Brilliant Ideas for Summer Activities on a Budget

Wednesday 06 July 2022

These days, more than ever, family budgets are being squeezed, so it’s vital to find inexpensive ways to keep children entertained over the summer.

Here are some of our favourites, suggested to us by foster carers. Get in touch if you would like to share more ideas.

  1. Invest in a Kids Pass

This is a brilliant idea that gives families access to around 4,500 fantastic discounts and offers. It costs £1 for a 30-day trial, and you can get money off days out (such as theme parks and cinema tickets) as well as free child meals at participating restaurants. If you want to continue after the trial, it’s £4.99 a month or £39.99 annually. One Kids Pass covers the whole household. You can find out more here.

  1. Create summer scrapbooks

This is a lovely way for children to remember all the fun things you’ve done together over the summer. Encourage them to take photos using a mobile phone or digital camera. It is cheap and easy to order prints online. Give each child a scrapbook and help them to stick the photos into it, along with drawings, tickets or leaflets and scraps of writing about their experience.

  1. Learn something new together

Summer can be a great time to learn something new together. Most children love to learn alongside an adult (even more so if they find out they learn faster than you!). You might want to try one of the online language courses or maybe a yoga or relaxation class.

  1. Be a nature detective

There is something exciting about getting out in nature to see what species you can spot. The Woodland Trust has some inexpensive pocket-sized wildlife ID books that can help you identify the different birds and creepy crawlies that you might come across in the woods. You could give each child a notebook and get them to draw or write about what they observe.

  1. Create a nature table

Cast your mind back to when you were a child and how exciting it was to get out in nature and scavenge for ‘treasure’. We’re talking about pebbles, seedheads, leaves, petals, polished sea glass… that sort of thing. While you’re out and about, encourage children to collect things to take home for a nature table (although avoid picking wildflowers or bringing home anything that’s alive or likely to crawl, slither or jump off your nature table!).

  1. Build a den

We’ve borrowed another great idea from The Woodland Trust – building a den! This is something the whole family can get involved with and you can read their den building guide for some helpful tips.

  1. Teach children to cook

This can be particularly good if it’s rainy. Involve children in everything from deciding what to cook through to shopping, weighing out ingredients, preparation, cooking and of course eating your chosen dish.

  1. Picnic at home

While it’s lovely to have a picnic on the beach or in the park, it can be just as much fun to eat al fresco in the garden (and a lot less work). Asking children to help prepare the food helps to keep them occupied for longer.

  1. Decorate pebbles

Get the children to choose pebbles while out on a walk and then decorate them with paint, pens, stickers and glitter. Pebble art can be really beautiful as a way to decorate a child’s bedroom or to give as gifts.

  1. Get to know your hometown

It’s a funny thing but many of us don’t take the time to get to know our hometown and the history and sites of interest on our doorstep. Why not join a walking tour or visit some of the attractions that are closest to you?


As a foster carer with National Fostering Group you have access to a network of support, training and advice throughout the year. For more information about fostering with us, click here.