The summer holidays are fast approaching and the kids will have plenty of time on their hands to get up to all sorts of mischief. The perennial problem of finding them things to do in the two month break is now upon us and parents everywhere are scratching their heads for interesting and brilliant suggestions to enlighten and entertain their children.

The good news is that there are plenty of cheap and cheerful ways to keep your kids occupied this summer. Here are just a few to add to your pot of ideas.

Fresh Air

One of the things many parents forget is that taking a walk in the park or out in the country costs little or nothing. It’s a great way to get the kid’s some fresh air and introduce them to the natural world. There are plenty of places to visit even in the heart of our own cities and towns not mention the vast swathes of unchartered countryside that lie outside. Take a football to the park, have a wonder round the local nature reserve or explore an enchanted forest.

Free Entry

Whilst many places like museums and galleries charge something for entry it’s usually cheaper for kids during the holidays and in some places it’s actually free. Pop along to your local library if you don’t have the internet and see what’s on offer in your local area. Here are some great ideas across the UK from The Guardian and the brilliant news is they’re all free.

Put on a Show

When the day isn’t as sunny as you’d hope and that rain is pouring down, it’s a good time to get the kids to put on a show. Not only does it help develop their artistic and performance skills, it can be as beautifully complicated or as simple as you like. Collect old clothes and funky outfits over the year and keep them in a suitcase for just such an occasion and you can have your very own revue or fashion show in the comfort of the living room.

Brain Expanders

Of course, it’s always a good idea to give your children something a little more complicated to figure out and challenge them a bit more. How about getting the kid’s to design their own board game? What about teaching them a new skill such as Origami? There are plenty of mind bending puzzles you can print off on the cheap from the internet or get the kids to hold their own version of a pub quiz. The truth is, you can use practically any play situation or day out as an opportunity for more learning.

Energy Sappers

The trouble with kids, especially in the summer, is that they have far too much energy. It can wear you out simply watching them as, just like the Duracell bunny, they seem to go on for hours without the need for rest. You don’t have to fork out a lots of expensive sporting equipment if you want to get your kids running around and competing with each other. A little improvisation can go a long way if you put your mind to it. Put on some music and run a dance-athon with prizes for the most outrageous. Turn your back garden or living room into an obstacle course and run some high intensity races.

You’ll be surprised how many different ways there are to keep the kids entertained this summer if you use a little imagination. You don’t have to fill every minute of their day, it’s always good to get your children to think for themselves and use their own initiative, whatever their ages.

Image courtesy of: Geograph via Creative Commons