Things to do with kids: 70 cheap activities to keep children entertained

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Having a big list of things to do with kids during lockdown is an essential in any family’s quarantine toolbox. 

    If you hadn’t previously exhausted all the go-tos to on the list of easy kids crafts last year, you probably have now as we’ve been in this third lockdown since early January. So keeping the kids busy before they go back to school after the lockdown has become harder than ever before.

    Homeschooling, whether entirely successful or not, is compulsory Monday to Friday so when it comes to the weekend, it’s fair that you might want to entertain them with something a little more lighthearted and fun.

    We’ve got the list of new things to do with kids, from classic ways to make play dough to seasonal for the upcoming holidays.

    Things to do with kids

    1. Get stuck into some Easter crafts

    Easter 2021 is also almost here! Believe it or not, the time for buying eggs online and making Easter cards is just around the corner once again. So whether you’re having a virtual Easter lunch or wanting to make some homemade Easter cards and presents, there’s plenty of seasonal activities to get going with.

    A child decorating Easter eggs, one of the things to do with kids this week

    Credit: Getty

    The best Easter crafts for kids are some of the easiest and most of them can be incorporated into other Easter activities and games, so their efforts won’t go to waste. We’ve got everything you need to know from how to have an Easter egg hunt at home to the best Easter cake and Easter dessert ideas.

    Ages: Most of these ideas are suitable for all ages, with some adult supervision required.

    2. Go for a bike ride

    Even under the exercise rules for lockdown, going for a long bike ride is on the table. So why not switch out that walk for a bike ride?

    Both adults and kids’ bikes can be bought for good prices on sites like GumTree and ebay, but be sure to check they’re selling in your local area. The advice to ‘stay local’ will remain in place, even as the rules begin to lift under the government’s roadmap.

    Then all you have to do is take your new ride to the park (for the little ones) or the open road (for older kids).

    Ages: 4+

    3. Take a virtual museum tour

    While we’re still in lockdown, all the museums and galleries are closed. But if you used to go out exploring your local museums then don’t worry – there are plenty online to look at. All the exciting virtual tours of kids on our list are free to access and offer walk-rounds of some of the most famous museums in the world.

    Young child exploring virtual tours online, one of the things to do with kids

    Credit: Getty

    They include Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle and the Tower of London, along with those in the USA and Europe.

    4. Join in with a Joe Wicks workout

    That’s right, Joe Wicks is back for 2021!

    For anyone wanting to keep their exercise indoors, the nation’s P.E teacher (as he was dubbed last year) has gone back to doing his daily exercise sessions. Perfect for adults and children, Joe goes live on Youtube every day at the moment and together, thousands of people work through a HIIT workout.

    So discover where to watch Joe Wicks workouts and get stuck in with the kids this week.

    Ages: 4+

    5. Play a game on Zoom

    Zoom became kids’ best friends through the pandemic as they had to take all their socialising online. So it only makes sense that Zoom games for kids have been invented!

    There are plenty of good games to play on Zoom with the kids, so they can still see and chat to their friends. But it’s also a great way for grandparents to spend time with grandchild over the next month or so, if they’re not in the support bubble.

    Ages: 7+

    6. Make your own puzzle

    If you’ve got through all the puzzles, mass-ordered from Amazon last year, then don’t worry. This WikiHow tutorial explains how to turn a family photo, a photo of your favourite pet, television show or characters from your favourite book into a DIY puzzle.

    Girl at table doing jigsaw puzzle with mother

    Credit: Getty

    It’s a great way to get the kids crafting in lockdown and the step-by-step guide makes it a super simple activity.

    Ages: 5+ (with adult supervision)

    7. Create your own music video

    TikTok exploded onto the scene last year for the first time and now, everyone is a star with lip syncing videos going viral every day. But you don’t have to join TikTok to have your own fun with lip syncing, dancing and miming.

