Play is a huge part of growing up, and after the effects of the pandemic where many children were not interacting and playing with others as they would usually do. Save the Children created the ‘Summer Of Play’ campaign to try to tackle this issue. Finding free activities and play ideas can be challenging especially during the summer holidays, so we have teamed up to bring you a few little play ideas, to help encourage more play.
Free Activities and Play Ideas
We are supporting this campaign with Save the Children and In Kind Direct by bringing you these free indoor and outdoor ideas of ways to play. As the play experts we know how important play is – but it needn’t cost anything and it can come purely from a child’s imagination.
Three things that children need during the summer are Fun Friends and Freedom….
Here are twenty ideas for indoor play and twenty ideas for playing outside. Hopefully these will spark more and more ideas and give children a new outlet – especially during the long holidays when free activities and play ideas can wane slightly!
1. Collect bits from the garden & create a mini garden on a plate
2. Have a water fight!
3. Make an obstacle course
4. Find two friends and learn to skip with a double rope
5. Make potions using flower petals
6. Take a bed sheet, find a tree and make a base camp
7. Take a magnifying glass and look at nature up close
8. Play the floor is lava – in a wood or at a play park
9. Make holes in a plastic cup and try to transfer all the water from one bucket to another along a course
10. See how tall you can make a pebble tower
10. Find an old mat or rug and pretend you have a flying carpet
11. Collect leaves, sticks etc and create your own pretend tea party
12. Use a stick or chalk to play O’s and X’s on the pavement
13. Catch the flag – two teams try to capture the oppositions flag
14. Dig for treasure (in your own back garden or an allotment)
15. Draw a big hopscotch, find a stone and learn how to play hopscotch
16. Make a shop collect things to ‘sell’, make a sign and get creative!
17. Play French cricket – you will need a tennis racket or bat and a ball
18. Target practise – just don’t aim at your siblings!
19. Camp out for the night
20. Make paper aeroplanes and see who can fly the furthest
1. Pick a letter or the day and try to do and eat everything using that letter
2. Fill a zip bag with foam and food colouring to make a sensory bag
3. Learn how to do a magic trick
4. Make your own board game
5. Put on a fashion show
6. Have a carpet tea party – invite your family or use toys as guests
7. Bubbles in the bath – see how big you can make them
8 Put food colouring & vinegar in glasses, add a pinch of bicarb and watch them fizz (use a shower or sink)
9. Make an indoor den with boxes and blankets – try making a tunnel too
10. Make the tallest toilet tube stack you can
10. Play hide and seek
11. Cut out bits from magazines and make colour collages
12. Write a quiz for a family night in
13. Make a car or marble ramp
14. Use dry ingredients (e.g. lentils and pasta) & make a landscape/scene
15. Turn your living room into a lily pond using newspaper as lily pads
16. Freeze some toys in ice and help them to escape!
17. Add water to cornflour to make ‘goop’, add colouring & mix
18. Hide some treasure and make a map for someone else to find it
19. Blow peas at a goal (use straws)
20. Make a paper helicopter and fly it from the top of the stairs
If you want to find out more about ‘the play experts’ – please visit our website or for more free activities and ideas come and find us on social using the icons below: