Kids’ happiness comes cheaper than you might think

Family at playDoes the sentence “Mum, Dad, I’m bored,” fill you with dread as you worry about having to spend yet more money on entertainment? According to a survey of English children, keeping the kids entertained doesn’t mean forking out for expensive holidays and theme parks.

Half (50%) of kids say a simple picnic or kick about are their favourite summer holiday activities. While 83% of children admit they get bored during the long summer break, nearly all (93%) just want more mum and dad time.

In the survey, children said playing more (80%), enjoying the sun (61%) and spending time as a family (59%) were their favourite things about the summer holidays.

Come rain or shine, kids love being outdoors and having fun. Parentline Plus, one of the charities responsible for the survey, suggests these ideas to help you keep the kids happy:

  • Grab some crayons and paper and try making leaf or bark rubbings in the park.
  • When it’s pouring with rain, why not set up a talent show indoors – you can be the judge and award small prizes or homemade certificates to the winners.
  • Kids love getting involved with cooking. Why not make your own pizza – it’s easy and fun (and you can pile on the vegetables!)
  • Why not create activities in the garden or local park like a sports day. Invite your child’s friends along and include all their favorites like the egg and spoon race.

Matt Buttery from Dad Talk, another of the charities that conducted the survey, explains, “It can be hard to come up with ways to keep children amused during the holidays, and most parents worry of the costs involved. But, as this research shows, what kids want the most is some fun time with mum and dad. Most of us have to work, and can’t be with our children 24/7, but the simplest activities like a game of rounders in the park after work or a Saturday picnic will keep them entertained, help keep all the family fit and wear the kids out so they’ll sleep like babies.”

For more ideas about what to do during the summer holidays, visit and download your copy of the Free Summer Fun booklet.

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