With the summer reluctantly dragging its heels, we have had plenty of time to plan these 50 brilliant summer play and adventure ideas. Helping you make most of the glorious (if we’re lucky) British summer, these 50 ideas can help get the kids off their Playstations and enjoying an unforgettable few months.
- Backyard Dice Games
Building giant dice, simple guide here, opens up a huge range of back yard board games. From Yahtzee to Ludo, many of the kids’ favourite games can be taken into the back garden. Ramping the fun up to 11, kids can also double up as the playing pieces in many games.
- Treasure Island Hunt
Add an extra touch of excitement to the traditional back garden treasure hunt by including a pirate theme, complete with authentic treasure map. Where possible, try and get the neighbours involved as well to extend the size of the treasure island and increase the length of time the kids are kept quiet.
- Twister Au Natural
A back garden twist on Twister – the colourfully absurd game of bending and stretching – the mat can be removed in favour of coloured dots painted onto the grass. Paint as many coloured dots in whatever pattern you wish on the grass and borrow the spinner from the indoors edition for fun in the garden. When the grass grows, the coloured dots can be simply mowed away.
Another large-scale version of an indoor favourite – back yard scrabble is the perfect way to combine play time with a little learning. All you need are large letter tiles for the whole family to spell out high-scoring words. Here is a guide to building your massive tiles for instant back yard educational fun.
Not dissimilar to ten-pin bowling, Molkky is suitable for all ages and can be played indoors or out. Players are required to throw the Molkky (a wooden pin) at 10 skittles (also wooden pins) with numbers drawn on top, attempting to knock them over. Points are awarded for knocking over the pins and the first person to reach 50 points is the winner.
- Popcorn Olympics
The creative people over at Inkablinka have created a popcorn-based version of the classic Grecian games. Download the .PDF guide, here, and get the whole family in on the fun to determine who is the champion popcorn Olympian.
- Crossbar Challenge
Made famous by football variety show, Soccer AM, the Crossbar Challenge is a fun and difficult game for aspiring footballer. Challenge the whole family to hit the crossbar of a football goal from a set line. Handicaps can be applied to give the younger members of the family a bit more of a chance.
- RC Grand Prix
Perfect if you’re tired of the kids’ remote control cars forever bumping into your feet, the cat and scuffing the skirting – a back garden RC Grand Prix will get them out of the house and from under your feet. Use chalk to draw a course on paving or a patio, or use rope to make an outline for a course on the grass. More adventurer course designers may look to incorporate jumps and other features in their fiercely-contested back garden grand prix.
- Tic Tac Toe
The ever popular travel game can be recreated in the back garden with one large square sheet and 10 frisbees. Paint five frisbees in one colour and the other five in another colour – and divide them accordingly between two participating kids. Make it a little trickier than its traditional counterpart by challenging kids to throw their frisbees onto the desired squares from 5 or 10 yards.
- Summer Flower Garden
If your kids have shown they are green-fingered and diligent, summer is the perfect time to start a flower garden project. This guide from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea can help you determine which plants should be grown in the summer. A rewarding project for kids and parents alike.
The back garden playhouse can serve as a lovely back garden hideout for kids – providing a central area for them to invite friends and store all their outdoor toys. The Plum Lodge Wooden Playhouse is a small, tasteful fixture for the back garden, allowing kids to use their imagination – playing house, shop or doctors.
Back garden trampolines are becoming an ever-more popular fixture throughout the UK, with families discovering the great exercise and health benefits offered by the toy. Generation after generation of kids have long loved the thrill of bouncing higher and higher in the air. The EvoStar 10ft Deluxe Trampoline and Enclosure is a well-built structure which will support the bouncing of kids for many a summer.
Ever a playground favourite – kids love being able to play and dig around in the sand. All the fun of the beach in the back garden – the Plum Giant Octagonal Sandpit is big enough for the kids and their friends to build sandcastles and fun structures.
- Climbing Frame
At All Round Fun, we stock a large range of high quality climbing frames which include a number of fun features. The Plum Bonobo 2 Play Centre is great for your little monkeys as they enjoy climbing, sliding, swinging, digging and hiding on one comprehensive play centre.
- Football Set
Footy mad kids will love the Kickmaster 6ft Premier Goals set, giving them a chance to recreate their favourite strikes. If your little Messi or Heskey is kicking lumps out the sofa, this kit could be the perfect gift to get them outside and into the garden.
- Swing Set
The back garden swing set is almost a rite of passage for children – from Snoopy to Sandra Dee, kids of all ages, from all generations and backgrounds seem drawn to the soothing motion of the swing. The Little Tikes Roma Wooden Double Swing set is ideal for young children aged three and above, with adjustable height and sturdy build.
