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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

Summer break 2020: things to do in the school holidays

Updated: Aug 29, 2020

things to do in the school holidays

Well, it's been a strange kinda schooling year, and with it officially rolling to a close at the end of this month, we're celebrating our homeschool successes, mulling over the low points, and most definitely looking forward to the 6 weeks summer break. But with the dining room table classroom being restored to, well, a dining table, during the school holidays, that does mean we've got rather a lot of hours to fill not with homeschooling, but with fun! Here's some ideas to get you and the family kickstarted...

Have a paddle at the seaside

things to do in the school holidays
Summer holidays are for sand between your toes. Photography: Unsplash

There's nothing lovelier than the sand between your toes, a paddle in the sea and a fun forage for a pretty shell or two with the kids, especially when the weather is decent. Beaches have widely reopened around the country, so take a day trip to the coast for an ice cream, chow down on a portion of good ol' fish 'n' chips and suck in a bit of sea air. Use your noddle though... if it's busy turn back and go somewhere else. Oh, and take your trash home with you: we've all seen the carnage left behind on the beaches in recent weeks so don't be one of those rubbish discarding cockwombles! Sigh.

Get outdoors for a scavenger hunt

things to do in the school holidays
Photography: Wix

With restrictions now lifted on how long we can spend outside, we love the idea of getting into the great outdoors for a fun-packed adventure with the kids. And what better way to keep the whole fam entertained than with a scavenger hunt? Create your own or try this lovely, free printable by Buddy & Buggy.

Set up camp in your back garden

things to do in the school holidays
Adventure time! Photography: Millets

There are plenty of us who have had our real vacays cancelled because of the Corona crisis, so we're doing the best we can to bring our holiday closer to home instead. And while we can't give you a getaway to a Spanish beach, we can give you an adventure to Costa Del Backyard, camping style! Head over to this fab guide by Millets for the full lowdown on how to ace a night under the stars in your own garden. Real campsites have also reopened the length and breadth of Blighty, so if you're feeling intrepid, pack your tent and your sense of adventure, and go cook a sausage on a camping stove.

Break out the craft box

things to do in the school holidays
Googly eyes galore! Photography: I Heart Crafty Things

One thing we are not short of at London for Kidz is a craft guide: we have everything from toilet roll craft to cardboard box craft, rainbow craft to plastic bottle craft. And that's just for starters! We'll pop the links to some more at the bottom of this read to keep y'all busy with. Art supplies at the ready, parents!

Set up a home cinema

things to do in the school holidays
Bring the cinema to your home. Photography: Unsplash

Snuggle down with a big bowl of popcorn and some tasty snacks, shut the curtains, dim the lights, and whack on a host of family films sure to lift moods and give the whole family a case of the feel goods.

Create a home salon

things to do in the school holidays
Home salon fun. Photography: Wix

Face masks (the beauty types, not the COVID-19 protection types), home pedicures, hairdressing and a makeover... set up your own home salon with the small humans and let them rummage in your makeup bag (make sure you take the good stuff out first), paint your nails, and do your hair. Return the favour, of course! The only facial we've had recently was from the steam off the iron, so being pampered by the kids sounds like a sweet deal to us.

Bake up a storm in the kitchen

things to do in the school holidays
Nom, nom, nom! Photography: Charlotte's Lively Kitchen

Call your mini master chefs to the kitchen and keep 'em busy baking up a treat storm. We know it's still a bit challenging to get your hands on certain baking ingredients right now, so try these recipes that have no need for elusive eggs and flour. Challenge the family to a board game marathon

things to do in the school holidays
Let the battle commence. Photography: Tracy Tristram, London for Kidz

We already know what board games we love best (we wrote a whole guide on our faves), and we're sure every family has its go-to's, so why not pull them all out of the cupboard and challenge the gang to a bit of friendly competition? Tissues at the ready to mop up any 'sore loser' tantrums! Oh, and if you're in the Kent area, do make sure you pop into super fabulous Playopolis: a board game cafe where the staff are uber helpful and friendly, the food is delish, and the shelves are packed to the rafters with games you love (and games you didn't know yet that you love). Total winner of a day out.

Go to the zoo, zoo, zoo

things to do in the school holidays
Have a roar some day out at the zoo. Photography: ZSL London Zoo

We're so happy that the zoos have managed to reopen, and they need our support more than ever. With tons of outside space and ticket restrictions happening, choose the zoo closest to home and get on over with your little monkeys. The safari parks are also open, which makes for an even easier way to social distance by viewing the animals from the safe bubble of your own car. Watch out for the monkeys stealing your radio antenna mind!

Ramble around a wide, open space

One thing the UK is not short on is wide open spaces. No matter what part of the country you are in, there will be beautiful countryside not too far from home to explore. Bring binoculars, a picnic, plenty of water and your sense of adventure, and remember, tired kids = a decent night's sleep for parents! Maybe.

Make your own ice lollies

things to do in the school holidays
Cooling things down... Photography: The First Year Blog

We're hoping the weather perks up a bit for the school holidays, and what better way to beat the heat than by combining a tasty treat with a cool activity: whipping up your own ice pops. We've got a whole guide packed full of ice lolly recipe ideas to get you started with. But if your impatient little bugs won't wait for the frozen magic to happen, ply them with these colourful, healthy and fun-to-make smoothies instead.

Get into the garden

things to do in the school holidays
Kids bugging you for a pet? Here's the perfect solution. Photography: Wix

Keep your little bees busy with our fabulous guide to gardening projects the whole fam can get involved with. Our bug hotel is a huge hit in our garden with our small critters, although it's gotta be said, kinda wishing those spiders would move further away from the house! Use this sort of activity as a starting block for a conversation about how you can all become more eco-friendly in your daily lives too.

Put on a puppet show

things to do in the school holidays
Sock puppetry! Photography: Schaeresteipapier

Get the kids' imaginations firing on all cylinders by making some cool puppets with them, and then getting them to come up with a little puppet show of their own. If you need some 'how to make a puppet' inspo, then we love this adorable sock puppet craft by Schaeresteipapier.

Try your hand at Geocaching

things to do in the school holidays
Who's ready for a treasure hunt? Photography: Unsplash

Join the world's largest treasure hunt this summer by creating a free Geocaching account and downloading the official Geocaching app. Head over to the National Trust website for its great guide on Geocaching with kids, and to find out more about this super cool, outdoors adventure.

Explore London!

things to do in the school holidays
Diana, Memorial Playground , we can't wait to come back! Photography: Royal Parks

London town is opening slowly and surely, so if you can get around safely (we wouldn't recommend using public transport just yet), then take a look at 10 of the places we can't wait to visit in London when lockdown is totally a thing of the past. We've also got a rather handy dandy guide to visiting the Tower of London with kids if a living history lesson is something you fancy.

Need more ideas? Then hop into one of these activity-packed guides:

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures over on Instagram and Facebook! Happy holidays, people!

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