify them. You could do this for ducks and birds too. Create a spotter sheet and you can do this in a garden, park or beach and compare the different types of birds in each area
  • Start learning a new language. There are a lot of simple language songs on the internet, so you could start by doing counting in Spanish for example, or learning how to say ‘hello’ in a few foreign languages
  • Learn to read and write – remember that you can always start teaching your toddler the basics of writing by doing some mark-making in whatever media you have to hand – sand, mud, paint, flour, the list is endless
  • Help your toddler learn to count using anything and everything around the house – you can extend this to help them build towers, make patterns using blocks or counters

So there you have it – some ideas to keep you busy over the holidays. Remember to send us your pictures of how you get on to hello@parenta.com 

More information and ideas






RSPB – lots of ideas for fun activities from pond dipping to identifying different birdsong






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