- Bouncy Castle
No longer just a regular fixture of village fairs and birthday parties – bouncy castles are becoming ever more popular in back gardens throughout the UK. Giving kids the chance to bounce around and burn off that excess energy without hurting themselves, the Duplay Party Slide and Hoop Bouncy Castle includes a range of additional features to keep the kids entertained.
For sophisticated young ladies and gentleman, croquet is an elegant sport enjoyed by the refined. Get the kids in training early for a life of sophistication with the help of the Bex Croquet Set from All Round Fun. The set includes everything you need to get a game underway and the half-bisques in action.
- Super Soakers
It isn’t a summer holiday until the water guns have come out, the water fight gets underway and one kid complains he’s ‘not allowed to get wet’. Give your kids the upper hand against their friends with the help of a Super Soaker – a longstanding favourite of children everywhere.
- Ride-On Merc
The Flying Gadgets Mercedes SLS Class AMG Ride on Car is a junior size fully-operational car for kids who believe their ride should be pimpin’. The car can be operated by the driver with an accelerator and steering wheel or by a remote control, if mum and dad think they should be in control.
- Our Big Gig
Over 300 locations throughout the UK are participating in this free event – offering concerts and live sets in a range of musical styles. All ages are welcome to this fun family event, and it’s even possible for most amateur or junior of musicians to get involved. To find your closest Our Big Gig event, visit their website here.
- National Forest Walking Festival
Held between 16 and 28 May 2015 in South Derbyshire, the National Forest Walking Festival offers more than 70 different walks for participants of all ages, abilities and tastes. From seasoned walkers with a taste for adventure to parents with pushchairs, the inclusive festival aims to get more people out walking and exploring the beautiful forests of the West Midlands.
- Big Cheese Festival
Held in the stunning Caerphilly Castle, the Big Cheese festival is a celebration of Welsh food and delicacies with more than 50 local producers gathering to sell cakes, wine, liquors, and, of course, cheese. Held on 25 and 26 July, this free two day event also features a great selection of family-friendly entertainers and musical groups.
- Museums at Night
Fantastic for families with older children who love learning, Museums at Night is the free event which invites guests to explore science, nature and history in a whole new light. Organised by the University of Cambridge, this two day event includes tours of seven different museums and exhibitions.
- Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Celebrating its 36th anniversary, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta invites guests to come and enjoy the splendour of more than 100 hot air balloons taking flight and to the skies. This family-friendly event, held 6-9 August, also includes an entertainment village and a craft marquee.
- Newcastle Green Festival
Environmentally-friendly families can converge at the Newcastle Green Festival, the diverse event powered entirely by green sources. Held on 6 and 7 June, the festival includes free entertainment, activities and a great range of workshops.
- Cardiff Festival
Located on the lovely Cardiff Bay, the Cardiff Festival is a kid-centric event including a wide range of children’s entertainment and funfairs. Suitable for families of all ages and sizes, the festival includes a wide range of unique events including the Grand Prix of the Sea and the Extreme Sailing Series.
- St. Ives Food and Drink Festival
With access for under 12s free (and over 12s welcome for just £2), the St. Ives Food and Drink festival is perfect for families looking for exciting culinary adventures. Held on 16 and 17 May on Porthminster Beach, the festival includes a great selection of cookery workshops from popular local and national kitchens – offering tutorials and tastings.
- Geocaching Taster
Fancy getting involved with geocaching, but don’t know where to start? The National Trust is hold taster mornings, getting newcomers involved in this fantastic form of exploration and adventure. The free event is perfect for young families who want a little extra excitement on their walks in the country.
- Gibside Bows Archery Day
Another offering from the National Trust, learn the historical art of archery at Gibside country estate in the North East. Expert bowmen at the Gibside Bows Archery Day can help the whole family channel their inner Robin Hood (minus the thieving) and perfect their bow arm.
- Alton Towers
The UK’s, and arguably one of Europe’s, best theme park – with a huge range of rides and attractions for all ages, Alton Towers features six unique thrill rides for the brave and a new CBeebies Land for the young. Make sure you benefit from 2 for 1 entry deals found on selected crisps and drinks packages – to avoid paying over the odds.
Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry is a great place for kids of all ages to play and learn. Starting with an exploration through the ages which made Manchester one of the foremost sites of the industrial revolution progressing through to future technologies – there is a lot to see in a day at MOSI.
- Formby Beach
With a huge stretch of beach, rolling sand dunes and beautiful woodland to explore, Formby Beach is hugely popular with families regardless of whether the sun is shining. The pet-friendly beach is also perfect for walking the family dog or exploring the woodlands – and is one of the few places in the UK where red squirrels can still be found.
- <>Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is an absolute must for children and adults visiting the capital for a day with an extraordinary number of events, exhibitions and sites to explore. From Dippy the Diplodocus to coral reef exhibitions – the museum features something to interest almost everyone.