    Create your own music video and have fun with the whole family, simply using an iPhone. Get the kids to design the video, including what the lighting will be, what song is going to be sung, what everyone will wear and what the set will look like.

    Then use your iPhone, propped up on a surface, to record the video. Send to family and friends to give them a laugh!

    8. Take a virtual trip to the aquarium

    While a trip to the aquarium might not be possible at the moment, that doesn’t mean that the fish are sleeping. The wonders of the deep blue sea are just a few clicks away thanks to the cameras installed in various tanks around the world.

    Child looking at fish in the aquarium

    Credit: Getty

    The videos are either live or pre-recorded and uploaded by the aquariums themselves, so they’re great quality.

    Our favourite is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, as they have live cams for their fish, sharks, jellyfish and more.

    Ages: 3+

    9. Host a family Come Dine With Me

    If you’ve already got the cooking down and the little ones are set to feature on The Great British Bake Off any day now, why not host your very own Come Dine with Me?

    Each week, one member of the family comes up with a menu and cooks a starter, main and dessert.

    It’s a great way to get everyone cooking in the kitchen. Older children or adults can help little ones with the choosing of the menu and cooking (beans on toast anyone?).

    Family making dinner together

    Credit: Getty

    Use our recipe finder to discover some of the easy, delicious and quick recipes that kids of any age can make at home – from starters to desserts.

    Ages: 5+

    10. Take a virtual trip to the zoo

    While in-person visits to the local zoo might not be happening at the moment, much like aquariums, many zoos also have live streams to the animals.

    Our favourite is the famous San Diego Zoo live cams. They broadcast the daily lives of some of the most fascinating animals around, such as hippos, penguins, polar bears, tigers and more.

    So whatever the little ones’ favourite animals are, they can get up close and personal in a way they would otherwise never have been able to.

    Ages: 3+

    11. Build an indoor fort with pillows

    With the current cold weather, maybe a bike ride or a walk in the park isn’t for you.

    Young boy making pillow fort, one of the things to do with kids

    Credit: Getty

    Stay inside this week and build a fort from pillows and sofa cushions instead. It’s as simple as it sounds and lets kids’ creativity go wild as they arrange the living room or their bedroom into a castle and create their very own playground.

    Ages: 4+

    12. Set up a marble run

    Do you have a big bag of marbles? Or a selection of all, lightweight balls like ping pong calls? Create your very own marble run with the kids over lockdown.

    All you need to do is get creative with some toilet roll tubes and other cardboard to create a obstacle course for your marbles. See how long and complex you can make it, without stopping the track of the ball rolling.

    Ages: 5+

    13. Create pictures with melted crayons

    This is definitely one for anyone whose craft drawer is overflowing with broken, used-up or otherwise useless crayons.

    Remove any paper or plastic wrapping from the crayon. Then using a hairdryer, melt the crayons onto paper or cardboard and create your very own work of art.

    Ages: 7+

    14. Learn how to code

    Any child that loves working away on an tablet or laptop might be interested in learning how to code. While it might be one for slightly older kids, even younger ones can join in with some of the fun activities that Learning Resources has put together.

    Complete with fun characters to help them through the programme, it’s a low-stress activity that keeps little ones’ minds occupied – at least for a few hours!

    Ages: 7+

    15. Make a stop motion video

    Stop motion videos are so much fun to make, so easy and loads of fun!

    This video by Chloe Meyers is a great place to start. Once you’ve got all the basics covered you can create your very own stop motion videos using whatever you like. Lego and Playmobil figures work really well, but you could also make your own from scratch using playdough.

    Ages: 8+

    16. Create colourful ice sculptures from your freezer

    With all the snow falling around us at the moment, now is the perfect time to get creative with the winter chill!

    All you need to make your very own colourful ice sculptures is a range of bowls, muffin tins or containers in different shapes and sizes, some food colouring and access to water and a freezer. Add the food colouring and water into the containers (why not try loads of different colours in all the different containers to create a frozen rainbow?), then pop it in the fridge. Once frozen, take the containers out of the fridge and use some warm water to pop the ice from the container.

