Six weeks of summer holidays are here and there are plenty of simple, playful ways you and your children can have fun outdoors in the fresh air, that won’t cost a lot of money. 

To help you make the most of your summer, here are our 36 top play ideas in six popular outdoor places to visit and enjoy. 

Six things to do in your garden:

  1. create an assault course
  2. have a dance-off
  3. build a bug hotel
  4. play What’s the time Mr. Wolf
  5. make potions
  6. have a teddy bear’s picnic

Six things to do at the beach:

  1. build sandcastles or sculptures
  2. collect interesting shells, pebbles or sea glass
  3. play noughts and crosses in the sand
  4. go rock pooling and look for little critters
  5. make sand angels
  6. go for a paddle

Six things to do out on the pavement outside your home:

  1. draw and play hopscotch with chalk
  2. paint with water using brushes
  3. draw a map and do a treasure hunt
  4. play Piggy in the middle
  5. race paper aeroplanes
  6. have a water fight

Six things to do at your local green space or park:

  1. play tag
  2. look for mini beasts
  3. have a wheelbarrow race (watch out for dog poo!)
  4. play i-spy
  5. Create your own Olympic Games
  6. play hide and seek

Six things to do on a woodland walk:

  1. go bird-spotting
  2. hug a tree (give nature a little cwtch!)
  3. make a den
  4. climb a tree
  5. collect twigs, leaves, and stones to make some nature art
  6. count the sounds (lay on the ground with your eyes closed and count how many different sounds you can hear)

Six things to do on a river walk: 

  1. play Poohsticks over any bridges you come across
  2. do a scavenger hunt
  3. look for fish
  4. feed a duck (no bread, please – you can try lettuce, sweetcorn, frozen peas, oats, seeds or rice)
  5. make a boat out of sticks and leaves
  6. splash in puddles

Download the Outdoor play ideas for the summer holidays list.

Get involved

We want to hear about your children’s play ideas for the summer – share with us on social media using the #SummerOfPlay hashtag.