10 Engaging and Affordable Activities for Children on School Holidays

Posted on June, 2024

This blog will give you 10 engaging and affordable activities for your child to try during the school holidays.

We’ve all been on those expensive trips to Centreparcs and Butlins which cost more and more as you add on activities.

This blog will give you some other ideas on how to spend quality time with your children without breaking the bank.

1. Hiking or Long Walks in the Country

If the weather is set to be fair and beautiful, consider taking your family out for a hike in the hills or on a long scenic walk.

This activity is cheap, as you just need to consider transport costs and pack some snacks to bring on the hike.

Furthermore, if you are well-prepared for the journey, you can save a lot of money and have wholesome quality time with the family.

Don’t forget to bring a football or better yet, a Nerf ball.

On all hiking and walking trips, another very useful tool to carry around is a torch, as it is always safer to take trips to remote areas with a torch. I’d recommend a tactical heavy-duty torch.

Battery-powered torches can be better as it is easier to change the batteries than to charge it in the middle of nowhere.

2. Trips to Museums and Art Galleries

If you’re within reach of a big city such as London, there are many reasonably priced or free museums.

A trip to the museum can be memorable and support children’s wider knowledge.

I remember trips to the British, Natural History, Science, and Horniman museums with fondness.

Something that we cannot tutor is childhood enrichment outside the classroom.

These settings allow children to gain cultural, experiential and historical knowledge at their own pace.

3. Community Events

Make sure that you always follow events in your local community by joining your local boards on Facebook and checking coffee shops and cafes.

Community events are usually great opportunities for families to get together and are reasonably priced.

Some places are obviously centred around the local community, such as Loughton, which has a Facebook group called Loughton Mums and Dads.

Everyone plugs their local events and businesses in this group, so it’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse.

4. Cooking and Baking

Have you ever had a child tell you that an apple comes from Tesco?

I have, which is why cooking and baking are excellent ways for children to connect with parents and learn about where their food comes from. This activity offers a hands-on learning experience that enhances their understanding of nutrition and food origins.

Start with simple recipes like cookies, cupcakes, or homemade pizzas. Let your children measure ingredients, mix the batter, and decorate their creations. Not only does this improve their math and motor skills, but it also boosts their confidence as they see the tangible results of their efforts.

Moreover, cooking and baking together foster teamwork and patience. You can even turn it into a mini-lesson by discussing the importance of different ingredients and the science behind baking. For instance, explain how yeast makes dough rise or how eggs bind ingredients together.

For a twist, host a mini “family cooking show” where each member presents their dish. This makes the activity even more fun and engaging.

5. Nature Scavenger Hunts

Turn a simple walk into an exciting adventure with a nature scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for your children to find, such as different types of leaves, rocks, flowers, or even insects.

This activity encourages children to explore and appreciate nature while honing their observational skills. You can even incorporate learning by asking them to identify or research the items they find.

6. DIY Craft Projects

Unleash your child’s creativity with DIY craft projects. Gather materials like paper, glue, markers, and recyclable items, and let their imagination run wild.

Projects can range from making greeting cards and holiday decorations to creating their own toys or costumes. Not only is this cost-effective, but it also helps develop fine motor skills and artistic expression.

Arts and Crafts Vault – 1000+ Piece Craft Kit Library in a Box for Kids 

7. Movie Marathon or Theater Production

Host a movie marathon at home with your children’s favorite films or introduce them to classic movies you loved as a child. Create a cosy setup with blankets, popcorn, and snacks for a fun, relaxed day.

Alternatively, encourage your children to put on their theatre production. They can write a script, design costumes, and perform for the family. This activity promotes creativity, teamwork, and public speaking skills.

I remember as a child wanting to build a small theatre for puppets and my mum and I spent ages painting and working on it.

8. Gardening

Introduce your children to gardening, even if it’s just a small pot on the windowsill. Teach them how to plant seeds, water them, and watch them grow.

Gardening is a rewarding activity that teaches patience and responsibility. Plus, it’s a great way for children to learn about plants, ecosystems, and where food comes from if you’re growing vegetables or herbs.

9. Science Experiments

Bring out your inner scientist with simple, fun science experiments at home. Use household items to create exciting reactions and teach basic scientific principles.

Experiments like making a volcano with baking soda and vinegar, creating slime, or growing crystals are educational and entertaining. These activities spark curiosity and encourage a love for science.

In my childhood, I remember that I had a children’s encyclopedia that I would read all the time. There were loads of fun tasks to do throughout the book.

Here is a book devoted to science experiments for children.

Children’s Encyclopedia of Science Experiments

10. Reading and Storytelling

Cultivate a love for reading by setting aside time each day for reading and storytelling.

Visit your local library to borrow books or have a reading challenge with rewards for reaching certain milestones.

Storytelling can also be a creative activity where children invent their own stories.

As a child, I used to spend hours writing stories. Note, that not all children will want to do this.

Encourage them to illustrate their tales and share them with the family, enhancing their imagination and language skills.

Another great way to encourage this creativity is by using a game such as Cards Against Humanity (the family edition!).

Here is a link:

Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition


In conclusion, providing your child with engaging and affordable activities during the school holidays doesn’t have to be a daunting task or break the bank.

From exploring the great outdoors with hikes and nature scavenger hunts to enriching their minds with museum trips and science experiments, there are countless ways to spend quality time together.

Cooking, baking, and gardening offer hands-on learning experiences that foster creativity and responsibility. Meanwhile, DIY crafts, movie marathons, and community events nurture their creativity and social skills.

By incorporating these activities, you can create lasting memories and ensure that your child has a fulfilling and enjoyable holiday, all while staying budget-conscious.




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