    Stack the different shapes on top of each other to create your very own masterpiece! If they don’t stick together naturally, use a little warm water to melt the ice pieces together.

    Ages: 5+

    17. Play a biscuit board game

    Sounds fun right? Biscuit board games come straight from the Great British Bake Off and when pulled off well, they do exactly what they say on the tin.

    It’s a board game that you can eat! They’re super fun to make because there’s a designing process, a baking bit and then importantly, a playing (and eating) bit. Just be sure to wash your hands before you dive in.

    Ages: 6+

    18. Get into painting

    It may sound simple but painting is one of the best ways to keep kids busy in lockdown.

    While galleries and craft clubs at museums might be off the table for now, that doesn’t mean that painting has to stop. There are loads of painting tutorials for kids online, so depending on their age, they can get stuck in with loads of exciting new painting techniques and ideas.

    We love the tutorials by Gogh Box Art Crate – perfect for all ages!

    Age: 7+

    19. Make a play with a chatterbox (fortune teller)

    In the spirit of thinking ahead, why not play around with a homemade fortune teller? Just like we all had in the playground! With a handy tutorial you and the little ones can create a fun chatterbox to try out with the family. Pick a number…open the flap…pick another number…find out your fortune – it’s as simple as that!

    Ages: 4+

    20. Make bath bombs

    Whether it’s little ones splashing around in the colourful water, or adults taking a moment to relax with scented oils after a stressful day, a bath bomb is a winner in everyone’s books. And they’re so easy to make at home! So instead of splashing out on a fancy one, you can make one with some kitchen equipment and a few scented supplies.

    Pink and blue bath bomb dissolved in water

    Credit: Getty

    Find out how to make your own bath bomb for an afternoon of crafting fun with the kids.

    Ages: 6+ (with parental supervision)

    21. Create your own stickers

    Everyone loves stickers! Using this handy guide, you can get crafty and learn how to make your own stickers using materials at home. It’s a super easy activity and kids will be wowed as they turn their very own drawings into stickers to cover their bedroom and bits with.

    Ages: 4+

    22. Get stuck into a craft kit

    With the UK in lockdown for the foreseeable future, craft kits look like the most affordable way to keep kids entertained for a whole afternoon. They can look after the garden’s wildlife with a  ladybird house-making kit for example, or make a fun decorative piece for their bedroom with this unicorn dream catcher kit from Baker Ross.

    Whether they love painting, sticking, gluing or building, there’s something for everyone with so many out there to choose from. We’ve rounded up some of the other best buys in our selection of craft kits for kids.

    Ages: 3+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    Unicorn dreamcatcher at Baker Ross

    Powered by Good to Know

    23. Get crafty with toilet roll tubes

    There’s nothing more classic to do on a rainy afternoon than to make crafts out of toilet roll. Whether it’s a new game made out of cardboard, a pen holder for the office, a new decoration for the kitchen…there are so many options!

    making ornamental fish is one of the things you can do with kids

    Credit: Getty

    All you need to get started is a couple of empty toilet roll tubes, some paint and glue.

    Ages: 3+

    24. Get stuck into a PlayHooray activity sheet

    While kids are sure to have homework and other tasks set by their school, breaking work up with play is vital to keeping minds focused. PlayHooray has printable activity sheets available for you to download with a whole host of fun games and craft projects, all set according to your child’s age. Get them here.

    Ages: 6+

    25. Teach them cross-stitch

    Cross stitch is enjoying a new lease of life and is a great way to get kids involved in arts and craft. You can get special kits designed for younger children, so they won’t hurt themselves on the needles and the pattern will be easier to follow.

