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What do you want to do?

Entertaining the kids this summer

The summer holidays are fabulous, but the weather can be variable which can scupper your plans. What you need is a bag of 'lucky dip' ideas for things to do whatever the weather - including games, crafting, cooking that can be messy, silly, educational but above all engaging, fun and easy to do, making you a parenting hero right through to September. Here are a few ideas:

Junk modelling

Put your recycling to good use - use it to make sculptures and models!

What you need

  • Junk - old boxes, tubes, bottles, lids, cartons - anything that you'd otherwise recycle
  • Glue or sellotape/masking tap
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper or plastic sheet to cover the table
  • Apron
  • Paint for later if you want to decorate

What to do

  1. Save some bits and bobs out of the recycling - cereal boxes, kitchen roll middles, egg boxes, juice cartons, plastic bottle tops, etc.
  2. Put them all on the table and let your kids use the bits to make their own sculptures by sticking different things together.
  3. Some bits and bobs will need cutting up so they're just right
  4. You could make a robot, or a house, or a car, or a castle - the kids usually have great ideas!

Top tips

  • We often used sellotape or masking tape for junk modelling as glue didn't always hold and took ages to dry (when we wanted immediate results!)
  • You could paint your creations too! Adding PVA glue to your paint will help it to stick to plastic. Alternatively, stick a thin layer of tissue paper to your model first with PVA glue - when it's dry it's easier to paint.

Balloon rocket

Have a race with these easy, fun rockets

What you need

  • Balloons (long ones are best)
  • Thin string or cotton
  • Straws
  • Tape
  • Paperclip
  • Two chairs

What to do

  1. Cut a piece of string about 3 metres long and thread it through a straw. Tie one end to one of the chairs.
  2. Tie the other end of the string to the other chair. Pull the chairs apart to make the string tight
  3. Blow up a balloon and hold the neck closed with a paperclip. Tape the balloon length ways to the straw
  4. Push the balloon to one end of the string, with the neck facing a chair. 
  5. Then take the paperclip off and watch your balloon rocket zoom along the string!

Top tips

  • Make sure the straw can easily move up and down the string
  • Set up a second string to have races!

Activity for a car journey

Why not... play 'When I went on holiday' - A memory game that's great for journeys or just to fill five or 10 minutes

What you need


What to do

  1. The first person starts by saying "I went on holiday and I took with me...." - and then they name something they might have packed: e.g. my swimsuit, sunglasses, a book, my passport, some sweets
  2. The next person then says "I went on holiday and I took with me..." - then they say the first person's item then a new item of their own.
  3. Keep going round the circle, each time adding a new item to the list and so making it more difficult to remember!

Top tips

  • You can play this game on different topics too like 'I went shopping and I bought...' or 'I got dressed in the morning and put on....'

More information

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