8 Fun (and Free) Things to do Outside as Family this Summer

Bored in the house? Get outdoors and soak the some rays. Try these eight fun and free activities that you can do with your family this summer.

Summer rolls around and we want to get outside in the fresh air with the children as much as possible. The hit of vitamin D, the way fresh air aids sleep, and encourages awareness of the environment.

But the summer is long and it’s not always easy to find new things to do. Here are our family’s top eight tried and tested summer ideas (all free). Perfect from toddler age and up.

See also: How to Manage Your Hay Fever This Summer

Credit: Emma Watson

Get Washing

Kids love nothing better than getting wet on a hot day grab the washing bowl and a sponge and set to work. They can wash their toys, or stones/shells found in the garden or even help you wash the car. As long as there’s bubbles they’ll love it.

Bug Detectives 

Grab some small jars from the kitchen (add leaves), a notebook and pen (and if you have one a magnifying glass) and you are set for an afternoon of fun. Take a walk through your local area, look under rocks, at flowerbeds, in the park and see how many bugs you can spot, encourage little ones to draw the bugs and talk about what they’ve found and where. You might even very carefully pop one in a jar to take a closer look.

See also: Summer Skincare

Get Arty

There’s something about being creative outside that children really love and lets them feel more free. There’s a few ways to get creative;  a) Use chalks and colour on your path. b) Take paper and crayons and rub over any interesting textures they find like bark or bricks. c) Or find some rocks of different sizes, paint them and then leave them for others to find.

Don’t Forget the Traditional Summer Games

The oldies are still the best and are great fun. Simon Says, What Time is it Mr Wolf, Follow the Leader, Hide and Seek and a fave in our house—Traffic Lights – shouting Red for stop and Green for Go. Lots of running around which you can join in with or direct from a deck chair and enjoy a little rest

Make Summer Magic

Children love to make magic potions and it’s such a simple set up. A couple of bowls (as cauldrons) and spoons for mixing. Some little jars (with lids) to keep the potions in and then you can add extras like sticky labels for the jars and a notebook for writing the potion recipes in. Children can gather grass, leaves, and petals to create their magical potions and perfumes.

See also: Staying Healthy In Summer

Make More Of The Park

It’s tempting sometimes to just go to the swings and get fed up but there’s loads to do at the park. Get silly and roll down a hill together. Use the grass cuttings to create pictures. Turn the park into your own obstacle course and try to get from one side to the other without touching the floor. Find a tree to climb or take shade under and read a quiet story. Find daisies and dandelions and make crowns or chains and decorate each other

little hotdog watson
Credit: Emma Watson

Den Building

Go big and head to the local woods and find branches to make your den or keep it simple and grab some blankets and cushions and drape over the garden chairs. Either way the most important thing is once built everyone needs to clamber in and have a celebratory den snack treat—an ice lolly is perfect. Den building is great on super hot days for providing extra shade too—make the den even cosier by adding cushions and a few favourite toys.

See also: Tricks For Staying Cool This Summer

A Summer Walk with a Difference

Quite often we are always rushing when we are walking with children. Always aiming to get somewhere. Taking a mindfulness walk is the opposite. Take a walk just to enjoy the walk and do it differently. Walk slightly slower and listen. Listen out for the sounds and look carefully up and down, what can they see and hear. If they hear an animal sound ask if they can mimic it. For older children let them lead. Ask them which way should we go. Let them create their adventures with you. You never know what exciting things you might find.

Hopefully, you’ve found a new idea that your little one will enjoy for the summer. Would love to hear what outdoor activities you really enjoy as a family


Emma Watson, is mum to two girls H (5) and F (1) and lives in Norwich. She’s the owner of Little Hotdog Watson a kidswear brand that makes kids hats and sunglasses unlike any other.

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