    Woman cross stitching

    Credit: Getty

    Age: 7+

    26. Mess around with doodling

    Doodling isn’t just for the back of notebooks. If you’ve got plenty of scrap paper lying around the house, doodling is one of the best creative uses for it. Get your kids out of their shells and put their ideas and thoughts down on paper with some fun afternoon doodling.

    Stuck for inspiration? There are loads of videos on Youtube about how to get them to start thinking of ideas, like this one.

    Age: 3+

    27. Do a science experiment

    Just because they’re not in school, doesn’t mean they can’t be learning. If your child is an aspirational scientist, there are loads of really fun (and safe!) science experiments you can do at home, with just the objects in your home and ingredients in your kitchen. But for some of them, it might be best to move it into the garden – otherwise you’ll be repainting the walls as well.

    Little girl dressed as a scientist

    Credit: Getty

    But science experiments like this Elephant’s Toothpaste experiment are minimum mess and really fun!

    Age: 9+ (with parental supervision)

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    28. Get messy with play dough

    Almost a rite of passage, play dough is easy to make up and you can scent and colour it any way you fancy.

    We’ve got a fool proof play dough recipe plus lots of fun makes to do with it.

    Age: All ages love play dough, but perhaps just make sure they’re at an age where they understand it’s not the best thing to eat!

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    Find play dough at Amazon.co.uk

    Powered by Good to Know

    29. Bake something tasty in the kitchen

    Cooking is one of the best things to do with kids. There are loads of simple recipes you can try out with your children. If you’re concerned about them getting things in and out of the oven, then why not try one of our  no-bake cake recipes, which have to be chilled in the fridge. If they really love it, then why not challenge them to come up with different sandwich fillings for a fun afternoon tea?

    Young boy making cookies in the kitchen with flour on his nose

    Credit: Getty

    If you’re happy to get them baking, take a look at our easy baking recipes for kids. Everyone loves cakes and encouraging your kids to help you make one of their favourites should be lots of fun. See our cooking with kids recipes here.

    Age: As soon as they can reach the table or worktops.

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    30. Have a pancake flipping contest

    Pancake Day for 2021 might be over for now, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Get kids back into the kitchen and excited about cooking again with a pancake flipping contest.

    It’s minimal mess with maximum fun. See who can flip the most pancakes then tuck in and enjoy the delicious crepes, American pancakes or Scotch pancakes for lunch, dinner or dessert. Whatever you fancy!

    It’s a game that’s cheap to pull together and suitable for kids of all ages as you can always move the pancake from a hot pan into a cold one before little ones get flipping.

    Discover our range of pancake recipes and toppings for pancakes on the website.

    Man holding plate of pancakes after a pancake flipping contest, one of the things to do with kids

    Credit: Getty

    Ages: 4+

    31. Write a story

    Use your imaginations and write a story together. It doesn’t have to be original, the kids could write down their favourite fairy tale and just change the ending if they feel like it.

    Another great idea is to write chain stories with family members. Each person writes a paragraph and then shows the final line only to the next writer. Once the final person has written their section, read the whole story out loud – it’s usually pretty funny!

    For more inspiration take a look at story starters, which provide lots of creative writing prompts for children.

    Age: 6+

    32. Make a lava lamp

    Lava lamps are not only colourful accessories for your home and an exciting craft activity for kids, they’re a great way to teach them about chemical reaction and density. So learning how to make a lava lamp is a great science experiment to keep them learning.

    Lava lamp with green and yellow light, one of the things to do with kids

    Credit: Alamy

    Ages: 5+

    33. Make a scavenger hunt

    Come up with a list of odd and fun items for your kids to find. They can hunt around the house or your garden.

    Suggested items can be: a cancelled stamp, a straw, a rubber band, a penny dated in a particular decade (before the kids were born, or perhaps have them find one in the year the birthday child was born), a toothpick. If you live in the country, or go to a park, some suggestions are a pine cone, a worm, a bug, a white rock, something red, a feather.

