20 Activities for the Summer Holidays

6 weeks can feel like quite a long time...

Here are 20 fun activities to have a go at (indoors and outdoors!) while the children are off school.

20 things to do in the summer holidays


1. FREE – Play the memory tray game

Remember the Generation Game programme? If you haven’t played this game before, you might recognise the format!

Place a selection of interesting objects on a tray and cover them with a tea towel. Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil. Uncover the tray, give them a set amount of time to memorise the objects and then cover the tray back up again. Ask the children to write down a list of the objects they can remember. Whoever remembers the most wins a small prize.

Pond dipping at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park 2. FREE – Go on a scavenger hunt

Use our simple A-Z sheet which you can download here or make your own.

3. FREE – Play hopscotch

A playground favourite! You just need chalk and a bit of paving for this – or if you fancy a more permanent option, try using line marker on grass. Use the traditional layout of squares from your own childhood, or make up an imaginative new version together.

 Bird Spotting 4. FREE – Have a go at bird spotting

We love our feathered friends and even have a special zone for them in our Conservation Area. Why not use our Bird Zone sheet to go on a countryside walk and see if you can identify the birds that you come across?

5. FREE – Press some flowers

It’s an oldie but a goodie! Collect some flowers (from your own garden though, not your neighbour’s!) and pop them into some folded parchment paper, or something similar (even kitchen towel will do). Place them in the middle of a large hardback book and leave for 7 – 10 days. If you like your handiwork a lot, you could even find a frame for it afterwards.

 Maize Maze at Cotswold Farm Park 6. Find a local Maize Maze

Finding your way through a field of carefully-mowed crops is a great way of getting some fresh air and spending some quality time with your nearest and dearest.

(Pssst… we have our very own Maize Maze for the first time this summer! Entry is included in Farm Park admission.)

7. FREE – Make some pretty tree bark rubbings

Another great excuse to get out and about in the countryside or your local park. Arm yourself with paper and some wax crayons and rub away to your heart’s content.

dragonfly 8. Get crafty and make your own dragonfly

We had great fun with our visitors making these dragonflies during Nature Week.

9. Have tea and scones (very civilised!)

Plenty of places offer this very British foodie favourite, Adam’s Kitchen being amongst them. If money’s a bit tight (or you’ve got some picky eaters on your hands!) you could make your own afternoon tea at home. Cut your sandwiches into fingers, bake some scones and get some little helpers to make pretty place settings for the table.

bughouse 10. FREE – Make a bug hotel

Bugs like to have a nice summer holiday home too. You can make a very simple bug house by filling a small carton or flowerpot with twigs and leaves, or you can use pallets, wood and tubes to construct something like our massive bug hotel in the Conservation Area. Have fun!

11. Find some nice, simple recipes and whip up a storm in the kitchen

Make a list of ingredients and go shopping together to find what you need – try and buy locally-sourced ingredients if you can, as it’s a great way to support your local producers.

 Build a den 12. FREE – Build a den

You might want to get the bath ready for afterwards! Gather large sticks and branches to build a haven from the modern world. If you’d prefer to stay clean and dry, draping an old sheet over a table or chairs can provide an indoor solution.

If you want to take things a step further, we offer family bushcraft courses on the farm, with sessions delivered by qualified instructors from Cotswold Adventures.

13. FREE – Play noughts and crosses with pebbles

It’s a small win for the environment, but every little helps. Instead of using page after page of a notebook, paint up some pebbles with a simple noughts and cross design and use some chalk on paving to create your grid. A fun little activity that you can keep on coming back to all summer.

Adam-obstacle-course 14. FREE – Build an obstacle course

Use hoops, planks, tyres, branches, cones – anything you like! Add an egg and a spoon into the mix for added difficulty. Use a stopwatch (most smartphones now have them) so that the kids can race against each other, or try and beat their own personal best.

15. Make a bird feeder

There are lots of different DIY instructions out there, but we like this feeder from the Wildlife Trust’s ‘Wildlife Watch’ site.

tractor-entry 16. FREE – Build your own tractor out of cardboard boxes and household objects

We ran a competition on our Facebook page earlier this year to see who could build the best – we had some brilliant entries! What do you have lying around the house that you could put to good use by building your very own tractor? This is a great activity for encouraging creativity and imagination.

17. FREE – Go on a walk

Is there a public footpath (like our Wildlife Walk) on your doorstep? Now is the time to discover it! If you’re not adverse to a bit of mud, pull on your wellies and go puddle-hunting on the way.

Salt Dough  18. Make a batch of salt dough

It’s really simple to make the dough and once you’ve moulded some excellent creations, you can pop them in the oven to bake or roll out the dough to start all over again. Here’s the recipe.

19. Create your own mud kitchen

We’ve all seen the amazing creations on Pinterestthis could be YOUR summer. The summer you make the ultimate mud kitchen, in all of it’s rustic, sensory-experience glory. OR … you could just find an old washing up bowl and some tupperware you don’t ever intend on using to store food in again. It very much depends on the amount of time you have available and how much of a DIY god/goddess you are…

 IMG_6533 20. Visit the Farm Park!

Well, we couldn’t leave ourselves off the list, could we?!

Come and bottle feed the lambs and goat kids, stroke the rabbits, hold the chicks, bounce on the pillows, ride on the tractors, run off some steam … and maybe treat yourselves to an ice cream.

Enjoy your summer!