Summer activities: what to do in the summer holidays

Boy and girl running through a summer wood
Get outdoors this summer! (Photo: Jill Jennings/WTML)

Get set for the summer holidays! Make the most of the heaps of time to get outside and go exploring. We’ve put together some activity ideas to keep you entertained.

Create some summer crafts

Brightly coloured rock bugs
Try some minibeast crafts (Photo: iStock.com/Stuphipps)

Raining outside? No problem! We’ve got loads of rainy day activities you can get stuck into too!

Little kids can bring the sun out again with our sunshine colouring page.

You could make a ladybird potato stamp or butterfly footprints, or have a go at some of our other minibeast crafts.

Minibeast activities – minibeast snacks

Just raid the fruit bowl and create some cute critters. They’re yummy, and great for picnics! Be sure to get a grown-up to help you if you’re using a knife.

Cute caterpillar – thread some small, green grapes onto a cocktail stick. Make the eyes with two blobs of icing sugar and tiny bits of currant for pupils.

Lovely ladybird – slice a large strawberry in half and attach a blueberry to the fatter end with a cocktail stick. Now what can you find in the cupboard to make the spots… some mini chocolate chips maybe?

Beautiful butterfly – some fruits and vegetables have amazing patterns inside. Spear a few blueberries with a cocktail stick for the body and then use another cocktail stick to attach wing-shaped slices of orange or kiwi fruit.

What other minibeasts can you make?

Wildflower fun

Boy wearing a crown made from dandelions
Make your own flower crown! (Photo: iStock.com/RobertRatuts)

Wildflowers are in full bloom and budding botanists can learn their names with our summer flowers ID. Flower crowns and secret dandelion ink are fun to make too.

You could even have a go at making some homemade perfume. You will need:

  • two big handfuls of flower petals – perhaps a lovely fragrant rose or lavender
  • small plastic or glass bottle
  • cup
  • saucepan
  • large jug
  • sieve or piece of muslin
  • sticky label and colouring pens.

Put two cupfuls of water in the saucepan and bring it to the boil. (Definitely get a grown-up to help you with this!). Turn off the heat, stir in the flower petals and leave it to cool. Once it’s cool, strain the liquid into the jug through the sieve or muslin – crush or squeeze the petals so you get all the essence out. Then pour it into the bottle. Dream up a name for your signature scent and decorate the label.

Go on a summer scavenger hunt

Journey stick
Track your travels with a journey stick (Photo: WTML)

There’s so much to discover in the woods at this time of year!

Our summer scavenger hunt will help you keep your eyes peeled for seasonal treasures, and tiny tots will love making up a sensory box.

Why not make a journey stick to remind you of your day out too?

Cool off with some watery fun

Leaf boat
Set sail with a leaf boat (Photo: iStock.com/Wojciech Kaczkowski)

Lots of woods have a stream, which is great for cooling off on hot days.

You could build a leaf boat or a twig raft and sail it, hop across on stepping stones, stand on a bridge and play Pooh sticks or just wiggle your toes in the water.

Summer’s also the perfect time to go pond dipping. Just always make sure there’s a grown-up around, and don’t play near deep water.

Explore the woods after dark

Now you don’t have to get up early for school (whoop, whoop!), why not look out for bats and listen for owls on a twilight trek. A game of torch tag is great fun too. You could even build a campfire and bake some scrummy bread twists. Remember not to stray too far from your grown-up when you’re out after dark though!

We’d love to see some pictures of your summer fun! Post them on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives. And if you like these ideas, make sure you become a Nature Detective to get even more inspiring activities through the post.

What's your favourite summer activity?

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