    Age: 8+

    34. Get them gardening

    Gardening is one of our favourite things to do with kids! Even though it’s a little cold at the moment, it’s something you can still get stuck into.

    Man and young child gardening in the back garden, one of the things to do with kids in lockdown

    Credit: Getty

    Growing plants is great fun and it’s even more fun, if they can watch their work get bigger and flower in front of their eyes. There are lots of plants that even a young child can grow without too much trouble, from small trees to herbs and vegetables.

    If you don’t have a garden, then a window box or small pots are the answer and it won’t matter what time of year you plant them. Try growing herbs like basil, parsley or cress – that way they can eat them once they’ve grown.

    Age: 5+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    35. Make a sundial

    Teach your kids how people used to tell the time before clocks and watches were invented. All you need is a compass to find out where north is and then put a stick in the ground and watch the shadow change position as the sun moves.

    Age: 7+

    36. Create a keepsake box with pressed flowers

    This outdoor crafting activity for kids is a great way to get them in the garden and soaking up the sunshine over the Easter holidays.

    Child making keepsake flower box

    Credit: Getty

    You will need: 

    – A cardboard box
    – Paper – A few heavy books – Freshly cut flowers
    – A glue stick – Paint/felt tips/glitter – collage materials of your choice for extra decoration

    What to do: 

    1. Gather some freshly cut flowers.
    2. Open up a heavy book and place paper over both pages to keep them clean.
    3. Lay a flower on top of one of the pieces of paper, so that the other will cover it when the book is closed. Make sure you only put only one flower in between each sheet – you can put multiple sheets in one book, though.
    4. Close the book, and weigh it down with more books. Do the same for the rest of the flowers, and leave them for about two weeks.
    5. Start decorating. Give each child a cardboard box (shoe boxes are perfect) and get them to design the background using paint or any craft materials you have at home.
    6. Once the flowers are pressed, carefully take them out of the books and glue them on the box. Be sure to put the glue on the box itself rather than the flower.
    7. Once the flowers are stuck down, leave them to dry and they’ll have the perfect homemade keepsake box for keeping things which bring back special memories.

    Ages: 5+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    Find the best outdoor crafting at Baker Ross

    Crafting at Baker Ross

    Seagull Wooden Windmill Kits, Wooden Sailboat Kits, Money Holder Necklaces and more

    Powered by Good to Know

    37. Join a craft club

    Hobbycraft launched an online version of their popular Kids’ Craft Club in the first lockdown. Every day they posted a new crafting idea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram stories around a theme, like space, colouring, family portraits, origami. That means there’s now loads of fun crafting ideas on the Hobbycraft website and social media channels.

    All you have to do is head to the Ideas Hub for instructions on how to get going.

    Perfect for keeping mini-makers busy at home!

    Ages: 4+

    38. Indoor treasure hunt

    With Easter just around the corner, there is no better time than now to do an indoor treasure hunt. It’s also a great way to treat little ones for any hard work at school or good behaviour, by creating a fun game with their favourite treats.

    Hide small chocolates or sweets around the house (but remember where you put them, otherwise you’ll be stepping on foil wrappers for weeks!) and create a set of clues for your kids to use, then set them loose to hunt down all that buried treasure.

    Ages: 7+

    39. Make a bird feeder

    The sun is finally coming out! Spring has sprung! And that means there will be plenty more wildlife visiting your garden. Make them feel at home and watch pretty birds flock to your outdoor space with this easy-to-make feeder craft.

    things to do with kids: bird feeder

    Credit: Future

    Made using ingredients from your cupboards and some basic crafting supplies, there’s no shortage of fun to be had as you learn how to make a bird feeder.

    Ages: 5+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    our favourite bird feeder kids kit

    Powered by Good to Know

    40. Listen to some stories

    From Monday 6 April, children’s publisher Puffin will be airing 20-minute storytime episodes, every weekday at 3:30pm on their YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    The sessions will include readings and draw-alongs with authors and illustrators, designed to get kids joining in at home. As Puffin is known for classics like Charlotte’s Web, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Roald Dahl’s The BFG, we’re expecting exciting things!

