18 low-cost things to do this summer

21st July 2023Rachel.McCarty Share:FacebookTwitterShare

They’ve finally arrived; the long-awaited school holidays. Six weeks is a long time to fill, so we’ve created a list of 18 fun, low-cost ideas to help keep the kids entertained this summer.



1. Do some face painting

Why should face painting just be for parties and Halloween? Get out the face paints and have fun! You can all take turns at painting each other, either on faces or just hands and arms. If you're not the artistic type, do take a look at our easy face painting ideas, for people who don't think they can face paint!


Face paint leopard spots

Rainbow face paints, £3.95

2. Learn a new card game

Many card games are surprisingly addictive and are an easy way to pass a few hours, either at home, in the park or out at a cafe. If ‘Snap’ is all you know how to play, take a look at these six card games your family will love.


Periodic Table playing cards spread out on a table

Periodic Table playing cards in a tin, £4.95


3. Host a DIY sports day

Bring out everyone's competitive side with a DIY sports day, featuring traditional outdoor games! Enjoy sports day classics like egg and spoon races, three-legged races, and bean bag throwing, or try your hand at classic games like hopscotch or jacks.


Traditional tin can alley game

Traditional tin can alley game, £24.95



4. Start a nature journal

It might sound like an obvious one, but going for a walk is a great way to get away from screens and burn up some of the school-holiday energy. You can make it more fun by making your own nature journal. You can get as creative as you like using paint, pencils, crayons and much more as you explore your surroundings.


A girl paints a ladybird in a nature journal

Nature Trail journal, £4.95

5. Practice origami

Use a ready made kit, or simply pick up some coloured paper (our wrapping paper doubles up well as it’s nice and thick) and look for some templates online. Our Prehistoric Land kit contains 100 sheets of paper and step by step instructions to make five fearsome dinosaurs. 


Prehistoric Land origami


Prehistoric Land origami kit, £9.95


6. Head to the beach

If the weather is favourable, then head to the beach for a family day at the seaside! Making sandcastles, rock pooling, gathering shells, playing frisbee... the re's so many fun and engaging things to do at the beach. Lots of playing and fresh sea air should also help guarantee the kids get a good night's sleep!



Sharks tin bucket containing sand alongside play ball and sandcastles

Sharks tin bucket, £5.95


7. Do some gardening 

Kids love helping out with gardening. Whether you've got a large garden, a small courtyard or even just a balcony, you can still get the kids nurturing some plants. This starter kit includes everything you need to create bee and butterfly-friendly greenery.


Wonders Of Nature Bee And Butterfly Garden Seed Kit

Grow your own bee and butterfly garden kit, £14.95

8. Make ice lollies

Sunny days and ice lollies are a match made in heaven! You can get as creative as you like with ice-lolly moulds; try using different colours for a rainbow effect, or even pop some chopped up fruit in for a hidden sweet surprise. 


Space Age Rocket Ice Lolly Moulds


Space Rocket ice lolly moulds, £6.95


9. Write a letter

No matter what age we are, it's always fun to receive post! Children can spend an afternoon writing a letter to their friend or relative, sharing everything they’ve been up to. They can really get stuck into decorating the letter and envelope with stickers, washi tape, or even some fun stamps.


Ocean Set Of Mini Stamps


Ocean mini stamp set, £6.95

10. Have a tea party

Host the ultimate picnic or afternoon tea at home! Kid can invite their favourite toys and you can spend the morning preparing lots of fun finger food and drinks together. This activity is ideal for helping children to develop their social skills, as well as their creativity and imagination.


Ready for tea with Fairies in the Garden tea party set and iced gem biscuits on plates


Fairies in the Garden tea party set, £24.95


11. Go on a picnic

A classic summertime activity, a picnic is a great way to spend an afternoon. And if it transpires that the weather isn’t on your side, you can always host it indoors! Kids will love the novelty of pushing furniture out of the way and spreading out a blanket on the floor.


Wild Wonders picnic accessories

Wild Wonders tableware, from £1.95

12. Go for a bike ride

Get ready for some two-wheeled fun! Head out on a bike ride for some screen-free energy burning. Look up some family-friendly routes in advance that aren't too challenging, and have some interesting landmarks to discover on the way. 


A bike with colourful streamers on the handles


Liven up bike rides with a colourful pair of streamers, £4.95

13. Enjoy a crafternoon

Get creative with one of our craft or construction kits! Whether it’s building your own vehicles, getting creative with modelling clay, or doing science experiments, crafting is a great way to wile away the hours.


Stitching Set - Woodland Animals


Woodland Animals stitching set, £6.95


14. Fly a kite

Make the most of any blustery days that might occur this summer and head to the nearest park or beach for some kite flying. 


Traditional diamond kite

Traditional diamond kite, £9.95


15. Get baking

Baking with kids can be really fun (and messy!). It’s best to keep it simple so they don’t get too frustrated and make sure that it’s something they can’t wait to eat at the end to keep them motivated.


Wild Wonders Children'S Apron

Wild Wonders children's apron, £8.95


16. Go glamping (in your back garden!)

Kids love backyard camping, and you don’t have to travel far to have a fantastic family adventure. Check out how to create a magical experience you and your family will never forget. 


Wild Wonders teepee in a garden

Wild Wonders teepee. Was £99.95, now £50

17. Create a 'bored jar'

Stop any whines of ‘I’m boooored’ in their tracks, and get the kids to choose their next activity with a bored jar. Simply fill a jar with ideas and activities - everyone gets to contribute! Mum in the Madhouse has created a great list of ideas that you can print out and pop in a jar. 

Bored jar list


Photo credit: Mum in the Madhouse

18. And lastly, prepare for a rainy day

The good ol’ British weather means there is never a rainy day far away, even in summer. So we say embrace it! Don those wellies and raincoats and do some activities out in the rain - check out our six ideas for things to do outside on a rainy day.



Chalk eggs in a box next to chalk drawings on the ground

Coloured chalk eggs, £4.95


Wishing you a very happy summer holiday from everyone at Rex London!