- Eden Project
Cornwall’s Eden Project includes one of the world’s biggest collections of plants from all around the world – housed together in stunning artificial biodomes, set to the perfect condition to allow the plants to grow and prosper. A great day out for families with kids in pushchairs, looking to enjoy something unique and unforgettable.
- Chatsworth House
Comprised of a stunning country estate house and stunning gardens, Chatsworth House is the perfect setting for a relaxed day of exploration. Located in the beautiful Peak District, there are plenty of other sites to explore and scenery to enjoy on the drive in to the estate.
- Jorvik Viking Centre
Forever a popular school trip, if your kids aren’t lucky enough to travel to Jorvik Viking Centre with their classmates, they’ll appreciate the chance to explore the history of Norsemen with the family. The walk-through museum recreates Viking-conquered York, even going as far as to produce a distinctive odour.
Beamish gives you the chance to take a step back in time, recreating Britain of yesteryear. Guests are invited to dress in period clothing and engage in traditional pursuits. The kids will love the olde style sweet shops with treats and chocolates they’ve never seen before.
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour
The perfect day out for Harry Potter fans, young and old – the Warner Bros. Studio Tour brings you face-to-face with many of the films’ best-loved characters and famous scenes. Get up close and personal with the Hogwarts Express or try your hand at Quidditch. Many of the artefacts found on the tour are directly from the film series – donated after filming wrapped up on the final instalment in 2010.
- Longleat Safari Park
Get face-to-face with animals not seen in the UK wild in Longleat Safari Park. Monkeys, meerkats, zebras and tigers are just a few of the fantastic wild animals you will be able to drive past in the UK’s original safari park. The adjoining adventure park also features a number of rides and attractions for kids of all ages.
Food and Drink
- World’s Greatest Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a fantastic snack for kids in the sun, keeping them hydrated and offering healthy sustenance. Here’s a simple recipe which will keep in the fridge for a few days and make around 20 servings for the whole family to enjoy. Simply mix these ingredients in a bowl and keep in the fridge until serving up:
- 1 ripe pineapple (diced)
- 1 ripe cantaloupe (diced)
- 4 ripe mangoes (diced)
- 2lbs strawberries
- 2 cups of blueberries
- 4 cups seedless grapes
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- The Healthy Burger
For health-conscious families who still want to enjoy their summer BBQ – here is a guide to help you make healthy burgers with great ideas for toppings, ingredients and cooking techniques. This makes it possible to enjoy a summer BBQ without the pangs of guilt.
- Greek Vegetable Kebabs
A healthy and delicious meal on a stick, these Greek vegetable kebabs from Jamie Oliver are great for kids on the go in the back garden. You can pick and choose the vegetables included based upon what the kids will refuse to eat.
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
Who said hot chocolate is only for cold nights, cosying up by the fire? This frozen variation is great for families enjoying the warm summer sun. The simple recipe is great to get the kids involved as well, check it out here!
- Homemade Slurpees
These ice cold frozen drinks are perfect for kids who have gotten hot and bothered running around in the sun. There are an almost endless number of variations which can be produced to suit your kids’ palates, but Kids Activities Blogs has made some of our all-time favourites.
- Homemade Lemonade
There is perhaps no drink more quintessentially summery than freshly made lemonade. Cold, sweet and just tart enough to force you to smack your lips – lemonade is a hugely refreshing drink to combat the irresistible heat of summer. The BBC has put together this simple recipe if you’ve never made it before.
- Virgin Pina Coladas
Ideal for kids’ summer and pool parties, these virgin Pina Coladas from the Crafted Sparrow really look the part. Delicious and fun, kids will love feeling mature with their ‘cocktail’. Plus if there are enough responsible adults about, you can always mix one up with a little added rum for yourself.
- Grilled Pizza
If you’re determined to get the BBQ out as many times as humanly possible this year but the kids are getting a little bored of burgers and sausages – branch out with something a little more creative. This guide from Mom Favourites includes a recipe for grilled pizza, bound to be a huge favourite with the whole family.
- Grilled Banana Splits
The same guide features a great sweet treat for the kids. Grilling the banana so it is gooey and stringy inside and filling with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips which instantly melt creates a uniquely decadent snack.
- Watermelon Sorbet
This recipe from Food for my Family makes a slice of watermelon even more refreshing and enjoyable by turning the flesh into a sorbet, and mixing with lime juice. This healthy and refreshing snack is great for cooling down the kids on a warm summer day.
If these 50 tips were not enough to get you in the mood for summer, visit the All Round Fun homepage or give us a call on 0800 043 0437 for more fun toys, games and ideas.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Roderick Eime, Roger Jones, Jenny Brown, Lee, Ant & Carrie Coleman and Joe Shlabotnik.