    Ages: 7+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    41. Find their inner zen

    Online yoga classes for kids have been popular for the last couple of years, combining physical exercise with mindfulness.

    Woman practising yoga with young boy in back garden

    Credit: Getty

    It can be tricky to get little ones sitting down for just five minutes so you might be sceptical of them doing yoga. But it’s not all about the downward dog, there are loads of child-orientated videos that make yoga fun for kids – using stories, characters and playfulness. And you can join in too!

    Check out some of the great videos on Youtube with Cosmic Kids Yoga.

    42. Try your hand at ice-dying

    You might have heard of dip-dying and tie-dying, but have you had a go at ice-dying yet? This fun activity combines DYLON fabric dyes with just the ice in your freezer to completely re-vamp old clothes and linens.

    Pick a colour (that you won’t mind seeing ALL around the house) and try it out today, with this handy ice dying step-by-step guide.

    Ages: 9+

    43. Create a memory box

    The folks at Write from the Heart have come up with a great activity to keep little ones and adults busy, while we’re all spending some more time inside the house. A memory box will keep imaginations flowing and small hands occupied, creating something they can continue to contribute towards in the future.

    Young child in awe at memory box creations

    Credit: Getty

    Pick a box that’s big enough to hold lots of items – like a wooden one – then get decorating. They could write their name on the box, cover it with glitter and draw all their favourite memories from the last couple of years. Then sit down with them and look through family photos and other memories to put into the box.

    Ages: 7+

    44. Create some flying paper planes

    Use up all that scrap paper that was destined for the recycling and build a fleet of paper airplanes. Then you can launch them from an upstairs window, or in the back garden. You could make different kinds and see which one flies the furthest. Follow these simple steps for perfect planes.

    Age: 5+

    45. Make a wormery in your back garden

    If you’re feeling really green-fingered, then you can also try helping them collect worms for their own wormery. Just after it rains is the best time to hunt for worms.

    Once you’ve collected five or so then put them in a large Tupperware box or old ice-cream tub with some soil. Make holes in the top so they can breathe. Then you’ll be able to feed the worms food scraps, including eggshells and vegetable peelings. The worms will make great compost, which you’ll be able to use in your garden.

    Age: 7+

    46. Make paper mache

    Credit: Getty

    So much fun can be had with just a balloon and some glue. This paper mache recipe will take you through exactly how to make the gooey mixture (maybe do it in the garden to be safe) that will keep your child entertained for hours on end.

    Ages: 6+

    47. Become a model maker

    What kid doesn’t love getting their hands dirty? Get some modelling clay, a plastic knife and mould away. You can even buy self-hardening clay if you want them to become permanent.

    Age: 8+

    48. Play a board game

    It’s a classic, but a good one! There are some amazing board games for kids out there. We love playing Articulate, the describing game as it’s great for everyone of all ages and you can also get a special kids version. Scattergories, Scrabble and of course, Monopoly are always winners too.

    Age: 7+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    Our favourite kids board games

    Powered by Good to Know

    49. Take a walk

    Under the UK exercise rules, a walk is still on the table. Whether you live in a city, town or the country, there will be places to go they’ve never been before.

    Woman going for a walk with young child in the park

    Credit: Getty

    Think of somewhere with spectacular views, or a part of your local area that’s has lots of history attached to it – the local cemetery is often a great bet with kids. If you’re not sure where to go, enter your location into the Woodland Trust website for lots of ideas.

    Age: 6+

    50. Get them to make a map

    You draw the squares on a large sheet of paper and see how easy they find it to draw the local neighbourhood. Get them to imagine they’re a bird in the sky looking down. Not as easy as it sounds.

    Age: 9+

    51. Have a karaoke competition

    If you have a games console, then something like SingStar is fantastic. Alternatively, karaoke CDs cost very little from music stores. Make sure you sing along to some of the songs as well. There’s nothing like embarrassing yourself to entertain your kids!

    Girl singing karaoke in her living room during lockdown

    Credit: Getty

    Age: 8+

    We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

    52. Make a family tree

    How much do your kids know about their family? Do they know anything about your parents’ parents? Not only is drawing family trees fun, but it also one of our favourite things to do with kids to teach them a bit about history. You may unearth some really interesting stories about your own family that you never knew.

    Age: 9+

    53. Watch some baking classes online

    The only live, UK-based baking competition is set to take classes online. The Big London Bake team will be sharing three baking-at-home classes every week across their social media channels, covering easy to follow recipes that use every day ingredients and standard kitchen equipment.

    Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for instructions on the next class and have your aprons at the ready!

    Ages: 9+

    54. Learn origami

    The ancient Japanese art of paper-folding easy to do and is one of the cheapest things to do with kids. You can fold a sheet of paper into pretty much anything, as long as you’ve got a pattern – and making paper animals is one of the best ways to entertain your kids on a rainy afternoon. Origami-instructions.com is a great place to start.

    Age: 8+

    55. Do some junk modelling

    Get together a load of things like egg boxes, cereal cartons, plastic milk bottles and let their imaginations run riot. If you get some friends round and ask them to bring their own junk, it becomes even more fun. You just need to provide the sticky tape, scissors, glue and paint and keep an eye on them.

    Age: 6+

    56. Put on a play

    Encourage your child’s creative side, by finding a box of dressing-up clothes and get them to come up with a story for a play. You might need to help them with some ideas (princess trapped in a castle; stranded on a desert island are two). Don’t forget you’ll also have to sit through the performance. If they’re feeling extra creative, they could have a go at making their own puppet theatre.

    Age: 6+

    Girl putting on a play, one of the things to do with kids

    Credit: Getty

    57. Build a den

    Taking them out to the great outdoors is one of the best things to do with kids. All you need is a large blanket or sheet and some cushions and let them  pretend they’re in a tropical rainforest or somewhere similar. A large box is also a great idea for a cave – this is likely to entertain them for hours.

    Age: 5+

    58. Teach them to knit

    Test their skills with a pair of needles? Never done it yourself? Read our guide on how to knit.  And, for some fantastic knitting patterns, including cute and cuddly toys for kids, visit our sister site Women’s Weekly.

    Age: 7+

    Balls of yarn and knitting needles

    Credit: Getty

    59. Make a rain gauge

    Making a weather station is one of the best things to do with kids to get them outdoors. Get the kids learning science at home by setting up a homemade weather station in the garden. A rain gauge will measure how much rain falls (perfect for the weather we get here!), a wind vane will let you know which direction the wind is blowing and a barometer will help the kids learn about air pressure. They can keep a weather diary and write down all their findings.

    How to make a rain gauge

    • You just need an empty two-litre plastic bottle, which you cut two thirds of the way up. Then turn the top part of the bottle upside down and place it in the bottom part using sticky tape to secure.
    • Use a ruler to make a scale in centimetres on a piece of tape and stick it on the bottle.
    • Find an open space in the garden away from any shelter and dig a hole to bury the gauge so that around 5cm of it is sticking out of the ground.
    • Then simply check your rain gauge every day at the same time, measure the amount of rain it has collected and empty the bottle.

    60. Then make a wind vane

    • Draw a 25cm arrow on a piece of card and cut it out, then draw around the arrow to make another one and cut it out.
    • Place a pen top between the two arrows and glue together. Get four matchsticks and a cork and push the matchsticks into the long side of
      the cork at right angles to each other.
    • Label four pieces of card with N, S, E, W and attach these to the ends of the matchsticks with Blu-tack.
    • Fill a bottle with sand and push a knitting needle into the cork and then push into the sand. Balance the arrow on top of the needle and place the wind vane in an open area using a compass to point the N label North. The arrow will show you the direction the wind is blowing from.

    61. Fruit picking

    For a cheap and fun way to entertain the kids during the summer months visit your local fruit picking farm and select your own juicy strawberries from late May or crunchy apples from August, plus other seasonal fruits. And, it’s one of the best things to do with kids to get them to eat their five portions of fruit and veg. After they’ve gathered their fruits, teach them to make fruit cakes, pudding and even jam.

    Girl picking fruit, one of the things to do with kids

    Credit: Getty

    Don’t forget to pack a picnic and make the most of your day – lots of the places on our list have plenty of other activities available, from tractor and pony rides through to cooking classes.

    Age: 8+

    62. Make a miniature garden

    Don’t ditch the foil trays that ready meals come in. They make great containers for a mini garden. You’ll just need a bit of tack to stick the rocks and twigs in. Add some toy figures to make it more lifelike. You could also use sand to make it a beach scene.

    Age: 7+

    63. Catch a movie

    Netflix may be easier to get your hands on, but nothing beats the thrill of a trip to the local cinema. If you’re on a budget, many have a Saturday morning kids films. Alternatively, it’s always cheaper to go during the day.

    Brother and sister in cinema watching film

    Credit: Getty

    But if they’re still closed due to lockdown, why not check out the 50 family movies every child should watch before they turn 16.

    Age: 7+

    64. Host a dance party

    Invite around some of your kids’ friends, put together a new playlist and let them dance till they drop. All you’ll have to do is provide drinks and snacks!

    This is one of the best things to do with kids to tire them out before bedtime. If they’re more into acting than dancing, hold a Hollywood party instead. If lockdown makes this off the table, switch it up and make it a dance party in the kitchen – Sophie Ellis Bextor style.

    Age: 8+

    65. Play some sport

    Out of lockdown, most local leisure centres have loads of opportunities to learn new sports, from martial arts to badminton, football to trampolining, swimming to tennis. What’s more, they usually provide the equipment so you won’t have to shell out for lots of expensive kit, until they’re totally hooked! Cycling is another great activity for youngsters. Of course, this new pursuit might require the purchase of a kids’ bike, but there are some great model options out there.

    If you have to stay in the house for whatever reason and are lucky enough to have a garden, get them outside playing. Whether it’s badminton over the garden table or throw-and-catch on the grass, it will keep them moving.

    Age: 7+

    66. Check out your local library

    If you haven’t managed to create a bookworm, then this could be the perfect place to start. Out of lockdown, there’s something for everyone here, regardless of whether they’re a sports buff, adventure fan or prefer something more romantic. Best of all, if they find some they like, it costs nothing to take them out! Find your local library.

    Age: 6+

    Boy reading a book

    Credit: Getty

    67. Visit a farm

    When we’re not in lockdown, introduce your children to animals by taking them to a farm. Even if you live in a city, there are lots of city farms around the country, and many of them cost peanuts to get into. It’s also a great opportunity to get up close to wildlife, if your child’s only previous contact has been with a cat or dog. Find your nearest free farm.

    Age: 4+

    68. Take them to the seaside

    You’re never that far from the beach in the UK, and even if the sun’s not shining, it can be great fun, walking along the beach looking for ‘lost treasure’. You can find crabs and barnacles in rock pools, lots of shells and amazing coloured pebbles.

    Age: 5+

    69. Find an old ruin

    Castles are magical places and capture the imagination of most boys and girls, who love crossing moats, running up and down spiral staircases and looking at cannons. Find the best value castles to visit.

    Age: 6+

    70. Take them to another family member

    Most kids love visiting gran and granddad and this time, why not get your son or daughter to ask them what it was like when they were kids. What did they do to pass the time? What were their favourite toys? Did they watch TV? They’ll be surprised by the answers.

    Age: 9+